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Foodie Hai To Aisa Ho

5 Sep

There are eaters and there are eaters but none capable of emptying a kitchen like my cousin U. Growing up in Mysore, he was single-handedly responsible for most restaurants changing from full meal schemes to plate meal schemes.

Theres the time when he had 3 set dose’s (that 12 in total), a bisi-bele-baath,coffee for breakfast and then went home and had more idlies that my grandma had made.

Or he time when he had his Andhra meal and then proceeded to finish off the side dishes from our plates as well (he hated wasting food).

He once landed from the USA (where he lives now) and waited for Vidyarthi Bhavan to open at 6 AM before proceeding by Taxi to Mysore…and he stopped at Maddur for a second round of breakfast.

However the one that I remember the best was during a trip to a place called Mandagere on the banks of the Hemavati River.

A group of 8 landed in Mandagere by train at around 10 pm. Mandagere station was deserted and we were hungry. We decided to knock on the door of the eatery on the platform. The sleepy owner agreed to make us idlis (poor man). At 10 paise per idli it was a steal. We also placed an order for a further 80 idlis the next morning. The guy assured us that his son would bring it over to the Travelers Bungalow where we were staying.

The Bungalow was beautiful. It was on the banks of the Hemavati river which was flowing full.

Next day morning the owner’s son showed up with the idlis and coffee (which was fantastic by the way). He also informed us that lunch would be served at noon. A full meal for One Rupee and Fifty Paisa. U was already pacing himself.

We decided to go to lunch in batches of four. Uday chooses to go with the second do I. The first batch leaves at noon and is back at quarter to. Then its our turn.

The food was simple and delicious. However the full meal scheme was a mistake especially with U in town. He decides to have 2-3 helpings of each course. Inside we can hear a heated discussion between the owner and the cook. They are scraping the bottom of the barrel in the kitchen. Obviously they are running out of stuff.

Then after its all over, U says “Maybe I will have another round” which DG (another friend with us) says “He’ll probably kill you if you ask for more”..

The owner comes out of the kitchen (he probably heard us talking)…before we can say anything he says in Kannada “Saar, I have spent full days provisions on you people, I will have to shut down for the rest of the day. Normally I serve 60 meals, today I have served only 40…please don’t ask for more..”

NOTE:  As I type this post, U is in town on a quick visit. He went into Vidyarthi Bhavan last week and when the waiter asked what he wanted he said “Bring me one of everything…” . He did the same at Maiyas the next day.

The legend continues.

Irish Conflict

26 Aug

Going back to corporate life in the late 90’s, partner meetings were very popular. One such meet was held at a resort on the outskirts of Jakarta, Indonesia. Since the company was on a budget drive we were asked to share rooms.

Dermott and Tony were from our Irish office and became roomies. They were best friends but as different as chalk and cheese. Dermott was a chain smoker, liked his beer and Tony was a practitioner of Yoga, more of a wine person. Personality wise both were outgoing and friendly to everyone.

The internal team (including Tony and Dermott) arrived a few days earlier to prepare and set up the event. In a couple of days we observed that they started snapping at everyone in general and at each other in particular. Having known them for years it was quite odd.

Things came to a head one day when a group of us were hunched around the bar when both started making snide remarks at each other, their habits… it then got personal when they started accusing each other of questionable genetics… several beers later ancestry was being discussed… the climax came when morals of their mothers and grandmothers started to get discussed…they had to be physically separated…

Finally we found out why…

Tony liked to go to bed early… but Dermott stayed awake till 3-3.30 AM, smoking and playing games on his computer. Obviously pissed Tony off.

On the other hand Tony got up bright and early at 4.30 AM and stared pottering around the room… doing Yoga for an hour the going for a quick swim and then coming back to take a shower and fixing himself with a health drink using a mini blender that he carried… all before 6 AM. Dermott who would have just gone to sleep was pissed at Tony.

Net net both of them were not getting any sleep… the anger was slowly building up.

Finally we convinced someone else to room with Dermott..

An Irish “Odd Couple”

Generation to Generation

4 Dec

Sometimes on my walks I stop by the Devagiri Temple in Banashankari. The driveway to the temple has these benches for people to sit. Its a nice quiet place.

The girl must have been about 5. Shes sitting with her grandfather on a bench outside the temple sharing a pomegranate with him. As they are eating he is asking her basic questions like spellings, numbers, meanings of small words. For the kid it was all play and she had the answer to everything. It got so interesting that I sat on a bench nearby and watched for a while. The man looked at me and smiled obviously proud of his grandchild.

All this reminded me about my walks with my granddad during summer holidays in Mysore. He’d buy me peanuts and we’d sit in the park and he’d go into stories of his school days and how he came up.

Looks like some things never change from generation to generation. I hope we never lose that.

Bangalore Circa 1946

27 Nov

Do you recognize these places?

brigade.jpg mgroad.jpgstmarks.jpg

From Left: Brigade Road, MG Road, St Marks/MG Road Junction

mayohall.jpg townhall.jpg

From Left: Mayo Hall (MG Road) and Town Hall (JC Road. Observe the two way traffic)

Finally I leave it to you to guess which this road is. Its one of the busiest and a major artery today and leads to the HQs of several large companies.


Thaaku !!!

25 Oct

Was chatting with my Dad and Mom the other day and the stories of my escapades came up. These included the times when I was “delayed” coming back home from swimming to the time I was caught playing at the pinball arcade (all these call for their own separate posts).

I then asked my mom for the earliest incident she remembered. Her first recall was when I was two.

We used to live in Kolar Gold Fields (KGF) at the time. Dad had this Java motorcycle that used to carry the family around. So one day, the three of us have made the long trip from KGF to Bangalore. It was evening and mom said I was tired of the travel and sitting on her lap.. extremely cranky.. (I was 2 years old !!!!)

Once we were in Bangalore, Dad stopped at the MG Road-Brigade Road junction. As soon as he did it, I said “thaaku” (baby talk for “saaku” or enough)… got down from the motorbike and headed down Brigade Road (the first of many future walks) …mom had to run after me and retrieve me…

I think thats when they realized they had a challenge on their hands…

They recounted a few others that had conveniently escaped me. Am saving that for future writes.

Vijaya High Chronicles

21 Sep

Finally…. about time

Check out The Marks Part 2 in the VHS Chronicles.

The Knife

24 Jun

Heres another one from memory lane.

Everytime I grumble at Nikhil for the things he does, I realize that hes not half as bad as I was 😉

So here goes… another incident out of the bag.

The very summer I went missing, I had another episode that now in perspective put me on the right path. Natti was a guy who lived across the street…much older than the rest of us.. He was known in the neighbourghood as a trouble maker.. Now that I think about it, the police probably visited his house more that they did the Police Station.

Now this guy was a “friend” of mine. He used to give me “stuff” to keep for him. Usually this used to be in a bag. I was always told, “Don’t show your parents”.. and sure enough I didn’t. It never occured to me to check what was in the bag. I would bring it in to the house when no one was around and hide it in my room. What did I get in return? All I got was a 5 paisa “burfi”.

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