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BangaloreD for the first time (part 3)


Being single has many benefits but not without the added disadvantages. Not being able to enjoy a party is one of those disadvantages. Anywhere we inquired about the New Year’s party, we got a negative response as we are singles and I don’t know why Bangalore has a bad eye for singles even if they want to enjoy and hang around. Anyway, we continued searching and our never say die attitude paid off as we got a booking for dining out and that too without any hassles of being single or double.

We got the booking in the Sahib Sindh Sultan Restaurant in Forum Mall. So finally the major task was completed. I was happy as I was not going to pay for it, being the guest of honor :D. On the New Year’s Eve, Sandeep had to go to the office and as usual I and Yogi went out for a stroll. The stroll lengthened a bit and we reached Brigade Road again. There we shopped more and understood the saying “shop till you drop” pretty well. After getting totally tired, we again went to an open air Barista cafe and had some gossip about nothing and everything.

On coming back to home, we were ready for the party. After Sandeep had arrived, we went off to the restaurant at around 9 so that we would not miss the fun there. On reaching there in time, we took out reserved seats. I liked the railway coach like ambiance, of the restaurant. With soft music playing in the background, we enjoyed our starters along with some exotic birds there.

Interestingly, the waiters were also dressed up like the rail car attendants. I had been eating and eating for past half an hour and the waiter didn’t stop bringing new dishes to us, then I realised that it was a buffet dinner. We were given some props like masks and birthday caps to have complete fun and pomp.

We ate and ate and ate and amongst the mobile camera photo sessions, didn’t realise why everyone was getting up. People rose from their seats and began the countdown to the New Year. Lights were blacked out and on the strike of the midnight gong, lights were put on. People cheered and wished each other a happy new year.

Sandeep and Yogi went inside the disco and had a good head banging session. I waited outside as I didn’t like the too loud noise inside. There I saw a totally Bollywood style couple, drunk and fighting, the girl was asking the boy to get a taxi for her and the boy was insisting the girl go to his home. That created quite a show there.

After another half an hour, we decided to walk back to home. While walking, we sang songs and walked like full tight drunkards, and successfully got the attention of the crowds too. Finally, we reached home and wished Aunty ji and Sandeep’s other roommates a very happy new year. And in no time we were on our beds in a deep slumber after my whole life’s longest dinner which lasted 2 and half hours.

The next day, we were again charged up as Sandeep was ready to take us to the Art of Living ashram. Yogi had gone to office and me, Sandeep and Aunty ji were ready to go there. We got a bus from the same old, sony world signal and I doubtlessly appreciated the traffic decorum which the bus drivers maintain in Bangalore.

We boarded a bus and went on our way to Banshankari. There we had to wait for some time for the next bus and after boarding the bus, we started on our way to AOL ashram. The Mysore road was quite picturesque as both sides had ample greenery. We reached the ashram in about half an hour and went inside the premises.

The ashram is located in a totally peaceful area, away from the noise of the city and the lush green surroundings make it even more attractive. We entered the main building and sat there for some time. Sandeep showed us the satsang place of Shri Shri Ravi Shankar. We also met some of his friends who were also associated with AOL.

There was a strange sense of serenity in the satsang place. After roaming around in the building, we moved outside for a stroll in the compound. Sandeep showed us the eatery and we had a simple satwik lunch there. We went further up to the meditation place of Shri Shri Ravi Shankar. It was a beautiful circular building with a big tree in between. The roof of the circular building was divided into 12 sun signs and the devotees were meant to practice the proprietary Sudarshan Kriya, while sitting under one’s sun sign.

That was a peaceful experience for me as Aunty and Sandeep were busy in their meditation and I had a refreshing nap. Suddenly a very fair foreigner with a beautiful little blond girl in his lap came to me and asked if I was a New Zealander. I was baffled to hear his question and asked him candidly, why he asked me that. He told that I looked like a New Zealander and more over I was wearing a cap which Yogi had brought from Wellington. That was a surprising moment for me.

Anyway, we started back to home after our spiritual excursion and reached home in an hour. I must mention here, the people who say that Bangalore traffic is very irregular, must come to Delhi and see the difference themselves. I bet they will stop cribbing about the Bangalore traffic.

Next morning, the cab arrived at time and I bid adieu to friends. It was time for me to catch the flight. While booking the flight in Delhi, I had never expected that there would be a show stopper named Fog. I boarded the flight half an hour before the scheduled 6 AM departure. The notorious Delhi Fog played spoilsport and we were stranded at the Bangalore Airport for about 3 hours.

At around 9 AM, the pilot got the confirmation for flight and we flew. As we were already late, the pilot flew very fast and we reached the Delhi airspace in around 2 hours. We kept flying above the city for some 30-40 minutes before we started the landing process. I could see the passengers murmuring prayers as the fog was very thick. Even I couldn’t figure out the thud and the realisation when we landed on the airstrip.

Even today, I wonder how the pilot landed in that sheer invisible airspace where I couldn’t even see the wings of the plane. That was completely the triumph of technology above the human eyes. We landed safely and after collecting my luggage, I moved towards the arrival terminal to get a cab to Noida and have some long needed rest.

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