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Friday, April 24, 2009

XLent times!

Thursday was a holiday here in Bangalore, because of the elections. Yes, it is probably shameful to treat an event of national significance as a 'holiday' but then I had strong reasons for not voting (or so I think). Because of so much regional politics, it is difficult to know what is being done by which party, in which state. So, I see no reason to vote in Bangalore, when I don't know enough. All my life, right from school elections to college elections, and to the Lok Sabha, I've voted 'rationally' – taking into account the candidate's profile, manifesto, the party's national plans etc. When I don't even know the names of the local candidates, I don't think I ought to vote.


So, it was a very pleasing feeling to have a day off. Consequently, on Wednesday, a friend from XLRI and I decided to meet up for dinner. Over a Subway meal, we were called over by another chap who is interning in Bangalore. So, off we went and parked ourselves at his serviced apartment. (The opulence of it all staggered me – a TV, a refrigerator, a cook, and an elegant apartment made me shut out the image of my cluttered single room with stuff strewn about untidily all across.)


After watching the Indian Premier League, we proceeded on a lengthy chat session (which went on till about 5 in the morning). Bushed by then, we were dead to the world (and our phones) for the next 7 hours. After that, we decided to go to Brigade Road in the afternoon and grab some lunch.

We got ready and reached Brigade Road, only to find that most eating joints were closed due to the elections! UGH!! So, we spent the next one hour roaming the streets and looking for a place to eat at. (And you thought that man foraged for food only in the Neanderthal or whatever ages.)


Anyway, I suddenly broke that despondently trudging formation that resembled a collection of Manchester United players after their 4-1 drubbing by Liverpool, and made a beeline for a nearby shop. Nope, even though my frame (and my exchange with Nikita) indicates otherwise, it was not a restaurant or a sandwich shop. It was a shop called 'Magazines' and it caught my attention because there was an alluring sign proclaiming that back issues of US/UK magazines were available at only a 100 bucks each. (No, you pervert! I wasn't after 'those' magazines… I was looking for something on football.)


But of course, football magazines were out of stock, so the formation reassembled itself, looking more and more like Arsenal's walking wounded at the end of an average football season. Finally, we found an open restaurant that was called 'Stars n Stripes' but was advertising 'sugarcane juice' and 'chicken biryani' on banners outside. Weird, huh?


Still, food is food, and some (disastrous)pizza, Schezwan noodles, and chilli mushrooms, washed down with chilled sugarcane juice and Thums Up sent us on our way. Of course, the waiters seemed to think that we had unlimited time and were very leisurely about the whole affair. So, we gave them a few decidedly unfriendly stares before we left.

Then, another friend was supposed to join us, so we went on to one of Bangalore's landmarks – The Corner House (that's an ice-cream parlour). As recommended by Bangalorean friends earlier, we ordered for a 'Death by Chocolate' aka DBC which was liked by two of us, and detested by another two in equal measure. Anyway, after some random discussions on DBC, the next argument was about where to go. One of us was very keen on going to a restaurant that had a karaoke night tonight, but the rest of us vetoed the idea and decided to go to some place where we could chit-chat. So, off we were to Garuda mall – where we sat for a while, ate, blabbered away and then decided to leave.


Of course, the damned auto rickshaw drivers had to put an end to what had been an otherwise perfect day. They were demanding totally outrageous fares, and refusing to go by the meter. One of us retorted, "Bhaiya, auto khareedna nahin hai, sirf jaana hai!" (I don't want to buy your auto bro, I only want to travel in it). Those chaps got irritated and started giving us gyaan. We walked off in a huff, with a couple of us constantly turning back, muttering angrily and glaring at them.


But eventually, it was good to get back home and reminisce about the lazy day.


Takeaways:

  1. Bangalore is a paradise for book lovers. Every nook and corner has treasures waiting to be discovered. (Someone get those pirated books away, please! UGH!)
  2. If I had my own conveyance, and my own cooking arrangements, Bangalore would've been the ideal city to live in.
  3. I suck at air hockey. Gloating over my victory in the first match 4-2, I got thrashed 1-7 in the next one. K
  4. One ought to do this kinda stuff more often. It was so much fun!

16 comments:

Shreyans Mehta said...

Masti, dhamaal, party... Good vacationing!

NikhiL said...

lol.. a day off.. i forgot how heavenly it seemed when doin my internship.. and compare it to now sittin all semester lazying around partying n still you dont get the same feeling ;)

P.S. a tip for the autowalaas in bangalore.. just get to it.. sit in n say chalo 'brigade' ( like you've been going this route from the past 28 yrs of your life ) .. n the autowaala apne aap turns the meter n starts moving.. the biggest mistake one can make is ask "bhaiya kitna loge" cause then you're screwed - (from 6 months training experience in bang) ;)

Sauron said...

@Shreyans... trips to Cochin, Mysore and Coorg being planned too... :D

@Nikhil... I applied your tip this morning, and guess what... it worked.:D

freewillie said...

u put it all to words amazingly!!
such things shud be organised more often (read 'everyday')...
m glad u remember only the fun bits :P

Choco said...

This post reminded me of college days. That is because off's no longer coincides with that of others & vice versa!
Good read that was :)

Tangerine said...

u r having such a gr8 time... m so j!!!

Sumit said...

@Freewillie.. thanks! I do remember the non-fun bits too, but then I don't want to be labelled as the guy who writes only morbid stuff. :P

@Choco... :)

@Tang... you should be! And where's the next update on your blog? It's been ages since it was updated!! x-(

Scriber's Web said...

Sounds like a fun day. I love reading your blog because it gives me my daily dose of Indian life:)

Too cool about the guy who has a "furnished" apartment. I want a job there!

Sumit said...

Scriber... :D I'm glad.. and I love reading your blog, because it's always so genuine! Be it photographs or writing, I always think of you as a supremely honest and candid person. :)

Carol said...

What a fun look at someone elses day and how different we all live and love. Thanks for the tour.

Sumit said...

Carol, you're too kind!! :)

Roshmi Sinha said...

A good read!

"Finally, we found an open restaurant that was called 'Stars n Stripes' but was advertising 'sugarcane juice' and 'chicken biryani' on banners outside."... Well I guess thats called: "Think Global, Act local"...!!!

A few "eateries" guaranteed to keep their doors open even during such auspicious events like "elections" are: Koshy's (St Marks Road), Taste of Tibet (off Brigade Road), Shangri La (Brigade Road), Bobby Da Dhaba (this is right next to the Ulsoor Gurdwara, and serves the yummiest aloo parathas among other mouth-watering stuff... if in BLR this is a 'must visit')

K.C. Das (Church Street)... renowned for its sweets and snacks.

Also... Mr. K.K.S. Murthy's 'Select Book Shop' (off Brigade Road) is not to be missed by any book connoisseur... they are known to source any book... except comp. sc. and mgmt. books of course :)

Sumit said...

The book shop takes priority, of course! As soon as I get my stipend, I'll be off. Then, it'll be time to raid the eateries.. :D

Roshmi Sinha said...

The book shop of course! Mr. K.K.S.Murthy (the proprietor of the 'Select Book Shop')is a fountainhead of knowledge. They have been in business for three generations (is perhaps the oldest book shop in Bangalore) and served clients like Ruskin Bond and C.V. Raman.

So, apart from browing through a wide variety of books you can have a chat with Mr. Murthy... and this is simply 'priceless'...

There was one more... the 'Premier Book Shop' at Church Street, a book-lovers paradise... for over 30 years. But, its gone now... a casualty of development...

Roshmi Sinha said...

I missed out on a few more eateries...

There is the 'Lakeview Milk Bar'... (on Church Street... off Brigade road... it was on M.G.Road... until recently)

This place is well known for its Continental Breakfast, ice creams, pizzas, thick milkshakes, juicy burgers, layered sandwiches, omlettes and cakes - this is the first ice-cream parlour in Bangalore and was started in the 1930's... Don't be surprized if you see a Girish Karnad, or a certain P.C. or a Deve and a Swamy... sitting at a table close by...

There is also 'Kanti Sweets'... known for its sweets, badam milk and snacks... this is opp to the St. Joseph's College of Arts and Commerce on Brigade Road... If you are looking for a quick bite... of the fried rice and noodles or chole bature or pau bhaji type... this is the place to go.

There is this place on M.G.Road... called 'Melting Moments'... which stocks the best pasteries. It is a tiny place. Look for 'Himalayan Dowry'... a Kashmiri handicrafts showroom.... and you can locate it.

Even 'Empire Hotel' on Church street... is known for its kababs, ghee rice, grilled chicken, biriyani and even fish.

Even during 'elections'... it is BAU for them.

Sumit said...

Wow! Thanks a ton for the useful info, Roshmi. :D