Back In Bangalore
January 02, 2013
Things that happened when I wasn't looking.
Ever since I moved back to Bangalore, I’ve been noticing that things are not quite the way they were.
So I decided to do a list of things that apparently have vanished or changed when I was looking the other way.
1. First things first. What happened to my old Five Star bar?? You know, that fatly unctuous, gooey, caramelly, nougat thing that took at least 30 minutes to eat? You had strings of caramel sticking to your hair by the time you finished eating it – and then you had to skip lunch – for 2 days. It was my treat, my reward for getting an A, my consolation for getting a C. It was the one thing that made up for random people pinching my cheek when I was 10 years old and asking “Do you know who I am? ” I bought a Five Star for old times sake the other day and was horrified. I felt like the Godfather pointing to Sonny and saying “See what they have done to my chocolate bar” Flat, rock hard and gritty and with as much chocolate flavour as a potato. Great ads, lousy chocolate -not a great combo.
2. And speaking of missing chocolate – where is my Parry’s Caramel with the green and gold crinkly wrapper? Alpen Liebe is a poor substitute for that rock hard toffee of brown, buttery sweetness. And the decisions one had to make – let it melt quietly at the back of your mouth, crunch into it and risk losing your fillings??? What to do, what to do?
3. Also missing in action is the phrase –“I look forward to… seeing you, dining with you, working with you, bitching about x with you etc.”The new phrase seems to be a chirpy and to my mind somewhat puzzling “Look forward” - a tantalizingly incomplete phrase that, to my mind, raises two points:
a. Who exactly is looking forward to doing what with whom if you get my convoluted point? Am I being asked to look forward? Are they looking forward to… what? Cortez -like – gazing on the horizon?
b. And not to be a party pooper – but of course you’d look forward -why on earth would you be chirpy about looking backward?
4. And finally, just when did the foot path/pavement/sidewalk disappear? I occasionally walk down to my local mini-market and have to do a tightrope act on this narrow strip by the side of the road, clutching the occasional tree or electric pole that suddenly looms in my path, screaming when a gigantic bus screeches by with about an inch to spare. On the rare occasions that there is a clear strip and I walk admiring the cerulean blue sky and the way the jacaranda looks framed against aforementioned sky – BAM I’ve tripped on the most uneven footpath ever and fallen face first into a cow pat. I do hear cow dung has very good antiseptic properties though. Which I am sure will serve me well as I leap nimbly over sleeping dogs (nice one there eh?) and tightly wound coils of rusty metallic wire and risk dog bites and tetanus to buy a couple of carrots.
So clearly, I’ve been living under a rock but all I say is - bring back my old Five Star.