RD Burman songs and nostalgia go hand in hand. Its like those summer vacation days when I would come home sweating late in the morning from a quick “lets catch up” session with a friend then put on the fan and stretch on the bed for the sweat to dry. Make some coffee and listen to some good songs on the music system from my personal collection. Music systems were big deal those days. Music systems with big surround sound speaker and remote were all the more hep. Though they still played audio tapes and not CDs. Audio tapes used to cost just 25 bucks and the expensive ones would cost 45 bucks. Then Mel track 60 minutes and 90 minutes were a rage which we used to buy to record songs for friends who were not so well to do. We would also record from borrowed tapes on our music system to make our own collection which I used to play and dance to those songs every afternoon after coming back from school. Songs of Dr. Alban, Boney M, Michael Jackson or any other with foot tapping music. Lunch used to ready, and kept on the table. 1 pm we would help ourselves with meal and sit in front of the TV for some cable show. Summer vacation also used to be a time when my cousin used to visit us from Mumbai. The two of us made a great company. We would try out new home made face packs and would start getting all ready from 4 pm onwards for our dates at 5. Dates they were. Rebels with hormones running in our bodies made us grow up quickly. Nirulas at Chanakya used to be our favorite hang out place followed by Basant Lok market in Vasant Vihar. And while coming back we usually used to get stuck in dust storm which is a common phenomenon in Delhi during summers. I used to enjoy the storm a lot. I still enjoy hail storm and thunder storm. Its kinda wild. With faces covered in dust and heart filled with fear of getting a good scolding from mom for coming home late, we would continue to make the next day’s plan. Summers, Old Hindi songs, the smell of dust, the heat, the soft cotton sari of grand mother, the newspaper which dadu would read half lying on the bed near the door…the sudden rush to get all the clothes from the terrace because of sudden rains, the breezy evenings, dad’s special recipe of ruh-afza… How much I disliked Saturday and Sunday as mom and dad would stay at home dictating the entire 48 hours which I used to hate so much. I have always liked doing my own things but weekends always changed that equation. Though the Saturday evenings I really used to like because that would have meant catching up a good movie on HBO or Star movies with dad. When I was really small, when we did not have a color TV, phone, cable or sophisticated gadgets. When our prosperity meant a two-wheeler, a bi-cycle, a Beltek black and white TV with shutter , a small tape recorder and a Kelvinator 165 Litres fridge. I remember, the day the fridge had come to our house, it was all packed in a big cardboard box and I just could not wait for it to get unpacked. The first thing that mom and dad kept in the fridge were a sauce pan filled with milk, water bottles, ice tray. The first refrigerated fruit that I carried to my school was an orange and I so much wanted to flaunt our new fridge without being a big show off. I said, “The orange is really cold even after so many hours. Our fridge is really effective.” The Beltek TV, like any other contemporary TV, came with antenna which we fixed in our terrace and which frequently needed adjustments for fine signal tuning especially when there is an important programme coming on Doordarshan. My dad would run to the terrace and instruct me to stand below so that I could tell him if the adjustment is ok or not, in the mean while the big channel tuner also needed to be rotated several times to stop the picture from rolling. I don’t remember the exact time but those days Doordarshan never used to play for the entire day and there was a specific time when the programmes would start with a particular tune which till date is my favorite but funny part is, I don’t remember the tune because I don’t get time to watch TV let alone watch Doordarshan. As a matter of fact, no one sees Doordarshan these days. They aired programs like UGC, Krishi Darshan, SportsTime, Star Trek, Jimmy and the Magic torch, Giant Robot, Quiz Time, Yes Minister, Lucy, Saptahiki, Phool khile hai gulshan gulshan, Samachar, Chitrahaar and every Sunday some Hindi movie. When we did not have fridge my mom used to send me to the market or to our neighbors to get ice. For TV we used to go to some neighborhood aunty’s place and my mom used to get me Gur Roti Ghee for dinner which I never particularly liked. She would also feed me dal, butter and rice. But I liked those churans and ice creams which I could buy @ 10 paise. Orange stick would cost 1 rupee and Vanilla bar costed 2 rupees. Kwality chocobars were equal to having a party at 6 rupees a stick. Pastry and cakes were not easily available and non knew what is a pizza, noodles, pastas, hot dog, doughnut etc. Though my mom knew what a Ham Burger is since she had traveled to many countries as a child. This story does not seem to end, I mean I don’t know how do I end it. Right now staying in Bangalore and I miss everything about Delhi. Living alone teaches you many things however, since I am living with Sanjukta, my school time buddy, things have become a little comforting for both of us. Both of us are gifted with a rare talent of finding humor in everything. A typical day for us begins with 20 mins of Auto search and end with the same. 40 mins gone for ”Satya ki Khoj” everyday from our lives. The auto walas here just would not go anywhere you want them to take you. “MG Road” Nahhhhhhhh, Millers Road Nahhhhhhhhhhhh, UB City Nahhhhhhhhhhhh, Name any place and be ready to hear, “Naaaaaaaaaaaaa”. Wonder how do they make their ends meet? They would stand idle but just would not go. So we have drawn a conclusion that in Bangalore people have Autos and they drive Autos for hobby and not for business. People in other cities have bikes and cars and they go for long drives alone. Here, it is Auto. Each one owns one and they go on long drives in their Autos and we ignorant people stop them and ask them to take to xyz places. 2nd realization, here Auto wala’s pretend that they do not know Hindi or English so that they can fleece you. You would say something and they would take you to some other place pretending that did not understand which place you wanted to go. 3rd thing, from 8:30 pm onwards they would start asking for one and a half or double the amount of the meter because its night time. (Auto wala would tell you this, “Night Time madam. Late no.” 8:30 pm is night time. As if, ghar late aaoge to Biwi maaregi) Short distance, 10 bucks extra on meter. And when is comes to being abusive the so called non Hindi speakers here know the choicest “maa behan ki gali” in Hindi. NEWS Head lines on the day ASH-ABHI wedding, “Jhanvi’s son claims to be Jhanvi’s brother”. Abhishek promised marriage to Jhanvi. Friend says, she is a drug addict. Jhanvi gets bail for attempting suicide. Blah! Blah! Blah!…..interview continues…reporter,” Jhanvi aap pehle mujhe sun li jie fir aap jawab dijie. Aap ki shadi ho chuki hai aur 5 saal tak aap Lukhnow mein bator shadi shuda aurat ban ke rahi hai aur aapka 10 saal ka ladka bhi hai”. To this Jhanvi replies, “I want to open an NGO” (??##@@@ what crap) Channel change, another NEWS scrolling at the bottom, “Celebrity polar bear get anonymous threat on phone”. (Wow the bear has a phone also) and here we were told by a BSNL staff that it would take 2 months in Bangalore to get an internet connection (how thakela). Who ever said Bangalore is a great city, off course, did not have much exposure. Its all hyped like the Ash-Abhi wedding. Its like those bombs which you buy in Diwali and they turn out to be duds. Anyway, I have done enough complaining, and I just wanna go back. Go back to those blue line buses, where the conducters almost hang outside the buses and call out to people standing at the bus stops, “Munirka, Munirka, Moti Bagh, Moti Bagh, Roni, Roni.” Go back to those busy weekends, and lazy TV watching with family. Sheetal ke samose, Supreme Bakery ka pastry, Sarojini Shopping and baki ka Time Pass. RPM, Teasers, PVR, Dilli Haat and so many other places. The LetsGo and the LIS gang… If I happen to go back to Delhi there is nothing about Bangalore that I would miss. Not even the weather which so many people talk about and essentially not the night life because there isn’t any in Bangalore. Things that I liked about Bangalore is the literacy rate, the woman bus conducter and post (wo)man. This post has become too long so I guess I should stop here now. Written over many days that’s why chances are that similarities or rather continuation may be missing… Random thought, after all, are like that. All I want to hear is Jll saying, “come back”.