It was one of those days. As I stepped out of office the weather looked lovely. There was a light breeze blowing and the clouds didn't look like rain. I got this urge to just stretch my legs a little. Since I've joined my new job I've been spending 10-12 hours glued to my seat.
And that's not doing any good to my already moderately rotund frame.
I started with thinking that I'll walk for a while and then take an auto for the remaining distance. But I just kept going and going and walked all the way back home. (takes bow). Well, except for a small stopover at McDonalds (hehe...ow, my legs).
It was a long walk, some 5-6 kilometers (from Infantry Road to Indiranagar) but I should do it more often. Or at least some distance (as I mentioned earlier, ow, my legs). But not just for the exercise. A stroll through this city gives so many things to blog about!
A Red Light
I started getting into my stride and started feeling good about the walk some where near Brigade Road. Staying with the momentum I swung on MG Road towards Ulsoor with the same momentum. As I walked I felt I was being observed. I cast a quick glance and saw this highly made up woman. She wasn't what you (or anyone) would call pretty. Alright, alright she was butt ugly. And she was looking at me with a rather leery, longing look.
""Score! Swapnil, you still got it man! You haven't got that look for the last couple of years (ok, ok let's be honest five years). Damn if she was fifteen years younger and a little (or a lot) prettier you may have given her one of your trademark 'how you doin's'.
So I moved ahead with a little smirk. And less than fifteen meters later there it was again. An uglier (if that were possible), more heavily made up (if that were possible) was looking at me with a leerier (if that were possible) look.
Score! Swapnil you devil, you...
Wait. Two leery looks in less than fifteen meters and two minutes after a five year drought? Somethings fishy.
Oh, yeah, the new after shave! Now it all makes sense. Didn't the ad say it drives the ladies crazy. And of course these fast moving consumer goods marketers do not lie in there ads. That would be just...wrong, wouldn't it?
So I swaggered ahead, and yes, you guessed it. A third specimen. Same make up, same leery lusty look. And out of the haze that my brain usually is a memory flashed through. PS and I were driving by that place quite late at night some months ago and I got curious about a line of women apparently standing there waiting for an auto.
"But there are so many autos standing right there PS, why don't they take one?"
PS: (Bemused look)"You're seriously asking me this question?"
SB: (Bemused look at his bemused look) "Yeah, why?"
PS: "How old are you?"
SB: "A number older than 20 yet laughably close to it"
PS: " Jackass, they are prostitutes. This row becomes a pick up point at night. The clients come, haggle with the women, haggle with the autos and take them to their places or cheap hotels, got it"
SB: (Clarity starting to dawn) "Ah"
SB: "So...how do you know so much?"...snigger
PS: "Because my IQ is twice yours"
SB: (muttering) "Played the high IQ card again. Dog"
'Ah' was what I said then, and 'Oh' was what I said now as realization struck. Yes, ladies and gentlemen I was walking through the low end Red Light area in Bangalore. Thankfully it wasn't too late in the night so the place was still not really bustling with the clientele!
And the walk was not over.
Just as I left the red zone (unharmed and with my honour intact, thanks for asking) I was accosted by another guy sitting on a bike. And he starts with the most fake American accent I've heard since that chap I knew who went to the US for two weeks and came back with the Texan drawl instead of his voice. (Yes, you. You know who you are!)
FAG (Fake Accent Guy (What? What did you think?)): "Excuse me, do you know a petrol pump nearby? I seem to have run out of gas (yes, not petrol)."
SSSB (Super Samaritan Swapnil Bhatnagar): "Yes, there is one around half a kilometer ahead."
FAG: "Oh, but you see I'm new to Bangalore. I came for an interview ten - fifteen days back. This bike is a friend's who's gone to his home in Chhatisgarh"
SSSB: (Confused) "Umm, ok"
FAG: "Actually I'm running low on cash and I don't have any credit card."
SSSB: "Umm, well hard luck mate" Maybe I'd have believed you if you hadn't tried the fake accent to make you seem respectable stunt. You really think I'd be stupid enough to believe that you took a bike out and did not take money and have no plastic money at all? And you're here for a fifteen day long interview? Ok, how did you get to know about my IQ problem?
FAG: "Do you think if I give the petrol guy my cell phone..."
(Expectant pause 2)
SB: "Yeah, I think that would work. Good luck (with this stupid scam working)"
And some Impropriety
Now I don't know about you, I don't think a business establishment in which a man comes perilously close to another while measuring the in seam should be called
"Men's Touch Tailors"
(Yes, it exists. On Ulsoor road)