Tag Archives: Nostalgia

RVCE Files – The Beginning

25 Nov

It was 1981. Admissions happened and lo and behold we ended up in RVCE.

WHAT??? RVCE??? THAT ROWDY COLLEGE? That was the first reaction from everyone I talked to.

“Beware of ragging guru” one guy told me, “They make you take a bath in the nala” (for those not in the know, the above mentioned nala is the enormous drain that passes by the college). Another one told us horror stories of what would happen in the college bus on the way there. “I heard they make you hang out of the bus”….

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Vijaya High Chronicles – Brothers and Sisters “At Large”

29 Jun

Guest post by Prof. Bellave Shivaram

Almost everyone has a brother or a sister.  Some brothers and sisters may even overlap in school if the age difference is not too large.  My brother and I overlapped at VHS for two years.  I can also recall two twins in the same section who were in the year senior class and also a cousin brother pair.  There might have been others, a brother and sister pair or a sister and sister pair but I was not aware of any of those. In our case, I knew who most of my brother’s friends were and he certainly knew my friends – but it was a mutually exclusive arrangement.  He did not hang around with us and I knew his friends as mere acquaintances.  But I like to touch upon a different sort of relationship not mentioned above – I am talking about the invisible brothers (and sisters) we all have.  Let me explain.

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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 batch..as 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”..to 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”

Cooku for a Weeku

18 Aug

Every other summer my uncles would visit us from the USA with their families. Invariably our house in Bangalore was the first stop and a staging area while they visited Mysore and other places.

Suddenly the house would be teeming with relatives either staying with us or visiting my uncles. Relatives would come out of the woodworks to visit… and hoping for the odd T-Shirt or perfume bottle. Considering that our house in Jayanagar had 2 small bedrooms, I wonder now how we squeezed so many people in.

It was during one of these visits that mom threw her hands up and said she needed a cook for the 3 weeks that the visitors were around. After all cooking for 20 odd demanding people while you have a full time job as an Economics prof was difficult. She had just lost a cook who was with us for 3 odd years (that nightmarish story later).

After some debate it was decided that a cook had to be hired.. this happened to be a guy who had worked in a Udipi restaurant and was in between jobs.

We kids were excited (my cousins from the US could not care less… they were missing their barrgurrs).. but for us it was a great thing to have a “real” cook at home. Moms cooking was too healthy and not exciting enough.

Day 1- He started off well enough… with some great Idlies and Vada… and typical hotal sambar… great rasam for lunch.. and dinner…there were praises all around.. snide remarks about mom’s cooking… why can’t she get some tips from this guy etc etc… amma has a frown on her face.. “What a cook” we chorus.. “can we keep him?”

Day 2 – Same dishes, same food…. still tasty enough…Some gas building up inside the grownups… one of the relatives swear that baking soda has been used.. still the cook gets the benefit of doubt…maybe its mom’s fault she didnt give him variety in the ingredients.. everything was the same.. same dishes, same taste…

Day 3 – Dishes dont change.. rasam tastes the same.. gas build up increases.. mom’s expression changes to a smirk

Day 4 – The Soda has everyone bilious… elders hatch a conspiracy to get rid of the cook… mom is grinning broadly.. she has been happily hands off from the kitchen… dad broaches the subject of firing the cook.. only to be met with a cold stare…uncles start grumbling “We came all the way here to eat hotal food aaaa?”

Day 5 – Murder plots are being hatched. Bathroom is occupied ALL the time. Food is being supplied from a neighbours house because peeepal do not want to taste the same rasam, sambar and soda filled rice again… mom is now laughing….

Day 6 – Cook is asked to go by Mom.. she cant bear to see the family suffering. The cook cannot understand why his popularity has gone from Rock Star to Porn Star in 5 days. He leaves gladly… Mom is resigned to cook for the suffering lot.. neighbours and relatives offer supporting help.

Moms cooking is bestest…. no one complains