It’s been exactly two months since i landed in Bangalore. (Or Bengaluru, if we are being nomenclaturally correct.) It has also been exactly two and a half years since i first set foot, and my eyes, on Brigade Road – that supremely popular, commercial, heavy on traffic and human population, little street between MG Road and Residency Road. Brigade Road is actually much bigger than just a little street, but my awe relates to this tiny section alone.
And why should that be, you may well ask. Unless you count the transcendental, breathtaking moment i had when i did see it for the first time, there really is nothing markedly epiphanous about it. And no, the beer and rum came only much later. But there was something about it, a certain aura that it possessed and exuded at 9 pm on a monday evening, that made it eye-catching and, well, breathtaking.
It is actually just another commercial street – and more Chandni Chowk than Orchid Street at that. But there are showrooms of Gas, Tommy Hilfiger, Adidas and the like, on both sides of the street. And squeezed between the big, high-end showrooms, are the tiny shops selling everything from hand bags to booze. what makes it shine is the lighting. the place glows after sundown. literally and figuratively. it is the glow that any commercially and materialistically rich, and aspiring for more, place (or person) has.
And a place is also made by the people that frequent it. If Khan Market in Delhi is hip and happening mostly because of the South Delhi crowd that makes it so, then Brigade Road is fashionable because of the smartly dressed, well-turned out (i sound like i am 60!), gorgeous looking, polished epitomes of what we call ‘beauty’. yes, beauty does lie in the eye of the beholder, but really, in today’s world of moh n maya, there don’t remain many who can escape shiny distracting objects.
So, in addition to sheen and shiny eye candy, what this place also offers is laidback-ness. Two Cafe Coffee Day’s spill out onto the pavements, in what seems to be some form of aspiration to be Italian. Then there are the fine dining places, the fast food places, the booze places (Peco’s baby! yeah!), the dance places, the sutta places and the lets-just-stand-around-n-look-at-the-‘chinkies’ places.
hooboy! what a smooth blend of culture, retail therapy and joblessness. No, you can’t blame me for having my breath taken away. It is beauteous, this place, oh yes it is.