December 18, 2010

Some politeness please!

I know most marketing calls are pesky. And the ones that sound too good to be true almost always have a catch in the end. And the calls mostly come during an office meeting, or when you are doing something worthwhile or waiting for another important call to come in.
Much as i want to scream at the person on the other side for disturbing, i also realize that at the end of the day, it is their job! And a bad one at that in which they often hear a mouthful from the people they call. So if it is something that is of no concern to me, then i directly tell them before they start off their well practiced lines, that i am not interested, thank you. Or else, if it is some offer that i want to hear about, i hear it out, weigh the options and then end up telling them again that i am not interested, thank you for the information.
Of late, it has so happened, that as soon as i say, No ( and before i can say Not interested, thank you!) the person calling just bangs the phone at the opposite end. It is one thing to disconnect the call on a mobile phone. But banging a landline phone has a totally different effect. Makes me want to reach out at the other end and give the person a piece of mind about politeness. I agree i was not interested in the offer, but the least they can do is be civil and let me complete my statement or at least say an "Ok" after i say No. Don't they get taught these things at their training programs? And is graciousness reserved only for people who accept the stuff they have on offer? Is it too much on my part to expect politeness from them? I think not, because i don't go about hanging up on people like that. Maybe they have a pile of frustration from a deadline or after someone shouts at them for disturbing. But letting that show through in the next call is not done. They knew what they were getting into when they took up the job! One person's rudeness does not imply that the next person they call will also be rude. The next time someone slams the phone, I am going to try calling back the number and say thanks and tell them a thing or two about telephone etiquette.

November 28, 2010

Arguments with self

I took a deep breath and tried to tell myself- OK, it is time to change. I look at a paler version of my previous self in the mirror and contemplate on what I have been doing in life! Is it that tough to start over? I think yes. For one, I am not like all the others who have the guts to do it. No, come to think of it, it doesn’t exactly need guts. But whatever it needs, I do not think I possess it right now. Two, I think of the sacrifice that would go into it and decide to give the thought up.

At the back of the mind, there is a point three also coming up. However, it does not support my current argument but speaks the contrary instead. The inner me ( lol for this one, the inner me :P ) tells me- Sweetie, how can you forget the past? How can you forget how it brought a whiff of freshness in your life and a step in your stride?

Well, I want to forget it! They were wonderful times full of happiness but my priorities are different right now. I have other things to think about and worries to sleep over. They definitely would not allow me to take the plunge and bring back a part of the past in my life right now.

But again, doesn’t everyone have problems? Isn’t life all about taking a chance?

But is taking that chance advisable if it comes in the way of my dreams? Tell me, is it right to sacrifice my dreams for something that “might” be helpful for me? I don’t really agree!

Good sense prevails. Dreams trump over whiff of freshness. I have decided. I am going to sleep for that extra half an hour. Its winter, come on, itna to banta hai! Waking up early and walking jaaye bhaad mein!

November 24, 2010

Water woes

I stay in an area that is not a BDA layout. Result : No Cauvery water. For someone used to Cauvery water in Mysore, it came as a surprise initially. Am actually thankful to the apartment owner who gets the sump filled from a tanker so that we have uninterrupted water supply. But the water has a weird taste. And we end up buying big cans of packaged water for drinking and cooking.

But what about the scores of people who cannot afford packaged water for consumption? Let alone potable water, there are people waking up at ungodly hours to simply fill up water for their daily requirements. This is because they get water supply for a measly one hour a day. Furthermore, there are areas that do not get any water at all. Bangalore apparently needs 2000 million liters of water per day( MLD) but is supplied with only 900 MLD. Of which 40% is stolen or lost or goes waste! End result: there are taps running dry everywhere, there are people who do not get enough water or end up with water that is unsafe!

When I travel towards Bangalore it is painful to see mounds of plastic in the outskirts of the town and little kids playing in the filth, and animals feeding on it. This kind of plastic ultimately clogs our rivers and drains. Just imagine, the water polluted from this kind of waste is what ends up in our taps!
The least we can all do is reduce the usage of plastic, carry our own bags everywhere while shopping. And more importantly, realize the value of water that we get. BWSSB gives a set of directives for water conservation. They are simple steps which if followed can help in saving a lot of water. Rainwater Harvesting has been made mandatory for all the houses with area more than 2400 square feet. And in case you see water wastage while travelling in the city, make that call and lodge a complaint. They apparently have a 24 hour hotline at 22238888 which can be contacted or simpler still, an email can be sent to
We pride ourselves in being the current generation and have big dreams that we chase. But besides all that, we also have some social responsibilities. Water is among the most basic of our requirements- it is the elixir of life. Being a part of the lot that has access to phones and the internet and are constantly traveling around the city, we can do our bit in reporting leakage or wastage of water. We ourselves can make a conscious effort in closing a leaking tap or reducing the usage of water or recycling it. The water that you save might just help quench someone else's thirst!

November 4, 2010

In search of that perfect brew!

I am a self confessed chai lover. Somehow, coffee has never been my thing. As a result, I have found it difficult to participate in conversations where coffee, its kinds, addiction are all discussed. Cafe visits invariably result in selection of some chocolate based beverage that simply adds to the calorie count of the day!
During the four years at college, I have seen people catch up over chota tea at the milk parlor. I don't think i have heard of chota coffee :P. Don't get me wrong. I have nothing against coffee. Just haven't acquired the taste to appreciate it. Also, why should a lot only happen over a cup of coffee? Why not over a cup of tea? I am sure there are friendships, relationships that have been cemented over long drawn discussions over tea. I am also secretly hoping to find someone who is a chai ka shaukeen, who can appreciate a cup of well made ginger tea and sit and talk nineteen to the dozen with me over chai!

So well, now, the purpose of this post.
1. Been ages since i wrote something!
2. For lack of a better topic to write about.
3. Festive season. Am at home for a week. Have been making tea for myself at 10 am and 3 pm everyday- the time at which i have a break in the office! Pity is, there is no actual tea there. Only the tea bags which is not the real stuff. Have to travel three floors to get to the cafeteria for a nice cup of ginger tea. But he makes it very sweet! And drinking tea all by oneself is also not fun. So i resort to drinking boost when in office! Now you know the secret of my energy :P
4. I really want to know how many people i know out there consume tea, know to make a cup of tea and how they make it!

Here is my method. To make two cups of tea( Tea always turns out better when i make two cups!)

I boil a glass of water. Add to it two teaspoons( again, ever heard of coffee spoon?) of tea power ( i use a mix of taj mahal and red label natural care). Some crushed ginger and peppercorns. Allow it to boil. Simmer and add a glass of milk. Let the tea brew and then strain it into cups and add sugar to taste. I prefer one spoon a cup.
Then sit back, munch into some biscuits, unwind with a book and the cup of chai in hand. I am currently reading Elizabeth Gilbert's Eat, Pray, Love- how she discovered life through her travels. Isnt that what everybody wants to do in life!!!

Coming back to tea, I am sure there are other things that can be added to it apart from the obvious ginger and pepper to spice it up- honey, cinnamon, cardamom and clove. Anything else you can think of?
There are other methods of making tea too- adding all ingredients at once and let them all boil together or make a decoction separately and adding milk to it. Do you make it any differently? And which brand of tea powder do you think is the best?
Do you even drink tea at all or have you all shifted inclination towards coffee? Let me know!
I'd be glad to try making my tea in different ways and discover the best way to make tea.
I also have a variety of flavors of green/black tea that i advocate to people- jasmine, peach, cherry, citrus. Will write about them some other time! Currently i am in the drinking a kadak cup of adrak ki chai phase as i usher in the festival! Happy Diwali!

August 25, 2010

Random ramblings

Four days at home. And i have had a smile on face pasted almost all through. I thought, why not just make a list of some of the random things that made me smile friday through today. Here goes:

1. This had to be number 1- the very fact that it was a long weekend.

2. Dishing up stuff for dad when Amma was away for a day. He couldn't stop raving about how much my culinary skills have improved.

3. A friend who left for the US a week ago sends me a picture of hers and asks me if she has lost weight from the last time we met! :P

4. Chatting with a friend and losing track of the time and wrapping it up when i heard birds chirping outside my window and realized it was about time for the rest of the world to wake up!

5. Getting caught by Police maama and the always and forever helmet wearing me trying in vain to explain that i had just washed my hair and hence no helmet. As an afterthought, the explanation wasn't necessary at all! Like the cop cared!

6. The fact that the early morning 4.30 express today to Bangalore was filled with techies- complete with the company T-Shirt, jacket, laptop bag and wednesday morning blues!

7. Waking up to the rain splashing on my window in the same train.

8. Sitting in the volvo, looking at the rain and falling asleep!

9. Coming to office in kinda high spirits to find an array of Onam sweets that my team mate has got! Guilt free eating day today! :)

August 19, 2010

I miss home!

For someone who travels home to family every weekend, this isn't the appropriate thing to say, but i truly miss home today! I dunno if this feeling is amplified due to the fact that i did not go to Mysore last weekend ( I went on a trip to Munnar, yay! Please feel free to be jealous :P ) but it sure is there and there is nothing i can do about it till Friday!
In this one year at Bangalore, i have come to call my apartment my home. I get a happy feeling when i am back here after an exhausting trip, have my favorite corner marked out where i sit and do my reading and spend hours with the laptop. Time is invested in doing up the place, in keeping it tidy and the works. On the whole, perfect home ka material. But try what you may, you surely cannot find the most important thing that makes it a home- Amma! I wasn't always too much of a "missing Amma" cribber simply because i meet her every week and monday morning to friday evening isn't too much of a time to start missing someone!
But having said that, one most important thing i have come to realise is that at the end of the day, the only person in the world who is going to selflessly do things for you would be her! I value her more than ever now for it and intend to tell her that first thing in the morning!
And putting an end to my woes is the fact that this weekend is a LONG weekend! Four days at home- bliss like no other! Even Munnar would pale in comparison :)

August 3, 2010

My forty winks

In Irrawati, at half past one
Premise :lunch just done

Settled in for a program introduction,
albeit with an uneasy sensation
When the TL kick started his presentation,
My mind started going into hibernation

Mind warned: Manager's sitting right here!!
Heart said: Swtich off, what's the fear?

Heart, as usual, conquered the mind
Blissfully in the dreams,myself i find.

Not until my head starts lolling
Do i realise i was sleeping.
Thank god, i do not snore
Else, I'd have been shown the door.

Shook myself up and went for a walk
Got back and did some talk-talk
When nothing helped, i started to write
Lo and behold, a poet has arrived! :P

July 18, 2010


I have always stood for girl-power and independence of women. The independence could be financial, emotional or a simple thing like not being at the mercy of someone to get things done.
Today had a lesson in store for me which taught me otherwise. I was on the way back from my regular visit to Sapna Book store to check out the latest books and magazines. At a signal, my Activa, which contributes a big deal to my "independent" feeling, stopped right in the middle of the road! No amount of trying would get the self start to work! After some incessant honking and swearing from people behind me, i realized i was in their way. Forgetting the imminent worry at hand, i pushed the vehicle to a side. One of the things i cannot do is heave the 100 kilo vehicle to put it on the center stand. So kicking it up to get it started was out of question!
Tried to kick it without the stand on. When my attempts went futile, i gave the vehicle itself a kick or two and swore! It would have started off had it had some feelings! I have never treated it that badly! I thought i was doomed for the day, with nobody around to ask for help also.
That is when a good Samaritan, who worked at the petrol bunk near the place i was stranded, gave me a hand. After multiple kicks the vehicle revved back to life! Ah, the sound of the engine in full force! It was music to my ears then and put an end to my worries! The "tumba thanks ri" that i told him was definitely not enough to sum up the gratitude i was feeling towards him today.
It was good Karma at work or what i dunno! The person was godsend for me today.
And that i when i also realized that it is not possible to do everything by yourself. There might be girls out there capable at managing their vehicles by themselves. Please take a bow! I am not there yet! And i do have to depend on someone for it! So until i learn to do that, i will tone down the "i don't need anybody's help around" statements! :)

P.S. My vehicle is apparently due for a battery change. Poor thing, not its fault. Has not given hand in these four years. So next week, it will be all fit and i will be back on it humming baadal pe paon hai!
P.PS. On a totally unrelated note, at this point, i can't help but think of the people out there who go vroom vroom on their "bikes"! I have the feeling that you'll think how the Activa pales in comparison to your vehicles. Go ahead and amuse yourselves. I love my vehicle, say what you!

July 8, 2010

What's your Rashee?

I don't remember how this started off but i spent a good amount of time yesterday, along with my two friends at home, reading through characteristics of our own sun signs, characteristics of people(ahem..,read men ;)) of other sun signs, love compatibility and so on. I know it sounds really dumb but let me tell you, it is an awesome way to pass time.
It first started off with our own signs, nodding our heads in agreement to most of the things that were said there, laughing out loud at certain things, trying to relate to the quirks and traits listed under our respective sun signs.
That is when we realized that we could even check which sun sign was most compatible to ours. To our dismay, each of us got just two or three signs that were compatible out of the whole lot! Narrows down the options so much more if you believe in all of it! There were admonitory statements like "This is a doubtful connection" and "Friendship may be the best idea here." :P. What a laugh i have had when i read the latter statement! Adding to the bliss was the fact that I had one extra compatible sun sign compared to my friends' ;) How lucky, no? :P

To get a picture of what i am saying, you should read Linda Goodman's analysis of sun signs in a detailed manner- How to recognise an aries person, the aries man, the aries woman, the aries boss, child and so on for all sun signs. I remember reading it in college but revisiting it was nothing less than a re-revelation to me. It was but natural for me to start analyzing the people around me based on what was written under their sun sign. If you find it interesting, sit down and read through the whole thing. Then spend some time dwelling on it, you might even start thinking that all that is said in the book is true. Maybe, studying people on the basis of their sun sign will turn out to be a fun activity to pass your time at college or work.
But the flip side to believing in it would be that, like me, all of you will be left with too many fingers on a hand to count the signs compatible to yours. You may get cursed by your room mate that your future husband should turn out to be of a sign most incompatible with yours. And you will be guarded against giving your heart to someone who is of a dissonant sign( i know idu swalpa over aaithu ;)). But again, to be very sure, I won't miss asking the charming guy who comes along- What's your Rashee? first. After i have asked that, i might as well ask, What's your Gotra? And then only comes the cup of coffee ;)

June 18, 2010

Mango Mood

I have always been fascinated about writing about food or a raw material. There is this guy called Vikram Doctor who writes about food on ET and i am a regular reader of most of his vegetarian (:P) posts. Looking outside my train window now, i see water droplets from the slight drizzle. I realize that the the summer season is almost drawing to a close. And along with it the mango season. Hence my post as a tribute to the queen (i like it that way! ) of fruits- MANGO.
In my two odd decades of existence in the world, I have not come across one person who doesn't like mangoes. The adults go nuts about the fruit as much as the kids do. This is perhaps because it is the fruit that we used to eat during summer vacations, most probably at the native place where grandma would let you eat some more despite the strict warning from mother.

The whole color, texture and taste of the fruit are out of the world. Sometimes, a whiff of the fruit when you pass through the fruit stalls itself is sufficient to make you lust after it. The round and perfect Alphonso mangoes may be expensive, but a box of those would be the best gift to give anybody, any day. If you do not want to spend that kind of money on fruit, you can settle for the Mallika, Banganapalli or the Sinduri mangoes. If you like the tangy raw fruit, then the totapuri must be on your list of must-haves’. With a smattering of salt and chilly, it is an ideal snack to munch on. And how can I forget the Raspuri mangoes meant for milk shake or juice? The yellow colored drink may not be the perfect way to beat the heat but is definitely perfect for your taste buds. Forget your daily calorie count for a day and try the aamras and poori combination. It will be dil maange more after that.
People in Bangalore must visit Lalbagh to get a glimpse of the multifarious varieties of the fruit during the Mango Mela. It’s hard for me to imagine how people don't go crazy at the sight of so many mangoes! And repeating the advice i have heard over the years- after you’ve ODed on the mangoes, drink up a cup of milk to counter the heat it causes.
The season might have almost come and gone in a flash, but there is still the ubiquitous mango pickle to keep company for longer. Tender mango in brine, avakai, shredded mango, cut mango, a sweet version- there are probably umpteen lip-smacking variations in pickles. For those with a sweeter tooth, there is the mango pulp preserve also. Keep it all through the year and savor mangoes until the next season arrives. If you are a candy person, you will recollect days at school when mango bite, mango mood, kachcha aam candies were a big hit. They still are. As a bonus for the kids, there is also the mango ice cream in almost all popular brands.
If you still want to get the asli mango ka maza, then there is the Slice or Maaza option, supposedly. It might look tempting after seeing one Ms.Kaif drinking it on TV, but it’s still not the real thing. So until next year's season, I'll settle for eating other fruits which simply pale in comparison to the Mango. And also secretly hope that the seed/stone that i planted, of the yummiest mango from this summer, goes on to grow into a BIG tree which will give equally tasty fruits. That’s the stuff my recent dreams are made of!

June 14, 2010

Mysore matinee

I stumbled upon the collection of my tickets from some of the movies that i watched during engineering college. Looks like Srinagaraja was my favorite hangout :P Now ask me to go there and i will give a shudder and refuse.

Woodlands, Sterling, Srinagaraja, Rajkamal used to be the places to go to after bunking a class. Many times, we'd spot people from other branches waiting in the same queue. The pleasure of grabbing a ticket from the counter after a long wait is something you won't get when you book it online. At 45 rupees, any movie was paisa vasool! Now if i see a 45 rupees ticket, i can only say, those were the days. Makes me feel really old! :(

June 8, 2010

June outing: Pondicherry

Warning: This is a really long post. Dint know what to add, what to leave out. Read it in parts if you want to :)

A trip to Pondicherry will evoke a standard response from most people: yeNNe plans huh?( yeNNe translation for the uninitiated: oil/ alcohol: both are really cheap there :P)
Contrary to popular belief, there are many other things to do in Pondicherry, most importantly- Shopping and eating. A perfect cocktail for an all girls' trip ;)
Seven of us left from Bangalore on friday night by the Yeshwantpur Express. Choose the train if you are looking for a comfortable option to travel. It takes ages to reach Puducherry though- 10 and half hours for a journey that should ideally take about 7 hours.
On alighting the train we realized the autos there do not have a meter and drivers are waiting to take advantage of ignorant travelers. It is better if you carry a map or have a fair idea of the distance you'd have to travel. We had already booked a guest house in the heart of the city- Kailash Guest House on Mission road, which was about 3 kms from the station. Using our well utilized bargaining skills, we got the auto wallah to slash the price by half and paid 40 bucks for the ride to guest house.

Breakfast was at Sri Krishna Sweets right opposite the guest house (yes, the Mysorepak people). I thought of sticking to mini idlis so that they are light and easy on the stomach. What i did not foresee was two big dollops of ghee floating on the sambar! With the "trip time mein sab kuch chalta hai" attitude, i gobbled the whole thing. The sambar was spicy and yum. A welcome change after the sweetish sambar served in Karnataka, which also i love. Most hotels there also serve a red chutney along the normal chutney we get to eat here. It just elevates the taste of idlis!
The guest house was a no frills place. The air conditioning was a relief( there i go again with my AC addiction!) since the city is really hot and humid. Once we were ready, we had to look for a way to travel to the places in the list. Auto/ two wheeler were the only options. Since most of them had not got their license along (the ever so thoughtful me had packed it) we resorted to hiring a three wheeler and a two wheeler. Two wheeler comes cheap at 150 per day. The auto guy demanded 500 bucks to show us around. Without another option, we settled for it. Five people piled into the auto and one person as my pillion. My only goal was to keep the auto guy in sight and follow him.
First stop: Auroville, a township some 12 kms from Pondicherry that transcends caste, creed and nationality. There are a couple of boutiques, a meditation place and the matri mandir itself which is a dome like structure. Watched the video about the history of the place and the significance of the Matri mandir. Had a simple lunch comprising chapathis and subji at the cafe there. Drove to Chunnambar backwaters from there. It is about 10 kms from the city.
From the backwaters, it is a half an hour boat trip to the Paradise beach. Ideal time to enjoy the view, reflect about whats happening with your life and taking stock of future plans with the background music from the motor boat and water. There are supposed to be dolphins in the backwaters but we dint spot any.
Once we reached the beach, all of us went crazy at the sight of the waves.We played around there until 4.45 and left for the famed Anglo-French textile factory from there. It was one BIG disappointment. The factory has been shut down and they have a really old stock of fabrics that i would probably bring back for dusting and mopping. The reviews on all the websites about the textiles were so misleading!
Despite the last hiccup, the day was nothing less than a joyride for me. Despite all the warnings from mother dearest about renting the vehicle, i ended up doing it and it was thrilling! Haven't told her about it yet!
Come evening, it was time to hit the roads. We split up and went shopping on the JN Street, MG Road, mission street. Met up for dinner at Hot Breads. The place has some tasty combos for dinner alongside the normal baked stuff like rolls, sandwiches, pizzas and buns. You can also buy some really yummy cakes, cookies and muffins at reasonable prices here. I had a hard time choosing what to buy and what to leave out!

The shops here remain open up until 10.30 in the night. So you can actually shop till you drop here. Around 11, all of us gathered in one of our rooms for a late night snack of the stuff we got from Hot Breads. Plan for next day: Wake up real early to see the sunrise on the Promenade beach.
We forced ourselves awake at 5.30 next morning. All the pictures from that morning have most of us with puffy eyes and sleepy expressions. It was drizzling slightly and i was maha happy for a moment. Then realized that we were going to watch the sunrise and it was cloudy! We walked along the Promenade to see the war memorial, Gandhi statue and some French guy's statue while we waited to get a glimpse of the round red sun. It was 6.45 and bright but no sign of the sun. The 24 hours open board on Le Cafe along the beach came as a savior. We were ravenous and among the first ones to go to the cafe early in the morning. To our dismay, they served only coffee, tea and juice in the morning.

I thought of having at least a cup of good tea before leaving. Ordered the breakfast tea and got raw deal- a cup of milk with a tea bag and sugar cubes. Not at all my idea of a nice cuppa. We went scouting for some other place to eat. Walked along the french quarters and landed at Indian coffee house just beside our guest house. Time for idli- vada again for breakfast.
The plan for the day was to simply explore the french area, do some shopping and eat to the heart's content. On spotting a cycle renting shop near the guest house, we impulsively decided to do our exploration on cycles. I struggled when i mounted mine. Could not balance initially and was looking for the accelerator! But after getting over the starting trouble, it was a breeze, literally too. The weather was good with the wind blowing onto the face;I was reminded of school days riding the ladybird with the basket in the front!
After cycling all along the beach to and fro, we paid a visit to the Manakula Vinayaka temple and get blessings from the elephant there. It nicely collects all the coins in its trunk and throws away the grass you feed it!

The french quarters with the yellow walls, paved perpendicular roads and mansions will transport you into an entirely different world altogether. There are cafes, pizzerias and boutiques all along the roads. Its a visual treat and best explored on foot or cycle. Even real old ajja-ajjis go around cycling there.

The Puducherry museum did not hold our interest for long- it had old coins, artifacts. So we split up and chose to ride around instead. If you ask me what i did the whole day that day, i'd just say cycled and ate. But it was fun - losing sight of another group and calling them up to find where they are, locate the place on the map and meet up with them.
All of us met up for lunch at Le Club.
The place came highly recommended. On reaching there, we were surprised at the prices and lack of options for veggies! Tried garden salad, sizzler and ratatouille. Was not very impressed or satisfied. So off we went to another place to gorge on pizza and mocktails. Soon as we finished, we wanted to just drop into this place called Choco La and check it out. Once there, you are in a world of pure chocolate. I wanted to eat everything that i saw. Despite having eaten to my full, i gobbled chocolate and more of it. The chocolate drink there is thick and you get chocolate cubes and chocolate spoon along with it! It was one sinful detour which ended in most of us becoming chocolate high! Somehow, i was extra happy after consuming all that chocolate. It really does good things for you- Chocolate. Doesnt matter if you eat that kind of chocolate once in while ;). But problem is when you get back chocolate muffins from there and eat them after coming back from office daily! :)

Burnt a few of the accumulated calories by cycling back to the guest house. Returned the cycles, took some rest, changed and set off on foot for another round of shopping. Did not get to do too much shopping. It was decided that we skip dinner and have something light. The something light turned out to be a proper sit down affair at Richie Rich!

After dinner it was time to say goodbye to Puducherry. One happy time i had at this trip. Got enough of sun and sand. The trip "hangover" has remained for two days. The tan will take a while to wear off! Jyo says that she still sees the beach when she closes her eyes. And i want to go cycling, where in Bangalore, i don't know! Will spend this week looking at the load of pics from there, over and over again. Plans for the next trip with the same gang are already on. Watch this space for an account of the next trip!

May 27, 2010

Kuch khaas hai!

Since yesterday, I have been sitting and watching old commercials on youtube. Most of them bring back fond memories. Like the "one black coffee" Ericsson ad. Or the Hamara Bajaj advertisement, the dhara jalebi ad. But what took the cake ( or chocolate ;) was Cadbury's. Two really lovely ads that i had almost forgotten. Jyo and i were watching it together and i immediately had a chocolate craving. The ads were that good. Thankfully, Jyo had not yet exhausted her Cadbury's celebrations hamper and we dug into it!
These ads are so much more better than the pehli tareekh ones that are on air now. Or even the pappu pass ho gaya versions. They are simple, the joy and expressions so real, that you want to smile with the characters. So many gratifying moments captured in one ad! Especially Omung Kumar dropping the chocolate and then blowing and eating it after making sure no one's watching!

The girl dancing like no one's watching on the field and the smile on her boyfriend's face (with the nothing-can-be-done-about-this-female look!) is a treat to watch! Will truly make you want to celebrate the happiest moments of your life with chocolate! Watch the video here.
Watch the ads but with a bar of Dairy milk by your side. Chocolate is truly the ultimate indulgence!

P.S. For some reason, i was not able to upload the second video. Anybody knows if there is a restriction on the number of videos a blog post can have?

May 21, 2010

Kati Patang

I was so excited. Hrithik back on the big screen after two solid years, a very hyped movie, big budget, huge canvas. He was suave in Dhoom 2, composed and regal in Jodhaa Akbar and the guest appearance in Luck by chance left me asking for more. So my expectations from Kites that featured my favoritest actor were very high. The tickets were booked yesterday and i was going with my team in the office hours. On the first day of the release itself! I could not have been any more excited! Though there is a trip this weekend, i thought the movie would be the highlight of the week for me!
First bomb- yesterday night on TV9- that the movie will not be screened on friday due to violation of KFCC norms. It would be melodramatic to say i was shattered, but i was really sad. Today morning was spent trying to contact Fame and finding out if the movie would run. It did run and i heaved a sigh of relief. It would not last long because i then saw the review. Two and half stars. One consolation was that it was from the reviewer who gave Blue 4 stars. Pacified myself that the person is not a good critic.

If you are wondering whether all this build up is needed to give the review of the movie, err, YES, because Second bomb- there is no story to review. I could finish the entire review in one sentence that would make the movie sound bad.
Anyway, let me still do a comprehensive review without going into too much details about the story. The entire story is shown in patches of flashback. Present day Hrithik is the shabby looking guy with the stubble and limp.
First flashback in Vegas. Jai or J as he is called is a money minded guy who marries women to get them green card in return for money. This bit was already out on the net, so i did not leak any story. Since he is the gorgeous dance teacher, there is the foot tapping "Fire" dance number in this part which is the only saving grace. Kangana plays his student who is crazily in love with him. She has a fake accent, isn't too much of a dancer and doesnt get to exhibit her histrionics in a guest appearance.
He decides to pursue her for her money and falls for her would be sis-in-law Barbara Mori, who also, in turn is there for the brother's money. I could not make the hell out of how the two fell in love. A few stolen glances, a back story of how they had met previously and communication without knowing each others language! If only falling in love was so easy!! Anyway, as usual,circumstances force them to elope. The baddies- brother and daddy decide to track them down.
From here start the chase sequences. The duo get lucky all the time, all the police cars heap up one on top of another without so much as a scratch on either of them. There are bullets flying everywhere and these two never get hurt, except for one instance. At every chase, he keeps asking her to jump- into the hot air balloon, the water, another trailer and so on. Jumping is an integral part of the movie!! The chase sequences are repetitive showing the lack of imagination on the part of the scriptwriters. I am actually wondering if there was one. Anybody could have written this story.
And if you want sentiment, you have Hrithik mouthing corny dialogues like "the two of us together, with our love, we can realize our dream. I have magic in my hands, we can work, become rich and live a good life. " Who talks like this in the movies these days?!
So after so much chase and struggle and all, they come close to a happy ending. But again, fate has other things planned for this ill-destined couple.
You come back to the present from here where J seeks revenge and also looks for his lost love. At his point, whatever little inspiration the scriptwriters had is gone and they seemed to be out of options to finish off the bad guys. You begin to wonder if all of this effort and journey across borders was necessary for this kind of agony and pain.
Cut to the ending, ( cause i have nothing else to say about the movie) that was the best part of the movie to me. I did a laughing out loud when the credits started appearing. It was so bad that it seemed funny. I wont spoil it for any of you who wanna go and watch it.
What worked for me:

  • Hrithik- great looks, amazing dance.
  • Barbara Mori- Her childlike bubbling enthusiasm is visible in many scenes. Go watch her for that.
  • Ending- It is, like we say, Superr!! But on a serious note, it is a lame ending. Very dated in approach.

What did not:

  • How the two fell in love. Even if it was love at first sight, how was it so strong that they took on the supposedly most powerful family in Vegas?
  • The editors have gone snip snip on many of the vital scenes. ;) Also, the bad patchwork of scenes is only too visible.
  • Hrithik's accent is very put on.
  • There are no high points or whistle worthy scenes in the movie. Nothing that I'd look at my neighbor for and share a laugh (Of course, its another thing that my manager had occupied my neighboring seat! )
  • Hrithik's talent has been wasted. He has a fixed number of expressions that he gives over and over again.
  • Am taking back nothing from the theater- no memorable scene, no great song. There were no thrills and their chemistry was thanda. Even the high on adrenalin running away scenes were predictable. No gripping, taking you-to-edge-of-seat material.
  • Where are the kites in the movie? There are hot air balloons only. And even if you say that kites is a metaphor for the leads who keep getting separated and meet again, its still doesn't justify naming the movie as Kites!
  • Lastly, why so much hype? The next biggest grosser after 3 idiots? Sorry, NO. This Kite doesn't fly very high.

April 29, 2010

Weekend outing- Hyderabad

This post is coming a couple of weeks late due to paucity of time. And yes, you can go ahead and call me crazy to visit such a hot place in this summer. I badly needed to get away somewhere during the weekend. Considering the blistering heat everywhere, visiting some place for its natural beauty was completely ruled out. So, out of all places on the map, we circled Hyderabad and prepared to go there.
As with all trips, this one also involved extensive planning- where to go, where to eat and shop. Print outs of maps and directions were taken, places to visit were made note of, lists were drawn out for shopping- bangles, clothes, sweets for everyone back here.
Three of us set out from Bangalore by the Yeswanthpur-Kacheguda express on a friday and reached Hyderabad the next day early morning. The first thing that hit me when i stepped out was the hot wind. Despite being early morning, i could feel the heat! People would laugh and say that its because i have gotten very accustomed to the AC, but you should go to Hyderabad and you will know why i am complaining.
Since i had two close friends from PU college staying in Hyderabad, accommodation was not a problem. By about 9.30, all five of us were ready to hit the road for sight seeing.
Breakfast was at this place called Shanbag's in Panjagutta. We stuck to south indian food. I did want to try the famous pesarettu but checked myself cause i was not sure if i could stomach it.
First on our itinerary was the Salar jung museum. Took about two hours to have a quick look at the place. All of us made it in time for the famed clock to chime. But the kind of excitement it generated when i was a kid was not there this time around. It was just about any other clock ringing for me! But i could appreciate the textile designs, artifacts and paintings a lot better. Once we were done marveling at the items on display, we promptly set out for lunch. Lunch was at Kamat. A very simple yet fulfilling thali affair. The ambiance was pleasant, minimalistic and clean, nothing OTT.

Since we rented an air conditioned cab for our tour on both days, we did not feel the heat too much while travelling. At 800 bucks for 8 hours, it is the best option in a hot city like Hyderabad. But we have gulped down endless bottles of water and minute maid lemon during our journey. You can feel the body getting dehydrated when you roam, just like that glucon D ad.
Next up was the Chowmahalla palace. As the name suggests, it comprises 4 palaces. It is privately maintained and has relics and mementos from the times of the Nizam. There is the display of their clothes, furniture, crockery and wine collection. Basically, it gives you a glimpse of their royal lifestyle. The memories from there lives and times are captured in paintings and photographs. One particular queen had a striking resemblance to Madhubala and bore the brunt of the collective envy of all of us girls. Photography was prohibited inside. The entrance, the exteriors and their vintage car collection were the only places that could be photographed.

Charminar is about a kilometer from Chowmahalla. We made it to the top of Charminar just before the closing time. A stroll through the first floor and view from different points of the famous monument was all we could get. Golconda was hazily visible in a distance. The actual hustle-bustle of the old city of Hyderabad can be experienced at this place. You'll be blown away by the number of people flocking the bazaars and the autos that are present in the place. I thrive in crowded areas when on a trip. So i had a blast. The sheer energy that people display when they shop is amazing!

It is really sad that people have spoiled the monument by making those omnipresent X loves Y (inside a heart). There are also the marks from spitting pan. When asked whether the govt will undertake any restoration effort, the guide told us that they would want to preserve the place as a heritage site and would not take it up as of now. I seriously hope they do something about it!
A visit to Charminar is always incomplete without shopping at the chudi bazaar. Bangles of all sizes, colors and materials are available here. Whether you want simple, decent bangles or the really JHAANG, col-color ones, you can find them all here. You need at least half a day to go through all the stalls here and pick up stuff of your choice. Shortage of time ensured that we wrapped it up in 2 hours. But we made sure to get back with a load of bangles for us and friends.

Dinner was at khao galli or eat street on the banks of hussain sagar lake, along necklace road. Food is just about average and overpriced at the various stalls. But you can pay that price for the view and the atmosphere. It is crowded, there is music blasting from the speakers and on the spot contests being conducted.

As if we had not had enough to eat, we paid a visit to Karachi Bakery and bought biscuits for 900 bucks! Just as you approach the bakery, the smell of freshly baked stuff wafts around. Eat the biscuits from there and you know why there are people thronging the place everyday and why nobody buys just one box of those biscuits.

We put a end to a long eventful day with a late night ice cream at Cream Stone Ice cream parlor at Jubilee Hills. It was around 12 in the night when we got back and the moment i hit the bed, i was fast asleep!

Next day morning was busy with calculations of the money spent and who owed how much money to whom. Once we were ready, we had breakfast at Methi's. A buffet spread there had Idlis, vadas, oothappam, sandwich, fruit salad and really cool watermelon juice. At 79 a plate, it was a steal!

The rest of the day was spent on shopping- pearls, clothes, clothes and more clothes. Lunch was at Malgudi in Banjara Hills. By the time i got back in the evening, i was set back by almost 4K!! As if that was not enough, one more pit stop at the famous Pulla Reddy sweets was also on the list. Got the agra petha, soan halwa and the famed paper sweet from there. Then it was a daunting challenge to fit all the newly acquired stuff into the bags that we had. We were already late for the 7.20 train and had to literally run to make it to the station with time to spare.

Overall, it was a fun trip. Weeks of planning went into making sure that we covered all the places that we wanted to in those two days. One grouse is that most of the shopping places did not open until 12 on sunday. Left us with very little time to shop. But still, shop we did ;). As i sat there in the station, surrounded by friends, i was sure i would have had this kind of fun anywhere else also. It is the company that matters the most!
It was back to work on Monday. Again the same drill. So until the next trip, I'll slog it out at work ;).

April 12, 2010

Rain is falling

Only today morning did i read a report in the paper that the temperatures in Bangalore are going above the roof. Sunday apparently recorded a high of 37 degrees. And i was wondering how the hell would i manage at home without the cool temperatures of the workplace that i have so gotten used to!
So when I saw signs of rainfall while getting out of office, i was happy. The rain has literally been playing hide and seek for the past week or so. One is so hopeful that it will rain and the entire day gets spent without so much as cool breeze outside. Everyday, i call my mom and ask her about the weather in Mysore. And she cribs a good deal about it. Once she is done, it is my turn and i do so too. Today she excitedly called around the evening and said it was raining there. I was so hopeful and looked outside to see an overcast sky.
Looks like the rain gods have seen enough sweat on all our brows and have taken the matter into their hands. Its started raining! Ah! The smell of mud when it rains.
Complete with thunder and lightening, it looks like we are in for a rainy night. How wonderful will it be if it rains really heavily and the offices declare that the employees can all work from home that day. Or else there is a flood-like situation at the workplace! I know it is too much for a person with the office in the 10th floor to ask for ;)
Anyway, i hope it continues to rain and the temperatures come down so that we can all venture out without the fear of being burnt down in the scorching heat.
And alongside, i shall also pray that this causes no harm to the mango crop. I would not want to trade eating yummy mangoes all through the summer for anything else!

April 3, 2010

Of Fridays and travel

I travel home from Bangalore almost every weekend. Work gets over around 4.30 and my train to Mysore is at 6.15. Plenty of time, one would think. But not when i work in Whitefield and need to travel as far as Majestic to board the train. And i can't just say leaving early for the day and escape from the office early every friday.
So every friday evening turns out to be a running race of sorts. Run from the office to catch the 335E to Majestic. Then run from the bus stand to the station and then all the way till the first or second compartment in the front to get to my seat.
In case i am taking the 335E, i need to leave early, since it takes a roundabout route and goes through all the office areas in Whitefield and then through the choked Old airport road. So i decided to take an alternate route one weekend. Took a bus from tin factory bound to Majestic. And what road would he end up taking? The old madras road- Ulsoor route. Metro work+ Offices along the route= big traffic jams. Result- I could not catch the train that weekend.
So for the past couple of weeks, i have been coming back by office cab to my place and taking an auto from there to Majestic. Worked out fine till now. The auto guy is pre-warned that the train is at 6.15 and that he needs to rush. Costs me around 90 bucks but they make sure i am there on time.
Last weekend, the auto driver, a frail looking ajja assured me that he could make it to the station with plenty of time to spare. I looked no further and jumped into the auto. As my luck(good or bad?) would have it, there was a big jam near the cantonment road and at the same time the auto's gear wire got cut! Without any other option, i paid the guy, got out and navigated through the jam to find another auto. I just said railway station, like i normally do and sat down. It did not occur to me that i should have said main station, coz the auto fellow started going towards cantonment station. When i said Bangalore station, he refused to go there and asked me to get down. I gave him a bad look but that was all i could do! Another search for an auto ensued and luckily i found one. The guy went zzuii-zzuii and cut across traffic and went through all kinds of short cuts. I kept my eyes shut and kept praying because he was actually driving horribly rashly and i did not want to stop him. He made sure that i reached the station right on time. From there, i ran like i was running for my life. And caught the train successfully.
Every weekend is the same story. I get lectured by the auto people to leave half an hour earlier to escape the weekend traffic. (If only my manager understood that!) And pray on the way every time that i should be able to catch the train. And when i find the train , still on platform 6 when i climb out of the subway, i say a silent thank you to god and rush towards my compartment. All of this effort is worth the smile on my Dad's face when he is in his spot at the Mysore station to pick me up and the joy in my mom's voice when i call her and tell her that i have reached and would be home for dinner in a few minutes. Any outsider seeing this should think i have been gone for ages! ;)

March 23, 2010

Go green!!

The Copenhagen summit, global warming, changing climatic conditions have all been in the news for a while now and we all do the talk talk part about how the environment is going to dumps. And also crib about water shortage, incessant power cuts and rising temperatures. How many of us actually take a step further to inculcate habits into our life that would help our environment? It was when I was watching the NDTV greenathon that I thought harder about it.

Living in a city life Bangalore with matchbox like apartments, it would be too much to ask everyone to plant a tree and bring the greenery back to the city. But there are things that we could do on a daily basis, which if each and every one of us incorporated into our lives would go a long way in saving Mother Nature.

First thing would be to get rid of plastic bags. They clog drains, remain in the soil for a hundred years and harm the environment in every possible way. I use plastic bags in my house only to dispose of garbage. It is a necessary evil. Otherwise, I carry my own bag whenever I go out. Start saying no to plastic bags at your local grocery store and encourage the store owner to sell cloth bags which the customers can reuse for their shopping. Or else, pick up these really trendy bags from jute cottage and turn up hep for that shopping trip. Better still, get yourself a backpack that can hold possibly everything from your shopping trip and keep dumping stuff as you when you buy them into your bag. That’s what I do. I have an array of bags for different purposes.

Try and switch off the lights and fan when you don’t need them. Many a times we tend to leave the lights on despite coming out of a room. Be a little more thoughtful and remember to switch them off.

Learn to recognize the value of the water that runs in your tap. I tell you, you need to go through a day with dry taps to know it. I had the wakeup call when the overhead tank of the apartment I stay in became empty and I had to survive on water stored in buckets for almost a day. Go easy on the taps when you are using the water and maybe even try to reuse the water. Water used to clean veggies can be used to water your plants (if you have any, that is). The water from the last rinse of clothes can be used to give your vehicle that much needed wash.

I am sure that once the metro if functional, most of Bangalore is going to turn to it for transport. Until then, use the available public transport. The bus day is a good concept that the BMTC has started. I am sure that if I had my vehicle in Bangalore, I would be tempted to zip around the city on it. But let’s face the fact- with the kind of traffic and pollution in the city, it is far better to travel by Volvo- sans any tension or worry. You can switch off your mind, listen to music or even catch a few winks on the course of your travel. You also get respite from the scorching heat outside. And to top it, it is one vehicle less on the roads and that much less pollution.

This is what I have made a beginning with. If you include any of these habits or know of anything else that can be done by everyone, be sure to pass them on. It is high time we stopped complaining and took steps by ourselves to contribute to conserve the environment. After all, we do need to make sure that our future generations get to see the beauty and bounty that Mother Nature has to offer. Let it not be something that they would get to see only in the pictures taken from our expensive cameras!

March 8, 2010

Yeh Swayamvar nahin, Shaadi hai :)

So Rahul finally got his Dulhaniya. I was fortunately at home on the day of the finale and it was not something that i would miss at any cost. The very fact that there were 16755 applications( he claimed that in an interview) for the title of Mrs.Mahajan had surprised me. Its one thing to be desperate to hog the limelight for two minutes, but choosing a platform such as the Swayamwar?! God, no! I think it is the girls who made it to the last three but did not get to marry the guy are luckier coz they got the fame and recognition that they needed and did not even have to marry the guy in return! Look what happened to the ganga ke kinaare wala guy from Rakhi's swayamwar. He charmed his way into the hearts of the right people and landed himself a show on NDTV Imgine.
Coming to Rahul's swayamwar, the guy stuck to the predictions and chose the front-runner for the title as his dulhan. He did not even give the kind of build up of hesitation and indecisiveness that Rakhi did on her D-day. The varmala was given to him, he stood in front of the three brides for about a minute and bang!, garlanded the dimply Dimpy. (The girl exudes fakeness throughout! The sharmaana and batting of eyelashes is so filmy. And it seems the fact that they both celebrate their birthdays on the same day is one of the bonds of their friendship! Something as lame as that? Please! ) Headlines today took 5 seconds after the varmala moment to declare it as breaking news.
Also accompanying this news was the fact that Dimpy was under contract with Maureen Wadia of Gladrags that she would not get married for some time. Mrs. Wadia is now planning to sue. Publicity from all sides for Dimpy!
The guy has been in news for drug abuse, is umpteen number of years elder to her, does reality shows, has an irritating laugh and a bad history. I really don't see what the cause of celebration at the girl's household was! But still, celebrate they did. Now that the shaadi is over, I guess it is some respite for other TV channels that were being hit by the TRPs of RDLJ. Whatever Rahul did it for- to clean up his public image or to start afresh, he made sure to grab the eyeballs and airtime of a lot of news channels. These channels will also do follow up on their status from time to time, jobless as they are. I hope the new Mrs. Mahajan gets to stay for a while longer than the old one. :) What would be an anti climax though, would be that she remains Mrs.Mahajan only and does not get to make it big in Bollywood ;)
Also watch out for Rakhi Swayamvar part 2. She will apparently get married in a swayamvar only.

January 31, 2010


When i was moving to Bangalore, the most prized possessions of my luggage were the gas stove, rice cooker and utensils that i had got from home. Apart from shifting base and starting work, the next most exciting thing for me was to set up the kitchen, experiment with cooking and also trying out food at different eat outs.
After being astounded by the prices on the menu in the various restaurants i visited and being not-so-happy about the taste, I have resorted to eating out only once a while when some place is very highly recommended.
These days, whenever my flat mates and i feel like eating something, we generally google the recipe or call back home to find out how it is made and then start work in the kitchen. Since cafeteria food is plain boring, lunch is also cooked and gets packed in the ubiquitous tupperware boxes. Of course, half of our ideas for the lunch box are borrowed from the friend whose mom packs delicious sabjis to go with his chapathis and paratha each day.
With so much cooking happening, the three of us at home end up spending half of our non office hours cooking and exchanging notes in the kitchen, over a steaming pot. Whether it is a full meal or just a cup of adrak ki chai, the pleasure of eating stuff that is a result of one's own effort is simply unmatched(even when it turns out not-so-great sometimes). So we thought we should start a food blog( here we go! Don't we have enough of them already?! Maybe yes, but we need to document our culinary achievements somewhere! ;) ).
Perfecting the art of cooking is a process that takes years. We are just starting off. And as long as i am, i will cook. And as long as cooking happens, i will post. Here is hoping that the blog is a document of our progress as cookers( that's what we like to call ourselves ;) ) And also hoping that the three many cooks don't end up spoiling the broth.

January 26, 2010

Phir Mile Sur? Nah!

I am a big fan of Mile Sur Mera Tumhara. I remember watching it on DD as a kid and singing along with it, making up lyrics in the languages that i did not know. When i heard that it was going to be remade with the current actors, musicians and sportspersons, i was thrilled. This was last week. I have waited one whole week for its Republic Day launch. And in the meantime, i have watched its making on Youtube, told about it to friends, and when they asked if it was going to be on DD again, i said, No. Its on Zoom- isko dekho. ;)So i wake up early today morning to watch it on Zoom. It started off well with A R Rahman and Big B. But yes, like all remakes, as it progressed, it was disappointing. Despite the fresh faces and all the hype, it did not work for me. And this is why:
  • My personal grievance is that Hrithik was not featured in the video.
  • It failed to hold my attention after the first time. My dad asks me halfway through the video- is it a one hour program?
  • Suriya and Vikram should have in the same frame when the Tamizh bit came on. And what happened to Kamal Hassan?
  • Where are the cricketers?
  • The diversity came across very well with the multifarious actors but i failed to see the unity.
  • I could see that people on screen were acting in most parts. The effortlessness on screen that was in the original was missing. It looked like it was more about looking good than being a part of a national integration video.
  • Among the over-actors are Priyanka Chopra, Shahid and Deepika. The leggy Deepika, for God's sake looked like she dropped in directly after shooting for some ad! And you could have given the remix of Bakhuda Tumhi ho as playback for Shahid's part and not known that he was actually crooning mile sur into the mike!

But it also worked for me in bits-

  • Salman Khan with the deaf and mute kids. It was really touching.
  • The bit with Shobhana and Shaimak Davar doing some sort of jugalbandi.
  • Atul and Sonali Kulkarni- they looked real.
  • Amir Khan's taare zameen par inspired part.
  • Sivamani drumming by the lakeside.
  • The last part of the video with the sports persons- that was when i could actually see this feeling of National integration and pride of being Indian on screen. Thats perhaps because they were not acting!

The original had some really memorable parts:

  • The mahout on the elephant during the malayalam playback.
  • Amitabh, Jeetendra and Mithun, arm in arm, singing Mile Sur like they meant it.
  • Shabani Azmi's part. Where do we have actors like her these days?!

The older version, like most people are saying now, is untouchable. It is simple, charming and works because it has real people. This one is more bollywood centric, glamorous and a poorer cousin of the original. It so totally proved that Zoom TV is behind its making! Isko dekho par without any expectation!

PS: Bad day for me. Nadal pulled out of the Australian Open. Was hoping for a Nadal- Federer final!

January 24, 2010

Ooty- Sidewalk Cafe

Ever since i watched the Ooty episode of Highway On My Plate(HOMP), i have wanted to go
there for the sole purpose of eating at the places that were featured on the show.
Last weekend provided the perfect opportunity. It had been two weeks since work resumed after the shutdown and we badly wanted to get away someplace. Ended up rounding up a bunch
of people- friends, friends of friends and off we went to Ooty.

First stop was at Pykara and we stopped at one of the home made chocolate stores to pick up
an assortment of chocolates, tea and essential oils.
A long road trip from Mysore to Ooty and the walk at Pykara got us all hungry and we knew
where to go for brunch- The Sidewalk cafe. However, we could make only by lunch time and we settled down to order some pizzas that they are famous for.

After placing our order for the pizzas and sizzlers we asked their manager if we could take a peek at their famous firewood oven. The genial manager let us into the place where they baked the pizzas and let us all help the chef with the making and baking. And not only that, each of us was allowed to don the chef's hat, turn by turn and we posed away merrily for pictures!

The pizzas came out of the oven nice and hot( They had to.After all, we had helped them make it) and we wolfed down the Sidewalk specialty pizza, a spinach pizza called Popeye
something and a jain pizza. The sizzler had the yummiest and creamiest pasta that i had eaten till date.

The place has some really nice desserts on offer too. Not only that, you can also take your pick at some of their tasty chocolates- run and raisins, walnuts, almonds, cashewnuts and the like.

Sidewalk cafe is a laid back and warm place. I was delighted to see framed, old coca-cola
print advertisements adorning the walls. The baking place is modeled like a bar where you
can sit around on barstools and watch your pizza getting done. Apparently, the place gets really crowded during the evenings. Since we made it slightly early for lunch, we missed the rush. It
allowed us to sit back and enjoy the lunch at leisure. At the end of it, i knew that it was
one more name added to my satisfied-after-eating-here list. Seems the place has become more famous after it was featured on HOMP. I am gonna recommend it to all of you too. Do not miss it if you visit Ooty.

A heavy lunch and then it was time for shopping at Charring Cross- more chocolates,plants and woolens. Eating and shopping- the ultimate indulgence during an outing! :)

So much so,that we forgot that there were other places to cover before we headed back to
Mysore. Somehow wrapped up all the places before sundown and headed back. Spotted elephants on the way, in the bandipur forest, quietly grazing at night.
It was a single day out to Ooty but i got back with my batteries charged. And each time one of the plants from back there flowers, it is going to remind me of the trip and bring a smile on my face.