Things That Happened When I Wasn’t Looking

Part time Historian and Thinker Achala Srivasta’s new blog post where she is ruminating (well, ruing, mainly) on the good old days. Feel free to breastbeat about the changing times in the Comments section below.  


good-old-daysEver since I moved back to Bangalore, I’ve been noticing that things are not quite the way they were.

So I decided to do a list of things that apparently have vanished or changed when I was looking the other way.

  1. First things first. What happened to my old Five Star bar??    You know, that fatly unctuous, gooey, caramelly, nougat thing that took at least 30 minutes to eat? You had strings of caramel sticking to your hair by the time you finished eating it – and then you had to skip lunch – for 2 days.  It was my treat, my reward for getting an A, my consolation for getting a C. It was  the one thing that made up for random people pinching my cheek when I was 10 years old  and asking  “Do you know who I am? ” I bought a Five Star for old times sake the other day and was horrified. I felt like the Godfather pointing to Sonny and saying “See what they have done to my chocolate bar” Flat, rock hard and gritty and with as much chocolate flavour as a potato. Great ads, lousy chocolate -not a great combo.
  2. And speaking of missing chocolate – where is my Parry’s Caramel with the green and gold crinkly wrapper? Alpen Liebe is a poor substitute for that rock hard toffee of brown, buttery sweetness.  And the decisions one had to make – let it melt quietly at the back of your mouth, crunch into it and risk losing your fillings??? What to do, what to do?
  3. Also missing in action is the phrase –“I look forward to… seeing you, dining with you, working with you, bitching about x with you etc.”The new phrase seems to be a chirpy and to my mind somewhat puzzling “Look forward” – a tantalizingly incomplete phrase that, to my mind, raises two points:
  • Who exactly is looking forward to doing what with whom if you get my convoluted point? Am I being asked to look forward? Are they looking forward to… what? Cortez -like – gazing on the horizon?
  • And not to be a party pooper – but of course you’d look forward -why on earth would you be chirpy about looking backward?

And finally, just when did the foot path/pavement/sidewalk disappear? I occasionally walk down to my local mini-market and have to do a tightrope act on this narrow strip by the side of the road, clutching the occasional tree or electric pole that suddenly looms in my path, screaming when a gigantic bus screeches by with about an inch to spare. On the rare occasions that there is a clear strip and I walk admiring the cerulean blue sky and the way the jacaranda looks framed against aforementioned sky – BAM I’ve tripped on the most uneven footpath ever and fallen face first into a cow pat.    I do hear cow dung has very good antiseptic properties though. Which I am sure will serve me well as I leap nimbly over sleeping dogs (nice one there eh?) and tightly wound coils of rusty metallic wire and risk dog bites and tetanus to buy a couple of carrots.

So clearly, I’ve been living under a rock but all I say is – bring back my old Five Star.




13 thoughts on “Things That Happened When I Wasn’t Looking

  1. Rachna Parmar

    Achala, as a fellow Bangalorean, I totally agree about the pavements. I am a person who loves to walk outdoors, and it is such a pain how pavements are laid here. And, where they are okay, they are completely encroached. Growing up in Mumbai, we walked everywhere, and even on my recent visit we walked quite a bit. Though the city is congested as hell. And Five Star is still my favorite. I do like their Fruit and Nut bar but loved the gooey one more. Heck, I am a huge chocolate fan :).

  2. Amit

    The way they eat Silk in adverts makes me laugh. Give them a 5 star from the good old days and they will probably choke to their death. There are only a few of us left who mastered the act and lived to tell the tale.

  3. Zephyr

    This one truly is about the 5-star bar, more than the footpath vanishing, isn’t it? 🙂 I miss that one too — buy one and mark it carefully so that we each got the exact millimeter of the treasure!

  4. Rickie Khosla

    I recently went to Kolkata for a holiday and was very pleasantly surprised to see walkable footpaths! And they were not 3 feet high…which meant one didn’t need harnesses to climb them like you do in Delhi and Gurgaon!

  5. Kumuda Rao

    Well said Achala! I look forward to more ruminations from you!
    Do you remember the ‘Double Decker’ bars? It was the ultimate! Soft and gooey on one side and crunchy on the other. As for sidewalks – be grateful you’ve got a strip of the side of the road! Here (in Mumbai) we just walk on the roads – since vendors look upon footpaths as their ancestral property!

  6. Sabita Walia

    Going back to ‘MY’ Bangalore after fifteen years was indeed a shocker! I actually felt I was in a strange land, looking for something to connect with.Went to my school,the color of the building has changed to Blue. As you rightfully put it cannot see the pavement anymore.Where are the trees from our Garden City? Is that not what it was called?Gosh! And the five star chocolate, along with the taste has the size shrunk too?Anyway that was probably the last time I bought one…….sigh! On the bright side my husband hopes and looks forward to a better Bangalore as the metro has finally kicked in.Any chances of our five star bar getting its taste back?
    You really took me back to Bangalore Achala, thank you.


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