Happy Anniversary !!


It’s a year now that we’ve been married. We had our ups and downs on our way but time flies really fast. We didn’t plan anything as our parents wanted to be with us for our first marriage anniversary but then they had to drop out due to a family emergency. It was Monday, so we took off from our offices. We got fresh, wore new clothes and went straight to temple for the offering to god. We had our breakfast outside and went back home as there was no other plan for the day, at least that’s what she thought. Behind her back, I had planned a surprise for her in the later part of the day.

It was around 2.30 in the afternoon that I told her to get ready and we are going outside. She asked me about it but I kept giving some random answers making it more confusing. The place we were going was 50 km far and it would take easily more than an hour to reach there. I had already contacted the guy and informed we will be reaching there by 4 PM so that all the arrangements can be made without anything mess up. She was puzzled by what I was up to and she never got a hint about it. She wasn’t getting any idea as there weren’t any sign boards which would ease up her job of finding out what and where we were going. After driving around an hour and 15 minutes, we reached the place, ‘DIRT MANIA‘. And that’s when she understood what I was up to. We checked with the person who was in charge and he told us to wait for half an hour as the arrangements weren’t made completely. Meanwhile, he insisted us to have your lunch and come back around 4.30 PM. We went back to a nearby place to have some snacks, that’s when he called saying, arrangments were done.

When we reached, we drove a couple of quad bikes to check which one we were comfortable with. We picked our quad bike (The Gritty SportsMan) and started our ride. We picked ‘Nature Trail‘ which was 15 km from the place. The instructor drove another bike who was first, followed by my wife and then me. The ride was enthralling, to say the least, we crossed mud roads, into the small water channels, in the fields, up the hills etc. By the time, we reached hilltop she was ecstatic. We parked our bikes and then came the final surprise of the day. A table with two chairs on the hilltop with a sunset in the background. At first, she thought it was for someone else but then she realised it was a surprise for her. She looked baffled and had no words to say. For few minutes, she just stood there admiring and taking in the beauty of the place and the arrangements made. We sat down and she had so many questions to ask such as how did I pull it off? How didn’t she knew about it? etc. I gave the answers to those questions and we talked for a while before we cut the cake and celebrated. A camera person also accompanied us on the way up and he shot good pictures of us and the picture-perfect scenes. All in all, everything planned went without any hiccups. On the way back home, she thanked me many times for such a wonderful surprise.

I would like to thank the team of Dirt Mania in making my plans successful. They were friendly and had given us space when needed. We will definitely be coming back again for many more experiences and encourage others to go visit the place.

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Dinner at Toscano


As I write this blog, we are inching towards completing one year of our marriage anniversary. My wife had ordered clothes for me as a surprise but to her disappointment, the fitting wasn’t that great. With a heavy heart, she returned them back and we went to Forum Mall, Koramangala for shopping. We shopped for clothes and decided to dine at Toscano which is famous for its Italian pizza, as this was her long-awaited checklist.

We settled down at one corner and waited for the menu to check out for options. The ambience is very calm and it feels like Italian restaurant once you enter filled with the aroma of spices & natural herbs. As we sat down, one of the waiters brought flatbread and couple of sauces as starters. At first, I was taken back as we didn’t order but then got assured as this was complimentary from them. I don’t remember which thin crust pizza we had ordered: ‘Rustica’ or ‘Four seasons’. She wanted to try wine for a long time and we decided the time was apt for us to taste (Anniversary occasion). After taking the suggestions from the waiter, we placed a takeaway for one bottle of wine. In the meantime, pizza arrived. The aroma of the pizza was different than what we have in domino’s or pizza hut. It tasted delicious. As we were finishing our pizza, the bottle of wine arrived packed. We were pleased with the service and the food taste. We settled the bill and headed back to our home.

Upon reaching home, Out of curiosity, I checked for the prices & reviews of the wine bottle and found I was cheated by the waiter and the restaurant. They had charged me extra 1500-1800 bucks for the wine bottle. The content which was there earlier vanished and taught me a lesson.

Lunch at Malgudi Vatika


To visit this place was a long pending task which never got ticked off from our bucket list. Some way or the other, it was getting postponed even after multiple plans. It requires around 2 hours to reach Malgudi Vatika, which was on Mysore road from my home. Months passed by and the lunch date never happened.

It was a regular weekend again in Bengaluru where we got up late, had breakfast and were talking with my brother and another friend. All of a sudden, Malgudi Vatika popped up in my head. I asked my wife, brother and another family friend if they are up to visiting this place and everyone agreed to it. We freshened up quickly and were en route for the lunch. It was monsoon season and rain has just stopped when we reached the place. I expected the place to be big (as seen in online pictures) but to my surprise, it was smaller in size. We waited in the queue for the tables to be emptied. We sat outside near lawn and ordered a couple of starters to begin with, and then “Weekend Special Thali “.

It was very peaceful watching the drizzle making all the way to the ground traversing the wooden roof, entering into the half-cut pipe and falling on the planters attached to the roof. The food was served on a copper plate as like olden days. The food and ambiance were purely authentic in ‘North Karnataka‘ style. The drizzle stopped again as we finished our sumptuous meal and ordered a cup of tea which blended with the atmosphere outside. We clicked few pictures here & there and made our way back to home. It’s always satisfying to tick one off from the bucket list.

Happy Women’s Day


omen. When I listen or see the word, only one person comes into my mind instantaneously and that’s my MOTHER. And I’m not alone in saying this for sure. She is one of the most selfless person and also selfish when it comes to her children’s. Recently there has been one more entry in my life and it’s of my wife. She has been the one who is taking all the heat lately. My anger, my happiness, me being childish, my pain, my mood swings etc. And yet she would be calm and take it easily. I’m not a open person and tend to keep lot of feelings inside me rather than expressing it. There has been instances where in I was not in good mood due to past things which she knows about but never asked and gave me my space to let that sink into me. Of late, she has been a driving force in my life in various aspects.

Lot’s was on my head to make this year’s women’s day special for her. Even as I write this, she isn’t aware of the plans I made but ended up not executing to due to other factors. I came up late from the office due to App Studio work. On the way to home, had been to gift store to get a gift which could sum up all my expressions and what I wanted to say but was in vain as I found no gift matching to her. With heavy heart, I went to home. And there she was, juggling between office work on her laptop and also managing household work. When I came in, she asked what I want to have as fillers by the time she cooks dinner. That’s when it hit me, DINNER.  And I said to myself “Dinner, It is“. It’s the least I can do for her. I convinced her and asked for her preference of hotel and gave her more than couple of choices to select. She ended up selecting a restaurant TABLA’ which was nearby place. We got dressed and headed for our on-the-fly dinner date.

The ambience was very quite and as per her liking. Tabla being one of the famous Andhra style restaurant, I insisted her to order food of Andhra cuisine so that she can get the taste of it (of which I’m a fan of). Even though, we had ordered Andhra food, I was hesitant that she wouldn’t like it (as she doesn’t like changes) but I was glad that she made liking to it and enjoyed the food pleasantly. One of the things which I liked it was, FRUIT PUNCH. It was just heavenly and was in no mood to share it with her :P. We are full soon enough and informed the manager to parcel the rest of it.

I had a satisfied feeling inside me that I somehow made the day cheerful, happy and smiling for her. In no means, this was nothing when compared to what she does for me day-in-day-out. Deep down, it gives you greater satisfaction that I did something which made her feel so and promised myself that I would do my best to make her feel the same every day.

Indian Paratha Company


Another weekend was on the cards and we didn’t want to spend resting or relaxing at home. We had few planned errands to run on saturday which might be completed by evening. As a surprise, I had planned to take my wife for a long drive and have a evening snack outside Bangalore. Zomato is one app which comes in very handy when it comes to selecting a restaurant for any type depending upon your choice and location. As always, two options were shortlisted, one being Indian Paratha Company and other being Malgudi Vatika. Considering the time we would be free, Indian Paratha Company looked an timely choice with sunset and less noise around. All was not fixed as I wanted my wife to decide on the fly to which place she would like to go.

As usual, we finished our morning chores and got ready to complete our other household errands. It was around 3.30 PM when we were done by our work and that’s when the much awaited question was asked to me :). Where do we go now? What to do now?. I dumbly acted and asked “Where do you wanna go? Outside Bengaluru?“. And that’s when she said “Indian Paratha Company”. I immediately said, “Indian Paratha Company, it is. She wanted me to decide a place rather than she deciding it but I played my cards well. It was 5 PM when we reached the place and it was empty enough with only couple of seats taken. We got settled down and looked into the menu.

After loads of discussion, we finally placed our order for Achari paratha, Irish coffee and Mojito. Place was getting filled and as was the dawn with cool breeze and sounds of the vehicles zooming in and out. We chit chatted for a while and ordered for a second time which was something different and mouth watering. By the time, we finished our food and were full to the tongue, the sun was set and light were zeroing down. The lights were lit up and the sky acted as a perfect background, blue in color.

We had spent good two hours there and wasn’t looking at the time, rather at the sunset to estimate the time. We settled up the bill and left the place at the correct time. The last impressions of the place were the happiest as we had spend quality time together after a hectic week at the office.

My Himalayan


It’s been couple of months now that I was travelling by car to office and life was more struggling as the time spent on road was nearly half of what was spent in office. Traffic on the roads of Bengaluru was becoming worse than previous day. It takes me easily an hour to reach office which is hardly 9 kms away. My knees start to talk to me as I used brake and clutch pedal more often than accelerator. The knee cap sometimes use to pain like hell when stretched a bit. My wife travels by Activa and reaches within 40 minutes even though the traffic on her route is much worse than mine. This was when I put fourth the suggestion to get a bike for myself. My wife supported the suggestion immediately and told to check which bike suits me. I was hesitant to bring this topic in front of my parents as I have already changed bike couple of times and recently brought an Activa and a car for myself.

Harley Davidson Street 750 was my first choice but then waited for the feeling to let it pass, not because of the budget of the bike but the maintenance and “keeping it safe” made me realise that it won’t work out for me. Royal Enfield classic 350 (black) was second on the list. But then we wanted to check latest bikes. Of all the bikes recently, Royal Enfield Himalayan caught my attention and I was in the awe of the bike. The dirt bike looks, high seats, black and white colour and simplistic design made me fell for it. I kept the option of it in front of my wife & one of my friend. Surprisingly, both refused me to go for it as it would not suit me and height might be an issue. I had gone to showroom twice for test ride and found it comfortable enough to ride and handle. Must say, BHP of the bike is simply great. The way it picks up from 0 to 60 in no time is thrilling. One of the reasons which was our concern was the cost (1.93L on road). Typical Indian mentality stuck me, that when the price comes down, we tend to pull down even the budget of ours. We thought for a week and thought to take second hand bike which is hardly few months old. To my luck, found a guy on OLX who was selling his Himalayan as he was travelling to US on official purpose for half an year. He sent me the pictures of his bike and how he had maintained it.

Upon seeing the pics he shared, I was convinced on purchasing the bike from him. After discussing and negotiating, we came to an agreement and made a deal at 1.45L for a 4 month old bike. It sounded a pretty good deal and we both were happy for it. We decided to meet at my office for the trial and move forward if we are satisfied with the performance of the bike. Me and my friend tested it and then we left for my wife’s office to take a feel of pillon rider. She was also comfortable and told me to go for it. We informed him that in couple of days, we would meet and take the bike.

Royal Enfield Himalayan
Royal Enfield Himalayan

It was on January 19, 2017, when the bike was mine. The same day, I initiated the transfer on my name. It happened a couple of times now that, people sometimes stare at my bike when I’m riding. It feels so good that I have owned it.

Waiting for a long road trip soon!

 

Happy New Year – 2017


An remarkable year has come to an end which was filled with stories painted in all sorts of shades. Many people will remember 2016 as a year of unprecedented surprises: demonetisation (which is probably the biggest story of the year), Donald Trump (earthshaking story of a rank outsider — a joke candidate, if we’re being honest) elected as US president, Uri terror attacks, Surgical attacks carried after the attack, followed by ban on muslim actors in bollywood, rise of PV Sindhu, Samsung Note 7 getting exploded etc. are notably top of the list. It’s been one heck of an year for the people of India (and US citizens after Trump was elected as US Prez). On the personal front, I have lost something very important in my life and gained few. Also I have reached few milestones in my life too: completed 5 years in a company, got married and joined a new company.

This new year wasn’t any different as my parents had come down to Bengaluru for health checkup planned for my mom in the coming days. Even parents of my wife had come to Benagluru to visit us at our new home. Thus, no plans were made on how to spend the new year. On the other hand, my cousin was planning camp fire at one of my cousin’s near Electronic city, followed by a visit to a temple early next morning. Medical tests were done the second time due to some issues, results for the tests came in and doctor advised my parents to come after a month, so they decided to leave same day (Thursday) by train. Her parents visited our home and spent a day with us and returned back on Friday to her uncle’s home. So, my cousin’s plan was ON and we informed him about our availability.

Plan was to gather few friends and  meet at the place decided by 9.30 PM. wp-1483626596172.jpgAs we had some work to attend in the afternoon, we picked up other friends and reached an hour late. We waited for others to join as they were getting food and snacks for the party. Once they were in, we started the campfire. When there are friends & campfire, the only other thing needed is ALCOHOL :P. Most of my friends started drinking and as courtesy,  I too had a peg with them. It was countdown time for the new year and everyone was ready on their toes to wish each others. Once it ticked 12 o’clock, we shouted aloud “HAPPY NEW YEAR”. Friends wished and hugged each others and were enjoying the moment by calling their beloved one’s. After an hour, we remembered of the cake we have brought in. All of us gathered around campfire and cut the cake. We danced for a while and had our dinner but few of the boys weren’t in the mood to have it so they continued to drink. I tagged along other ladies to home so that they can have a nap before we head to the Sri Mahalakshmi Temple which is near Goravanahalli early in the morning.

Goravanahalli is around 80 KM from Bengaluru, famous for its Mahalakshmi temple. Goravanahalli Mahalakshmi temple is dedicated to goddess Mahalakshmi and believed that the idol of Shri Mahalakshmi is self- originated. It’s a small temple but going by people words, its very powerful and many people wishes have come true. It took us around two and half hours (time was around 12.30 PM) when we reached near the temple and found the road was blocked by police due to huge rush. We were allowed to take the car near the temple as one of my friend’s wife was carrying. After parking the car, we had one more hurdle to cross i.e. to take tickets for special darshan which was a nightmare. It took us a good hour to enter the temple and pay a visit, but it was worth the wait. We then went for the dam which is adjacent to the temple. As the temperature was too hot, we relaxed a bit under the tree shade and progressed towards car to start our journey back to Bengaluru. It was 6 PM when we reached our friend’s home at Koramangala. We quickly had snacks and headed towards Yeshwantpur Railway Station as my wife’s parents were travelling. It took us 30 minutes to travel hardly a km or two, that’s when we dropped the plan and picked up another, which was shopping for my wife. That’s how, our new year ended with, SHOPPING :).

A day at TALAKADU


It’s been more than a month now that I got married and we haven’t spent some quality time together. Adding upon that was, setting up the home with furniture, shopping for household items etc etc. It was one busy month where the plans for next week was made a week or so prior.  Hence, the chance of escaping from the Bengaluru city was not in the cards for us, and decided we would think of it after a month when things settle down a bit.

screen-shot-2017-01-04-at-7-39-55-pmIt was post lunch, when we friends made up the plan for Talakadu for a day for the coming weekend (which was 18 December, 2016). Most of them were ready but one of my friend had to attend the ongoing training on weekends and had to opt out, due to which others also were dilemma. I took the same plan to my wife and she was up for it as this was a one day trip. But then there was going to her aunt and uncle home to purchase some household stuff pitched in. After confirming with them, we decided to leave on Saturday and pay them visit on Sunday. We googled the route and found the best way was through Malavalli (which happens to be, native place where one of my close friend).

We left Bengaluru at 8.00 AM and reached my friend’s home around 11.00 AM. Had good time there having spent a good half an hour with their family and loads of snacks. We enquired once again on what to see nearby and hit the road. Gagganchukki View point was half an hour from Malavalli and by the time we reached, it was 12.30 PM. It was disappointing to see very scare water and rocks. Within half an hour, we left from the place to Talakadu, deciding not to go to Bharchukki or Shivanasamudra Falls as there was no water. One of the most refreshing moment of the day was when we came across the narrow road which had lake on one side and fields on other side.

At Talakadu

We reached Talakdu at 1.30 PM and sun was blazing hot upon us. Upon reaching, we followed a group of school childrens who had taken guide in order to explain the importance of the sculptures, symbols, temples etc. We youngsters forget to know the history of places and visit places just to cover and for the thrill of it. I was of that kind earlier but maturity has brought in some good factors which encourages me to learn more about the place I’m planning to visit. It was sound knowledge we had gathered from the guide and the imagination and hard work of those people hundreds of years back has to be praised of. There are in total 5 temples (Pathaleshwara, Maraleshwara, Arkeshwara, Vaidyanatheshwara and Mallikarjuna) in and around Talakadu to visit, the five Lingams believed to represent the five faces of Shiva, form the Pancha pathi and have become famous tourist place in the recent times.

By the time we finished paying visit to the temples around Talakadu, it was lunch time and we were hungry to the core. wp-1483538267175.jpgThere was a udipi style hotel in front of the temple. It was long time since our taste buds has tasted udipi style food. We sat down on the bench outside and had mouth-watering food (rice and sambar was just tempting). We finished our food and headed towards banks of Cauvery river to take a coracle ride and spent some time relaxing. It was soothing experience having taken the ride where water was very clear, can see fishes getting caught by fishermen, ducks making noises underneath algae. The ride costed us Rs. 120 per two persons in a separate boat. Once reaching the shore, we spent sometime in the water and then moved towards the tea stall. We sipped our tea and relaxed a while before kicking off to next temple. As we were at the crossing of the last temple, we were stopped as the road was getting constructed due to which we had leave it out. It took us around 3-3 1/2 hours to travel back to Bengaluru due to the traffic. It was 8.00 PM by the time we reached our home and ended our trip with neutral feelings.

Bengaluru=Traffic


Most of the readers will find the blog title apt as if they are made for each other. It’s been more than 5 years now that I have been in Bengaluru and one thing which I have seen proliferate is TRAFFIC. It was not this way if rolled back 5-8 years. I’ve come to understand why traffic is such an abiding topic of conversation to the office-going Bengalurean’s.

 On a good day, my commute can take 45 minutes to an hour to my office at Prestige ShantiNiketan, Whitefield. On a bad day – anything up to 1-2 hours (time taken to reach my office gate itself is around 30 minutes, especially on Friday’s). And the thing with namma Bengaluru, as far as traffic is concerned, is: there are hardly any good days. I love the idea of travelling the road less taken, but as far as my morning commute goes – there aren’t any . And on the roads I take, my progress seems like morse code, with lots of dots and very few dashes. There was one instance where in I was stuck in a traffic jam and happened to check my car display options for the engine and to my surprise, my car mileage was shown as “3.1 Km/L”. That’s how the pace is so damn slow at times that Bengalurean’s have got accustomed to it. I’ve stopped so often and so long at some points on the ride that I might fairly be considered a local.

      Given that the average Bengalurean spends so much time stalled in traffic every day, you wonder how they keep themselves occupied during these long pauses in stoplight limbo. Fights, naturally, are common, as are the sudden turns into side lanes, or two wheeler riders mounting the footpaths for better progress. Usual scene at KR PuramThere’s the delicate balancing act of that a family of five, precariously perched on an antique scooter, performs when the scooter grinds to a halt – or moves in fits and starts. It’s the kind of thing that makes you wonder how centre of gravity work. There are, of course, the mobile obsessed, Facebooking and Instagramming, moaning about the pile up on Old Airport road, KR Puram or retweeting the latest from the Silk Board junction parody Twitter account. There are the bosses on the go, in their chauffeur-driven vehicles, who have converted the back into a mobile office, and conduct their business on their phones, unperturbed by the chaos outside. There are the long married couples, bickering about everything from relatives to the choice of time for the drive. There are the younger couples, using the time spent at the red light for a quick kiss, love showing…or, as it happened a couple of days ago, quite a bit more. Coming to me, I generally listen to FM by changing the channel thousand times before I reach office, hardly get to listen 3-4 songs in the time travelled.

Initially, I used to enjoy my drive. Well, at least for the first couple of days. Now, I wish that every road was Nice Road, and every day was Sunday morning. Because whatever energy you have, whatever ideas you have, whatever resolutions you have to make your day at work productive, all of it is lost by the time you slouch into the office, wondering how your coworkers manage to make it work on a daily basis. It has happened to me and most of my friends who are huge foodies but suppressing those sudden urges simply because the nearest outlet was too far away or reluctantly (or not) deciding to attend a family function simply because its taking place at the other end of town on a Saturday .

Photo Credits: Indian GAGS
Photo Credits: IndianGags

One of the meme which fits right into the situation. Sometimes I wish I had an e-wallet filled with funds, and an Uber or an Ola always just a couple of minutes away . I’d ride those cabs to work and back, and make the most of the journey watching movies, hollywood TV series or sleeping. That’s probably the only way I’d be able to come to work feeling fresh and enthusiastic. Until then, I’ll just have to complain about the traffic, like every true Bengalurean.

Nagarthpet Dosa Walk


It was Sunday and I was lazying around at my room. I woke up around 5.15 PM and was still in sleep mode, that’s when my phone buzzed and the notification for the event was displayed on the phone. It came to my mind that I had marked as “Interested” in attending this event couple of weeks back. I was bit reluctant at first as the place was bit far from my room (Basava nagar) and I wasn’t feeling well too. But then decided I will go for it irrespective of what happens as I was at home doing nothing from two days. I informed Vijay about the same and he agreed to join me. We got ready in 10 mins and headed towards the place.

img_1091-1We reached the place around 6.45 pm and weren’t sure whether  we reached the correct placed or not, that’s when I noticed the place-holder of the community “Best Bangalore” which confirmed me that we are at right place. We parked our bike opp to temple and went to the first stall where there was bit crowd. We ordered a plate idly which was very delicious and very soft with the chutney they provided with. After gulping it, we ordered “PUDI MASALA DOSA“. The first bite of the dosa made such an impression that I wouldn’t forget. It was sumptuous and very different from the ones what we have regularly. The ghee on top of it added the extra taste. And when asked  for the price, he said Rs. 50/- (which is reasonable when compared to the dosa stall what we eat daily). The start was delightful, I said.

We moved ahead and checked other food stalls. We were not in position to have anything else so decides to stroll around for a while then start again 😊😋. After half an hour or so, we came back at started with Masala papad. We thought it would be like a lighter snack but soon it proved wrong. The papad was thick with spicy chutney and different kinds of vegetables on top of it. It was merely Rs.20/- per papad. We finished and went further to taste lemon rice. It tasted nice but we have tasted much better. We ordered one more pudi masala dosa and told him to parcel it. We headed back to our bike when I realized vijay wanted to taste Hot Badam milk. We took one glass with malai which was of Rs.30/-. After having milk, I casually asked Vijay if he wants to try out something more to which he said “No”😜.  We left the place with a smile  on the face, largely because of the dosa we had.

I must say, people who want to try different kind of dosa, then it’s a must visit place. You won’t be disappointed.