Bangalore Trip …

Usually, going to Bangalore is about work, and about business. This time round, however, it was a little different. To begin with, I was travelling from Bangalore to Chennai, by train (more on that soon), and then, we managed to eat at some of the places we usually don’t go to.

Take, for example, Kabab Korner, on St. Marks Road. Up a flight of stairs, down a narrow corridor, which doesn’t exactly inspire too much confidence, but does give a nice view of St. Marks Road, you reach the restaurant. The first floor has the AC restaurant, while the second floor is the non-AC outlet. And going by the difference in prices between the two, air-conditioning must be quite expensive here. But, the food is reasonably good. We had Chicken Pepper Tikka, which was nice, and Chicken Tikka Masala, but somehow, I feel they actually gave us Chicken Bharta. Nevertheless, it tasted good, so that was ok. Not extraordinary, but reasonably nice, I would say.
The next day, my friend and colleague, Uday Vipra, took us to quite a nice place. Tucked away on the lane next to K. C. Das, you could actually miss it if you walked too fast … this is a restaurant named Chung Wah. Reasonably priced, excellent Chinese food to be had in the first floor establishment. We started with Veg Manchow Soup, which is quite good, and followed this up with Vegetable Balls in Hot Garlic, which is reasonably good, lightly spicy. We had Ved Fried Rice, and followed this up with Veg Chow Mein … there were ample crunchy sprouts there. The piece de resistance, however, are the Pepper Salt Prawns … it would be ample to say that these are worth eating, anytime you go this part of town. If you haven’t eaten these, there is a wonderful Prawn dish you are missing out on.
Then there is the Moti Mahal Deluxe … the ambience does justice to the establishment they have setup at Gurgaon … in fact, it would be apt to say that the establishment here seems to be more posh, although I think they don’t serve alcohol here, which is a big negative given the general style of Moti Mahal. Nevertheless, the food is as delicious as anywhere … we started out with the Grand Chicken Tikka platter … this has the Methi Tikka, the Zafraani Tikka, and the Rajasthani Soola … the latter being definitely fiery, not for the faint hearted. And, they accompanied these with chilly coated Onion rings. Wonderful beginning. We followed this up with the Murgh Korma from Old Delhi … the Chicken could have been more tender, but the taste was definitely reminding of Dilli. Surely, a continuance of the legacy of Moti Mahal, with a bit more of the touch required, but nevertheless … this was accompanied by the Khushka, which is Buttered Rice … quite nice. Overall, an experience which one must savour … from my experience, Moti Mahal is a restaurant one must go to, again, and yet again … and this is no exception.
The food was not the only thing about this trip. I met an elderly gentleman on the street … and a conversation which got me thinking. He evidently took me to be someone else, but never mind. How old was he? I don’t know. And maybe it doesn’t matter, either. Suffice it to say he was toothless. Was he 70? Was he 80? Like I said, it doesn’t matter … so lets not think more about this. It turns out, this gentleman doesn’t work any longer. No, this is not the same as retiring. He has been forced into this. He used to sit outside the Bangalore GPO, and used to provide a simple service, yet one which was of more than adequate use for lot of people … writing telegrams. Today, he says, who sends telegrams? I don’t think there are many. He is of the opinion that with the advent of the mobile, telegrams have been made redundant, and this change has cost him his work. He doesn’t get clients any more. And this raised a question … how many such people are there … with skills which are becoming fast outdated, with skills which are no longer relevant in a changed world order. And more important a question … what are we doing to ensure that these people can be re-skilled? What are we doing to see to it that their experience, their productivity and efficiency can be tapped into, in order to build a society which is inclusive, and not uncaring for those who fall by the wayside, because a society which does that maybe cant even be called society … because the root word for society is social, and this, I think, is not.

6 Comments on “Bangalore Trip …”

  1. Anjali says:

    That was so heartfelt Atul. So true what do we do about such people with outdated skills! It would be interesting to know how you got talking to him…I have been to Chung Wah and have tasted their Vegetable Balls in Hot Garlic with veg fried rice. I like it. The service was good there other places in and around K.C Das get crowded but this one is less crowded.

  2. Atul says:

    i was standing there, and this gentleman mistook me for someone else. incidentally, i was reading excerpts from Nandan Nilekani’s (yet to be released) book, and this is something he also talks about.

  3. Anonymous says:

    would look at it from a different prospect – a 70 or a 80 year old man – why does he have to work? India is independent for the last 61 years now, i think its time our government should provide for retirement facilities to all senior citizens so that they dont have to look for job even if telegrams have been made redundant.

  4. Atul says:

    excellent point! the other side of the discussion is Singapore … where it is mandatory for children to look after their parents during their old age!

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