I’ve been laying low from the blogging world for a bit! Wait. I’ve been laying low in general from the world wide web! Reason—hard pressed for time! Facebook hasn’t known my presence for the longest time! It feels good to not live through a social networking site for a bit. I have a smug expression on my face as I type this post. Seriously, time is all I had a few months ago, but coming here has changed that for me. I am literally thrown into the rapids, and if I don’t navigate right away, then I am sure to lose course. The first few days were in paradise. The weather in Bangalore was supremely delicious; the showers in the nights would lead to rather chilly mornings and pleasant days. Neil was thriving amid all that love and attention. I was rested and relaxed. Then we had our grand vaca. to Kerala. The first few days were fantastic, and then things began rolling down hill.
We got “mala pani,” meaning hill fever while in Kerala. Nasty thing it is. Such horrible flu Neil and I had that there was no recovering from it for the longest time. Sunny girl’s system is being slapped around after what seems like ages. The poor firangi body is unable to handle the ragda, thagda viruses here. Neways, we high-tailed to Bangalore in the hope of getting some good medical treatment and bouncing back on our feet. Mother hen, in her state of delirium had forgotten that viruses are contagious. After we got here, we began to recover with the medications, but managed to hand the disease on a platter over to our parents. So the entire household, minus the dogs and birds were blanketed with this shit.
It was only after about 20 days that everyone began to limp back to normalcy. Oof! What craziness I tell you. Coming back home is easy! I mean, what’s there to it? This is where I grew up, studied, made friends, and pretty much lived my life before heading to the land of opportunities! This is my backyard, right?. Totally wrong! This place has become so freaking different. I mean, I love it! But it isn’t my backyard anymore. It is advanced, sophisticated, and going places I never imagined it would.
If Uncle Sam next door from the U.S. has money to throw, then Reddy garu living 10 ft. from him has twice the money to throw. It is all bling, bling here! But what Uncle Sam and Reddy garu both don’t have are bare necessities-water and electricity. You can drive your Audi and BMWs, but if you don’t have water to wash your ass, what’s all that money worth? It is a cat fight out here for the very basic things in life. I suppose Maslow was no dim-wit when he made that pyramid. Everyday was a state of self-actualization in Plano. But here, I’m not even going past the state of esteem, I’m still stuck at the state of physiology.
My parents have been left high and dry literally by the BWSSB guys. The Metro chaps conked out some water pipe line, and the lane they live on doesn’t have water supply. So a tanker is sent every alternate day to fill up the water sumps. The assistant engineer is an awesome person. He diligently sends his chellas to do their jobs, but the chellas think it their birth right to siphon off money from old, lonesome retirees. Every story has two sides. If the chella thinks it his birth right with the bribe, then there is an equally educated class of people who think entitlement is theirs. Our neighbor next door is a retired hot-shot (i’ll leave names and designations out of this) and the hot shots sister happens to be the collector. So the chella goes religiously to their house, opens the gate, lifts the sump shutters, pumps water in and leaves. While the rest of us have to beg and plead.
So the activist that I am, called the assistant engineer and asked him if I should go out become a hot-shot civil servant since my dad or mom are too old to become one. Also, if it is his coffers that I need to fill, then he needs to tell me that, too. But Anna Hazare has most public officials shitting in their pants, so the very talk of offering money these days falls on deaf ears. But the AE promised that he would take care of sending us water and that there won’t be anymore trouble from these guys. So the chella arrives with his tanker, and looks me straight in the eye and says, “I won’t give you water. What the heck will you do?” Go tell the AE that I did so.” All I did was tell him about the power of the press and the consequences that he and his partners in crime will undergo if they messed around too much. Voila! Chella fills the tank and goes on his way.
Moi thought moi had lost the street smarts after being away for so long. Not so. This is one among the many incidents that I’ve had to go through since I’ve come back. I take it in my stride, give it back as good as I get, and then just move on. Since “we are like this only,” there isn’t too much scope to change things up.