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How to tell a NEW 'cosmopolitan' Bangalorean

Nov 2016


Cartoon by B.G. Sreedhar (of the Whitefield Rising movement)


The NEW 'cosmopolitan' Bangalorean, in this context, is a 'well educated' person, and quite often a professional or entrepreneur, who moved to the city today, yesterday, last week, last month, last year or in the last fifteen or twenty five years and ...

  • Pronounces the last syllable of 'sambar' like she/he has a bout of shivers

  • Wonders why they were told madrasis prefer to speak English, when bus conductors and auto drivers here tend to speak back to them in some form/flavor of "improvised Hindi". Such 'improv' Hindi is sometimes mistaken by her/him of maybe being Kannada - since it borrows words from it - and sounds like nothing she/he has heard before

  • Actually attempts to use public transport, unlike the locals who have been trained and conditioned by extremely traumatic early-life BMTC experiences to abandon and ignore all forms of it forever, as soon as they can afford to

  • Tries to, on a couple of occasions, walk in this city.  Then searches in vain for a sidewalk and, when she/he finds something that looks like one, injures her/himself by slipping through a broken mori (drain) slab, tripping over OFC cables, being impaled or eye-poked by Bescom steel trusses or getting entangled in a flex banner printed with large mugshot arrays of aspiring politicos

  • Is in complete shock at what they are served when they ask for a "DDDosa".  It looks and tastes nothing like their understanding of a 'south Indian' DDDosa.  Neither does it come in variants with paneer and/or pineapple - especially in a proper local eatery

  • Is in complete shock at the sambrrrr that may be served alongside.  Is even more shocked if the traditional eatery does not serve sambrrrr, but only chutney

  • Is finally relieved and delighted to discover Adyar Ananda Bhavan

  • Believes the city's eastern boundary is a line running from Whitefield to Sarjapura, the western boundary is a line drawn from Hebbal to Cubbon Park to Forum Mall.  Electronics City brings up the South and the Outer Ring Road and Manyata Tech Park are the northern periphery (the airport could as well be in Hyderabad)

  • Believes that the Bengaluru City Railway station was clearly misnamed because it lies somewhere well outside these boundaries and hence has recently been renamed "Krantiveera Sangolli Rayanna" Railway Station. Abracadabra ...

  • Has no clue where the whole 'garden city' appellation might have come from - since there are neither gardens nor trees to be found.  There are only nostalgic 'cosmopolitan Bengalureans' whose fiction, around such matters, they are occasionally subjected to

  • Is in complete shock when she/he has to do a day trip to visit a native of Jayanagar because there are actually a few trees and a couple of sidewalks there.  Why did they not make 'this' Bangalore?

  • Does not quite understand why Namma Metro is also called the Bangalore Metro - since most of it runs outside their city  (some locals seem to feel this way too - since it mostly runs 'somewhere else')

  • Believes Bangalore is a terribly expensive place because the cheapest food they have encountered is in the food court of a shopping mall

  • Has read about Koshys in the New York Times and has been planning a vacation trip there

  • Does not have any idea what the locals eat, or, in fact, even who may be a local.  Everyone seems to be either just like them or from some other 'removed' place.  (No, that's not quite right - the locals do show up once in a few years and burn buses, fly strange red-and-yellow flags and generally organize a forced shut down of the city for no reason that is apparent to said observer)

  • Never complains about the weather, irrespective of how terrible it has become, especially after a visit 'home'

Also see,


How to tell a 'cosmopolitan' Bengalurean  (Bangalorenotes)