Sunday, May 10, 2009

Bangalore Rap.

The other day the mite and I were caught in a thunder squal outside Total Mall with no umbrellas...I called to an autorickshaw but it seemed to have not heard and moved on, I desparately climbed on to the divider to cross the road- it would be easier to get an auto from the other side. Suddenly a young chap calls me ...."madam, the auto has stopped..." I turned back to see this boy pointing at the auto which was standing some distance away. The boy had no umbrella either, he had stopped the auto and come running some distance to inform me, it had started drizzling by then with loud claps of thunder..."oh..." I said bemusedly and then rushed to the auto and jumped in, and spend off without giving the poor boy a second look. I felt like a scum of the earth a moment later. Here was this boy who had worked so hard for me and I did not even say a proper thank you. I could have offered him a lift, after all, he did not have an umbrella either...but I was only thinking about ourselves! The people of Bangalore are very kind and I have to get myself used to their ways so that I may be able to repay them for their little acts of kindness.
Here the shopkeepers and the domestic help are in the the habit of calling us ladies 'Amma' or the shorter 'ma'. When they address you so, you cannot even argue with them, it sounds so beautiful..." No, ma, I cannot reduce the price on this" ... my mental response- "ok, son"...and that's the end of the matter! "Take this fish, ma, you will like this" - "very well son"...and so on. In Calcutta they shop keepers call you 'didi' till you look about 80 when they will switch to 'ma', or 'mashima', in Delhi they call you "madam" and if you are over the hill in their eyes then "auntieji" and later "mataji". They had started to call me auntie...it made my skin crawl, I would have cut some throats if I graduated to mummyji or mataji there...but here, the lilting 'maa' just melts my heart, it makes me completely defenseless. One of the reasons might be that it is used indiscriminately for women of 1-100+. The swimming coach used to call the brat girl in the pool saying- " Jump in ma..", the brat ofcourse has no feelings for this adress and promptly refused!
In spite of the arrival of the rain clouds it continues to be hot by Bangalore standards...I, however am enjoying myself as my parents are here, I have had them bring some old photos of our 'happy family' days and I am determined to scan them for posterity! Will post them here too...cheerio for now and a very happy mother's day to all the momma bloggers!!!

5 comments:

Alapana said...

It seriously feels nice when someone speaks to so nicely. My domestic help calls me akka but whenever i go to lalbagh to buy the plants my eyes search for a old lady who always starts her worlds with " tell me ma" or she says no ma, don't take this and i don't argue atall, i feel she knows it all:) simple people and simple life:)

2 B's mommy said...

I know how you felt Diya.
It happened to me at the Hyderabad airport when I landed alone at 1.00am one night, wanting to surprise my parents! My friend was coming to pick me, when I didn't see her and slowly all the passengers from our flight were dissapearing out of the airport, I got really scared. I didn't even have Indian currency to call my friend to find out where she was. This kind autowala saw me worried and asked in typical Hyderabadi accent -amma, kuch madad hona kya ? Itni raat ko aap akele hain, koi lene nahi aa raha apko ?? After a little bit of hesitation, I told him that I am waiting for my friend but I don't have any Indian currency to call her. He gave me Rs 2.00 coin and directed me to the closest public booth to make the call. I thanked him profusely and just as I was calling, my friend arrived and I was so relieved to see her that I just jumped in the car and half way through, I remembered that I didn't even ask him his name or any sort of identification so that I could at least give him a small reward the next day for helping me. THere was no way to go next day to the airport and recognise him.

Normally when those auto/taxi walas see an someone getting out of international airport and start demanding unreasonable fares, we think 'what a rip off' but I could have never imagined that one of these autowallas will be so kind to help me without expecting anything in return. I wish I could somehow help him or give him some cash to thank him for being so sensitive towards another human being's need instead of taking advantage and trying to get may be some jewellery out of me in return. GOd bless him.

And, you have your mum visiting you on MOther's Day ! So lucky!! Please scan the photos and post them as soon as you can. WOuld love to see them !

diya said...

Thank you friends for sharing these beautiful episodes of your life.Had a nice time with my parents on mother's day! But did not take any photos, was so busy having fun and chatting! Took some moving pics of the Mr and the Brat swimming, that's all. Will take snaps when we go to Yerkud later this month- so trvellogue coming up soon!

I-swear-I-did-not-write-this said...

I miss Bangalore :( - the awesome climate - the cool nights - the cold mornings - the pleasant evenings and the perpetual Spring

diya said...

I-s-I-d-n-w-t - I am sorry to say that Bangalore weather has been pretty bad for sometime...we are waiting for the rains now!