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.
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