Lest we forget

I had the opportunity to see the fabulous Bangash Ali brothers, Amaan and Ayaan perform after nearly two years.
Ayaan and Amaan Ali Bangash with Madhav Sehegal.
Ayaan and Amaan Ali Bangash with Madhav Sehegal.

BENGALURU : Good morning Bangalore
Since the Cardi-V cases are on the decline and everything is open, I am still waiting for the ‘new normal’ to kick in! Just a perfunctory gesture of wearing (or not) of a mask, does not help much. Even if one has a slight sense of trepidation, then one keeps it to oneself only because you don’t want to seem to be a ‘critical missy’ especially when the rest are having such a good time.

I was invited by Dr Kerwin Nigli, head at the Department of Hotel Management, Christ University, for their annual bread festival (put on hold for nearly two years) to be followed by lunch. No doubt I was blown away by the talented and enthusiastic young ladies and gentlemen. They will be an asset to any hospitality genre they choose. The Vietnamese lunch could have rivalled any big ‘star’ hotel and the joie-de-vivre and eagerness of the young adults was contagious! What I needed to point out here was that the breathtaking campus was teeming with happy faces. Youngsters were out in the sunlight, sharing sandwiches, playing basket-ball chatting, laughing and gossiping…it was glorious! It was like nature had decided to forgive us. The happy young faces brought it all back into focus. We coped admirably during the pandemic. Now we need to be thankful and carry on with our lives.

I will be lying if I say that my spirits haven’t markedly improved since the waning of the deadly V. When I look around, I see bold steps being taken towards getting back to a normalcy that we are familiar with. I must admit that the majority of the people wear masks. In fact, the workers and vendors look sheepish and wear their masks properly the moment you point it out to them. I am amazed at the polite demeanour of people who use lifts. They obligingly don’t crowd the elevator while the youngsters run up the stairs. I shamelessly have used this ruse to my advantage. Whenever I see a crowd in the foyer near the lift, I start limping and my ‘owws and ahhs’ are effective enough for many people opting for the stairs!

I received an invitation from The Leela Palace to be a part of their very exclusive launch of their ‘Icons of India’ series. I had the opportunity to see the fabulous Bangash Ali brothers, Amaan and Ayaan perform after nearly two years. I was beyond thrilled! Both the boys were just as I remembered them, cultured, humble. uber-talented and drop dead good-looking! The musical extravaganza (I surreptitiously brushed away tears from my eyes when they tugged on my heart-strings by playing Tagore’s classic song) 
was superlative…

Dinner was a sit-down affair, and the company at the table was perfectly matched. It was quite a splendid evening, where auld Bangalore mixed happily with one another. It looked like the last year and a half never happened as we happily chatted and exchanged pleasantries. I must admit that even my husband remarked how content and ‘chilled out’ I looked as I contentedly hummed a familiar raga that the Bangash brothers had superbly played, on my way home. Well, I am keeping my fingers firmly crossed that this state of  bliss prevails!

How could I let the week pass without meeting my friends? We ladies conspired to meet (we still have loads of responsibilities with work, hearth and home and children). Lunch at the Blue Ginger, Taj West End was as idyllic as the ambiance. In between consuming big bowls of steaming hot Pho (pronounced ‘fuh’) dim-sums and mango prawn curry, we talked non-stop. I was meeting one friend after a year and we couldn’t stop hugging each other.

We are social living beings...we hug, touch and kiss to communicate our feelings. Maybe nature has forgiven us after all. But we must never forget  our vulnerability.

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