Monday, 5 January 2009

Bangalore: high times and hijinks

You're not allowed to take photos inside the Bangalore Club. There is a big sign at the entrance telling you that, below the sign banning mobile phones and above the chart outlining what is proper attire. I didn't notice, I took a photo, and I got told off twice: first by a surly staffer, then by my disapproving uncle, who had just signed me in.

Although about 30 seconds later he took a call on his mobile so that act pretty much negated my own misdeed.

SO apparently the Bangalore Club is pretty exclusive and elite. It has changed in the ten-odd years since I was last there: a bit of repainting here and there, a bit of garden maintenance, some new brass plaques on the walls, and you have a club fit for the elite of India's - nay, the world's - booming IT hub. No more peeling paint in the main hall, stench of mothballs in the Mysore Room and faded curtains in the dining room. But the stuffed animal heads are still there, next to the mounted displays of rifles. Down the hall is the 'mixed' bar (more on that later), which is a lovely dark room, all wood panelling and brocade furniture, and a bar top so shiny you could redo your lipstick by looking down into it. Around the corner is the billiards room, and in a little building away from the main action is the card playing room.

Over on the lawn is where the action happens: the Christmas Day buffet, the big New Year's Eve bash. The lawn is like a green pool: so well-watered it gleams with good health, studded with little plots of birds of paradise and those palm trees shaped like fans. It is the very model of what you would expect of an elite club in a money town.

But to what got me in trouble: the Men's Bar. For men only. The mixed bar is where you go if you want a mixed drink in mixed company. But the Men's Bar is the sole preserve of those blessed with dingle-dangle, so they can belch and fart and scratch their balls discreetly but publicly. As my uncle, who spends a lot of time in the Mens Bar, once told me, the bar is for those times when you just want to get drunk and not worry about embarrassing women.

And what a bar it is. Half under cover, half exposed, it has a high ceiling, shiny polished wood and brass everywhere, and low chairs. Oh to be able to freely drink in a bar like that.

So here is the contraband photo:

Note just how severely chuffed Jason looks. I think he likes the idea of drinking in comfort and style while I loiter out the front, hoping he'll run out with a shandy and a packet of chips. HAH. He can't get far without me. I am currently the sole holder of our joint credit card.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Haha - did you wait in the car for your shandy and packet of chips like a good little woman?

The pic of Jason and your uncle coming out of the men's bar is GOLD.

Loving your entertaining posts. Please keep them coming. xx