Vantage point

Wednesday, June 26, 2002

Had gone for an evening visit to Lucknow's supposedly most happening place, 'Hazratganj Market'. It is mmmmmmmm, OK I'd say. Clean, is one good epithet that I can think of, as is orderly. It's pretty much a street full of shops. Not too much to do, except eat. There are no girls to ogle at. This is one big difference between Bombay-Pune and the north Indian cities. You hardly see any girls or women on busy streets. Even if you see some, they are behaving very demurely and are over dressed. So anyway, the only recreation possible was to eat. We did visit the 'St. Joseph Cathedral' though since it seemed to be the only interesting placve there. i don't even go to temples, so this was my first time at a church/cathedral (what is the difference, George?). The peaceful atmosphere was very soothing. Nice place to sit and think about life. i think I'll visit the cathedral a lot more before I leave the city.

Rohan, Sunil and I made a big mistake when the first establishment we visited was the 'Barista'. It has to be absolutely the worst Barista ever. In fact, Nidhi who is apparently a Barista pujari, would take an RPG and blow the Lucknow branch to bits if she tastes the coffee crystals floating in the cup. It is a place that brings a bad name to coffee and the people there are such pseudo-heps that overall, I would say it gives Uttar Pradesh a bad name. We moved to a roadside stall and Rohan and I had shami kebabs (wonly 5 bucks) to wash that abused caffeine off our tongues. Next we had some aloo tikki and man, Lucknowi chaat is good!!! It is worth making that trip from IIM to the city. With our tongues back to their jolly selves, we tried to get a 'tempo' to the IIM city office at Aliganj from where the IIM bus leaves every hour.

The people in Lucknow are very laid back about life. The attitude is pretty much "miyan, jeeyo aur jeene do". I guess that is why Lucknow has no history of any communal violence. One person whom we asked about the best way to Aliganj first asked Rohan where he was from. When Rohan said Bombay, he proceeded to tell us about his life in Bombay. A few sentences later, the relevant info came out. What he said was hilarious- "Go straight, keep going straight, and at one square, you won't have to do anything, tempo-drivers only will come to you saying 'aliganj! aliganj!'. That is all." he was not entirely accurate. We were the ones asking 'aliganj? aliganj?' to every tempo around. Anyway, we finally made it back.

Lucknow is an interesting city with interesting people.

Am whiling time away (while I still can) in the Comp Centre.

Hence this blog.

Nidhi, I repeat, if you are in Lucknow, do not visit Barista.