Saturday, August 14, 2010

Bangalore musings 1

It is true that Bengalooru has a strong tech flavor. Chances are that you have been asked by strangers when you visit any other part of the country if you are "in software." Somehow people believe that all of those who work in Bangalore are software fellows, that's what they are, and that's what they are all meant to do.

Few years back, I was admitted in a hospital in Trivandrum three weeks before my wedding down with chicken pox. The middle-aged lady doc who was treating me asked the same question. I replied in the negative and and she was surprised and wanted to know what else could I possibly do in Bangalore. I did not want to start a gyan session on "content management" so I plainly told her I work in publishing. Curiosity does not end there - she wanted to know if I'd been to the USofA on projects. I said no. Next question - will I be getting a chance to go to the US. I told her I really don't know. Not the sort of itching and irritating questions that you want to answer when you're down with chicken pox. Any way, after much prodding she left me thinking I'm one of those way-down-the-pecking-order Bangalorean who prints something for a living who will never see Statue of Liberty in his life. The logic behind the questioning must be simple - groom hunting for a relative. A guy in Bangalore, who makes "software", who goes to US or Belgium or any other exotic location on projects is a safe bet.

Well, almost. There were two years in recent history when parents of homely girls were willing to bang laptops on the heads of any broker (more on this breed later) who uttered the word "software." Those were the good old days of depression when people were losing IT jobs like anything. Now that green shoots are sprouting everywhere, and that "the worst is behind us" the marriage market for "software" is apparently back.

Back to Bangalore. The other day I was purchasing vegetables (I do that) and I saw this IT family with a kid. Dad was sporting his favorite apparel - company T-shirt- and mom was wearing the usual techie wife's attire - jeans and top. The kid should have been a year and a half old. Training session inside veggie shop - Dad keeps his hand to his head and says "Dekho beta (See, son :-), Oh...Shit" The kid did not pay much attention. So daddy goes again urging the kid to reapeat. "Dekho beta, Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh...Shit" I heard him say the stuff at least 5, 6 times. Thankfully, the kid did not pick it up (or may be like all kids, he loved embarrassing his dad in front of others).
I pitied the scenario. Mom picking vegetables, dad teaching the kid Swearing 101.

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