This is a series on Jayanagar, and how she took care of me, for 3 years. The first in the series: Life and Time in Jayanagar Vol. 1
Bangalore has this morphing identity of being colourfully traditional and a smart cosmopolitan. The incense of an agarbati stick is as familiar as the sterile air conditioned air of long hours stuck in traffic in the Vajra Volvo buses.
A place is a reflection of its patrons and Bengalureans have the ability to recognize and appreciate the diverse treasures, old and new, in each area in Bangalore.
Juxtaposed between the ever crowded Jayanagar bus stand and two Raghavendra Swami muttas, is a short warm cream and brown house. An array of street dogs chilling on the porch, cock their ears up and they open one eye to lazily greet you as you swing the wide gate open.
This is where I stay.
My landlady has lived here since forty years. She is a quintessentially adorable Kannadiga Tamil patti. She waddles to and fro the puja room and kitchen frequently in the mornings, before settling down in front of the endless successions of Tamil TV serials. Some are dubbed in Tamil from Hindi. All are melodramatic, nonsensical, deceptively socially aware, and wail “machaa” intermittently, accompanied by terribly repetitive music.
The red oxide flooring is reminiscent of traditional old houses. My dusty wooden wardrobe jutting out of the wall in my room might just take me to Narnia. When I knock on some of the walls, when I drum out a mindless tune, the hollow sounds I hear adds to the mystery and allure of the sprawling house.
Mami- as I call my landlady, wakes up to totter to the heater at five in the morning. A cup of coffee is brewed, later, puja performed, and now her watch begins, for the loudmouthed maid to descend in her most angry form, to the house.