Stand-up sitting down!
Whoever has dared to bring a big show into our city has devoted an enormous amount of time untangling snafus.
BENGALURU: Sometimes I miss the influx of performing arts in our ooru. Dance and song shows, art shows, book and poetry reading and a myriad of other such soul uplifting activities. When they do come, they leave in a nano-second, unsung and unheard of because of our abysmal infrastructure, the traffic snarls and lack of venues. Whoever has dared to bring a big show into our city has devoted an enormous amount of time untangling snafus.
Any type of reconnaissance would have laid bare Bengaluru’s repeated faux-pas with handling bigger events. We have repeatedly pulled a boner (to put it politely), and neither the government nor the citizens seem to care. We take on the chin like polite troopers while the ‘powers that be’ know that our tempers cool quickly in our cool climate. It takes an incident like this (really a shame of mega proportions) when an artist cancels all his shows and the hapless citizens who paid an arm and a leg for a raison d’etre to laugh had to wend their way home (a cool 21/2 hour trek one way) disappointed.
The venue was a make-shift job with plastic chairs, in a make-shift structure with (a cardinal sin at a talk-show) pathetic acoustics! The toilet facilities were all but non-existent and filthy, the food and liquor stalls exorbitantly priced, and the hospitals will make a killing with dengue cases because of the swarm of mosquitoes that prevailed! Being an artiste myself, I know that the first place to reconnaissance would be the venue and one must arrive early to complete a sound-check.
Well, Trevor Noah apparently believed his organisers and ultimately, he plaintively said: “this has never, ever happened before!” I have spoken to a lot of people who despairing spoke of traffic-snarls and with no metro facilities available so one could take a train instead of one’s car contributing to more traffic mashups. This catastrophe was waiting to happen, and we should stop being silent victims. I allure to the fact that these ‘views’ are mine but they echo the views of other hard-working and law-abiding citizens too. We cannot keep justifying the death of our beloved city by saying ‘we have fabulous weather’. Wake-up my beloved tech-city!
In contrast I attended a small stand-up show by the mature Mumbai-based comic Atul Khatri, partnered by the Grand Mercure, Gopalan Mall. The show started on time, and the food and ambrosia were free flowing and spot-on. There was no service during the performance unlike the great drunken debacle at Manpho. The only problem was battling this horrendous malady (traffic) to reach there. Thanks to the efforts of the GM Sachin Maheshwari, was the event a resounding success. Maybe it was a much smaller show but logistically managed wonderfully. The problem arises when the organisers let their greed take over with only an eye on the money.
Thank God for my good friend chef Vikas Seth. His recent travels to South-East Asia culminated in a fab new menu at Sanchez which is literally an exquisite culinary travelogue coinciding with their 9th anniversary. His epicurean genius transcends the ordinary to make every single dish into a gastronomical delight. He isn’t a mere cuisinier but a culinary genius. His fare has to be enjoyed and cannot be described.
(The writers’ views are their own )