Bangalore City today is gradually gaining fame as the Silicon Valley of Asia. It is destined to be
one of the great cities of India, and will play a great part in bringing that country back to its one-time greatness. The
rapid growth of the city is testimony that anything can happen if
and women get together to make it happen. Having been a place where the British had a garrison,
the city was already full of stolid buildings and roads after the colonialist left in 1947. For a few
decades, the people prepared themselves and went about their roles as farmers and as small
industry workers. Then came the computer boom and they took to it like ducks to water.
Just 15 years ago, Bangalore did not look at all what it is today. The writer who spent one month
in Bangalore had an entirely different experience. The bus that he took from Madras City took the
whole night to travel to Bangalore. The ride was terrible and he held his heart in his mouth
throughout the journey. When he arrived at 7:00 am, another surprise awaited him; none of the
smaller hotels wanted to give him accommodation. This was not because of a lack of rooms.
Everywhere the hoteliers had the same message: We don't want foreigners! Then it was explained
to the writer that this was because foreigners got drunk, took drugs, brought prostitutes to their rooms
and caused all sorts of trouble. The writer was very upset when the hotel clerk said that they did
not especially want Singaporeans.
The solution was simple, the writer - who was of Indian ethnicity - posed as an Indian citizen.
He vaguely remembered his father telling him that he was from the village of Arasantham Patti and
at the next hotel claimed that he was from that village. The clerk let out a yawn and registered him.
The room was not air-conditioned, but then the whole of Bangalore city had natural air-conditioning,
as it was on the Deccan plateau.
From the hotel, the writer planned short excursions to places that he wanted to see. Being on a
budget, he could not afford the package tours and so had to rely on public transport. The public
transport system was far from satisfactory. Every bus was overloaded and the bus conductors were
kings. they charged bus fares according to their whims and fancies, and gave out tickets only when
they wanted to - pocketing the fares when they thought they saw a passenger that they could shout
down. The writer even witnessed an incident when a conductor collected fare from a passenger
twice - because he did not have a ticket. But the ultimate happened when once the bus driver
stopped ten kilometers from the writer's destination and decided to turn back. The reason was
apparently because the writer was the only passenger left in the bus, and bus crew did not think
it worthwhile to travel the distance for one man. Anyway, what happened was when the writer asked
why the bus was not making the full route, the conductor threatened to throw him out unless he got
off. Usually it is not wise to get into a fight in a foreign land so the writer got off and walked the
The people of Bangalore were very kind; that was the most beautiful experience the writer had from
the city. They were hospitable, and the writer got a lot of kindness from complete strangers. One
elderly gentleman invited the writer home for dinner, when all the writer asked
was where he could get a good meal in the vicinity. At first the writer refused
politely, but the gentleman insisted so strongly that the writer felt honored to
dine with such a person. When the writer finally accepted the invitation, he was
given a sumptuous meal which the ladies of
the house cooked at short notice. He was actually treated as a guest, the elder
even sent out messages to invite a few relatives and friends and made the
occasion into a small celebration. The writer remained friends with the
gentleman until he passed away a few years ago.
||The first nasty experience that the writer
had was on the way to Bangalore by bus. The ride was dangerous and he
was worried throughout the journey. When he arrived in Bangalore, he was
surprised that none of the smaller hotels wanted him for a guest -- on
the grounds that he was a foreigner. He posed as an Indian to get a
room. The writer observed that the conductors were unscrupulous
and often pocketed the fares. One personal experience that the writer
had was when the bus abandoned him 10km from his destination because he
was the only passenger on board. They threatened him and he had to get
The people of Bangalore, according to the writer were kind and
hospitable. On one occasion, he asked an old gentleman where a good
restaurant could be found. The gentleman responded by taking him home
and throwing a dinner. the writer feels that with such people Bangalore
would surely succeed. ( 160 words )