People On The Street

People watching… not exactly the way it was supposed to be done. But it was a pleasant day and made for a pleasant walk and there were just enough people on the road to make it interesting.

I was on Brigade Road – one of the central roads in the city which is frequented by tourists and locals alike. So I tried to pick out which were the tourists, which were the people not from bangalore but here for work, here for work or studying for a while and the locals.

And on this street, it was fairly easy. Now, i wish I had photographs to go with this but I was on a schedule… so… use your imagination.

CASE 1 – Firang woman (white woman, for the uninitiated). She is wearing loose, thin pants with pretty boutique prints on them with a short kurta. Optional – braided/matted hair, a ring in the nose or the ear or anywhere on the face.
Verdict – Tourist. Hippy tourist. The kind who auto drivers charge 50 bucks extra and offer to take them to a place to buy weed

CASE 2 – Firangs… same loose pants, with a longer kurta minus the piercings etc
Verdict – Tourists.

CASE 3 – Firangs… jeans, a plain t shirt, a ball cap… just an ipod and cellphone in hand. Normal hairstyle, not too many shopping bags in hand, nor is the bag slung around the body.
Verdict – Students/Interns who have been living here for a while.

CASE 4 – Jeans, a t shirt/shirt, cell phone in hand, keys not particularly tucked away so nobody can see it… could be firang, could be north Indian…
Verdict – businessmen. not particularly from the city

CASE 5 – Semi formal shirt and jeans/kurta and jeans
Verdict: This is where it got a little confusing. Could be a student here… family moved from somewhere else. Or belongs to the non-traditional part of Always-Been-Bangalorean crowd. Usually, I would judge by the sunglasses or sort of bags they carried… or the shoes… those pretty embroidered shoes – never from bangalore, always from some other cosmo city. But with normal sneakers… a little hard to tell. So i went with Bangalorean.

Of course, if they had worn a ill-fitting t shirt with slim jeans, I would peg them as from Chennai or the more traditional families in the city.

The thing is… bangaloreans don’t have a fixed image i guess… which is why they are identified by the elimination of everything else. The body language is relaxed, they aren’t particularly worried about their bags… sometimes, I see some people and think “hmmm” and then it turns out they are from Bombay or something. They’ve been here a few years.

The particular trait of a “Bangalorean” is that your family could be from anywhere… you could speak any language at home…  but you always know a bit of kannada, like it and most importantly, you always identify yourself as “bangalorean” before anything else – caste, religion, sex, or that little village your parents left when you were not even a molecule.

The best kind of people. A rare, vanishing breed.

Here’s that to city that was.

Photo Of The Day:

Peace, Love, & Happiness, originally uploaded by evanleavitt.

2 thoughts on “People On The Street

  1. Interesting profiling. Just curious, what would be the verdict if the person in question in case 5 was a bloke, keys tucked, transition prescription glasses?


  2. the case 5 was regardless of gender. And it is as confusing… there is a particular way a tourist behaves and the locals behave.
    The keys were basically… the tourists have read all those guidebooks saying “be careful of your belongings” and they carefully hold on to their bags.
    The locals feel more confident on their turf… and know (least they think they know) where they are likely to be ripped off. So they let their bags loose but know better than to leave the keys hanging.
    The assumption here is that the temp resident has loved the place too much and feels a little too comfortable, hence the keys.


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