Posted in Bengaluru, Me, Writing

3:45 PM Tea Time

I have been wanting to write this for weeks. Here it is, finally.

After the first week of classes in Rajajinagar (some 15 kilometers away from home) I’d found my routine and rhythm. I leave my house at 2:45 PM sharp (a few minutes early couldn’t hurt), walk to the Metro train station some half a kilometer from my home, take the 2:57 PM train, get off at Mahakavi Kuvempu Road at around 3:30 PM, walk out of the station, take a left, and the first right. Straight up that road, on the last right, in the corner was a normal chats center and a dosa camp. They didn’t look like anything special. You can see them all over the city. But something did catch my eye, otherwise, I wouldn’t have been writing.

By the end of that first week, I’d found side roads and less crowded roads with better footpaths to walk on. That’s when I’d found this place. The words “flavoured tea” caught my eye. I’d been experimenting tea for a while now. Sometimes I like black tea with a huge squeeze of half a lemon and honey. Sometimes, I like the tea that I make with cinnamon, sometimes elaichi. But I like tea, and most times, I don’t even drink it. I prefer coffee over it because there is something about filtered coffee that can never be replaced.

So, when I found this flavoured tea stall, I was, naturally, intrigued. They had a list of flavours, and that day, I decided to drink all of them. Because once you try one, you had to know how the others tasted, right?

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I came back the next day. I took off my headphones while I was approaching the place, and was mentally deciding what to try. I wanted to try rose. That was decided.

Walking up to the man standing at the counter (which is really the Kwality Wall’s dabba), I smiled my small smile reserved for first encounters and asked for the flavoured tea. The man was about Pappa’s age, and he asked me what kind of tea I wanted. I said I wanted the rose one, and he asked the boy making tea at the stall. To my disappointment, it was over, and the man said he had ordered some, and they haven’t come yet. So, I had to pick another one. Which to choose?

Chocolate was, is, and will always be my first option, but I didn’t feel like it. I decided to go with mango flavour because honestly, that sounded a little revolting. The guy began preparing the tea, while the man at the counter and I began the small talk. I hate small talk, but we soon evolved from there because I was getting comfortable there. The mango tea was excellent, and after I was done, I was smiling really huge and I left for class. I had 15 minutes to walk, so I walked in my normal speed, and still got there before the teacher.

I didn’t have the class that entire week. So for the next two weeks after, I went there almost every day. And I am proud to say that I’ve tried almost all the flavours on that menu. Mango and chocolate flavours were really good, and my personal favourite was orange. I had it twice. Bourbon and peach and mixed fruit (not on the menu) were pretty okay. What I disliked most was strawberry. If I thought mango flavoured tea sounded revolting, strawberry flavoured tea was actually revolting. Never again.

That man had also told me about the famous “Dahi Puri” and “Pav Bhaji” that they serve there. I could never have it because I didn’t go back the same way I came. On the last day of class at Rajajinagar (class in Jayanagar was going to start soon), I went there after class that evening and ate the dahi puri. It filled my stomach so much that I could barely walk to the metro station. But it was indeed one of the finest dahi puri I’ve ever had. I have yet to eat the Pav Bhaji, but I will, one of these days.

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The puris were filled to the maximum capacity with potatoes, and so much more, and there were two layers of the green, spicy chutney and the sweet tamarind-and-jaggery sauce. It was like an explosion of flavours in my mouth, even if I had to cut the puris in half just so I could fit them in my mouth. I also loved the fact that they julienned carrots and beetroots (which is personally don’t like) and they actually added flavour.

Will definitely go back to eat the pav bhaji. Here is the link for the whereabouts of the place.

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Posted in Bengaluru, Environmental Rant, Me

The rain and the unpredictable people

It was the night Lord Krishna was born. By tradition and belief, it was said that night had to rain. In the legends, it rained so hard that it almost flooded.

That was in Mathura.

In Bengaluru, it also rained. It also flooded. The only difference was that no babies were born in the Parappana Agrahara jail. Or so I hope.

 

Since Monday, it has been raining almost everyday. It rained all through the night on Monday, leaving Tuesday morning, Independence day, a very bleak and gloomy and cloudy day. It rained so hard that night, that half of Bengaluru was submerged. Water flooded in houses;  roads disappeared and commuters stood knee-deep in scum and rain water. The weather got really cool; one might argue that it is tending towards cold, but the people haven’t shut up about how the water has flooded into their homes and destroyed it all.

And where were their houses? Lake beds and storm water drains. So who’s really at fault here?

The weather has gotten so nice that you can’t get out of the house with a scarf and a light sweater if you’re walking. I took the Metro train to the GPO on Saturday afternoon, and the clouds over my area looked so amazing.

Bengaluru people are a funny lot. They are as unpredictable as the weather in the city, and the people change from road to road, area to area, just like the weather. If it’s raining, part of the city is enjoying, sitting inside their homes and sipping hot coffees and eating hot hot bajjis; another part of the road is cussing the rains gods in a variety of slangs from various languages across the country. If you’re at the office, you’ll look worriedly out the glass wall and think that you’re going to get home no earlier than 9 in the night.

Picture credits to my best friend Divya!

I really had fun writing this rant.

Posted in Bengaluru, Me

Discovering Bengaluru

When we were given the task of reading the Bangalore Wikipedia page and making a note of all the things that I didn’t know about Bangalore, I laughed, thinking that there wouldn’t be much that I won’t know about my city, but the Wiki page laughed at me while I was reading because so many things were new! Here is a list of all things that I found were profoundly shocking:

  1. Bangalore receives 800 Million litres of water, A DAY
  2. It ranks fourth in terms of GDP in the country. Now I know what those IT people sitting in A/C offices and riding in A/C cars do all day long, besides adding to the pollution.
  3. The number of Vehicles being registered in RTOs daily is 1250.
  4. Bengaluru is India’s most vegan friendly city by PeTA.
  5. There is an organisation called BEES- Battelle Environmental Evaluation System, for which, if still active, I would like to work.

I tried reading the History section, but it just went all over my head. History is better when you hear it from else, making jokes and adding personal experiences to it, rather than just reading it off somewhere.

Posted in Bengaluru, Books, Me, Writing

First June

This is the first June that I’ve not spent groaning to get up early to get to classes on time. It is the first June where I’m not worried about the evening rain and walking back in that horrendous road to the bus stop. This is the first June where I’m sitting at home and enjoying myself, reading and helping out in my family.

And this period will probably end this week.

This was the first June where I’ve been so emotional. I was just reading things that made me feel overwhelmed and inconsolable and I just sobbed through the night. My new refuge? Colleen Hoover. Even though her books aren’t any happier or on the more positive side, I feel safe reading them, because I know they got a happy ending.

This is the first June that I have written so less. I’ve blogged so less and my poetry has almost come to halt. I should get back up to writing poetry before I completely lose hang of it. I miss it so much.

This is the first June where I run out to the balcony every time I hear rain and smell the fresh tar and petrichor.

This is the first June where I’ll be travelling in the Metro Train from my house! It opens tomorrow and I am so excited for it!

This is the first June where I’ve started painting on canvas. They’re not the greatest masterpieces, but I’ve loved every moment of them. I should get to ordering more canvas.

This is the first June where I’ve struggled to fit all my books in the shelves I can accommodate in my room. Such a sad reality.

 

 

Posted in Bengaluru, Movies

Shower

Shower is this superb Chinese movie that is just so, so, so simply well put together that it’ll movie you to tears. And you’ll want to rush to the toilet to pee.

It starts off by a man bathing in an automatic shower stall. Then the whole movie revolves around a traditional Chinese showering stall. This showering/bathing place is owned by an old man and his mentally challenged son looking after it. The old man’s older son works in a city firm and lives with his wife. He comes running to rural Beijing (where his father and brother live) when his brother sends a postcard and thought that his father was dead and he ends up looking after the showering place for a while.

This has no fixed plot line. You can’t have a one-line story to it. This movie a riot of emotions: we laughed till tears streamed out of our eyes; we cried in the end and a few times in between; we went ‘awww’; we went mad. It was such an adorable movie that we couldn’t take our eyes off of it at all! It had family emotions, admiration for a talent, simple, exceptional, belly hurting humour.

Coming to the main focus of watching movies in class, the city has been portrayed in a very straight-forward way. When the whole area of their living was going to be demolished, it sounded very much like the scenario that we see in our country. Development replacing culture and tradition has been accepted by default.

The first scene of the automatic shower stall and the traditional bathing place shows a stark contrast in life. In the shower stall, you just go there, put some coins into the machine, bathe and come out and be on your way. But in the bathing place, it’s like a little community on its own. Most of them are old men, who’ve retired and come to spend some time with their friends. Sometimes, children are also seen. And here, we don’t see anyone paying the man. Not once throughout the movie.

It was a delightful watch.

There is nothing that I can do to this review to show all my love for this movie.

Posted in Bengaluru, Me, Movies, Uncategorized

Whatever Works

This is movie #1 that we watches in the Bangalore Special Course. The aim of watching these movies is to try and understand the concept of the city in a metaphorical sense.

Whatever Works is a Woody Allen movie set in New York. It is about a man named Boris, who’s into his late 70’s and talks about his life in New York and one day, BOOM! There’s a girl underneath his house stairs and his life changes drastically.

Boris is a physicist and has been divorced for quite some time now. He has high intellect and when Melodie, the 21-year-old-girl who’s really simple minded  lands up on Boris’s couch, he can’t take in her stupidity. After a while, he marries her. And then a whole lot of things happen and what I’m really interested in is the showcasing of the city in the movie.

NYC is kind of similar to Bangalore, in terms of richness of culture and the vast variety of people. It is a lot more cleaner than Bangalore but has lesser green coverage, from what I could see. It had world famous landmarks, like the Statue Of Liberty, which is one of the most distinguished characters of the city. All the big bill-boards and lights and the tiny cafe`s and the people all remind me of Bangalore. There’s just so much to explore in both the cities that living there for one lifetime is nearly not enough!

When we look at the finer details of the culture or the people, only then do we actually realise how different each city is. Bangalore has multi-lingual people and so does NYC but the languages spoken are 90% different from each other. So is the dressing, the transport, the food, the behaviour of the people and the city itself. And to mention the coastline.

This movie was an amazingly entertaining one. It had little adult concepts but, really, does it matter? It was funny in a satirical manner. Every single dialogue Boris speaks, every single action he performs—be it washing his hands for as long as it takes for him to sing “Happy Birthday” twice, or his peculiar manner of being honest on the face and and not ever be bothered by it—has a purpose. Every time he “performs”, it looks like it’s going to make to laugh till tears stream out of your eyes.

It is a must watch movie for high entertaining purposes!

I don’t think I want to change this in any way. I wrote this in 2015, and even though my writing has changed drastically, I don’t think I will change anything.

Posted in Bengaluru, Me

Goodbye, to my Bengaluru blog

I just deleted my Bengaluru blog.

I created this new blog just for Bengaluru and I’d named it, “Bangalore Through My Eyes”. It was for the English special course that I was taking, and it remained inactive for almost a year! I couldn’t take it anymore.

I already had this blog to fill it with food and culture and movies and everything in between of the city and that blog seemed a little unnecessary. So, I deleted it. It feels a bit sad, though, but thankfully, I don’t have to keep up with another blog.

I couldn’t bear to push that blog away into oblivion, so I took a few posts out of it (which were decent enough) and I plan to put them up here.

So, the next few posts will most probably be from them, and I will heavily revise it and edit it before I hit publish.

Because, honestly, reading those posts now makes me want to hit myself and say, “You have a brain! Learn to use it!” It is so bad.

Posted in Bengaluru

The Family Masala Dosa

My friends and I had been hooked on this idea to go and eat a family Dosa, which DJ had already eaten. It was such an amazing idea; someone actually thought, “Oh, we’ll make a BIG dosa, and make lots of people eat it together!” It brings together a lot of people and it is one of those rare days where I’ve had so much fun in final year of college.

This was probably one of the last lunches we will ever have as a class, but I’ll not think too much about it, or I will cry.

Everyday, for the past two weeks or so, one of us has always kept saying, “Let’s go eat family dosa!” and the plan always has failed because of dissertation work and whatnot. Finally free from dissertation work and with just one last (lame) practical exam to go, we decided to go.

Finally.

This seemed like magic. The place was called RK Dosa Camp, in Wilson Garden, and it took us a while to figure out where it was before realizing it was right behind the Shantinagar TTMC. One family dosa costed us 200 INR. Totally worth it.

The place was small. The dosa tava was kept just outside the place. This family dosa was three HUGE masala dosas merged together into one.

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After we ordered it, we went by the man who was making this dosa and we all watched with fascination as this huge dosa came to life. A mesmerizing sight.

Even with an (un)healthy dose of butter and ghee in the dosa itself, we got a cup of butter on the side along with the regular Aloo palya, sambar and chutney. The specialty here was a tomato chutney that was to die for. It was sweet, spicy and sour, all in one.

This was bonding and I’d missed it.

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Empty plates but still hogging up the sambar and palya. 

Picture credits to Smriti and Nairika!

Posted in Bengaluru, Writing

The First Rain of Bengaluru

Today morning, as I opened the balcony door to dry my towel at 7:45, I did a double take at the weather. It was cloudy, but humid, like one would expect it to be during the months of June and July, when the monsoon hasn’t completely set in…and the summer hasn’t completely gone off.

This was predicted. One of the days this week was going to see rain, and the glorious Monday was chosen. After a useless and tiring day, this is exactly what I needed.

I actually didn’t believe that it was going to rain. Bengaluru is so full of false promises that I stopped believing in the forecasts. When the forecast says cloudy, I know that the Sun is going make use of all the day time and tune up his brightness to the maximum (so that the plants get more sunlight for photosynthesis and provide you with energy, says Sunny). Bengaluru is a sadist like that.

In the late evening, I stepped outside my house to buy some envelopes. I stood outside the shop, skipping the three steps like I was a child again, and let the cool and humid wind take my thoughts away as far as it can wander. The sky was cloudy; the only way to tell is by looking at the sky and deciphering the colour of it. If it is a clear night, the sky will look dark blue, like the blue one could get lost in. And maybe, a few wisps of silvery-grey clouds here and there. If it has any signs of rain, the sky looks like a mixture of purple-pink-orange-red in wild proportions. That colour is hard to get on paper.

I watched the first rain of Bengaluru as it washed away the dust on our car, and until the ground was no longer dotted with wetness.

Picture credits to my best girl friend, Divya!

Posted in Bengaluru, Bus diaries, Me

A free ticket

It has been a while since I blogged on this blog. I seem to giving my other project more attention, but don’t worry, Mommy is back.

Today was the second last of my mid semester exams, and Sam and I left the hall 50 minutes of the 90 minutes after the test began. It was that kind of a paper. She and I left college and started walking the long, monotonous route towards the bus stop.

Yesterday, I decided to go to the GPO (General Post Office) on Saturday as Akka I was running out of postcards (Well, they just got a little boring). But Amma made a suggestion: why not try the Cauvery Emporium? After all, the postcards we bought from Park Lane in Mysore were pretty brilliant…

So, I caught the first available bus to Jayanagar 4th block, and to think it was a “13”, a bus which stops a kilometer away from home. It was 10 in the morning; half the showrooms were not even open yet, so obviously, the bus was sparsely populated. The nearest seat was in the second row and I sat down, rummaging for my wallet to buy a ticket.

As we were entering the Shantinagar TTMC (fancy abbreviation for a bus stand) when I hand him the money and tell my destination.I realize I gave him one rupee less, so I take out my wallet and hand him the last one rupee. He asks me, “For whom?”

I reply. “Me only.”

“Don’t you have your pass?”

“I should get it done for this year.”

With that, he hands me back my money, prints a ticket, gives it to me and walks away. I try forcing the money to him, but he doesn’t budge.

He bows to me as I was stepping of the bus; I give him my biggest smile possible.

Not sure what just happened, but it was nice.