Bengaluru Nights

Bangalore, the back office of the world, functions 24 hours. Yet the support system for the city shuts down by midnight, thanks to a 5-year old rule that aims to crack down on crime.

My mom used to ask me everytime I came home post midnight where we hung out and what on earth we were up to, given that all the places were closed. Of course there were the 5-star places but I don’t think any of us would hang out there.

I tried to explain the concept of back door entry to her but she wouldn’t believe that such things existed.

Bangalore – the late night Bangalore at least – survives on this back door entry. People need food and some other basic things. The government does not agree. In fact, their explanation for this rule is that they want to cut down on crime. So people stay inside, lesser crime happens is their logic. They forget that people have needs.

People need cigarettes late at night, they want tea, they also want food. Sometimes, even booze. So while government goes puritanical and makes laws, they are enforced for a while and then gently tweaked to suit all of us. The cops learn to look the other way for a little bit of money, but more importantly they realise that this is necessary for people to exist. Along with the money, they also get a couple of cups of tea to look the other way.

There are various pockets in Bangalore that are familiar to the locals who roam the streets late at night. The places where you know there will be a guy with a smoke and a cup of tea. The places where there are omelettes and chicken rolls. Recently, a friend even told me of a way to get booze delivered to your doorstep – a thing I believed was more of a Bombay deal.

Cops claimed that people did or sold drugs at this point. Ironically, that has nothing to do with ‘security’. If one needs to find drugs, they just need to walk past an autorickshaw. Post 9-PM most of them have a strong whiff of weed. So much for safety and security, and this is a city which has a horrible night transport system.

(to be contd…)

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