Category Archives: Influential people

Terrace Party

One of my friends in Bangalore invited us around to his house for a party at his house. His parents were out of town for the weekend, and in true living at home style, that meant house party time.

Now the way that he sold it to us was that we would get some drinks, take them up to the terrace and drink. Apparently the terrace was a really great place to hang out, and had a great view over Bangalore.

Now I’m not one to turn down such an invitation. And I love terraces. I like spending time outside, and I like the idea of drinking on a roof. Now my mental picture that was formed after this conversation was something like this:

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Ok maybe something much less luxurious. No fruit bowl, more utilitarian furniture, and no hot babes reclining on the couch. Something more like this:

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Just a simple space with a table and some chairs/stools, maybe some potted plants. All in all a pretty chilled place to sit and drink and talk nonsense.

So the night of the party comes around, and we go around to his house. And we walk up to the terrace. And I look around for the chairs. Nothing. I look around for the potted plants. Nothing. I look around for the hot babes. Nothing.

Turns out the terrace that I imagine was very different to the reality! We found a spot on the flat roof without puddles, and sat down in a circle around our bottles of alcohol in the middle.

Despite the fact that my expectations were ridiculously off the mark, it was a fantastic night, still one of the best I’ve had in Bangalore. Just goes to prove that its more about the people you are with than where you are!

There was a pretty bangin’ view of the city too!

View from the top

View from the top

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Found some hot babes up there after all

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Thanks for the party!

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Decorations

I still think you should get some seats up there though buddy…

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Landlady

This is a photo of me and my landlady. She owns the block of houses I stay at in Coimbatore, and stays in the front house. She has several attached apartments, and rents them to various families. She comes to check out what is happening in the apartment some mornings, and tells us that we need to clean more often, and offers to have her maid come by to help us clean. I think she must think that we have no idea how to clean up after ourselves!

She doesn’t speak much English (none) and I don’t speak much Tamil (none), but with hand gestures me manage to understand each other mostly.

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One morning we woke up and there was no water in the taps! We’d just gotten home the night before from a weekend trip, and were both in desperate need of a shower before work. So we went downstairs to ask the Landlady about it, and she came up. After 15 minutes of misunderstanding what she was trying to say we finally figured out that one of our taps had been leaking all weekend, and kept draining the water tank. So they had turned off our water at the main tap on the roof – we simply needed to turn it back on. And remember to turn the flush off properly on the toilet so it didn’t constantly run and drain the water tank that everyone shared!

We have the apartment at the back of the building, up some stairs. It’s a two bedroom flat, with access to the terrace (which is only really used by the others to dry their washing). Its a wonderful huge terrace with a nice view over the buildings around us, and it seems like a shame that they don’t use the space. The equivalent terrace in Australia would be covered in potted plants, have an outdoor table and chairs, possibly even a table tennis table.

Now it was a bit of a battle to get this lady to agree to have two single, white, girls stay alone in her apartment out the back. This was for several reasons I think, mostly out of concern for our well being. I was told that crime was on a rise in the city of Coimbatore, and there was a highly publicised incident involving an old woman found chopped into pieces, which placed fear into everyone’s hearts. After this it was very difficult to find people who were willing to have two girls stay alone in an apartment they were renting out. I guess I can understand that sentiment!

Despite this (this is for you Mum), I’ve never felt unsafe in the neighbourhood. Obviously it was quite a novelty at first for everyone in the neighbourhood for us to move in, but everyone quickly got used to it. After going to a few of the shops in the street a few times, I’ve found that no one really gives me a second glance anymore.

The Uncle in the phone shop out the front of the house always says hello when I come home from work, and the boy working in the rice shop next to it has helped us out almost every day that Scooty decides she doesn’t want to go to work. He comes over with a huge grin on his face and gets her started. The woman at the eatery across the road has a good natured laugh at our expense every morning when we are trying to kick start Scooty.

The woman down the road who runs the vegetable shop is wonderful, and always greets me with a huge grin and helps me out in figuring out what all everything is: who would have thought spinach could look so different! And the pani puri cart guys always say hey as I walk past… I think they were quite disappointed the day I started walking past them to the vegetable store!

A story of a marriage

This is my Boss and his Wife.

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They have been married for just over a year now, and seem to be quite happy. The tale surrounding their marriage is quite an interesting one, so let me share it with you.

Two years ago, the future-Wife started working for the company, as a receptionist/personal assistant to the Boss. Apparently She was very quiet while working there, and did not talk much with the Boss.

One fateful day, She was out shopping for office pooja items with the Boss after work. After they finished their shopping, they walked back to the bus stand so that She could catch a bus home. However there was a busy road in between them and the bus stand, and she was nervous to cross the traffic. So the Boss offered to hold Her hand while they crossed the road, and then let go as soon as they had crossed. She hopped on a bus and went home.

Little did they know, that they had been spotted by her Aunt and Grandmother! These two women wasted no time in calling her mother to gossip and chastise her about the loose behaviour of her daughter.

By the time the innocent young girl reached home, her mother was convinced she was having an affair. They fought when she reached home and her mother forbade her to go to the office anymore, wanting to save her daughter’s reputation.

So She called the Boss and informed him that Dhe would not be coming to office anymore. She was upset and confused about what was happening.

A week passed.

The Boss arrived at her doorstep and proposed marriage. Apparently he had suddenly realised his feelings for her during her absence, and wanted to marry her.

They were married a week later, and lived happily ever after.

BUT THINGS ARE NOT AS THEY SEEM!!!

It seems as though there may have been some manoeuvring on her behalf, in order to orchestrate a situation where the Boss felt as though he had to step in to save her reputation.

The Boss seems to be quite an honourable man, and belongs to a reasonably wealthy, high caste family. A very desirable husband.

Apparently he was threatened by her cousins and uncles after they saw them together, and felt as though he needed to marry her in order to save her. And to save her reputation.

So who knows. Maybe they were seen together on purpose. Maybe she made it seem as though he had been acting with less honour and innocence than he had been. Maybe she had let her family believe that she was madly in love with him and he was playing with her.

I guess we will never know the truth of the situation.

But they are now married. Happily ever after.

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Chai Lady, Hennur Cross, Bangalore 2012

She gave me four cups of chai a day for a month, and always had a huge smile whenever she saw me. We never managed to talk much, but I miss her.