BENGALURU: Good morning, Bangalore!
The week flew past. I was in a comparatively mellow space, going about doing what most of us do, keeping our heads above water and trying valiantly to find light at the end of the tunnel. I was determined not to be a damp squib and was super charged with no signs of either being alarmed at the dismal state of the economy or anything that made us skittish or nervous. (Please note I did not say downright depressed!) So with my best Mary Poppins demeanour, I opened my umbrella and decided to ‘feed the birds’! I marveled at the sun-dappled shadows on the cobbled pathways on my morning walks, studiously did the crossword or Sudoku puzzle when I sipped my morning tea, called up friends I had recently lost touch with and made lunch plans.
I am at my best when I make ‘power puff’ lunch plans with my girls. It’s refreshing to see them go that extra mile and take some time off work and their busy schedules just to spend some quality time with each other. Everything was set. I settled on Bo-Tai, a restaurant that serves amazing Thai and Chinese cuisine in the CBD area, (convenient to all of us) and roped in another ‘superwoman,’ their VP Operations Rekha Ghosh, to enable us to pull off this fabulous luncheon without a hitch.
Sure enough the afternoon was a smash hit! The food was delectable, the cocktails had the right punch and the service bordered on spoiling us silly. With two doctors with super specialisations and two successful entrepreneurs on the table this was no easy feat. I must admit, there were those little lapses in our conversations and laughter as we dived head first into a scrumptious feast. As my busy friends melted away to go back to their busy professions, I lingered a bit under the 200-year-old rain tree sipping on my masala tea at peace with myself.
My good friend Riyaaz Amlani (the jet-setter), flew into Bengaluru for a couple of hours and then disappeared before we could get used to his presence! For the shy and self-effacing person that he is, he is also generous and loves throwing parties for his clients and friends. This time it was for the opening of his very popular restaurant called Social. These outlets that dot the city are great watering holes for the uber young and edgy. I was blown away by this new outlet in Indiranagar. The restaurant was large and had different spaces for different demographics and psychographics. In a nutshell, something for everybody. His chefs have mastered the art of serving and presenting street food from all over the world, like one has never eaten or seen before. Naturally our lunch there was akin to a ‘food- fling’ but we aren’t complaining…yet!
Languid afternoons, quality time spent with friends and family, laughing, making jokes about the big fat political tamashas, memes about the similarity of building walls and ‘supremos’ patting each other’s backs at the expense of our tax money…is this an utopian sense of denial we live in, or is it a privilege? Do we not smell the smoke from burnt houses, corpses and dreams? The Instagram posts of many youngsters shook me out of my reverie. They are deeply upset, saddened and horrified. Does being older harden one to the silent and not so silent screams? Or do we just silently shake our heads and after a decent interval, change the topic? Somethings burning…and it isn’t love.
In the eyes of the world, we are just as ‘untouchable’ as the nations’ reeling under the grip of the Coronavirus. There is discontent, but not enough unified voices to stop a carnage that unfolds on a daily basis. We are paralyzed with fear. We desperately need another messiah…
Something’s burning and it isn’t love!