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.