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. :)