Bus to Bangalore

Long back, around six years ago, I had boarded a bus to Bangalore with my parents. It was probably my second visit to the city, and though I was not a Kannadiga, I was closely attached to the city – because I was born there. So, my first visit obviously had been when I had come out of my mother’s tummy crying. Or perhaps giggling. Who knows, what if me giggling sounded like me crying because that was what was expected.

I was so proud of Bangalore, the city where I, the whacko who never shuts up, was born. I was so excited – as if I was going to meet my brother, who had been separated from me at birth. I didn’t feel like I was going to be a tourist there, it felt as if I was going home. After a long time. Since I was barely a year old when I had stayed in Bangalore, I didn’t remember any of it. I wanted to discover the city, know what it looked like, and listen to my parents discussing as to how much it has changed.

We stayed in a room, above a supermarket at Brigade Road. That was the Bangalore I saw. I looked at the street in awe, with starry eyes and watery mouth, all my junk food at one place! Incredible! And so many options to choose from! It was simply paradise for me.

At the room, I danced in the AC, jumped on the bed, and then laid down to charge myself. And then, once I was completely charged, I unplugged myself, and freshened up, all ready to hit the streets. Right outside the supermarket, there was this stall selling momos.

Awwwww, I thought. What a cute name! MO-MOS. It vaguely reminded me of this cartoon I used watch, in Animax perhaps? I don’t remember, but there were three girls who had pixies named DoDo, ReRe and MiMi. And now, I was eating MoMos. It was perhaps the first time I had had momos, and I fell in love with it. Especially that chutney – I wanted to eat it, as if it were soup.

And then, I went shopping – and more importantly – bargaining. I watched as my mom negotiated with the shopkeepers in Hindi, highly influenced by Malayalam, her mother-tongue. But some of the shopkeepers themselves were not so fluent.

And then, I had all my beloved junk food, extremely happy that my mother didn’t mind me having so much of junk in two days. But on such occasions, she always made sure I enjoyed. McDonalds for lunch, and Dominos for dinner.

“No more junk food till I say so,” she said.

I made a sad face at her.

“What? You had so much of it today, I didn’t restrict you did I? Now you have to be a good girl, and eat good food too, like fruits and vegetable. I let you have all that you want here, didn’t I?  Didn’t you have an awesome time here?” she asked.

I flashed all of my teeth at her, and said, “Yessssssssss!”

And now, I live in Bangalore. I study here, and I realised Bangalore was bigger than the one I had seen. And every time I pass that supermarket in Brigade Road, I want that chutney!


The Shoe

shoe1 shoe2

Cinderella was very young when her mother passed away, after which her father remarried. Everything went fine till her father passed away. Her stepmother advised her to do the household chores, so it would distract her from the grief of losing her father. Her stepmother was evil and ill-treated her all the time.

One day, Cinderella was fast asleep near the fireplace. She woke up, washed her face and was about to begin her work for the day when, something fell down the chimney. She dropped the kettle and shrieked. It was a yellow-coloured creature that dressed like humans, and also wore glasses. A minute later, the rest of its gang fell down the chimney, filling the room with black smoke.

Before Cinderella could make any sense of what was happening, her stepmother came down the stairs, furious.

“What in the world is going on here?” she screamed.

She froze when she saw the little creatures. One of them, the gang leader, handed her a letter.

“La para tu” it said.

They were the minions, and were searching for a despicable master. They had finally found one, and self- appointed themselves as her servants. The stepmother was delighted, under the impression that people were dying to work for her, and agreed to let them stay.

“Cinderella, you shall share your room with them” said the stepmother, before leaving.

Cinderella became good friends with the minions, but they would nevertheless laugh at her, when the stepmother or stepsisters made fun of her, because the three ladies were their masters after all. But they would still help her, and many a times Cinderella had to clean up the mess they create as a result of ‘helping her’.

One day, they received an invitation to the king’s ball; everybody was invited. Cinderella dressed up beautifully, but her jealous stepsisters destroyed her dress. She was asked to stay home, and given more work by the stepmother, before they left. She ran out into her garden, and started crying. The minions too felt bad for her, and for themselves, as they too wanted to go. The garden became really noisy by the time the Fairy Godmother arrived, as they too started crying.

“Husshh hush, what is all this noise about?” she exclaimed.

Cinderella looked up, and saw a lady dressed beautifully in silver, with a sapphire wand in her hand.

“I am your Fairy Godmother dear. Now wipe your tears, you’re going to the ball.” She said.

She swished her wand, and whoosh, Cinderella now had a very beautiful blue dress, a beautiful sparkling carriage, and two beautiful white horses.

“My dear child, I’ve put a spell on you by which nobody will be able to recognise you. The spells only last till midnight, so don’t get carried away. Be back before midnight. Oh, I almost forgot,” she said, glancing at Cinderella’s feet.

She swished her wand again, and this time a pair of beautiful shoes appeared at her feet.

The Fairy Godmother disappeared, and Cinderella left in her carriage, leaving the minions dumbstruck. They were all staring at where the Fairy Godmother had been standing, and had a sudden realisation: why not serve the Fairy Godmother? The step mother was evil enough, but was no fun. And then they wouldn’t have to laugh at their friend anymore. They started running behind the carriage. At the palace, their attention was diverted by the beautiful garden in the palace.

Cinderella was the star of the night, she danced with the Prince, and even dined with him. Cinderella’s gaze fell at the clock, and she realised she had to run. She hurriedly bid farewell to her Prince, and started running towards the door. This was when suddenly people noticed the increasing number of yellow creatures in the room. Her stepmother, quite sure, Cinderella must also be here, started to hunt for her. The minions could not resist the food, especially the banana pudding, and the fruit salad. They were digging into it, not bothering to listen to the stepmother, who was shouting at them to stop the ‘atrocious behaviour’. They threw vanilla ice cream and chicken stew at her.

In all the confusion, Cinderella realised that one of her shoes was missing. She took of the other shoe, and tried to runaway barefoot. Before the Prince could pick up the shoe, one of the minions grabbed the shoe, and started shouting, “Bellow! Cindapella! Cindapella!”

He ended up in a shoe fight with the minion.

Hearing Cinderella’s name, the stepmother turned around. And right then sounded the twelfth chime of the huge palace clock. All of Cinderella’s grandeur disappeared and she was an ordinary girl again. There was a long uncomfortable silence.

It was finally the stepmother who spoke up, “You!” That was all she could manage.

The Prince finally decided that he will marry Cinderella, because he was madly in love with her. Never mind all that had happened on the ball night. As for the minions, they were to keep the stepmother and the stepsisters away from Cinderella.