Good morning, Bangalore!
Every so often, we tend to lose sight of the things we have to be thankful for, and only dwell on the things that don’t work in our lives. My wise mother used to call it the classic ‘glass half empty or half full syndrome’. As the undisrupted leaders in the food chain, human beings don’t need to be coaxed to feel dejection or despair. We are programmed to look at things in a negative or despondent manner. We need positivity seminars, yoga classes or laughing clubs to make us feel better. Just browse through any bookstore and there will be hundreds of books dedicated to ‘10 easy steps to be happy’. You will not find a single book that says ‘10 easy steps to be unhappy’. Why? Because we are pre-disposed to being unhappy and dissatisfied creatures! I will candidly admit that when I wake up in the morning, I will myself to be happy. What is it that they call it nowadays? Ah yes! Intentions! I intend all right, but there is always the proverbial slip between the cup and the lip.
But jokes apart, depression is a very real malady that is thankfully being taken seriously nowadays. In our country, depression was considered a sign of madness which had to be hidden from the world, and anyone with a medical degree (preferably a relative) would deal with the ‘problem’ discreetly. I know of a friend’s brother who suffered from depression and was sent away to the bowels of Punjab to be treated by a relative who was a dentist. He came back many months later, still depressed, but with a perfect set of teeth! Considering the alarming number of suicides in our country (Bangalore has been dubbed the suicide capital) and the number of young people jumping off buildings or hanging themselves, I’m truly relieved that depression and postpartum blues are being categorised as medical issues. For the rest of us with a mild case of urban blues... we should really learn to count our blessings!
This week, I was determined to spend time doing things which put a smile on my face. Ignoring the fact that Class-4 students were being grilled about acting in a play that said ‘objectionable’ things, and firmly turning a deaf ear to rants and justifications about ideologies that that rankled, I slapped on my most beatific expression, and went about meeting friends, chilling out, working on new projects, and binge-watching movies on Netflix. Ah! The simple guilty pleasures of not rushing to various meeting through snarling traffic and eventually understanding what my kids meant when they said, ‘chillax’!
There are two hotels in the city that epitomise the elegance of ‘auld’ Bangalore. The ITC Windsor Manor is a stately building with its façade looking like the replica of the Windsor Castle. An eclectic group of the ‘power puff’ girl gang’ decided to lunch at Jolly Nabob, a restaurant which is an institution by itself. The languid lunch (it was a decadent Nawabi feast) that lasted for just under four hours was superlative. Our host, Manas Krishnamoorty, the general manager, braved the all-woman coterie and floored us with his charm and wit.
Though The Oberoi has a more modern façade, they have an old soul! We were privileged to be among the chosen few to be present at the launch of their newly-opened restaurant, Lapis, and the elegance had the guests awestruck. Their VP and GM, Visheshwar Raj Singh, gave us a glimpse of how things are done with a true blue royal panache. The ambiance, the cuisine and the service… as the French would exclaim, c’est parfait! Till next week, don’t worry, be happy.
writer, actor and funny girl