A Welcome to Bangalore

A Welcome to Bangalore

A Story by alanwgraham
"

An exciting short stay in Bangalore

"

A welcome to Bangalore!


On our way back from the south, Mandy and I decided to break our journey in Bangalore, one of the largest cities of India. All seemed normal as we joined the other passengers heading for the station exit. The large station had a smart façade, but as we stepped outside we were flabbergasted at what we were faced with.

 

At the foot of a wide flight of perhaps half a dozen  steps a large squad of what looked like police or soldiers with rifles slung over their shoulders were formed up in a line to block access to the station. Beyond the police a large crowd was gathered and then beyond the crowd were several columns of parked buses. What was most disconcerting was the rather eerie silence - it felt like the calm before the storm! What should we do? We considered heading back into the station and waiting for the next train. Perhaps it was bravado but I reassured Mandy that it would be fine to leave the station and find a hotel - any trouble would soon quieten down.


Heavily laden with a large rucksack each and a shared suitcase, we passed tentatively through the police lines and entered the crowd a few yards beyond. As is always the case in India a young lad appeared at our side and asked if we needed a hotel.

 ‘Very nice hotel, Sir and Madam, very excellent price.’ He pointed to the five or six story modern hotel at the far side of the square. ‘The Bangalore Grand.’ We didn’t want to waste time haggling and the price seemed fair. ‘Fine, you take us.’ Just then a shot rang out. The lad quickly took our case and shouted, ‘run as fast as you can!’ There was general panic and the crowd scattered. Hearts pounding, we followed him at top speed through the melee.


When we reached the hotel we were rushed in through the front door which was immediately locked. Without the usual paperwork the manager directed us up to a room on the top floor. Guided by a porter we hurried up the stairs and we shocked to hear the sound of the windows being broken from the outside. The crowd must be throwing rocks at the hotel perhaps thinking it was on the side of authority. We had just got into our room and sat down to regain our breath when there were more shots and tear gas started drifting in from the balcony. The demonstrators must have gathered round the hotel and the police were trying to clear them. Spluttering and eyes stinging we took shelter in the bathroom. After a while we were relieved to hear the commotion subsiding and we tentatively came out to the balcony to survey the scene. By now the crowd had scattered and were nowhere to be seen.


After a few hours had passed we ventured down to the desk and asked the manager if it would be safe to go out.

‘It will be fine now, Sir and Madam. The trouble is over now.’

‘What was it all about?’ I asked.

The manager laughed. ‘Nothing unusual - the bus drivers have gone on strike for higher wages. They will settle for a small increase and it will be over - till next time!’

Feeling reassured, Mandy and I strolled into the town to find a restaurant. Somehow we couldn’t help looking over our shoulders! Feeling a bit more relaxed now we were able to laugh as we looked back at our exciting day in disbelief.

 

 

 

© 2019 alanwgraham


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Having been to India twice and fallen in love with her, we are planning to do the Golden Triangle next year.. Thank you for posting these amazing recollections you have Alan, you just reminded me that anything can happen there and to always expect the unexpected, because very often, it does.... All Good Things mate.... Neville

Posted 6 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Neville

6 Months Ago

Hi Alan.. we went to Sri Lanka in 2000 just before the Tsunami hit... our amazing trip was marred wh.. read more
alanwgraham

6 Months Ago

What an awful experience Neville. Our daughter had arranged to do voluntary work in SL which turned .. read more
Neville

6 Months Ago

Thanks for that Alan.. I keep meaning to write/record the wonderful relationship we established with.. read more



Reviews

This is one of your best travel stories, very tightly written, getting to the point & then with the somewhat funny or flabbergasting ending not over-explained, just thrown out for the reader to interpret (which I like). As I was reading this, it hit me -- no wonder the rest of the world doesn't think it hair-raising that we in the USA live with a constant threat of gun violence & mass shooting. What goes on here is small potatoes compared to the rest of the world, I guess! *wink! wink!* Great share! Nice irony! (((HUGS))) Fondly, Margie

Posted 3 Months Ago


Alan; I can totally relate to this story; been to India 3 times, the last time to the South; There is always something happening there: riots, protests, strikes, avalanches, etc. Your experience in this piece is "perfect" and written well; thanks for sharing!!!

Posted 4 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

alanwgraham

4 Months Ago

Thanks for reading this Betty. That was a while ago. Now we prefer the safe life. It's fun looking b.. read more
alanwgraham

4 Months Ago

Sorry Betty, will should read solo.
Quite a thriller and suspenseful until the end. It was dreamlike in a way, events seeming unexplainable and when they were explained, they don't match the expectation but yet satisfy, as if it all makes sense in one world but would not make sense in another. Brings a laugh of relief and keeps in pace with the reader's awareness. A short neatly narrated true story.

Posted 4 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

alanwgraham

4 Months Ago

Thanks Rana. Perhaps I shouldn't have ticked the story box here as it is all what happened. Maybe tr.. read more
Rana

4 Months Ago

The happy ending was expected but this wasn't- the cause of the warlike atmosphere was a matter as h.. read more
What a welcome. What an experience to go through. A really scary display over something which seemed quite trivial in comparison. Shots fired and tear gas because the bus drivers were striking for higher wages. It passed quickly and the strange thing is, it seemed to be an almost every day occurrence. Great read Alan. You kept the excitement going throughout. We have our own problems with safety over here, but it pales with this type of incident.

Chris

Posted 5 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

alanwgraham

5 Months Ago

Thanks Chris. I probably would have forgotton completely about our overnight In Bangalore without th.. read more
I can't help be reinded of a very old Billy Connolly sketch after reading some of your tales Alan. I think his punchline could be used to describe your travels.
Long story short, old couple on a bench reminiscing. He says to his wife how she has been with him every step of the way through his life... First world war, recession, depression, plagues and pestilence, second world war, unemployment and old age. After rattling through the list, he looks at her and says "And you know something Agnes? You're a bloody jinx. 😀
As your tale shows so well, its also when things go wrong that end up making the best memories.

Posted 5 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

alanwgraham

5 Months Ago

Nice story lorry and more than a touch of truth. There's something a bit funny been going on with re.. read more
You are telling what happened when you were visiting that city in India, a par of Indian living ordinary life in India

Posted 6 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

alanwgraham

6 Months Ago

Thanks Ukko for reading this. VIsiting a foreign country always brings new experiences. This was qu.. read more

Having been to India twice and fallen in love with her, we are planning to do the Golden Triangle next year.. Thank you for posting these amazing recollections you have Alan, you just reminded me that anything can happen there and to always expect the unexpected, because very often, it does.... All Good Things mate.... Neville

Posted 6 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Neville

6 Months Ago

Hi Alan.. we went to Sri Lanka in 2000 just before the Tsunami hit... our amazing trip was marred wh.. read more
alanwgraham

6 Months Ago

What an awful experience Neville. Our daughter had arranged to do voluntary work in SL which turned .. read more
Neville

6 Months Ago

Thanks for that Alan.. I keep meaning to write/record the wonderful relationship we established with.. read more
Exciting story written well with all the hallmarks of experience.

Posted 6 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

alanwgraham

6 Months Ago

Thanks Ken. I shouldn't have called this a story - it's an accurate account of what happened.
.. read more
Ken Simm.

6 Months Ago

THought it was.

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Added on November 26, 2019
Last Updated on November 26, 2019

Author

alanwgraham
alanwgraham

Scotland, United Kingdom



About
Married with three kids, I retired early from teaching physics but have always enjoyed mountains. In my forties I experienced a manic episode which kick-started a creative urge. I've written a novel .. more..

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