Monday, 2 September 2013

Sunday Soul Sante

So I don’t quite know how to begin this – 
I guess it should be an apology for being so unbelievably lazy but since there’s a sad probability that only Regina and I make up the lovely audience of this blog, my apology should be (and rightfully is) directed to my beautiful blogger bud: Sorry Regina. I’m a disgrace. I am truly ashamed that I have posted absolutely nothing on here. In fact, we should totally strike off the ft. Bangalore part. It’s all Madrid. But then again just “Madrid” is kind of cryptic and not as catchy, and I like to think we are very concerned about our image and should avoid any negative publicity.

It’s not for lack of trying, though, I swear! I haven’t quite had the fabulous summer vacay that Regina has, and hearing about her travels across Israel has brought out a bit of a green monster in me. And that monster doesn’t write. It curls into a ball and spends the holidays in a dark and depressed place, fixated on how bloody boring Bangalore seems in comparison. That’s just the green monster, by the way, not me.

It’s really not as dramatic as I make it seem. I love Bangalore. Its cosy, comfy, the weather is pretty amazing and you pretty much feel like you know everywhere and everything – its home.

Anyway, to the real substance of this post (I wasn’t just going to waffle on with my lame excuses) – two points that totally contradict what I just said but make me love the city that much more because only a really amazing city can have good points that are also its bad points, right?

1.     Notttt really as familiar as I thought
2.     Weather isn’t all that great all the time

Yesterday I decided to get off my bum and explore some of the city's culture so I went to Bangalore’s very own Soul Sante  – a flea market that showcases and celebrates art through craft, music, food and as they say right here on their poster – some good old-fashioned fun.

ITPB is the International Tech Park Bangalore – waaaay out in the boonies of Bangalore (Whitefield) and took us about an hour and fifteen minutes to reach by car. It’s a big bunch of buildings that, to my knowledge at least, house offices, labs and that sort of thing. I know this because some time ago I did an internship with a biotech company, Avesthagen (which does really cool research btw on my heritage, I’m a Parsi, but we won’t get into that) there and it was mostly just people at work. And it was all kind of high security back then which made it the most random venue for thousands of people to casually stroll into but, oh well, that’s where it happened.

So while driving along  I saw about four new hotels, two new malls, saree shops, restaurants, chemists, grocery stores... I know I’m just listing normal things here but I swear it was all so new, and just block after block of gigantic apartment complexes with tons of people all just milling about, carrying on with their lives, all casually as if they had just been there all along. Which they have, except we didn’t know it all existed. It is literally a whole other world there, right on the outskirts of the city I claim to know and love so well. I didn’t know any of it. I guess its good, all this development, but it feels so wrong!

Anyway, when we finally arrived in what I’d normally describe to be the middle of nowhere but was without a doubt the centre of some city (not MY city) there was utter chaos but the kind there’s supposed to be at a flea market – with cars honking furiously at being stuck in a long line for parking, people pushing pretty violently to get past the entrance, and just general noise and confusion all around.

The grounds were basically lined with rows of stalls selling everything and anything – from clothes, lamps, soaps, candles, to furniture, caricatures, cupcakes and jewellery. My pictures are rubbish so you really can’t get a feel of the atmosphere, but it was pretty incredible. The smells of baked goods, from bread to brownies, delicious Nizam’s kati rolls (dog meat or chicken meat, they taste sooo good) mud, grass, incoming rain (!!!) mixed with those of new shoe & bag leather, scented candles and soaps, burning incense and also the not-so-pleasant odour of millions of mosquito coils. It was just getting dark so all the stall signs were lit up in pretty colours, and lanterns for sale were lit for effect as people tried more desperately to get rid of the stock at the end of the day.

I bought a couple of cushion covers and a top that was dirt cheap, but overall didn’t get all that much shopping done, because some of the nicest stuff was vastly overpriced and I guess we never really reached all the stalls before the rain came.

Without so much as a clap of thunder for warning it suddenly pelted down with such force, everyone was left scrambling for cover in the nearest stall, all merchandise forgotten. Fortunately I guess, I wasn’t near the food section to witness what kind of havoc the rain was wreaking over there but from where I was perched on a soggy table under an even soggier tent, it soon became apparent that the market was pretty much over. The music stopped abruptly, though there was a moment where it seemed like we’d all continue and it would become a sort of crazy and fun rain-dance but it was a bit of a failure and I guess for the best. An announcement told us that the fashion show was cancelled, “the models were drenched backstage” and we waited till the rain slowed, not stopped completely (cleverly, I think – to escape a mad rush at the exit), and trudged our way through the thick and squelchy mud to the mall next door.

Here we ended up eating the most disgusting Mexican food ever and being that it was at the food court, I can safely say I really expected nothing less. It was a pretty disastrous end to what I can imagine would have been a really beautiful evening, with the music and the smells and such, so Bangalore weather let me down a bit here, I’d have to say. Still love you loads though, Bangalore rain. But timing really is everything. 

Riana xxx

PS: Reals sorry if this reads like a 9th grade descriptive essay "The Carnival" or something but it really was kinda cliché-y carnival-y.