Minkey Business

"Over the cage floor the horizons come."

Tag: bangalore

Jamming with traffic

On a recent trip from the US, I carried a bicycle with me and rode it a lot in my hometown of Bangalore. This provoked all kinds of reactions, ranging from resigned or amused acceptance (close friends and family); to startled interest (most people); to outright horror (whoever’s left). Very often though, it was a […]

Balance is overrated

We were sitting on a balcony in Cox Town, Bangalore, chatting quietly over a cup of morning tea. The party last night had been fun—so much fun that I had stayed the night rather than drive home after. As we talked, I heard the familiar call of a street vendor, and I peeped over to […]

Can I have some fries with my schieserschnitzel?

Bliddy Bangaloreans have had many hobbies over the years. For example (and to pull one out at random) there was the ‘weirdly canted Maruti 800 with fire extinguisher playing Roxette at 120dB down Brigade Road’ phase in the late 1980s and early 90s. Or the ‘ornate waistcoat with baggy Wearhouse trousers, dangling peace sign and […]

Curried pig and I: Part Three

Continued from Part Two. Pandhi curry in, pandhi curry out. —Wisdom you don’t want to acquire the hard way Never eat pandhi curry before travel, or important meetings, or anything that’ll keep you more than ten seconds from a sturdy, well-ventilated loo. A group of friends and colleagues learned this the hard way on a […]

Taking it to the streets

It was strange to be stopped at a traffic light in downtown Los Angeles and instead of being among snarling cars and vans (and their snarling drivers), I was surrounded only by other bicycles. Though the streets were full of people and energy, they were also strangely silent, with no engine revving or honking echoing […]

The smoke gets in your eyes

One of the things that hits me when I visit India is the number of people, especially young girls, who smoke. Sadly, among many young women in India, smoking still has that cachet of independence and personal freedom in what can still be quite a conservative society. Reading about how hard it is to quit, […]

Moving pictures

I was standing in the foyer of the Downtown Independent movie theatre in Los Angeles, and though I was in shorts, T-shirt and baseball cap, I felt like a man in a tuxedo at a beach party. Around me was a sea of tattoos, cycling jerseys, cleated shoes, T-shirts with edgy cycle graphics, two-tone cycling […]

Staying in good repair

After the bank account, house and car, the most important find for a new settler is a good mechanic. Today, more than ever, you are completely at a repair person’s mercy. Apart from topping up fluids, there’s almost nothing you can do with your car without HAL 9000 by your side. Our current mechanic Hien, […]

Fast and loose change

Standing, stymied, at the Whitefield Post Office in Bangalore, I realised that some things abroad are so logical you forget it was ever any different. For example, post offices that sell envelopes and boxes. “Is it really such a radical idea?” I wondered as I left in search of a stationery shop to sell me […]

Returning and returning home

“You can never go home.” I love how such a simple line cuts straight to the heart of the expatriate dilemma. Recently, when asked how I felt about eventually moving back from Los Angeles to Bangalore, I thought about the things I’d miss the most. At the top were the public library, Netflix and ethnic […]