Here are some observations from my short walks in a small portion of Bangalore:

  1. The first thing that strikes you as you enter Bangalore is the pleasant weather. While I liked it at first, I really don’t know if I can get used to it. I’ve kind of grown fond of Mumbai’s almost all year round hot and humid climate. Still this is one area that Bangalore probably majorly scores on.
  2. The weather again. This time on a negative note. It’s supposed to be the monsoons and I am yet to see any significant showers. Most of the rains that I have seen so far would classify as a light drizzle. Seriously miss the torrential Mumbai showers.
  3. Footpaths!! Yes, you heard me right, footpaths. It’s such a joy to walk on un-encroached footpaths. I’ve gotten so used to walking on the street in Mumbai, so much so that I keep forgetting that I have a footpath here that I can actually walk on
  4. Traffic lights that work for pedestrians. Barring South Mumbai, haven’t really seen the walk sign used anywhere in a Mumbai traffic light. Out here, they are there and they actually work 🙂
  5. This place has too many trees. I know that Bangalore is probably a city of gardens, but what’s with the trees? The streets are lined with them, and they often come in the way while walking. I’ve actually knocked my head on a low hanging branch while walking.
  6. The weather yet again. Like I mentioned earlier, Bangalore seems to have a nice cool climate. However, the people here seem to act as if it’s really cold. I’ve almost always seen people dressed in at least two layers of clothing – a jacket of some sorts (mostly not a windcheater) and the regular outfit. Dunno if it’s considered fashionable here, but seriously what’s with the jackets? Makes me feel under dressed.
  7. Food’s been generally ok to good here, but I’ve two complaints so far. I have yet to eat a decent plate of rice so far, its either slightly overcooked or just tastes plain weird. And in a similar vein, yet to feast on good kebabs. I probably need to try a lot of new places I guess.
  8. Also when eating out alone (true for Mumbai as well) its far more economical to eat at a food court.  I liked the one at Forum Mall because they have a fairly wide selection, the food is good and get this they use “real” cutlery. You heard me right, “real” cutlery and not the plastic gunk that passes for spoons and forks in other food courts. Trust me, makes a world of difference while dining.
  9. Things here move at a glacial pace and the general attitude is fairly laid back when it comes to work.(not that its necessarily a bad thing) I’ve seen this is restaurants, in checkout counters, at movie theatres and many other places. The whole approach to both speed and efficiency is drastically different than that in Mumbai. As an example, I used to often eat at Alfredo’s in Juhu. Their Pizzas used to take about 15 minutes to table and were always consistently good. Out here, I’ve patiently waited for 30 minutes to be served something that wouldn’t pass muster as “good” pizza anywhere. This after being promised that it would just take 15 minutes. A big fail for me.
  10. Infrastructure and Travel woes are equally bad here if not worse. The other day just 37mm of rainfall lead to widespread waterlogging and flooding. I guess you only appreciate the BMC when you live elsewhere.
    Travel by public transport is not as good in as in Mumbai, though the buses are neat. The bigger problem is the widespread traffic congestion during peak hours. Not as bad as Mumbai, but certainly getting there.
    Also what’s with the low lighting? I distinctly recall well lit streets back in Mumbai. But out here nothing of the sort. The sidewalks pretty much poorly lit in most side lanes and even on some major roads.
  11. Also, things close really early here. By about 8:30-9:30 pm the streets are fairly empty (not that they were as full otherwise), a fact that is accentuated by the dim lighting. Most eateries do stay open till 10-11:30 pm, but compared to Mumbai the 11:30 deadline seems absurdly early. On the bright side though at least you end up having dinner on time and not at some insane hour.
  12. Malls seem like the number one pastime of people here, judging from the crowds thronging the malls. I’ve pretty much become a Mall Rat myself. Though one thing I did notice in the supermarkets in Malls. Almost all of them have a wine and liquor section. Far more than the Malls in Mumbai. Makes it a very convenient shopping destination that lets you pick up your booze along with the groceries.
  13. Lastly, noticed a more than average sprinkling of people from the North-Eastern states of India. Really heartening to see so many of them in Bangalore. I think it makes Bangalore seem far more cosmopolitan than Mumbai.
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  1. sowmya says:

    Fairly objective observations. Agree with most. And wayyyy better than the typical racist northies that go “arre yaar yahan paneeeer hi nahin mildan” or why are the girls so dark. Observation 14. Most bangaloreans think Mumbai is in the north. 😛

  2. Vikrama Dhiman says:

    Interesting article.

    Other things you can focus on in next few posts : Do people dislike northies, Can you get your way around knowing only English/ Hindi and Is it really the cosmo city we talk it is.

  3. enygmatic says:

    Seeing the obnoxious behavior of some “northies” on a bus recently, I can “get”as to why people might dislike them… (no offence intended). But yes, Vikrama, that’s something to consider. Maybe the Bangalore readers of this blog might throw some light on this…