The last few days in Bangalore have been wonderful, especially since I was running around various parts of India for about 10 days before that. Its been overcast for every one of these days; a little rain every evening and generally very cool & pleasant. Life continues on its curious Indian urban rhythm.
Page 3 types here have been shouting themselves hoarse (with the usual support of the Bangalore Times) about the lack of night-life in Bangalore. As you would expect, everyone in Bangalore thinks it is a shame that restaurants close at 11.30 pm here. What happens if you are single & have a night-shift job that demands you look for a restaurant after 11.30 pm? This is a hard-working, 24×7 city and such restrictions are of no help to anyone.
I am of the opinion that this rule has not got changed for only one reason – because of the loud support it has got from the Page 3 crowd here. Bangalore is a city of serious achievers and hard-working citiziens. We have some of India’s leading & most respected business people here – Azim Premji, Narayana Murthy & VIjay Mallya are just the obvious names. The creme of India’s scientific community live here – for instance, the leading lights of the Indian Institute of Science, Indian Space research organisation & the DRDO to name just a few. We have our share of prominent sports-persons too. From Rahul Dravid & Anil Kumble to Pankaj Advani & Anju Bobby George there is a veritable phalanx. In such a city, the Page 3 types – mostly superannuated hotel managers, socialising matrons & similar hangers-on – are for obvious reasons, generally held in benign contempt. And it is the very prominence of these light-weights in the movement to keep restaurants open that is seriously harming the ’cause’. Girish Karnad, the movie director took part in a rally last week and spoke for the ’cause’ and for a day, it seemed the Powers would wobble. But another day of strident sound-bytes from the city’s social butterflies put paid to that hope. So, restaurants stay closed after 11.30 pm and God help you if you need to eat out after that. ‘Go Home’ says the sign.
Maybe it is high time some real people asked the government why this nonsense continues in Bangalore.
In the meantime, the great weather goes on & I flit between strong cups of Mysore coffee and hot, crispy Dosas. At home, obviously.