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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.

AWOL but still here

4 Sep

Sorry for the silence. I have been travelling. Lots to share.

I have been working on a new startup. Busy with the launch and all other things that go with a new venture.

Should be back to normal soon.

He did it !!!!

26 May

CBSE Results came out today and Nikhil passed with flying colors.

Congrats to the boy and the mommy as well for her patience.

Yayyyyy !!!!

The Conversation

16 Mar

One of my best friends, I’ll call him R since I dont want to use his real name, Rajagopal.

Most of the times we have normal conversations. Sometimes though it proceeds like the one below..

His better half pcr-rules was in the USA and we were meeting for lunch…it also happens to be R’s birthday.

Me: So how goes it? Ready for lunch??

R: Had a heavy breakfast…So, Pr is coming back next week. How long does it take to travel from the new Airport?

Me: It takes an hour. So anything special you are doing on your B’day?

R: She is coming in on Luftansa..somehow her routing is through Washington DC…dont know why…

We order food…and R continues

R: Inge paare (in Tamil)…once she reaches she’ll take at least 1 hour to come outside illiya? Customs, Immigration and all that stuff

Me: Ya, Ya (food has arrived by now)

R: She also doesnt have much time in Nashville..its work work work..

Me: Hmmm…

R: Buses from the International Airport they stop near the house…but sometimes they dont…

Me: Okay cool…

R: Heres her schedule (proceeds to retrieve pcr’s schedule on mail)…

Me: More Garlic Bread?

R: No thanks. So I think it will be minimum 2 AM by the time she gets home…(all the time reading the schedule on the phone)

Me: !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

R: So I dont think I’ll have any sleep on the day she returns… so hows things with you?

Me: !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

…and then theres the ongoing battle he has with his fingernails..but thats another post…

The Hall Ticket

16 Feb

Events evoke memories. Nikhil’s preparation for his tenth board exams took me back to a time when I almost didn’t make it to mine.

Hall tickets were given. Like all my other friends, I took the hall ticket to the local Ganesha Temple where the priest “blessed” was then bought back home and mom checked every detail on the thing to make sure it was okay. The name, date of birth etc etc…

“Its very important” she said.. “the name had to be correct”

“Oh well” said dad.. “If its printed wrong, we’ll just change his name”

Fortunately everything was okay. During my younger days, my name frequently got changed to “Vijaya”.. that extra “a” turned it into a girl’s name.. so I was glad that the name was right.

After the initial euphoria, the hall ticket was kept in a “Safe Place”.

The concept of a “safe place” has been immortalized in houses round the world…. It generally means “never to be found again”…

The day before the exams, there was a suggestion to “tape” the hall ticket to my exam pad. But wait a minute… where was the hall ticket?? !!!!!

No one knew..not mom, of course not dad..not Aditya (he was 4 years old at that time)…everyone was a suspect…we looked everywhere, the house, the neighbourhood garbage pile (thinking maid had thrown it)…no luck !!!

So, the day before my tenths, I am not sure whether I will be allowed to take the exam. Not the sort of mood you want to be in when you are going to be writing (at that point in time), one of the most important exams of your life. Getting a duplicate was out of the question.

Next day, mom went with me to Chandrashekariah’s (KSC, the HM) office. After some discussions (and KSC berating me for not taking care of things), it was decided that he would accompany me to the exam hall every day and tell the external examiner that I was to be allowed to write the exams.

So, the rest of the exams went that way. I’d go and wait outside KSC’s office, he’d come out 10 minutes before the exams stated and led me to the room. He never forgot to wish me luck.

As for the hall ticket….thats still a mystery…
Cross posted on Vijaya High Chronicles

The Sound

11 Feb

“Did you hear that?” my son asks me. As usual he is standing in front of me blocking my view…

“Hear What?” says me.. trying to watch the cricket match beyond him.

“Theres something or someone going ‘uhoo uhoo'” he says

“Dont be crazy.Nothing like that”

And then I hear it as well.. sounds like a tired sigh. I try to isolate that sound but it seems to come from nowhere. Every time I hear it, it seems to come from another place.. the sound is unmistakable… and it is timed.

“I told you so” whispers junior

Was it a ghost, was it an owl? or maybe someone in the cupboard?

Early morning the next day, I am sitting having my coffee and I hear that sound again. Except this time it comes from the phone stand. I approach the stand wondering if something is hiding inside the draws.

5 minutes later I hear the sigh again…

Its my wife’s mobile phone !!!!! Low on Battery.. going “uhoo uhoo”

Mystery solved. I wish it would just beep like my Nokia.. but this is a Motorola.

Board Exams – The Ongoing War

21 Jan
Copyright - The Creator

Copyright - Original Creator

These days I enter the house very carefully when I come back in the evenings. I could be entering a war zone…

You are right folks.. its exam time… X Std Board Exam time (actually its pre-board time). Its a time of constant battle between Mother and Son and I am an “innocent spectator”…

So heres the “normal” sequence of events (especially if something has happened)

He opens the door and then looks at me for a minute.. trying to gauge whether his mother has called me…

Mother is sitting in the room, randomly changing channels and starts watching an Urdu channel as I walk in…shes also holding a newspaper all wrong…

I wait…I wait for the complaint session to begin… usually the son waits till I am finished freshening up.. he accosts me in the room as I struggling into more comfortable clothes…

“I didnt do anything” he hisses.. a clear indication that hes in trouble…

“Well what didnt you do?”

“Whatever mum says I did.. I didn’t do”…he whispers as his mom switches off the TV…

“Well.. I see hes already spoken to you”… the mother says “Please ask him what his intentions are?”

In the meantime the son has headed back to his study table and keeps muttering…. I, in the meantime am trying to figure out which side I want to be on.. at the same time I am trying to finish getting dressed…

“Okay guys.. whats the problem?” I ask in my most “judicial” voice…

“Ask him” says the mother…

“Ask her” says the son…

Then they start off together.. something about not doing diagrams, something about yes I did diagrams,he never listens, yes I do… yada yada yada… I am in the meantime catching up on the news…

I know the fights ended when madam heads towards the kitchen and son heads back to his study table…

Its all over in 10 minutes… life gets back to normal.. mum calls out that dinner is ready.. Nikhil puts the plates out.. I eat…peace reigns until next time…

But its still a war zone..

Stay tuned…exams are in March..