November 17, 2011

Oh God! The electricity bill!

No worries, you can pay the electricity bill online! I am sure there are many people out there who would have exclaimed the same thing at some point in time or the other. The utility bills normally escape our notice. I do not have it registered on the BESCOM Click to Pay. One fine day, it turns out was the last day to pay the electricity bill. And i had absolutely no patience to run to the nearest Bangalore One outlet. It was at such a situation that the Bangalore One website came to the rescue. All you need is to register. http://www.bangaloreone.gov.in/. Once you login, you can pay a variety of bills online- Electricity, water, cellone, airtel, vodafone postpaid- basically all the facilities one has at the Bangalore One outlet.
One advantage of paying the BESCOM bill payment here is that, you key in your location and RR number as per the bill, the rest of the details that are there in the bill are retrieved by them. That way, you can cross check that you are paying for the right consumer number and go ahead and make the transaction. A nominal fee of 7 rupees is charged. But it is a good trade off for the ease of paying it from home. The receipt reaches your email.

November 3, 2011

Phoenix Market City, Bangalore

The run up to the opening of Phoenix Market City saw them putting up hoardings on the Outer Ring Road and Whitefield Road. The hoardings actually put me off slightly cause they seemed to hint that the place was meant for the elite only. Here is a sample:

There was another memorable one with a chic lady in ultra high heels which said - "Corridors by day, runways by night; Get your glamor quotient right!"
I was apprehensive about going to the mall in my normal non-designer clothing. But then, what the hell! When a mall that claims itself to be Market City has opened at walking distance to my workplace, am I crazy to not check it out?!
So well, G and I went there yesterday after we wrapped up at office. Armed with our laptop bags and lunch bag, we certainly did not seem to emerge from luxury! To top it, it had just rained and the road was covered in slush. Not a pretty start to our evening.
But the facade of Phoenix Market City made up for it. Rain washed clean roads around it, and a mall that seemed to stretch endlessly. It was flanked by bill boards of svelte models endorsing brands that we had only read about but not seen much around.
Soon as we made our way inside, we saw that most of the outlets were yet to open. That meant that there were only few people strolling about the mall. In the center of the ground floor was a guy playing the piano. That is when i realized that i had never seen an actual piano so up close till date!
The mall is not geometric in structure and tends to go on and on in different directions. We really did not go store by store or explore all the places that the mall stretched. However, we did not miss out on much since there were only a few stores open. Zara takes up most of one half of the ground floor. I saw opening soon posters of Mango, Promod, Timberland, California Pizza Kitchen, Pantaloons, Bossini, Avirate and loads of other stores. The place is probably spread over 5 floors. I did not even count the number of floors in the maze of all the escalators.

The place has something called the "open door policy". They say that the doors are not for the customers to open, but will be opened for them. :) True to their words, at most stores, there were people to open doors and assist us graciously. And assistance is probably given to the right measure. Not like the not so friendly staff at many malls at one extreme or the kind that at supermarkets keeps badgering you to buy products to get rid of skin problems (They say it on the face and make you feel that your face needs to be worked on!).

Most other stores were repeats of those that are in Garuda and Mantri. There were stores selling clothes- branded clothes, designer clothes, more clothes and accessories, leather stuff, shoes. I peeped into the Crocs store and saw like a hundred colors of footwear! The food court was serving mostly non vegetarian fare. Rajdhani and Kalmane Koffees were yet to open.

I dunno about purchase, but the mall makes a place where you can do loads of window shopping. The entire market city is sprawling and has plenty of benches and cute colorful seating to rest your heels that are tired after walking the whole area.
After a short break it would be time for the well heeled to indulge in a Tissot or Tag and adorn their manicured hands with a solitaire or two. ;) And then maybe go to the foot spa for a fish therapy. I had to make do with clicking the mural at the entrance of the spa.
Does not mean one cannot shop there at all. But most of the stuff that is not common to the existing malls is all luxury stuff.
Nevertheless, us common janta can do our regular shopping, can always have a scoop of ice cream in Polar Bear and a cuppa and dine in Rajdhani. And make up our minds that some day, some day i will reward myself with that 2.5 L Tag watch. For now, am happy looking at it on the storefront!

P.S.
It has been quite some time since i wrote the above post. those were my first impressions. I must say that I have visited Phoenix many times over since i wrote the post. and its a fab place to while away time. If you get used to this place, most other malls in Bangalore will induce claustrophobia, it is that big and spread out. My verdict - do visit in if you have a whole day to spend and loads of patience to check all the stores. With places like Copper Chimney, Trader's Vic, Noodle Bar, Chilly's opening here, there are plenty of fine dining options. You could go bowling at Amoeba, or simply catch a movie at the upcoming PVR. Perfect weekend hangout.

November 1, 2011

7 aam Arivu @ DRC Cinemas

I was finally able to convince my parents to accompany me for a movie at the newly opened multiplex in Mysore, DRC Cinemas. Being the first multiplex in the city, it is attracting people by the hoards. I had to return disappointed on the day of Diwali after standing in the queue for close to half an hour. When i reached the counter, the ticket vendor says, Sorry Ma'am! Sold out! I gave him a piece of my mind for not putting up Sold Out board for the movie and also for the haphazard way in which the queues were made.
I learnt a lesson and went much ahead of the matinee show on Saturday and got the tickets for 7 aam Arivu.

Movie Review:

The movie opened with a lot of promise- Breathtaking visuals, Surya in a role that made the entire audience swoon and a wonderful recreation of the ancient period. The narration tells the story of an Indian called Bodhidharma, having traveled to China to rid them of a deadly disease and also ends up teaching them martial arts. The first half hour of the movie hardly has any dialogues between Surya and the Chinese junta and surges ahead totally on the strength of Surya's contained performance.
Cut to the present. Surya yet again, as Arvind, a performer at a Circus in Chennai. Shruthi Hassan plays Suba, a genetic engg student who is involved in researching the lineage of Bodhidharma. Arvind promptly falls for Suba in the first sight (The girl is pretty, no doubt). Follows her , becomes friends with her, tries to woo her. Only to realize that all along he is the one that has been falling into her trap. Lady Gene Researcher had actually tracked his family for the past many years since they were the descendants of the Bodhidharma family. She has samples of Mr. Circus' DNA that share an 85% match with Bodhidharma's DNA found in his dead body.
To spice things up in between, there is an Operation Red being carried out by the Chinese on India. It is a one man show- a fellow called Dong Lee who is an expert at all things that Bodhidharma taught them. He can control people's minds and can break bones and kill in a stroke. He is sent to India to trigger a bio war and to kill Suba and her research. Why? Cause her research may resurrect Bodhidharma's abilities and powers and he can save India. (Wow! How are such things possible?!)
From here, the movie progressively deteriorates. The Chinese guy tries to kill our protagonists. People start falling prey to an unknown epidemic. Suba knows only Bodhidharma can save them. So they do some wiring on Arvind and rework his DNA!!! All details about the "treatment" are skipped. Man is immersed in some liquid for 12 days! The movie conveniently ends in Bodhidharma's knowledge saving millions of lives and preaches about the importance of our rich culture and heritage that has so many life enriching secrets.
Surya, for his part does a decent job. His role does not demand much as the common man Arvind. Ms. Hassan can pass off as an actress. But the lady has to work on her accent and pronunciation. I better not talk about her dancing skills. Most of the duets in the movie were unwanted. Except for first and the last half hour, the rest of the film tends to be a drag. But should give it to them for the eye opening subject that martial arts and natural medicine went to China from India. In all, an okay watch.

About the Multiplex:

1. There are 4 screens, each seating about 200 people.
2. Tickets are priced at 100 for weekdays and 150 at weekends for non-Kannada movies.
3. Elevators get crowded and one is subjected to a lot of waiting at the basement level 2 parking.
4. Seats are about okay, not as comfortable as the ones in Bangalore.
5.The POS machine did not work when i was there. Had to pay cash.
6. They need to be more efficient at managing crowd and maintaining queues.
7. A lot of work is remaining. The elevator goes up only till floor 1. There on, it is three flights of escalators to reach the multiplex.
8. Online booking apparently will be made available soon.

It is the only one in Mysore now. So it is not surprising that people will overlook shortcomings and throng the place. I would certainly go back there again once all the work is completed and check it out again. Also waiting for the multiplex in Mall of Mysore to open :)

September 11, 2011

URGENT, IMPORTANT: Samsung Galaxy Tab 750 needed

"Akka! Your phone screen is so small. I play angry birds so much better at home, on the tablet", cribbed my nephew. On another occasion, i was sitting in the upper berth of the train and peeped down to notice my face on a screen. It was the front camera at work - on the tablet of the person in the lower berth. I saw all these as signs that i should get my own tablet. But why would i need a tablet? While i can put down a number of reasons justifying that a tablet is not exactly needed as of now, at the same time, i can ask a simple question to myself- Why not? :)
For a weekly train traveler like me, a tablet would be an ideal companion. And when it is a tablet as sleek and stylish as the Tab, who would say no to it? I am used to lugging around my 2 and half KG laptop to all places. So you can imagine my surprise when i saw that the Tab weighs just 565 grams!!! Would certainly be really convenient to carry around the thinnest tab in the world!
Going beyond the looks, the Samsung Galaxy Tab runs the Honeycomb OS with an added TouchWiz experience which separates this tab from other tablets in the market. Also present is the SWYPE capability to the keyboard. Won't have to complain about how difficult it can get to type quickly on touch screen. It won't be type anymore- it will be SWYPE.
The tablet would be the one stop entertainment package, on the go for me. New look music player, ease of launching the mp3 player from the Samsung dock, 1280x800 LCD display which provides impressive clarity. So that's music and movies to give me company. With 16 GB of memory, I think I won't be short of too many options.
And well, I can always take shots with its 3 Mp camera, but more importantly, sync up with family and friends online using its front camera. To go online, the tab comes equipped with Wi-Fi capability.
And to enjoy the world of thousands of apps, I would just have to login to my gmail account and am good to go!
I could get an ebook reader and enjoy reading the latest bestseller off the Tab, take notes, keep reminders- basically all things at one place. And with a 1GHz NVidia Tegra 2 processor and 1GB of RAM power, i could do all that i want at lightening fast speeds. Before you could think of how long the battery would last, let me tell you that it apparently last 8 and a half hours- a real WOW evoking factor!
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 750 has actually made me crave for it after the first look.It is the best that is available, with the Samsung stamp on it. What more should i ask for?! So ignoring the "Do you need it question", I want to get my hands on one as soon as possible. If I could get it as a prize, I would go Yay and celebrate. So here is my entry for the Samsung Galaxy Tab 750 contest. Fingers crossed!

August 8, 2011

Day 93: Samsung Galaxy Tab 750 to be unveiled on 10th

The live webcast of the launch can be watched here on 10th at noon. The Galaxy tab 750 runs on Android 3.1 Honeycomb and is supposed to be the slimmest tab to enter the market. This sooo goes on my wishlist!

Samsung Galaxy Tab 750 Launch

August 1, 2011

Day 86: Of losses and pains

I lost my two month old android phone yesterday. One minute it was in my bag. Next minute it was gone. Stolen, to be more precise.
Story goes like this- handicraft exhibition opens in Mysore. Yours truly gets over excited about exhibition and all the deals and bargains that it promises. I then visit a couple of stalls, make a few purchases. As usual, check for smses. Then go to a really lovely handloom stall to check out some sarees. In no time, i was done draping a couple of them and chose two for purchase. While mother dearest was looking for her wallet to pay for them, i decided to take my phone out to take a few pictures of the place. And i dug into my sling bag and saw it was devoid of the phone. I actually went blank for a second.
High drama ensued with me frantically trying to call the phone. The exhibition supervisor announced about the phone. The horrible person who flicked it actually picked it and said hello before hanging it up. After which i got busy tone for a while and then what i had feared happened- the sim was removed. Phone was unreachable.
Had to go through the drill of getting it blocked and getting a replacement.
Then an FIR. The police say they are hopeful of tracking it with the imei number. The fact that a couple of calls were made and i could get them in my call logs in the bill would help.
Am waiting for some time now before buying a new phone. Will it be a case of once bitten twice shy, and hence inexpensive phone, i don't know. But i miss the wonderful apps. I miss being online and checking stuff when i am travelling, or playing angry birds, or simply scrolling through my playlist with the flick of a finger.
For now, i will hope that the person who took the phone will rot in hell later. And it is a lesson learnt for me to be careful and alert all the time. And also to not develop too much attachment towards gadgets like this. After all, all the materialistic things are an illusion, moh and maya. Real happiness lies within you. (yes, the sadness of losing a phone has pushed me into philosophical mode. I will be okay soon!). What promised to be a bargain turned out to be a raw deal for me!

July 23, 2011

Day 77: Oh my Gold

I watch this program whenever i am home that is called Lisa Ray says Oh My Gold and runs on TLC every night at 9. Its got Lisa Ray visiting different cities and checking out the gold jewelry at some of the famous stores of that city. Of course, that means that we get to see the kind of jewelry that is popular in different parts of the country and the styles and designs in vogue. I have seen the episodes shot in Kochi, Hyderabad, Delhi and Chennai. Much as i love the gold that is on display, I am coming to hate the show since i cannot tolerate the anchor. Agreed she has bounced back from near death and is living her life to the fullest, but that doesn't mean she brings in that persona on screen. Everything is surprising and wonderful for her. There is something fake about her that i can't seem to describe here. She makes these weird noises and gets over enthusiastic. And i would rather the anchor was a person who knew something about the cities of India and the traditions and the kind of jewelry that is made in India. Maybe i will not watch the show anymore, but the love for all things gold persists ;)

July 21, 2011

Day 75: Life is about taking chances

Yepp. Am just back from the evening show of Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara. I went in with very high expectations- Hrithik's movie, rave reviews about it being similar to DCH, beautiful locales and a brand new multiplex.
At 5, after wrapping up work in the office, a bunch of us set out to Cinemax in Bangalore Central on ORR. Heavy traffic and rains ensured that we reached the place just on time to grab a bite and make it to the movie.
The movie opens with the engagement of Abhay Deol with Kalki. Abhay is his ever so cute self and Kalki plays the nagging, possessive fiancee to the T. We get to know about three friends who had a pact to go on an adventure trip before the first among them gets married. Fahan Akther plays the Mister i am so funny and cool Imran, who we are told writes commercials.
Hrithik plays Arjun, the workaholic who is neat, tidy, systematic and thinks that having money equals being happy.
As the movie opens up, we get to know about the inner demons that the three men are battling. There are three "surprise" adventure sports in store, as per the pact. The clever lines written by Farhan Akther are bound to keep you in splits. And you identify with a lot of the scenes that have friends poking fun at each other, bickering at times, supporting and understanding each other in times of need.
Farhan trying to woo Katrina, Hrithik's obsession with work, a Hermes bag, a chudail alert, Abhay's engagement scene are high points of the movie.
Though the movie tends to drag in between and the ending itself is slightly rushed, the performances leave you feeling happy. Abhay Deol fits perfectly in his character. Hrithik, as usual, is splendid :). Farhan Akther has the best lines among the lot.
The back stories tend to get boring. The locales did not make me feel that i want to go to Spain right now. I also missed having a touching scene in the movie that made me cry. Absolutely nothing that touched my heart so much that i shed a tear.
But the movie did evoke the sense of adventure in me. Made me want to seize the day and see the world. Cause after all, this Zindagi na milegi Dobara. One life, live it.

July 20, 2011

Day 74: Lifestyle Sale 2011

I too, like most of you have all those privilege cards from all the stores that i shop in. Each time i make a purchase, i swipe the privilege card. What am i ultimately going to get out of it, i don't know.
So about a week back, when the Lifestyle Sale began, i got an sms about a preview for the members of the Inner Circle of Landmark Group. Could not make it that day, but made a mental note to take a look at the sale. It kind of did not occur to me why one would need a preview. Until i landed at Lifestyle yesterday evening.
The place was thronging with people who had come all out in good numbers in a weekday to buy stuff simply because they were on sale. There were rows and rows of clothes of all possible brands with prices slashed. I don't know how, but they even had branded diamond jewelery with a big discount.
I don't know how many times i was prompted to pick up stuff on a impulse. But then good sense prevailed and before putting things into my shopping basket, i asked myself the ever important question- Do i really need it? That way, i did not end up with tonnes of shopping bags, unlike the lady in front of me in the billing queue. I did not count the number of bags she had, but her bill was certainly more than fifteen thousand rupees. And her son told her that the stuff would probably suffice a year and he was not going shopping with her for another year :)

What i took back from the outing:
1. Best to visit sales in the week 1 of the sale, so that you can get the best of the loot.
2. People go crazy during sales.
3. Try to avoid weekends as much as possible, unless of course, you want to see the entire population of Bangalore at one place.
4. Always ask yourself if you want the thing on sale or you are buying it just because it is cheap.
5. Keep in mind the fact that the sale is on just because the store wants to dispose those goods :P

Happy Shopping :)

July 19, 2011

Day 73: LV and Samsonite

For anybody who loves travel and travels often, a good travel bag/backpack or suitcase holds high value. Its got to be practical, brave all kinds of weather, be compact, fit in all possible things and must be something one can flaunt ;)
Does a travel bag inspire you to travel? I don't think so. It can be a wonderful travel companion, yes. However, two ads of luggage that i saw recently urged me to step out, go out there and see the world and all that. It is a momentary tug wooing you to buy the bag and go out travelling. Two different brands, different price segments, but both goading you to buy their ware. One asking you a question, as to where life is going to take you.

video

The other coaxing you to step out and see the world.

video

Both made me want to take off. Maybe i will. For now, a Samsonite seems affordable. I will put the plan of getting an LV on the back burner ;)

July 7, 2011

Day 61: Drink of the day

A long day, lots of window shopping, dinner outside, tired muscles and cold weather. Perfect setting for a drink.

And what a relief! All the stomach problem vanished in a jiffy after drinking-


BINDU JEERA SODA
P.S. Always better to see the full picture before reaching a conclusion :P

July 6, 2011

Day 60: One photo

Seen outside the cafeteria in the office

June 28, 2011

Day 52: Total Mall, Outer ring road

After seeing hoardings of the brand new Total that has opened near Mahadevapura, we set out to take a look at the place after office hours. There were some provisions that were pending shopping which are normally bought off the More Megastore in Mahadevapura. A new place always tends to lure one in. So we ditched More in favor of Total and went there anticipating steep discounts and tempting offers.
The place is situated strategically, right opposite the EMC2 office. The ground floor houses cosmetics, accessories and clothes. Somehow the whole planning of the mall did not sit well with me. It appears like a never ending tunnel. The brands of the clothes that they house aren't too familiar, nor are they easy on the pocket. The cosmetics section did not stock any of the latest stuff. The people here were still anticipating stocks of stuff that is already available in Mysore.
First floor is crockeries, home accessories, stationary and electronics. Unless you meticulously go through the entire store, it is easy to miss a lot of products that are on display.
They do not seem to have many brands lined up, nor much variety.
The second floor is dedicated to FMCG and groceries. Major grouse is that they do not seem to have any big discounts. The tagline of Total Mall is variety and value. I saw neither.
The arrangement of the soaps and shampoos are also very haphazard. The fruits and veggies not so fresh. The lack of attractive offers did the place in.
I have heard of Total Mall offering good discounts. Maybe this was not the season, but it is expected of a newly opened place.
My verdict: I would rather go to More megastore any day! At least i can return with some good bargains unlike here!

June 25, 2011

Day 49: ITC Gardenia


Had been to ITC Royal Gardenia last thursday for a team lunch. This is the first time i was visiting the place. First time at such a high profile place, for that matter. I was for once conscious about the way i looked and how i carried myself. But once i stepped in, it did not seem to matter at all. The place has a relaxed feel to it. The lobby is large and airy and done up in a minimal sort of way. There are shelves lined with the high end ITC products. The lotus pavalion that sits in the center of the building is a highlight. Shaped like a lotus and surrounded by water, it has an open air seating that can accommodate about 50 people. Pity it is a lounge and not a lunch serving restaurant. For lunch, we went to Cubbon Pavalion. The place is famed for its vertical garden. It is amazing that they maintain the place pest free and also put in so much into a garden. Just to be different, they want to spend so much into maintaining a truckload of plants suspended onto the wall!
Coming to the food, I liked the way they had separated the veg and non veg salads into two separate sections. There were some exotic things on the salad menu, and i don't know the names of the dishes :) Familiar veggies, done up in a totally unfamiliar way. The main course was just about average. I did not even consume a lot of it for lack of spice. I suppose the food in all such places is tweaked to suit the foreigner's palate. Saved up all the place in the stomach for the desserts- the most amazing spread that i have seen till date. There were more than twenty of them- indian sweets, cheesecake, souffle, mousse, mud cake, cookies, ice cream, fruity stuff. And i cannot remember even one name- most of them were tongue twisters for me. Most of us tried hard to finish up what was on the plate, but failed to do so. And unabashedly i will say that this was once i felt there should have been an option to parcel stuff from the buffet simply cause i was too fill to gorge at that time.
Once we were done with lunch, we took a walk around the place. The architecture is so good that it is breezy all the time. And the antique furniture adds charm to the lobby. The food is good, nothing great for my indian tastes. But the ambiance makes up for it. It is an experience. The one thousand rupees buffet did buy me an experience that made me happy. To get to experience more luxury, i guess one should check into their hotel sometime!

June 21, 2011

Day 45 : I love bangalore!

Was in Chennai over the weekend, to attend a function. The overnight journey in Cauvery express was pleasant. I got off the train, all wrapped up in a jacket, stepped out on the platform and the hot air hit me! I was all sweaty in a minute. And this was early in the morning. As the day progressed, the weather only became worse. A shopping trip that was planned to T Nagar was put off till the evening in the hope that the weather will get better. But i should have known better. Being is Chennai is like being in an oven 24x7. Only air conditioning can bring respite from that kind of heat! Thankfully, the marriage hall was fully air conditioned. Even at 8 in the night, there is hot air blowing. So i remained cooped up in the same place throughout the day.
All you want to do when there is to drink loads of water, juice and eat ice cream.
Made me realize one thing. Bangalore weather is great. I don't think i would ever move to that city. Thank God i got a job in Bangalore. Thank God for the weather here. And praying that it remains unchanged.

June 15, 2011

Day 39: Happiness!

I work for an MNC. And earn a decent pay packet every month. The money coming in is almost taken for granted now. It is not a wow! evoking factor for me anymore. The month end arrives, i get the salary and pay my bills and rent.
However, I don't know if it is the Indian tendency or what, but even today, when the raddi wala gives me 50 rupees for a stash of old newspapers, I feel really happy. Happiness like I have earned that money :)

June 13, 2011

Day 37 : A wonderful quote

Your day goes the way the corners of your mouth turn.

June 12, 2011

Day 36: A gastronomic Journey

First things first- Have not had the mood or inspiration to blog for close to a month. Back on my feet now. Amazing how quickly 20 odd days passed since the last post and I did not even realize it!
The weather being nice, i ditched AC and traveled in the non AC reserved compartment yesterday from Bangalore to Mysore. Soon as i found my seat, I sat down with The Hindu. It was not the window seat, I was sandwiched between two ladies who both dozed off soon as the train chugged out of the station. A combination of them sleeping and the newspaper put yours truly also to sleep.
I was woken in Kengeri by the smell of caramelised onions. Both the ladies next to me were happily munching Maddur vade and having coffee along with it. I normally refrain from eating anything oily outside, but the heady smell of the vade and the weather were too good for me to not try it. The guy selling it had already moved on to the next compartment, leaving me craving for vade. As i waited for another round to arrive, there were vendors who came selling another round of tea, coffee, lays and biscuits. An hour into the journey, at Ramnagara, the knight savior in IRCTC uniform arrived carrying a bucketful of maddur vade with a promise that he won't take money if the vade was not hot. True to the promise, the vade was piping hot, crisp and fried to perfection. A perfect snack for a rainy evening. Of course, it is a perfect no-no for the health conscious, leaving your fingers greasy and oily.
If you thought that a vade would suffice until one reached Mysore for dinner, well, you are wrong. Something about journeys that keep you perpetually hungry.
Next to arrive was the mango seller. She was selling totapuri mangoes for rupees two a mango. Am i out of my mind to not buy one? Certainly not. So out came the two rupees for a mango that had hints of pink and yellow on the green, indicating that it was tending towards becoming ripe. Crunchy, not too raw, not too ripe, tangy and sweet to equal measure. To it add a dash of salt and chilli powder and there you have extra value for two rupees. During other seasons, there are ladies lugging baskets of chikoo, guavas, blue berries.
One more round of vade arrives now. By now, everyone has eaten at least one or two of them. So nobody is actually buying them apart the ones who want to carry some back home. It is funny how Maddur vade sells like hot cakes at all stations other than Maddur!
As the journey draws to a close, near Srirangapatna, there is the churmuri guy mixing up puffed rice with green chutney, chopped veggies, spices and fresh dhania. You can customize it to suit your palate. All the people around me are buying it. This is the difference in travelling by the second sitting compartment. People of all ages travel. And they buy most of the things that are sold in the train. And when they eat, you also feel like eating. I could not resist it. The churmuri guy makes one packet for me with a newspaper. I finish it with difficulty cause it is too spicy. Have you noticed how everything seems wonderful and tempting until you try it? But the Bangalore-Mysore journey by Chamundi Express doesn't disappoint one's appetite. And it is not just eating, but watching people buying stuff together and sharing it and having a happy time is more heart warming. Am almost full as the train pulls into Mysore. Amma calls me to say she has made akki rotti for dinner. The mouth waters. But I suddenly remember all that i had eaten and that I had decided to eat only thayir sadam after going home. :)

May 24, 2011

Day 10

Missed yesterday, and am cheating today. For today's post, here is a link from today's post on my other blog- Soup for dinner today :)

May 22, 2011

Day 8: Evening snack

I am sure it is not just me whose stomach starts growling by the time it is five in the evening. During weekdays, I have to silence it with a cup of tea and a sandwich or dosa to go along with.
But on a weekend, it is always a nice snack along with chai.
So today, i made myself spicy vegetable paniyaram to go along with my ginger chai. Rain would have made it perfect, but the CSK-RCB match makes up for it. Tea, match and snack. I love weekends!

What did you have for your snack today?

May 21, 2011

Day 7: Shopping

Missed posting yesterday. The shots i took did not turn out very great.
Here is my acquisition for the day:
Four cute ceramic tea mugs.
A new hypermarket has opened in mysore in an upcoming mall. People flock it as if they have never seen a mall before! At any point in time, (a generalization i am making after three visits at different times of the day over the past week), all the 11 counters are full of people. But given the kind of stuff and the offers in store, I am certainly not surprised.
The mugs, priced at rupees 13 each were a steal :).
Called EasyDay, the hypermarket is owned by the Bharti group and it sources stuff from their Bharti-Walmart stores.

May 19, 2011

Day 5

I looked for a title for a while,
confused, i let go with a smile.
On a day with zero inspiration,
that i spent only on relaxation,
despite thinking hard and long
And trying my best to write.
All i have is a bunch of lines,
To make up for today's post.

May 18, 2011

Day 4: The great equalizer

Woke up early today morning. Was going through the newspaper while having tea. That's when i heard a real loud ring tone that was unfamiliar. I was wondering if Amma's taste of music had changed so much overnight! That's when i heard. "Haaa, naan Jaya maataaDta idini. Sanje 4 ghante ge bartini."( ha, this is Jaya speaking. Will come there at 4 in the evening). Jaya, ladies and gentlemen, is my maid. She carries a mobile phone, and can be reached on it in case she is delayed or there is unexpected extra work at home.
So out of curiosity, i went through Amma's phone. That's when i noticed a number of phone numbers that read something like, Lokesh-flower, Vasu-plumber, Suja- gardener. There was a painter, carpenter, mason and tiles layer in the list too. Asked her about all these numbers. She says, all of them are reachable through the phone. One phone call, we tell them the job at hand and when we are free and they are there on that day if they are free.
It got me thinking as to how much the mobile phone has changed their lives. Carpenters and plumbers are so hard to come by these days for small odd jobs. Their phone numbers get forwarded by recommendation if their work is prompt and good. And that means more business to them. All of them have a vehicle for transport and a mobile phone for connectivity. And we consumers, just have to make a phone call for the fixing service. Absolutely no need of visiting the store or waiting for the person to turn up. Make a phone call and probably another as a reminder. And have that leaking tap fixed without much effort!
About a few years back, the mobile phone was a thing of luxury.Today, it is hard to find someone who does not carry a mobile phone. I myself maintain two of them ;). And well, whether it is my dad or the chief minister or the gardener, one common thing between them is that all of them have a ten digit mobile number on which they can be reached!

May 17, 2011

Day 3: Escape!

There are days when I want to tear my hair apart, ditch the job, pack my bags and set off to a wellness camp or travelling up the hills. When I feel that I have had enough, what is the point of doing what I am doing, the whole purpose of existence gets questioned. The idea of seeing the world, without a care or worry starts creeping into the mind. If only that was an option everyone had!
Everything starts appearing wrong and the whole world looks like it is against you.
It is at that point that I stop and think of what made me hold on for so long. And i call Amma up. She brings in sanity and balance to my life.
And it is at this point that i apply leave for a week and set off home. Not running away. But taking a well deserved break after too much work. One week. In Mysore. Fresh air, endless cups of tea, and the joy of being at home.

May 16, 2011

Day 2: Just when you thought...

...that the rains would bring the much needed respite from the heat, that the pitter-patter will be music to ears, when you raise your head from under the umbrella to feel the drops hitting your face in full filmy style, when you step out of the air conditioned office into the open and smell mud, just then, right then the crazy car guy has to come and splash the muddy water on your dress! Damn the guy! And damn the roads in the city, full of potholes.

Dear God, please do something so that :
  • The Namma Metro work gets completed blazing fast and there are fewer vehicles on the roads.
  • There is more soil and trees along the roads so that the water can seep in and not remain on the roads.
  • The people sitting comfy in their cars do realize that there are pedestrians who are walking on the road and are forever dreading the mud splash attack because of the speeding cars.
One day, I want to be able to walk around in Bangalore with the umbrella, enjoying the rain and not have a single worry about slush or stench or potholes! Just me and my tanhai and a nice rain song playing in my head, rim jhim gire saawan!

May 15, 2011

Project 365

Too much work, too little time, it is easier to update facebook status, 140 characters is much more cooler. Well, if one wants, then one can give an endless list of reasons for not updating one's blog regularly. I can give a bunch of excuses too, for not writing in the past 3 months. Instead, what i have decided to do is to take up Project 365. It is something that i noticed on a cookery blog and it hit off with me immediately. One post a day, for the next one year. Does not have to be a long drawn post. Can be a picture or a little vignette of something that left an impression- maybe an ad, a TV show or something on the way or at work. Am sure my life is not so uneventful also that i would not find one thing to write about and share.
Will 365 posts be an overdose? Dunno! Not even sure if i can keep up everyday. So not making it a hard and fast rule to write ;). But the idea is to try my best and write. It is more of an exercise also to improve my writing skills. More like a journal that will let me look back at the year that was :)
And no, this is not going to be an experiment that's all about I, Me and Myself. It is not a platform that am using to dump information about what is happening in my life. It is just a challenge to see whether it is possible to come up with one post a day.
And here i set off on the 15th of May 2011. One post, everyday!

January 17, 2011

Wedding Bells

No. I am not getting married. Not as yet ;). The title was only to get some traffic into the blog :P Here is my actual post:
As I was leaving her home, the aunty asked, "So, yavaaga oota haakstidiya?" (Roughly translated, "when am i getting invited for lunch?").
I took the question at face value and told her that she was welcome any weekend. That i have been coaxing her to come home but she never does! To it she laughs and says, "Not that oota, maduve oota!"
That's when i realize the dumbness of my reply. There is an awkward pause which dad tries to fill up saying, "In good time".
Last week, i get talking to a gentleman on the way to Mysore. We discuss a variety of topics like real estate prices in Bangalore and Mysore, traveling between the two cities, lack of B&B's in India, how the Home stay concept is now catching on well. I was feeling good about getting to have a nice conversation in the course of the journey. Then he suddenly asks, "So, you are what, 25?"
I was initially taken aback at the bluntness of the question. Composed myself and said, "Uh huh, not yet".
So he says, "Ha! Then you got time! For the wedding bells, you know ;)!"
Excuse me? Is 25 like an expiry date? Why is the whole world concerned about my wedding, oota and all the things associated with it?
Buy gold and they say, "Ha! You need it for the wedding".
Lose weight and you are asked if you are dieting before parents start looking for a groom!!
You are surveyed thoroughly if you by mistake end up at a wedding! "Oh! You stay by yourself in Bangalore? You can cook? Super!" I am consciously avoiding attending weddings or other gatherings these days! I mean, please give me a break!
There is no way i can mention a friend's impending wedding now without a few eyebrows being raised, as if to ask what reason i have to be happy right now?! I never faced peer pressure at school. But this is one place where i think the pressure will be imposed upon me!
To all the Aunts and Uncles out there:
You might mean well, but no thank you for your concern or photographs of prospective grooms. My parents are there to worry about my wedding. You don't have to remind them that i am growing older! Or that the number of "nice" ( you go figure its definition :D) guys is dwindling by the day! When i tie the knot, you shall be invited. I will be getting married for my happiness, not yielding to pressure! Till then, please let me be!