Finally, after a wait of five "vetty" days, I started the work in VT. The story goes on like this:
Sunday April 9
Landed at 7:30 in the morning at Madivala bus stop. Carried the heavy baggage to a nearby phone booth and called Sandy. He’s out of range. Tried after half an hour. He replied that he’s still in Dharmapuri, coz the bus had some problem.
9:30am. Sandy landed. As we began chatting, his friend and our local guardian Bibin came. Together in an auto, we headed toward our three-week shelter. Six jolly good fellows greeted us there.
1:45pm. The entire gang in the flat walk out towards the bus stop. Destination: National market, B’lore. Mission: To track the place where ipod is available at the cheapest price.
3:30pm. We were at the famous Forum Mall. Went inside the Apple showroom there, listened to a 30GB beauty worth around 26K. Attached it to a flying-saucer-like speaker and heard the unexpectedly loud sound. Both together would cost around 35K.
We walked out of the showroom of B’lore’s elite best.
Monday, April 10.
8:00am. Sandy n me were ready to join the papers. He went to DH office, which is on MG road and I, towards VT office in Chamarajapet.
9:15 am, VT office. I was waiting for the chief to come. Came to know on enquiring that he’ll come only by 2. Got the instruction to give my contact no. to the chief and he’ll inform me later. Called my friend Mathew, he promised to help to obtain a mobile connection.
Tuesday, April 11.
8:30am. Called the chief, gave Sandy’s no. Got the assurance that I can join by
Wednesday. I called Mathew, he asked me to come to City Market. Boarded a bus from near Neetha’s college.
1pm. I was at the city market. Near the market there is a huge Masjid, the biggest I ever saw. Went around with Mathew through the crowded galis in search of a sim-card vendor. Finally, a shopkeeper pointed us to a corner, we went there to meet a guy with a shop in the bottom of a staircase. He was catering us as well as chatting with people in his mobile and land line. Mathew asked in Hindi, in which he replied, spit tamil into his cellphone and Kannada into the landphone. I was pretty jealous!!
After a few minutes, I owned a binaami mobile connection.
Wednesday, April 12.
8:30am. Called Chief to give my number. Joining was still unconfirmed, as there was some “technical difficulties.” He assured to take me to office at Thursday. Promised to meet Sandy at his office at 5pm.
2:40pm. Message from Sandy: “Rajkumar expired.”
4:25pm. I venture out towards Forum. Purpose: To walk through it, reach the road on the other side, board a bus to MG Road and Meet Sandy n Sreeni.
I saw the main entrance closed, so I enter the complex through sideways. Inside, a Kannada announcement is going on and the only word I could make out is Rajkumar.
Saw police on the other side, they all looked worried. Bus came and I boarded it.
5:15pm. After a 15-minute effort, I located Deccan Herald office and when I was about to call Neetha, Sandy n Sreeni came out. By that time, the almost all stores were closed. We had tea from a wayside vendor, walked around to see the deserted street, and I ledt the place.
I walked around a little, then Mathew called me. He was in Shivaji Nagar, a place nearby. By the time I reached Sivaji Nagar Bus stand, he left. I waited for my bus for half-an-hour. Then Mathew’s message came: “Rajkumarz dead n crowds r creating prblm everywhr n u r out. Reach home safely”
Got in the first bus, realised midway that I am in the wrong bus, jumped down and began walking. By the time I reached our shelter in Thavarekere, I had covered 9 km. All the shops were closed.
Thursday, April 13
It took till 9am for us to realize that we have to find a way to secure us breakfast, lunch n dinner. Just then, chief gave a missed call. I called back only to confirm that I won’t join office that day. Entire Bangalore had come to a standstill.
Friday, April 14
Got the first greetings from my dad’s eldest brother, saw the details of Thursday’s violence in the newspaper.
3:15pm. I entered VT office. A 45-minute wait for the man in charge.
4:00pm. Man in charge asked me to come at around 5:30 because te chief reporter is out of station. I walked out to begin a one-and-a-half hour roaming around. Covered the Palace of Tipu Sultan, Bangalore fort and Sultanpet market.
5:30pm. I was sitting before the chief reporter. He gave me a copy of today’s paper and asked to go through the layout and briefs. I went through it twice before one of the staff borrowed it. Sat idly there for another 30 minutes. Then he asked me to come at 2pm on Saturday.
Came to the shelter to receive a treat of a huge watermelon bought by my apartment-mates. Kal se aslee kaam chaaloo………………..