<< Home

<< Log Index

How to tell a 'cosmopolitan' Bengalurean

Nov 2016


Watercolor by Paul Fernandes (www.paulfernandes.in)


A 'cosmopolitan' Bengalurean is someone who ...

  • Has lived in the city all her/his life (or at least for a substantial chunk of it) - but finds it impossible to tell apart (from either sound or sight) Kannada from Tamil or Telugu; sometimes even from Serbo-Croat

  • Thinks 'adjust' is a Kannada word;  as are leftu, rightu and booku.  And uses all of these with great elan, especially with auto-drivers

  • Thinks adjust, leftu, rightu and booku are English words absorbed into Kannada - not knowing that those words in fact traveled the other way

  • Has never set foot (or wheel) in any of the other 29 districts of Karnataka.  The most well travelled of this species might have at best imbibed the air of 3 districts - Mysuru and Kodagu mandatorily being two of them.  And Mysuru only because it is hard to get to Kodagu or Ooty from Bengaluru without traversing it or violating the 3 districts rule

  • Does not quite know what Kodagu is.  It might even be a species of monkey. But she/he most certainly knows a place called Coorg

  • Can't name more than 2 Kannada writers and might count R.K. Narayan as one of them

  • Has never set foot in/on a BMTC bus (even on occasions when this is possible to do).  Is allergic to all forms of public transport and will evade any form of pooled transport

  • Does not walk - and hence has no idea that there are no sidewalks in the city.  And does know that the brave few people of other species who do walk have ninja-like skills to evade open 'mori' (drain) slabs, OFC cables, Bescom steel truss elements that are designed to poke the eye or decapitate, illegal flex banners of corrupt local politicians and so on

  • Is obsessively focused on potholes - since she/he spends most of her/his driving time lowering or raising her/his vehicle into or out of one - or swerving to avoid them

  • Can only survive in the following temperature conditions:  Min 20C, Max 28C and so complains incessantly about wanting to leave today's Bengaluru - but never actually does

  • Thinks ragi mudde is eaten by everyone in the state and even up in Bidar (which she/he pronounces to rhyme with 'radar'); either that or thinks ragi mudde is a former chief minister of Karnataka and that Bidar is a place in Uttar Pradesh

  • Believes the use of Kannada is not permitted, by law, on MG and Brigade roads

  • Has never eaten idly-chutney without sambar

  • Has never ventured anywhere west of Hudson circle (which also, she/he may not have heard about - and best approximation may be Cubbon Park)  - unless forced to do so by some unforeseen circumstance such as needing to catch or receive a train that does not stop at Cantt., East or KR Puram railway stations. She/he has only heard about 'City Market' as the fabled land of non-English speaking people and might possibly have been to south Bangalore on one occasion for a quaint native's wedding.  At the wedding she/he encountered something called 'chiroti'

  • Suspects chiroti is a Mexican dish

  • Believes that Sangolli Rayanna must be another traditional dish - and it is the Bengalurean fondness for food that has resulted in this name being applied to the City Railway Station

  • Thinks Kempegowda is a relative of Deve Gowda - and is dismayed that they could not find a more befitting person or a less provincial sounding name for the international airport

  • Does not refer to her/his city as Bengaluru; leave alone calling her/himself a Bengalurean (which sounds to her/his ears like antediluvian)

  • Believes Koshys has the greatest creative ambience in the world (coupled with the worst menu) and in this respect she/he is right

Also see

How to tell a NEW 'cosmopolitan' Bangalorean


Related Reading


1.  The Other Bangalore, Vikhar Ahmed Sayeed, The Hindu, August 9, 2013

2.  Bangalore Through the Centuries, M. Fazlul Hasan, Historical Publications, Bangalore