A Survivor’s Guide to Bangalore – Part 1


Image courtesy: Google Images

When I came to Bangalore for the very first time almost five years back to fetch a job, a good friend of mine who had already settled in the City gave me few tips and practical advices to survive my first few weeks.

Now that I have started blogging (filling blogosphere with my unbridled nonsense), I intend to use this medium to pass on this knowledge (updated to comply with the present scenario) to the myriad of multifarious first-time visitors who are flocking to Bengaluru with the hope of landing a job or to scout around.

  • Learning the local language is certainly a good thing if you are going to spend a long time here. While you will not always get the time, taking a moment to learn a few basic words is key. There is one word which will catch your fascination, and that is ‘Maadi’ which means ‘do’. For example: you can tell an autowalla, “stop maadi”, “go maadi”, and wherever it can make some sense however weird it sounds. Though ‘stop’ and ‘go’ can stand alone, Maadi certainly adds a touch of localism in your language, which can only be good.  More examples: enjoy maadi, chill maadi. Pronunciation Tips: Maa as in Maama (which means uncle=police) and di should be pronounced de.
  • Movie Titanic was apparently a mammoth hit in Bangalore, and its influence can be seen and felt (if extremely (un)lucky) even today. Especially the ‘spitting scene’ in the movie. Irk a fellow driver on the road, and there is every chance of you ending up with a glut of frothy substance on your face.  Things you can do: Wipe it on your sleeve and smile back or you can slobber your stuff on him, a fairly accepted act of retaliation. But you would not want to miss your target. Accuracy training is highly recommended. Watch Titanic before you touch down in Bangalore.
  • If you are a Malayalee with a serious unquenched craving for beef (buffalo meat in Kerala), do not worry. Bangalore is a home away from your home. Whisper your desire over the counter (only in Kerala hotels mind you), they would even get you the original buffalo of Yamaraj cooked, fried, smoked or in whichever way you want, for some extra dough, even the live animal on four legs.  But yes, we do have a ban on beef here.
  • Don’t be shocked to see people standing in queue at the rear side of a cow. You would see their face glow with anticipation whenever the holy animal lifts its tail. It’s just that they are waiting for their morning dose of “gau jal” (cow pee, to be precise). If it is not your cup of drink, look away. [Cow urine is touted as a cure-all. Visit http://www.cowurine.com for more info]
  • Prominent locations ‘Cox Town’ (often spelled Cocks Town), and ‘Dickenson Road’ are quite decent places to live. Any misgivings you may have about the names are completely unfounded.
  • And if you ever happened to get annoyed on an odd night out, in a dark shoddy street, and you wished you knew somebody to call out for help, shout Manjunath!! In Banaglore you are never far away from a Manjunath. It is reported that there is one Manjunath every 100 meters, in either version Blah Manjunath and Manjunath Blah, with the latter more common; Manjunath Tom, Manjunath Dick, and Manjunath Harry.

Hope this helps.  Will share more tips and advices in part 2.

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About Joshi Mukard (81 Articles)
The author is a wandering soul with no place to call his home town. He was born in Kerala, brought up in several parts of Tamil Nadu, and currently living in Bangalore, shifting his base across the city on a yearly basis with fellow (unfortunate) wanderers, his wife (Libena) and little daughter (Tanaya). Despite all these, the author is a happy soul with no complaints on anything. He wakes up in the morning and sleeps at night and in-between he ducks, stumbles and dances through this world.

61 Comments on A Survivor’s Guide to Bangalore – Part 1

  1. LOLz words from a Bengaluru survivor..Points noted, i am not coming to Bangalore nytime soon..I agree with the local language part, works wonders.And titanic part was just ROTFL..And yes I will remember Manjunath, just have to ensure that how many Manjunaths are criminal types 😉

    • Joshi Mukard // June 14, 2010 at 9:02 am // Reply

      Thanks for your comment. Most Manjunaths are really good guys. Anyway, whenever you plan to visit Bangalore, do let me know…will give you some personal tips.

  2. lol! that was hilarious!!

  3. interesting post:0 guess maadi is to bangalore what anna is to..i dont know who taught all the north indians down at chennai this word. u can hear it in in their pitiable attempts of bargaining with auto drivers…i was told..these RJs have made maadi very popular…

  4. Ewww….I know for a fact a Bolly stud’s elixir of youth is “cow-urine”. Did he read your post?

    And Bangalore a giant spittoon!! saad..If Delhi can be an open air urinal can Bangalore be behind?

    Nice post 🙂

  5. witty:)
    I’d for sure recommend your blog post to be included in every Guidebook to Bangalore:)

    http://calvy.wordpress.com

  6. Good one..You seem to have a queer love for the cows though… 😉

    You might also want the tams who visit this place hoping for a dosa/sambhar..Man, the paste they spread on the dosa and the sweet dip they call as sambhar..Every self-respecting tam would starve to death.

    • Understand your emotion towards what we call here as ‘sambhar’. Yes, I do have some love for cows, my next post will be dedicated for all cows in Bangalore.

      By the way I loved you show.

  7. That was quite hilarious;)

  8. Always had this teeny weeny doubt. How is maadi pronounced.. Like “maaa” dEeee?? Or ma-di? cos maadi means somethin else in tamil.

  9. soooper.. love it

  10. Hey man congrats on this post . Splendid indeed , Greatly useful tips although many things are slightly sharp , especially comments on malayalis , I hope you are a malayali in that case you are autmatically entitled to forgiveness . Otherwise I ll beat the shit out of you …ps just kidding (about the forgiveness part)

  11. that was wayyyyyy so funny! couldnt stop laughing at some parts. but i do have a doubt; wouldn’t it be better to drive around B’lore with your glasses raised?

  12. when u make a dish … u add salt n if the salt is too much – the food is uneatable but if the salt is just right it make the food … delicious !! n so is this post … perfect salt 🙂

    interesting tips Joshi … will try n remember if ever visit Bangalore !!!

  13. wannabauthor // June 19, 2010 at 4:49 am // Reply

    gud one..FYI, Blore is one of my fav cities 😛

  14. excellent post.. loved it.. really fun.. will b watchful when I travel to Bangalore next.. 🙂

  15. Thank you Roshan. Will give you more tips in part 2.

  16. Hmmm……. The only regret is that you did not come up with these tips when i was around, although only for couple of months, there. That might have prolonged my stay there….Ha ha ha. Any way good one, could have been more hilarious.

    • Thank you for your comments. I just want to take a measured dig, not an overly hilarious approach. But will give you more tips in part 2, stay tuned.

  17. Very useful.

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  33. For Part 2 please emphasize, ‘Maadi'(Do it) should always be complimented with ‘beda'(NO) in unequivocal fervor. Else, consider yourself at the receiving end of a hoisting, Kannada responding bovine tail and carry on in helpless abandon ‘madi’ ‘madi’ ‘madi’ , your Bangalore stay will be well remembered.

  34. perceptionsofaconfusedsoul // March 25, 2012 at 5:32 pm // Reply

    Hahahah that was awesome.. What a guide 😛

  35. Exceptional post but I was wondering if you could write a litte
    more on this subject? I’d be very grateful if you could elaborate a little bit
    further. Appreciate it!

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