The Bangalore Vidhana Soudha - the Karnataka state capitol building. The architrave has at its base "Government work is God's work". Note the auto-rickshaw in the middle, and the Ambassador's, the national car, on either side. At the top of the dome is the capital of Ashoka, the four lions.

Teaching Newcomers: Aug. 22nd
Sue has decided that one of the ways that she can keep busy is to be a guide to new members of the Overseas Women Club. She calls her new charges "clients"; her sole goal is to remove their resemblance to deer in the headlights of an oncoming car.
Her first client has been a British woman named Rosalie. Possessing an Irish complexion of ivory skin and bright red hair, Rosalie’s companionship is utterly refreshing. People no longer stare at Sue; Rosalie is much stranger. While walking on M.G. road an Indian man came and asked how much it would cost for an inch of Rosalie’s red hair. Sue wasn’t bothered at all.
Rosalie has been having a tough time of it. Two days after arriving in Bangalore, her husband has metaphorically abandoned her for business in India, which he finds more fascinating. She is here against her wishes, and she wants to go home, where the food is familiar, and where she is viewed as beautiful, rather than as simply strange.
Her low point was a few weeks ago. Upset with her cook for not getting her leeks (leeks, in Bangalore? no-oooo...) she decided to go to Russell Market, the city’s most upscale market, and shop for herself. Finally acknowledging that there was indeed a difference between Trafalgar square and Russell Square, she carefully purchased some eggplants and bananas. In the confusion of the alleys around the market, however, she got lost. Bad luck ensued and she ended up in the Moslem part of the market where the butchers hang out. This is a particularly nasty place. It requires some fortitude and training of which she had neither. Due to the large number of air-borne pollutants there, she got a piece of dust in her contact lens. Unwisely, she sat down in a gutter to take out the lens and clean it. She put her vegetable bag by her side. A family of bandicoots (the largest rats in the world), ranging from 8" to 15" in size quickly emerged from the drain and started eating the vegetables. As she started to put the lens back in her eye she realized what was happening and commenced to do her very best Edvard Munch impression of The Scream. A crowd of bystanders stood in a circle and watched her curiously.
So Sue has been listening and teaching. Rosalie has been absorbing and is becoming a natural at living in Bangalore. Rosalie, who has a talent for interior design, created a major controversy in her apartment building when she decided to convert her puja room, into a shoe closet. This is religious sacrilege, and would be akin to converting a cathedral into a whorehouse. The carpenter has been greatly offended, and had told the various Hindu ladies in the apartment complex of Rosalie’s plans. The ladies ganged together and went into full gossiping fury. Rosalie had a clever solution. She learned that it wasn’t important what religion she had as long as she had some religion. So Rosalie became a born-again Christian. She went and got some bibles from the used bookstores, and had the carpenter build shelves made from highly polished Burmese teak. Then she went and invited all the women to tea, explained that she was Christian, and invited them to view her new Christian Bible shrine. Having successfully removed the auntie’s indignances, she then had a door put on the shrine.
* Bangalore actually gets its name from a food though - boiled beans. Legend has it that a 10th century ruler, lost hunting in the forest came across the plateau that is Bangalore, and was given a meal of simple boiled beans (benda kalu) from a kind old woman in a cottage. As time went on a village, BendaKalaru was formed. Eventually the name was contracted to Bangaluru.
** Puja means to worship, honor, or pay homage. A puja room is a small room big enough for about two or three people, where the family gods are worshipped. It is considered the holiest and most sacred space in the house.