Tuesday, November 10, 2009


It's been raining for three continuous days in Bangalore. Lovely wet weather. The entire world is gray, it reminds me of foggy winter mornings in Delhi, waiting for the school bus and shivering in my short skirt. But now it's seven years later, and I'm waiting for the bus that will take me to office. I tweet from my phone about the song playing in my head. I think of how much my world has changed in seven years.

Inside the bus, it's too dark to read my Murakami. I settle back with headphones plugged in and the music on shuffle. The first song is Blue October's 18th Floor Balcony, which doesn't quite suit my mood. Skip. Next up is Norah Jones, and she is exactly, exactly right.

I open my eyes and stare out through the window at the Bangalore traffic. Honking motorists, construction work, wet orange mud by the side of the road. The proverbial traffic jams of Bangalore, made worse by the unceasing rain. I float above it all, uncaring. I'm inside my exclusive shell, and nothing can touch me here. The rain makes wet channels on the window, wiping away the dirt. I watch the water flow down and wish it was that easy to cleanse human souls of all the bad things we accumulate. Not just sins - attitudes, habits, resignation, blind acceptance.

Vellai Pookal. Ah, even better. Such a beautiful, comforting song. The very first strains make me happy.

A flyover is being constructed, and we get stuck at the junction. I can't see the sky, or anything remotely green. A monstrous pillar rises up high next to my window, drowning out light, sky, nature. At the base of these pillars, scattered all around, are iron rods and heavy machinery, rusted metal and concrete blocks. Holes gape open for no particular reason. It's a sea of heavy sticky brown mud, thankfully fenced off from the road. I close my eyes rather than have to look at such vileness.

Tum Ho Toh from Rock On. We move on from the junction, and enter the road that leads directly to office. The land is more open here. Fields on either side, waterlogged now and waiting for the sun. A solitary lake, fuller now than I've ever seen it. The gray sky, heavy and roiling with rain. Apartment buildings dot the horizon, and more are under construction. Soon, I'm sure they will even fill up the fields to build more of them. I hate apartment buildings.

The office is two minutes away. I sigh. I open my bag and take out the tag with my office ID card. I used to hate it so much, it was a sign of my selling out. But now I'm resigned to it. It's there around my neck, the whole day. I barely notice it. I put it on, and step out of the bus with the rest, heading in a straggly bunch to the office building.
• • •


buddy said...


Bland Spice said...

you're on a roll...

liked the way you drift so easily between three languages - three sensibilities to see the same thing...

Nikhil Narayanan said...

Liked this post a lot. :-)
Can so much relate to the last paragraph; I just hate it.
Wage slaves of corporations.
These tags are like those bell-necklaces on bullocks. :|

Farcenal said...

I cannot tell you how much I love this post. The rain analogy is perfect. Bravo!

Also, what you describe sounds like Outer Ring Road...very close to where I used to live!

Jade said...

Buddy: Thanks. :)

Bland Spice: Thanks! The three languages thing was actually a coincidence.

Nikhil: I so agree!

Farcenal: Thanks! And yes, it's Outer Ring Road!