31st August 2014 - technically yesterday - was (technically) a bandh protesting the recent horrifying acts of violence against the girls of the city.
What such bandhs would do to dissuade any potential offenders is a matter for another day. However, there was sort of a 'bandh', or stoppage in the city in the morning. The traffic was markedly less on the streets. Most shops were closed. The dark clouds over the city silently passed over quietly without condensing. Maybe they were afraid of getting targeted for going about their business on a bandh day like other cities.
But Bengaluru didn't really stop. Most IT companies were either working normally, or their employees were working from home. In this globalised world, businesses don't stop because a city decides to take a break. This was kind of expected. What amused me, however, were the other establishments that were open.
During my afternoon walk, I noticed that the supermarket was closed... or so I thought! Shutters were drawn on all but one exit and one entry. All the vehicles were actively being transferred to behind the building for parking. The supermarket, usually bustling and busy, looked dull and closed until you entered inside! Inside, it was staffed, bright, filled with people and welcoming as always. The whole supermarket was like a teenager at a funeral.
A little further, I saw the bank. It was closed. Or was it? The shutters were drawn on the bank. A big conspicuous lock hung on the shutters that made it feel as if it were locked. If you were not careful enough, you'd miss the little opening and pass it by thinking that the bank was closed.
As I entered deeper into the residential areas, I found that most of the shops were open. The bandh seemed to have affected the shops on the main roads only. Life went on.
By evening, I saw a few more of the shut doors open. Life was back to its normal self. What I conclude from this is that Bangalore might be a lot more chilled out than other cities when it comes to work, but it seems that it's even more chilled out when it comes to bandhs.