Bangalore: Its all Commercial

This is the concluding post of the 'Bangalore trip' series..I am sorry I took so long to write it. Actually I had it in draft for a month now but I could not find the time to edit and add in the photos. No reason is good enough, so please accept my apology..Here goes -
Bodyshop lip-balm : Probably my first
 internationalcosmetic purchase 

The trip continues..after the gruelling 20,000 (and more!) steps walked around Mantri Square yesterday, we managed to drag our aching bones out into the 'wild' that is Bangalore. Yes, like any metro..Bangalore lures every girl that steps in this city that comes basically to earn a living into the shopping-paradise that is Commercial Street.

Like any female, I too love shopping. But I'll walk out of all the branded stores to get into the streets any given day. I just adore street-shopping. I can't say that enough! Something that comes close to making chocolates, the thrill and exhilarating joy of it, is street-shopping. Street shopping trumps brand-strutting coz brands are just that - overpriced, boring dead solid block colours and drab. Street-trends are just the opposite - cheap, affordable, trendy, colourful and the most important factor of all - shop till you drop. And that I did!

Swiping cards in by-lanes and shop some more:
Bylanes of Ibrahim street
This was my first official round about the famous Commercial Street of Bangalore, so do know that this is a newbie's perspective..well, that helps some. I did some research on the net before heading out. Although that was nice, the net is hardly of any use when it comes to first-hand experience. You have to check things out for yourself for what will really catch your eye. The auto rickshaw drive to Commercial Street was fair as the driver put on the meter (Thank God!) and the meter dropped at about 45-50 rs when we reached a point. We just walked thereafter, as we didn't know where we were headed..explored, more like it. We walked the inter-linking by-lanes rather than the actual Commercial Street. I bought my first buy, what caught my eyes - earrings and lots of them. Those vendors sell them cheap - starting from about 35 rs to 150 rs. The same thing is sold at at-least thrice the price at the place I live in. I have a fetish for earrings and judging by that, I think I should have bought some more!

It is as they say on the net, at least this much holds true: The vendors in Commercial Street are
really nice! When Fi tried and tried to bargain with the shawl-vendor on one lane, the poor old man held his peace and was incredibly patient with us. He let us check out and buy to our heart's content. I always wanted a pair of shawls and wraps in funky colours and I have 'em now! The shawls we bought were about 150-250 rs (after the bargain). There's so much more for a bride-to-be in these streets, I thought to myself, as I saw many shops selling sequins and borders, for embellishing those special-day clothes. There are also a lot of tailors around this area who will do it for you.

Then there are these shops having all their merchandise hung on cloth-hangers. And that's where I dropped in for my above 1k shopping. I bought some kurtas, leggings,shrugs,shorts etc. Mom bought a nice bag. Fi bought some shorts. After that I thought I was done..then we were making our way to Brigade road, I noticed another shop having more merchandise..I slapped my head and pleaded Fi that we go in get a few more clothes. Although it never was a few. I already was over-budget but all the cute clothes I bought! Yay for me! I affirmed Fi that these will last for 3 more years and I won't be shopping for a long time. I found out to my surprise that they had swiping machines in these crammed little shops!.....which made me a little apprehensive, we did make those purchases anyway. Then we walked past another store..double slapped my forehead but I walked past it in sheer will to not spend any more. I would want to give you one strict advice - know your size! Literally, coz I ended up buying a size smaller than I am(as if they sell my size...hh!)..great. But it wasn't an entire fail coz the clothes suited me perfectly and I got a lot of compliments for it. I just have to work out and fit into them..yeah, its gonna happen.

GPS and the great Brigade trail: 

After all that crazy shopping, I decided we walk to Brigade Road.. McDonald's to be exact. After 10 minutes of trying to figure out how we would get to a place on foot, Fi suggested using the GPS on his mobile. Oh, what a saver it was! Although we never managed to walk as far (as we were all beat), we still used it to see if the auto driver wasn't fooling around. And how accurate the GPS was! The driver argued that he cannot drive through the next lane and so we walked. As I bolted through the crowd (having had much experience staying in Mumbai in my teens), Fi stopped me often to remind me that mum can't walk as fast. I just love criss-crossing through the crowd, it's like a mini-challenge to get past throngs of people aiming at either the branded stores of Brigade road, eateries or just aimlessly walking(I doubt anyone in Bangalore actually is).

The Clown doesn't impress:

I have been wanting to go to McDonald's ever since I watched the ad where they give free toys with a happy meal. Call me kiddish, but I wanted those toys for a very long time and finally, I was getting them. When we first entered, all I saw was a cramped place with a group of people stacked up on chairs, eating away at their burgers and fries. There was not one relate-able face. Its all these Hi-fi slick-face families and couples that looked like they have been spending way too much time in spas and golf courses than at home. It was even more unsettling when we had to park our bench beside a gang of boys having a good time. Nothing wrong with them,per say, other than they were too mod for my was the family in front of us. While I waited for Fi to get our order, I chatted up mom who was weary and bored from the long walk. I did notice that she too was a bit out of her comfort-zone...can't blame her, we were really out of place there.

Ok, so when the lunch arrived, I dug into my burger and I was less than amazed. For once, the ads had me fooled. It was nowhere as good and delicious as portrayed on TV. Limp buns, so-so toppings. Only the chicken patty was good enough to be gobbled - juicy and moist. I was so uncomfortable that even after most of the people left, I still wanted to get out of there ASAP.

Hoping these dips will kick some
punch into the drab chicken wings

After that under-achieving meal at the big Mac(pun intended), Fi bought a take-away from KFC nearby..can't blame him. Then we strolled down to 'The Bookworm'. Its one store every bookie(the reading kind...not the embezzling kind) in Bangalore or otherwise has on his/her list of must-visits. One can find fiction, non-fiction, self-help, spiritual, educational books and a lot more. But I make my visits to the Bookworm for one and one thing only - Comic Books. As the Great Sheldon once said, there lies a significant difference between a comic and a comic book. While the former being a lullaby to children, the latter is a form of story-telling very much akin to a movie or even a fiction novel,just more interesting and entertaining. To my despair, they didn't have much in stock at the moment.

As we made our way home in the evening, the sky finally gave in and it started pouring crazy. 3 days of clear sunshine and the day we leave Bangalore, it started to rain! I must say, I am very much grateful to God that it did not rain for the days that we stayed there or else it would hardly be possible to enjoy as much as we did or even have so much fun. Bangalore will always hold a special place in my heart. It was the place I grew up in. Though it has more than changed over time, there is not a city that will replace good ol' Bangalore.

The view from my window on the bus back home..see ya soon, Bangalore :(


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