The city of yellow Auto-rickshaw: Bangalore-an ode.

Representative picture.

           Representative picture.

Varinka Turquoise
17th July 2015

The summer night’s sweat disappears like a drop of morning dew
Today is a new day, a new opportunity.
July’s sun is not scorching here,
Who knew that I’d wake up to this place?

A place filled with yellow rickshaws.
It’s Bangalore, a city that never sleeps,
A city with juvenile merchants-
Who sell stickers and books in the traffic signals-
MG Road or Commercial Street, the innocent faces surround the shoppers.
Those faces have sufficient stories to tell.
But they are shooed away by the ignorant hippies.

Today, I hired an auto and the driver was a Muslim.
He had a famous surname which is easily recognized in Bollywood~
He was Khan. Yousif Khan.
He spoke pure Islam, The unadulterated one.
He ecstatically, blissfully said that Nepalese were the best people he’s ever seen.

The unrehearsed conversations and inquisitions carried on.
Meanwhile a red traffic signal gleamed and we were stuck
That’s when a girl of 7-8 years stepped and insisted me to buy her stickers
Like the one you see in infamous movies, exactly like that,
Asking the mid-aged man to buy a rose to his annoyed girlfriend
But here, she was not a flower girl; she just sold the illustrated labels of some animated hero’s
Neither there was a heroine or a hero- it was just a poet!

I gave her a ten rupees note and she gave me one label which had yellow smileys
One tiny lad was searching for another cab like a prey,
where he can go and convince the passengers to buy his adorned pen.
Trivial things they sell don’t cost more than ten rupees.

They walk without slippers and we proudly stand in Steve Maidens
But live in the same earth, where is the equality?
Is it their Karma?

The vision of Commercial Street is prominent.
People drag their family carrying branded take-away bags.
Here a preteen nags a family to buy the dusty wrinkled stickers but they strictly discourage her.

Another signal of the traffic, red!
That’s when the city seems yellow-the ardent citizen’s familiar color.
Encountering twilight’s beauty and the glimmering light,
I see, it’s a beauty with a pleasing sight.
Like a feast to ones eye.
Bangalore’s Eid is as flamboyant as Ganesh Chaturthi or Christmas.
This city loathes racism, I assume!
But that (Eid’s) night was really bright and busy.
In some corner people were intoxicated and few, tipsy.

The service roads still covered by the rickshaws,
Where every rider of this motor vehicle experiences a new pleasant ’emotional response’
A thought, unaffordable than a cigarette-when you want to smoke but you are penny less.
An engineer or tech-freaks, everybody becomes a scribe after an auto ride.
That’s the power of this yellow rickshaw which plies in this beautiful city-Bangalore!

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Never ending feast in dadabhai inn.

tea

                                   tea 🙂

Had we been working in other states, we’d probably be eating a cheap McDonald item but we are fortunately in Kalimpong and that is few detachments away from obesity but affording for a generous feast everyday in a good restaurant would definitely make a hole in Journalist’ pockets who are associated with regional newspapers (in this case, even channels.)

That’s why dadabhai hotel exists adjacent to Kalimpong police station. When I first joined Himalayan Mirror as a staff reporter, my urge to enter this very restaurant was literally restrained.

My fellow reporters from other newspapers and news channels decided to have a tea break and while I was introducing myself as a fresher, we reached the aforementioned hotel. It was summer and as I entered the bistro, I found it cozy, dirty and stinky. I resisted speaking, but my mind was loud and clear enough to spit ‘EWWWW.’

The name itself signifies that it’s a Bengali hotel, polices, guards, fruit sellers, tin collectors, and all Bengali stereotypes were randomly enjoying the fish rice there.

All four tables were engaged and my frown eased seeing the packed tables, I almost insisted everyone to go to some other ‘good’ place for tea but before I spoke a word, a fruit seller just sprinkled his hand which was stuck with rice grains and fish gravies, he reluctantly stretched for his glass of water and washed his hand on his recently emptied plate.

I was clearing my throat when I saw that but I had no best-friends to understand my mind there. The fruit seller stood and left. I thought he would wash his hand in hand basin or bucket fixed with tap in a scullery after that, but I was wrong.

The mid-teen guy came with a moist piece of cloth to clean the table; he first took away the plate filled with water which just turned pale yellow by combining in the remaining fish gravies in the plate, he then came back to wipe the table.

He vigorously rubbed the dirt and the sprinkled rice particles were crushed flat on the table charitably leaving feasts for the house flies that would cover the furniture in no seconds.

I involuntarily sat with my field coworkers, careful enough not to touch the desk with my elbow.

‘Dada, please get us six glasses of milk tea’ said one of the senior reporters. There I was almost like, ‘exclude me and make it five’ but again a negative impression could be carved and I just smiled.

The steamy curls of the tea were spiraling up when a dark looking mid-teen, wearing a white or ‘just-turned -off-white’ sleeveless brief, placed it on the table uttering ‘chya ayo’ (your tea has come.)

I took a careless sip, it tasted okay and with prolonged conversations we asked the same mid-teen to repeat the tea order for us.

We started visiting that place every once in a while for they prepared good tea. Now it’s almost two years with the same newspaper and now do I realize that we (Journalists) are being overworked and underpaid and when it comes to meals, one can release themselves to consume just a plate of ‘aluthukpa’ (spicy potatoes with boiled noodles) for lunch.

And about dadabhai inn, we often drop there for tea-break these days, the place may seem unclean but the conversations we have there is just priceless, we (reporters) generate ideas there that may have a possibility to hit the lead or land above the fold in our newspapers. 🙂

Lets us be responsive- a tribute to Aylan Kurdi a Syrian toddler.

drowned toddler

drowned toddler

Varinka Turquoise

The world certainly mourned the death of a Syrian toddler
but that’s what the world does,
people are selfish here, people are indifferent,
and we are unresponsive.

A toddler die facing on the sand,
we responsively cry and express sympathy in words
but that’s what the world does.
People are selfish here, people are indifferent.

We have many unfortunate children around us
we unresponsively let them die,
or have we done anything?
But when they die, we cry and express sympathy in words.

But again, that’s what the world does,

happy child.

happy child.

why can’t we be different and save a child.
Let’s consider every child like Aylan
and do something before we write a rueful sympathy in words.

Let’s feed them, lets educate them, and lets love them
when we have time,
else like the world, we’ll wait till an infant’s death
so that we can utter about the services we could do. 

You and I can be We and help children grow,
let’s not wait for the world, let’s not do what the world does,
people are selfish there, people are indifferent.
Lets us be responsive from this moment, just responsive and help children grow.