I just love the summer showers in Bangalore.

Sitting at my desk I just need to turn back and through the  huge glass walls I can see the rain falling silently and the flora swaying gently in the wind.And I have just come back  from  a hot cup of tea and mirchi bajjis, followed by a little jaunt in the rain  on the 6th floor terrace cafeteria with some like minded colleagues.

Today I realized why the thought of leaving this organization never occurred to me for the past 7 years. 😉

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This week was a nightmare come true for us.
We  moved into this house  in 2006 and since then we have been running from pillar to post, paying all the required bills and getting all the required documents to get a legal , regular water connection in place. But for some reason, nobody seems to be interested in providing a water connection to the locality we live in. Finally sometime last year, we were provided a temporary connection which we share with 2 of our neighbours. But with the water playing truant on most days, we  could hardly depend on this connection for our day to day water requirements. So all through these years we have been reluctantly forced to call on  private water suppliers to take care of our water needs.
This  Monday morning , we called our regular private supplier and asked them to deliver a tanker of water. But there was no sign of the tanker even at the end of the day. Repeated calls to the supplier didn’t yield any results and we managed to get through Monday and Tuesday by  rationing the very limited water stored (for such emergencies) in a a drum. By Tuesday evening we were running out of this water also and after desperate, repeated calls to our regular private supplier and to other private suppliers in the area, we figured that the common borewell  used as a water source by all the private suppliers had some problem and no supplier in the locality could supply water to us.
Tuesday afternoon and evening brought with it some showers to Bangalore and this turned into a big blessing for us as we have installed rain water harvesting. 🙂
The rain gods continued to smile down on us and Wednesday brought with it more intense showers.All this stored rain water saw us through 2 days for only on Friday did our  private supplier deliver a tanker full of water.
I have always thought of Lord Indra as a proud and haughty God and he certainly never featured in my List of favourite  Gods.
But after this incident, I think I he is my favouritest ( I know I know there is no such word, but you know what I mean , don’t you ? ;)).

Bangalore traffic being Bangalore traffic, driving anywhere within the city limits invariably results in long waits at traffic signals.Usually at such traffic signals, I roll down the window and BB has a good time waving and calling out to all the unkuns and onties in the cars , buses or on the motorbikes parked adjacent to us.Most of the unkuns and onties smile and wave back at our friendly little fellow and we sometimes continue the game even at the next traffic signal.

Last Saturday we were driving to my sister’s place and  as expected , we were  stuck at a traffic signal. As  I rolled down the window for little BB  I noticed a young guy on a bike who had stopped right beside us. BB excitedly looked out , saw the bike and starting calling out ” Unkun, unkun ” all the time smiling at the young guy. Since he didn’t get the expected response from his new found unkun , he turned to me  with a questioning look .I looked out, a little annoyed and wondering why the chap wasn’t responding to a little boy’s friendly overtures. After all if was a relaxed Saturday evening, other people around seemed pretty chilled out and were not honking  and getting on each other’s nerves in an attempt to reach office/ meetings on time.But I noticed that  this young chap was looking straight ahead , had a preoccupied look on his face and wasn’t even aware that there was a little boy trying to catch his attention. I found this a little strange.Then something about his bike caught my attention. I stretched and looked at the back of his bike and that explained his preoccupied look.

He was a Dominoes Pizza delivery boy!

Saturday nights are probably one of the most hectic times for pizza joints and the poor soul was probably wondering if he would make it in time to his destination before the 30 minutes delivery time lapsed.Weekends for office workers like us did not obviously mean weekends for everybody else in the city. 🙂

I smiled understandingly as the traffic light turned green and he zipped away before PP had even started our car.

Every now and then, I need that little break from the mundane, routine city life and head out to the jungle/country side. But due to PP’s frequent travelling, visits from the brother-in-law and just the intense summer heat this year in Bangalore, we have not had that much needed break.

Last weekend, I  desperately considered my options and realized that we don’t need to always head out far away from the city for the sight of  greenery that soothes the city tired eyes and the nerves. We have our own little patch of  greenery in the middle of our concrete jungle city of Bangalore.  And so on Saturday morning, we packed a basic breakfast, fruits, some books and toys for BB and headed out to our little paradise, We reached early and after taking in lungs full of the fresh morning air and a  little walk around the park , we spread out our picnic mat under a  wide canopied tree and settled down to have our breakfast. There is something wonderful about having a meal in the open. The fresh air, the exercise we had walking around the park and just the joy of sitting under a tree had worked up our appetites and  BB who has to be goaded into having his breakfast on a regular morning quickly  gobbled up his own breakfast and then proceeded to feed us ours :).

Soon it was time for BB’s mid morning nap and the the Papa who firmly believes  in always being the true role model , spread himself out comfortably on the mat and was off into slumberland long before BB had even settled down in my lap for his quota of shuteye. While the father- son duo were catching up on their beauty sleep, I used the time to do my own thing. I slipped off my flip flops and walked barefoot on the grass, taking pictures of the flower laden trees and later on joined the sleeping beauties on the mat and caught up on my reading. It was nice and cool under the tree and I didn’t feel the heat of the noon sun at all.

Father son enjoying their little nap

Had a glorious time under the shade of this tree

Father and son woke up refreshed from their nap and after a quick snack of fruits headed in the direction of  the fountain while I continued relaxing on the mat.But I guess I was not destined to relax for too long, coz the sprinklers came on and I got attacked from 2 different directions. Completely amused by this turn of events and giggling away like a college teenager, I managed to pack our stuff  and walked towards the fountain, looking more wet than the little son who was spraying himself with water from the fountain .

Father and son heading towards the fountain

Little BB enjoyed all the unconstrained running around

A couple of mynahs enjoying a little shower under the sprinklers

We then parked ourselves and our stuff under another tree, kicked a ball around till we were all tired and then headed out to join some friends for lunch.

So in all it was just a few hours at the park, but these few hours energized me enough to help me get through another few weeks of the mundane city life.

When I am late for a meeting or when I am just feeling too lazy to catch a bus, I take an auto to work.And everytime, I approach the auto stand, I gear up for the inevitable haggling session with the auto drivers.The auto driver starts his bid with a ludicrous double fare, I start mine with the correct meter fare and then we slowly work our way to a compromise and the middle path of 1.5 times the meter fare. Now the auto drivers at the stand and I are so familiar with this game and the compromised 1.5 times fare that as soon I walk up to catch an auto, we flash each other a knowing smile, I get into the auto that they point me to and we do away with the  haggling completely.

Yesterday, I was running a little late and so decided to take an auto. PP dropped me at the auto stand and as I walked up to the auto stand, I saw an unfamiliar face sitting in the driver’s seat of the first auto in the queue. I stopped and mentioned my destination and braced myself for the usual absurd high rate usually quoted by the driver. But to my surprise, he simply nodded his head, turned on the meter and asked me to get in. ‘ Oh well, looks like this one will haggle with me only after I reach the destination ‘  I thought to myself as I climbed in. 25 minutes later we reached my office and the meter showed Rs 49. I took out Rs 50 from my wallet and handed it over to him and again braced myself for the inevitable arguments for more money with the usual supporting statements like the office is in such a remote corner of the city and how he would not get a ride back and so would suffer losses. Imagine my surprise, when instead he dug into his pocket to get out the 1 rupee change for my Rs 50 note. I was in shock as I waved away the money and asked him to keep the change.

Like a zombie, I displayed my ID card to the security personnel at the gate  and entered the office premises. Only after I had walked a few steps did I regain my senses and realize that I had just had the rare opportunity of meeting an honest Bangalore auto driver and travelling in his auto . I quickly turned and had another look at this rare specimen and also quickly noted down his auto number. Here is hoping and praying that he is seen more regularly  at the auto stand that I frequent.

And as they say, may his tribe increase.