The longer I’m here, the less I feel like an NRI and the more I go back to my earlier resident self. You can expect this series to dry out in a few days.
So Saturday started with a reversion of jetlag – I woke up at noon, at my in-laws’ place. One awesome breakfast/lunch/brunch (call it what you want – I ate breakfast stuff at 12:30 pm), it was time to get back home since I had some work at some banks around here.
I decided to take the metro. The wife dropped me by scooter to the Rajajinagar Metro Station. The ticket to South End Circle cost Rs. 30. The lady behind the counter didn’t crib when I gave her Rs. 100, and gave change.
Having used the metro as my primary mode of transport in London for the last nine months, I’m entitled to some pertinent observations:
- Trains seemed very infrequent. When I went up to the platform, the next train was 8 minutes away. And there was already a crowd building up on the platform
- Like in London, the platform has a yellow line and passengers are asked to wait behind that. But unlike in London, the moment you go near the yellow line, a guard whistles and asks you to get back. I’m reminded of Ravikiran Rao’s tweetstorm on Jewish walls.
- For a Saturday afternoon, the train was extremely crowded.
- My skills from an earlier life of expertly standing and grabbing a seat in a BMTC bus were of no use here, since other passengers also seemed to have that skill
- My skills from the last few months in knowing where to stand comfortably in a crowded train were put to good use, though. I managed to read comfortably through my journey
- It took 20 mins to get to South End. Another 10 mins walk home. Not sure this is quicker than taking a cab for the same journey
Afternoon was spent running around banks updating mobile number and Aadhaar. It was all peaceful, except for Punjab National Bank asking for a physical copy of my Aadhaar (which quite defeats the purpose! HDFC told me to update Aadhaar online. ICICI did it through ATM!).
In the evening I let go of some more vestiges of my NRI-ness. I got the water filter at home cleaned and started drinking filtered tap water. And then I went and had chaat at a street gaaDi. I promptly got “spicy burps”. I guess it was the masala powder he added.
I quickly made amends by going to my favourite jilebi stall and belting jilebi.
Then I went to meet fellow-NRI Paddy-the-Pradeep for coffee at Maiya’s in Jayanagar. We ordered bottled water, discussed first world economics and made jokes about NRIs carrying around bottled water. And then we walked out carrying the leftover bottled water as a NRI badge.
On my way home, I went to a nearby bakery and got plain cake, nippaTT and Congress.
All is well.