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.

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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.

Diner at High Ultra Lounge


       The plan for diner at High Ultra Lounge was a long pending experience. It got streamlined when Ravi (one of my close friend) was in Bangalore for few days. It was since very long time we two had to catch up. We decided to go for diner at one of the best rooftop lounge available in Bangalore. We had various options in our plate such as Skyye, Fatty bao, High ultra lounge, Persian terrace etc. We tried for Skyye lounge-UBcity, the other day but due to some work, we couldn’t make it. Then on Thursday around 12 in the afternoon, Ravi confirmed he is up for the diner. That’s when, I called up the guys at High Ultra Lounge and reserved the table for two around 8.30 PM.

As usual, due to heavy traffic, we reached the lounge around 9.00 PM. And to make the matter worse, the table was given to someone else which pissed me off. We sat near the bar area for an hour and ordered mock tails for each of us and were discussing things. I was feeling a bit uncomfortable to sit in the bar area not because they serve liquor but for other reasons. After an hour wait, when requested, we were moved to open rooftop lounge but was not happy because the table was adjacent to the loud speakers which was not letting us communicate. After couple of requests yet again, we were moved to the corner table at the end.  This time, we were satisfied with the seating :). The view from the table was such a hair-rising experience. Bangalore was looking like a big jigsaw puzzle where in the metro track was one of the highlights. We were able to see the complete stretch of metro from Malleshwaram to ISKON temple via Navrang. It was like an ant moving on the line :).

    Food didn’t stand up to what we expected but nevertheless we order many things such as Beef rolls with asparagus, Baby corn, Schimi spiced maki with tenkasu (I will remember this dish for a very long time because I wont even dare to order it again). After ordering different cuisines, we came back to our own desi food. The discussion between us was going in parallel and we were at one moment laughing, other moment discussing the old things, then switching to our personal lives. The topic of discussion was extreme at both ends and was such a blast. Abhishek Shukla (aka AB, if I recollect his name correctly) the waiter assigned to our table added craziness to it. With his expressions, dance steps, interaction with guests and words, it added more fun and laugh. We rounded up the diner by having Egg fried rice and chocolate hot cake. It was around 12.30 PM when we decided to leave.

 

It was a much needed break from the hectic office work and a rejuvenating time spent with an old friend after a very long gap. Looking forward to meet again at SKYYE :).

An old man with a young gal


Your imaginations might have started wandering to the wildest after seeing the title. Let me tell you that, you’re imaginations are in the correct way ;). It fascinating to see that most of the young gals/women have some kind of attraction towards the older men.  I’m a first timer on witnessing such incidents and MIGHT change my mind the next time I witness it. So before such thing happens again, I just wanted to say about that. This blog is about what I have seen and will pen down as it happened that night. This blog might appeal one out of ten people who read this, because of their change in modern lifestyle, western culture or the trend or whatever you think of.

We friends (4 of them) planned to go to some pub to chill out and were looking for options. After all the talks, discussions and suggestions we decided to go to 13th Floor, M G Road. We enquired about the place and made a reservation on 14th October, 2015. We reached the destination around 9:00 PM. After entering, we were guided to our seats which were corner and were able to see the partly view of M G road. The view of the road from the top looks vibrant with stream of lights passing by and the gust of cool breeze hitting your face. We got settled at our table and ordered for drinks, mock tails & starters.

As we started discussing on various topics, there comes a couple which knocked my socks off. An old man (say early 50’s) and a gal (around mid 20’s) walked into the pub with such ease and style made me glare at them for few seconds. Old man had his hands wrapped around the gal’s waist and walked. The first look of the couple would make you think that its kind of business proposal or some kind  of give-and-take agreement. And to our luck, they settled beside our table. Many people in the pub eyed the couple which brought the old man discomfort but nothing shackled the gal’s confidence. There were moments where in the gal was so lustful and made gestures which would erect any man but old man controlled his feelings. After a while or so, they changed the table and moved one table further from us and were given on the high stand. We were getting entertained at free of cost, so were others. We continued our conservations and were having a laughing stock.

Then there were other group who started to dance for few songs which were being played. Seeing this, couple of other people joined and it was all fun time. All of a sudden, the couple in the limelight stood up and started dancing in a romantic way. Ufff! Should have seen that. The gal pretty drunk and the old man were facing each other and dancing, out of the blue gal takes the hand of the old man and puts on her hips. Then came the shocker, she started shaking her hips, just like Shakira’s hips don’t lie, seriously. The old man tried his best to remove his hand but was in vain. The gal was totally under influence of the alcohol and which stretched her boundaries for erotic that she continuously pulled the old man for smooches.  This continued for more than half an hour and I must say they did put on a good show to the people in the pub. I was feeling dejected that society/people have changed but then soon realised it there choice and who the fuck I’m to judge whether they are good or bad.

But hey, I have my own opinions on such things and it “sucks” big time. One thing is for sure, seeing such incidents people will explore such options with others which would raise alarms in the society. If thought on broader perspective, tables are turning where in today’s generation of our country have learnt western cultures, their lifestyles where in other country people are learning ours. It always trying to match them by losing the morale of where we have been brought up and the cultures of it. As said earlier, it might not be appealing blog to many of you but it’s the bitter truth.

Dudhsagar Trip


      It’s been exactly one year now when we all roomies (Pran, Lokesh, Shrinivas, Vijay, Nishal, Me), Vishwa and Amaresh (friend’s of pran) decided to go for the long pending trip to GOA en route dudhsagar. We planed for this trip long ahead so that friends staying in other states could also take leave. Everyone was excited about the trip as we finally are going to Dudhsagar (got famous recently due to chennai express movie). As 15-Aug-2014 was coming on Friday, we had a long weekend plan set ahead. We made our reservations for train till Hubli junction. We started the journey on Aug-14 from Bangalore station and reached Hubli around 8 AM in the morning. And from there on, we would catch other train till Londa Junction where we met Vijay and Nishal who were travelling from Mumbai and Pune respectively.

At Londa Junction
At Londa Junction

     Once we reached Londa Junction, we decided to take a car to reach Castle Rock station. Before the car was booked, all of them started discussing about drinks rather than searching for the car. As it was 15-Aug, there were no much vehicles available which worked as advantage to the cab drivers who were charging hefty amount. After bargaining, we came to mutual understanding and agreed to pay Rs. 2000. We stopped after few minutes to refresh ourselves and purchase drinks from the store. As expected, the price was high as it was remote area and dry day. It was around 12 PM when we reached Castle Rock and it started to drizzle. As it was Independence Day, Pran was eager to carry Indian flag with him throughout the journey. After searching nearby, he saw a car which hoisted flag on it. He silently moved near the car, stole the flag and hurriedly join the group.

    Castle Rock is the last station that lies within the border of Karnataka. We decided to have food and then start the trek. As we walked to the remote village beside the railway track, rain poured heavily. We somehow managed to reach a small hotel/mess where we have our food. As everyone was hungry, they had food to their heart’s content. It was around 1.30 PM when we started our trek from Castle Rock. The trek from Castle Rock to Dudhsagar is 11 km long which included series of rail tunnels and takes around 6-7 hours to reach Doodhsagar. One of the difficult task was walking on railway tracks. At first, We would not balance right and use to walk in between the tracks but later after walking for about an kilo-meter or so, you start to catch the correct rhythm and start walking comfortably on the tracks.

At Tunnel No. 1
At Tunnel No. 1

       The first tunnel is at quite a distance from Castle Rock Station. We reached  Tunnel #2 shortly after crossing the first tunnel. This is the longest tunnel on the entire stretch which stretches a distance of 2.4 km and resembles the entrance of a church. This tunnel is a bit curved and hence you surely will require a torch to navigate through. It took us around 10-15 minutes to cross this tunnel and the experience was thrilling but scary at the same time. It is really an adrenaline pumping experience to cross such a long tunnel.  As we kept on walking along the railway path, so did the drizzle behind us. It followed us to quite some distance, then we all decided to take a break and refresh ourselves at Tunnel #4. Friends boozed and enjoyed the moment.

      As we resumed, rain stopped completely and which showed the serenity and calmness which lies in forest. There was a waterfall aside one of the tunnels seeing which all of them drenched in it and played near it, it was such a fun watching them enjoying under the waterfall. After an hour or so, we resumed our trek. After Tunnel no.6, lies one of the most scenic rail section – The Viaduct and the tunnel combination (pic below). We were  mesmerized by the sight which we just witnessed. A tunnel was drilled through a huge rock of mountain and a bridge was built just at the exit.

At Tunnel No. 6
At Tunnel No. 6

After crossing four more tunnels, we witnessed the single lined track developing into a double-line. Hence an indication that we were nearing the Dudhsagar Railway Station. A few steps away from the Dudhsagar Station lies the ancient station built by the Portuguese which was called ‘Dudh Sagur“. Just after this station, lies the last and the final tunnel before the very alluring yet mighty powerful Dudhsagar Falls. We were eager to complete this stretch and witness the falls and wanted to know the reason for all the hype which people have created where they say all this trek is worthwhile. Tunnel no. 11 was traversed quickly and we got closer the Dudhsagar Waterfalls Railway Station. After crossing this station, lies the Dudhsagar Falls.

View of the forrest
View of the forrest
     We reached Dudhsagar around 6 PM in the evening. We were afraid we wouldn’t get the proper view and enjoy the scenery as it was late in the evening but we were lucky enough to be at the correct moment. The first glance of the waterfall took my breath away. It was such a awe-inspiring feeling that made all our fatigue go away in a flash. One must visit place like this in their life time which makes you feel like different and refreshing. Even though the falls is bit far from the bridge, the rain droplets were falling on the tracks which didn’t allow me the take pictures near it. I was disappointed as I tried constantly taking pictures from my camera but failed to due to water droplets pouring in. I finally gave up, and my friends took out their mobile phones which captured our wonderful moments. The falls are very much stronger and would pull you in if you try to venture even closer. Hence make a note to view the falls only from the railway bridge and never ever try to go beneath or closer. It is indeed very safe at the railway bridge,We saw many people camping near the tracks and also beside the waterfall, which made us to re-think our plan. But the plan was scheduled and cannot be changed at this moment, so with heavy heart, I agreed.

 

    We planned to reach kulem and from their by train to Goa. As we started to walk back to Dudhsagar station (which is around 600 meters away from the waterfall), a goods train which travels to Kulem was getting heated up. One of the passerby informed us that this is the last train of the day, and is missed we have to be in dudhsagar till morning. Even though we were completely exhausted, we ran in the dark as if there was no tomorrow. I still remember the moment where Me and Vijay were the last guys who were running to catch the train and gave our 200% to catch the train. Amid, Vijay was so exhausted that he couldn’t run and was saying, “I will catch tomorrow’s morning train” but after bucking him up, we finally boarded the last boogie of the train where there is a small cabin for the signal guy. The last picture of the beautiful dudhsagar was taken from the goods train at a spot where in you have to be all set to click a picture which will last only few seconds. Below is one such pic taken by us.
Breathtaking view of Dudhsagar from train
Breathtaking view of Dudhsagar from train
    It was an enthralling trek to dudhsagar which was made special by my close and dear friends. The excitement what followed in goa is a different episode which I will pen down in other blog.