Ravi and the Republic Day Flower show
I can just hear my friend, Rajul’s voice as I walk around here, teaching me all about Indian culture. So many times we planned to walk around this city together, looking at silks and seeing the sights. How can it be that
she died two weeks before I land in Bangalore? Her lessons are helpful to me now as I am missing her so much. I can hear her saying…. Let it go….as God wishes. It is such an easy concept. I would feel better if I would
just accept she is gone. I am human, I still want her here with me..
It was Republic day and I have some time to wander around the city. Ravi took me on a car ride in Bangalore to see the city sights: We stopped and walked through
the park to see the Republic Day flower show. It was absolutely beautiful. The flowers were exotic and the arrangements were something Dr Seuss would have loved. I had come prepared with a written plan of things I want to see based on the recommendation
of my teammate. I asked Ravi to take me to Vidhan Soudha, I butcher the language and Ravi asks to see my written notes.. He hits his hand on his forehead and doubles over laughing. “What is so funny Ravi?” “You cannot speak mam” He
uses the correct pronunciation that I cannot understand. “You are making fun of me Ravi “Yes mam” “Let’s go madam, I will show you the architecture of the governments buildings” We head to the
car and for a drive around to have a look at the government buildings. They look k similar to government buildings in any city, large impressive stately architecture with lots of columns and domes on the top. They have a distinct Indian flavor with lacy fretwork,
a slight flattened teardrop dome, and an Hindi god at the top of the entrance.
After viewing the government buildings we go to Iskcon Temple. It is beautiful and I ask Ravi if I need to go barefoot. “What is barefoot mam?” “No shoes,
no socks” “Yes mam you have to go barefoot.” I take my shoes and socks off without hesitation it is clean. We walked up the hill to the music and chants of “Hare Krishnia , Hara Krishnia, Krishnia, Krishnia,
Hare, Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama, Rama, Hare, Hare On and on. We walk up to a place with two paths and Ravi points one way. “Why are we not going in through the little building first Ravi?” He replied “Because in that
line you have to say 1000 Hare Krishna’s before you enter, this way you go directly into the main temple”. “Ah you always have a good plan Ravi, Let’s take the shortcut. Ravi guides me in to the temple and directs me on exactly
what to do and to say the right thing at the right times. It is incredibly fascinating. The visit of the actual temple is quite short. After paying homage and leaving an offering, you are guided to through a series of twists and turns with
a long line of things to buy. This takes a twice as long as going into the actual temple. Ah….commerce in India.
We meander through the city and there was very little traffic today so it is not so labor someone to get around. Ravi
takes me to see the houses of the rich. They are stacked next to each other with fences around every house. The homes are big by Indian standard and architecturally do not look like many homes in America. My guess is they range from 2-5 thousand
square feet. The neighborhood does not look upscale by American standards. It looks much more like our middle class homes.
We finished our day with a tour of the Bangalore Palace. It must have been grand when it was build but it in a sad state
of disrepair today. I am flabbergasted that anyone is actually allowed to touch the artifacts, and to sit on the furniture. The ceiling is cracked is some places, the wall paper is falling down in spots and everything is exposed to the open air as the
windows and doors are open. The present King and his family actually live here 12 days out of the year and in Mysore 12 days. It made me quite curious so I asked Ravi “Where do they live the rest of the time? “ He answers “I
don’t know mam”
I can tell Ravi has things on his mind he finally says “You cannot go home so soon mam, Can you live in Bangalore full time? ” “Why? Ravi” “Because I learn
to much from you mam” “My family is not here Ravi, but I will think of more words for you Ravi” “ok Mam"
As we travel around the city the English continues to amuse me the British influence is everywhere.
School children in uniforms
I ask Ravi to take me back to the hotel; l was tired and still sick and still had a few more days of work ahead of me. It had been a lovely day but I need to rest. I still
have things to prepare for my meetings tomorrow and e mails to answer on so I bid him goodbye until later.