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Published: June 30th 2013
My first ever trip to Bangalore and to South India was in the year 2006 for an induction programme with the multinational organisation i had joined. I do recall the HAL airport and that it was small and not being able to cope with the pressure of Bangalore having emerged as the Silicon valley of India. We left for the training facility and it was part of a sprawling over 100 acre property where the corporate office used to be. I remember the weather to be cold and raining, this was in November and I had dinner and called it a day. I was sharing my room with another manager and she arrived in the middle of the night and scared me out of my wits. The next day our induction began and I think we may have been there for a few days, 3 nights at the most. One of the evenings with my new found friend and a few others we caught auto rickshaws and left for MG Road, a long winding ride through narrow heavily clogged roads with traffic and construction to reach after almost an hour or so. We dined on burgers from a fast food joint
and met up with my brother's friend there. We caught auto rickshaws back and this time it was a bit better. Later I got to know that we were staying at Brookefield near Whitefield and it was a different part of the town from MG Road. One of the evenings we dined at an Andhra joint nearby, all of us sharing the meal. We explored the lobby of the erstwhile corporate office and besides being grand and resembling a lobby of a palace it had this gigantic Hussain painting strapped to the wall. The last day group photographs were taken and it was time to come back.
The next trip was with our own division and we were driving down to Coorg for a conference cum outbound. I still remember the flight from Mumbai being very scary, our entire team was on it and we met winds of crazy speeds while trying to land at the airport. Unfortunately we were not able to land and the winds pushed us off the runway and we had to come around for another landing. Needless to say everyone on board was scared but the second time round we managed to land. I was at this point of time based out of the guest house in Mumbai and hence was on the flight originating in Mumbai. We arrived in Bangalore and I remember meeting up with the rest of the team at a dinner somewhere from where we left for our guest house in Indiranagar. It was a lovely guest house and I had one of the terrace rooms with a lovely open terrace with it.
The next day early morning we left for Coorg stopping at Kamats for breakfast. There is a quaint store in Kamats from where I picked up wooden bangles and we left for Coorg. On the way we worked on our presentations and after a round of nerve wracking presentations and head bashing sales analysis we decided to get some sightseeing done. We were staying at the Orange County and had a lovely villa all to ourselves with a pool at the back. In the evening we explored the grounds a bit and watched the Kodavu tribal dance. The buffet lunches and dinners were lavish and extensive. The next day we left for the Dubare elephant camp and saw elephants being bathed by the Cauvery river. We also went to Bylakuppe where there is a Tibetan settlement. I bought a mobile accessory for myself and my colleague in the Kolkata office and then it was time to drive back to Bangalore.
I was staying back for one more day before which I would leave for Mumbai with rest of the team. One of my assignments was to connect with a leading fashion person in the city and I did so before leaving for Mumbai. At Coorg I also picked up a leather pouch from the store at Orange County.
The next time we were in Bangalore we had an event to organise and it's a different story that the event went out of hand, tempers flared, last moment damage control had to be exercised and somehow we salvaged the situation and the many egos involved. One of the days I dated someone and we dined at Little Italy at Indiranagar and on another day met the same friend and had dinner at 100 Ft road, a Boutique restaurant. After the event at the poolside of the Park, we met up at this exotic restaurant in Indiranagar for a fashion show and it was heartbreaking for me to see the same celebrity organise a far more eclectic event. From here we left for Chennai for the second leg of the journey where unfortunately tempers flared again and all in all I have such mixed feelings of this event.
My last trip to Bangalore would be sometime in the middle of 2007,this time with another event. We had a tough time organising the event at Garuda Mall and altercations with the management occurred before we could proceed again. Luckily for me this time it wasn't my fault at all. It was my boss'. We had a team lunch at a restaurant at Garuda Mall, I shopped a bit at the Home Stop and at Garuda Mall and we stayed over at my colleague's place at Richmond Road. The next morning i left for Kolkata, I had managed to convince my bosses to let me go back to Kolkata again and develop the market there. Still remember the shot glasses and Dunhill deo I picked up for my brothers. The store at Homestop was amazing, it was massive and had this classy and elegant collection of home items. After moving to Bangalore it was here that I would spend so many happy hours. Every time I entered the Garuda Mall it would remind me of the day the mall management fought with us and disconnected our electric connection. Over the years that memory too has dimmed and paled. I also visited the Nallis shop, then on MG Road with the area manager from South and chose this lovely green South Indian saree for my mum. The company owned salon was on Richmond Road and that would be our base. We would walk down once for lunch at a Chinese restaurant and I would be amazed at the cosmopolitan nature of the city and some lovely salons, very high end. In those days we didn't have the new airport and neither did we have the UB City all of which have added to the style quotient of the city. My boss wanted to shop at Forum Mall and I remember going there once and finding it very crowded. After moving here all these places would be my haunt and how happy I would be being the mall rat that I am.
So I pestered and pestered my hubby for a quick break before my medicals begin again. Yes I am in the middle of some medical complications but enough of that. Hubby has booked a deluxe room at the Taj Madikeri, Coorg and am so excited. Watch this space for more!!
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