Their get-togethers in foreign land are fast becoming more of cringe sessions than reminiscing the roots
There used to be a time when Bangalores famous weather,pubs and evergreen MTR dosas were the topics of discussion among the motley crowd of desis who caught up at Times Square in New York.And at Tonic Bar and Pasha,the favourite hangout pubs at Manhattan NYC where namma Bengaluru boys and girls shake a leg to Indipop and Punjabi numbers,the discussion invariably veered towards the Q3-Q 4 results of Wipro and Infosys,rising salaries,mushrooming of Lebanese or Mexican eating joints or the Metro chugging along.
But when the crowd meets nowadays,its more like,Yen machcha (local slang for what man),Yeddyurappa and family have held the state to ransom. Or about ministers watching porn in the Assembly.Or advocates losing it completely.
Brand Bangalores image has not just taken a beating within,but also abroad.
You read the headlines of Bangalore newspapers online while travelling to office in the train and during lunch break,when the group sits down to eat together,the main topic of discussion is,naturally,Bangalore.Earlier,we would talk about the positives of the city,but today,its only about the increasing corruption,pollution or the horrible traffic, says 34-year-old Soumya Banwasi,who is a HR recruiter for an Indian firm in New Jersey.
Its been particularly bad in recent months.Our colleagues and friends from other countries ask us how ministers could watch porn clippings when the house was in session.They are curious to know how the government and people tolerate such nonsense.Or why the advocates are so aggressive and take to the streets every now and then, says Sowmya whose friends were in Bangalore when the last advocates protest took place.They couldnt believe that the citys traffic was held up for hours together because of the men in black.
Of course,we take a lot of pride in saying we are from Bangalore and people always reciprocate well.Its like,Oh Bangalore! But sometimes,it is embarrassing when we are asked how people live with so much pollution and an ever-increasing crime rate.The porn clipping scandal was a talking point in many offices with a good Indian crowd, adds Soumya.
CHANGING FOR THE WORSE
Construction engineer S Kiran and his Indian friends never fail to miss a cricket match in Sydney when India plays there.And the obvious did you go to Bangalore question pops up.Yes,the reactions have changed so much when we talk among ourselves.When the land scams were happening,it was Yeddyurappa who was the focal point of our discussions.In between when Metro was launched,whoever came down to Bangalore,made it a point to travel in the Metro,though we have international standard trains here.It was a thumbs up for Metro, says the 32-year-old who lives in Sydney with his wife and daughter.
Offshores,the porn scandal has caused a serious dent to Bangalores image with the international media picking the juicy bits of the story.Even Youtube was not far behind.
During dinner gatherings and house parties with Bangalore friends,everybody wants to talk about the porn scandal.Last months advocates protest with maddening traffic jams were discussed at length.Everybody felt that Bangalore is changing for the worse, says Kiran.
Awesome place to watch porn
was going through a Facebook post about true general knowledge.It read: No trees in Antarctica,no theatres in Bhutan,no snakes in Hawaii,no mosquitoes in France and no law in Bangalore.Well,I do not know whether there are no theatres in Bhutan or no snakes in Hawaii but one thing I definitely know is that there seems to be no law in Bangalore.
Having been born and brought up in the city and now working in Singapore,I have always had great admiration for the city.I still remember an incident when I went to north India and was called a Madrasi.When I said I was not a Madrasi,but from Bangalore,the person taunted me,saying,Oh,are you from Bangalore I have heard that every house in Bangalore has a computer.
Well,those were the days when Bangalore was known as the emerging IT capital of India.In another north Indian city,when I said I was from Bangalore,I was asked,Oh,so you come from the City which is said to be the cleanest in India. But all that belongs to the past.
Recently,when I was having lunch in Singapore,I was joined by a Chinese.He asked me where I was from.When I said Bangalore,he said he too had visited Bangalore a couple of times recently.My obvious question was what he felt about Bangalore.To be honest,I really felt sorry to hear his opinion.He said,Bangalore is a mess.Oh,the traffic jams are horrific,infrastructure is incomplete and worse,there is no common sense while driving vehicles.
The porngate scandal added insult to injury.People here asked how educated people could watch porn inside the assembly.They asked me if all ministers watched porn.Their big question was how they could manage people when they couldnt manage themselves.Some others would sarcastically say,Well,it seems to be an awesome place to watch porn and best of luck.
As if this was not enough,the lawyers clash with media and police got people talking here.I just feel sad that Namma Bengaluru is taking a severe beating.
TWITTER WAS abuzz over the attack on mediapersons by lawyers at the civil court complex on Friday.The tweets ranged from branding advocates as terrorists to sarcastic jibes at them.
Mithun M said,Lawyers assault mediapersons,students and police in Bangalore.Are they lawyers or Karnatakas Taliban RJ Pallavi said,First they made Bangalore stop with 10-hour protest and now they are hitting media personnel! Lawyers have taken up a new level of terrorism! Narendar said,Looks like lawyers had pre-planned the attack on the media and cops.How (did) stones reached inside court complex
Satish Acharya posted,Obviously lawyers in Bengaluru have been spending too much time with criminals! Rajaneesh said,I thought Madras lawyers are the worst.Bangalore counterparts are not bad. Nakul Shenoy said,Criminal lawyers the term retains its linguistic meaning with Bangalore lawyers turning law breakers.
There were also tweets about journalists hitting back.Shreeharsha Perla asked,Who will tell the world that more than 50 lawyers and a judge were handled roughly by mediapersons
Kiran Kumar S rounded up the recent happenings in the state thus: Lawyers accused police of beating them;media accused lawyers of beating them;politicians accused media of a hit job (exposing porngate ).Welcome to Karnataka!