Rolled Over

I’m not much of an experimenter when it comes to food- my taste buds are particular about certain flavors. You take me to Kamat, I’ll get Jollad Rotti; take me to any Darshini, I’ll get a Rava Idly; take me to a pastry shop, I’ll get pineapple or chocolate; like I said, fixed.

When I went to Roll Over, a new ice cream parlor in the locality, I closed my eyes and picked something chocolate in it- Oreo Overload, and V went with Filter Kapi.

The concept of rolled ice cream was fairly new to V and I. We stood there looking at the guy beating my poor Oreos and ice cream up; he then made up for it by massaging my ice cream very sensually. Next, he patted it to sleep rather smoothly. And then, he scooped it all up, rolling it in the process.

As visually appealing as it looked, I must tell you, I was super disappointed. I loved the crunchiness of the cone. But the ice cream, not so much. Contrary to the name, there was no over load of Oreo at all. Rather, I could see specs of Oreo in my ice cream but taste more of vanilla, and almost nothing of the Oreo. The Filter Kapi, was quite bleak too – with the slightest tinge of coffee flavors. And there were three tiny rolls of ice cream which just got over, with a few minutes. I don’t get these new places and their obsession with serving tiny amounts of ice cream. (Corner House, bless you!).

The ambience of the place was comparatively appealing to V, he seems to like places which are bright and have white lights everywhere. But if you’re a dim place nocturnal creature like me, then here’s another red flag.

Nevertheless, I’m pretty determined to go try more flavors, and maybe change my opinion of this place. But until then, Rocky Road for life!

 

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Corridors

I’m not really sure what it is about corridors that fascinates me. I think it’s not knowing what’s on the other end. Or sometimes it’s the path in itself. Nevertheless, each one has a story to tell in itself. Maybe it saw the royals stroll rainy evenings, or it gave joggers some respite; maybe it stayed too still while tourists clicked away on their cameras. Or maybe it did nothing. Maybes, and more maybes.

 

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Inside Hyderbad’s Nooks and Corners

It was a regular day in Hyderabad. The city and its traffic didn’t make me miss Bangalore for a minute. The only thing that did stand apart from Bangalore was it’s ancient structures.

The city was full of surprises. There would be a series of newer shopping complexes, international brand stores, and then suddenly, an old ruin would emerge. Every other old structure would have a dome, or a few. Enough to make an tourist believe it was a place.

‘Madam, vegetable market, madam. Very fresh carrot, beans, sab milta’ the autowala informed from his cheetah printed shiny seat.

Chowmahal too, was a surprise. A random majestic metallic gate between a bustling street, and an even busier market. As the name suggests, it is home to four mahals/palaces. Each one more exquisite and regal looking than the others.

Uniformly painted in shades of white, beige and pale yellow. The windows were the deepest shades of brown. The lake, though green, perfectly reflected the structures adjacent to it. The garden, was home to a few canons, reflecting all the war and destruction the rulers boasted of.

The palace was now home to all of the Nizam’s possessions. His china, his woodwork, letters he wrote, stationary he used, swords that belonged to his armies, guns he took on his hunts, vintage cars that he collected, satin sofas he once sat on sipping his scotch, jewel studded pots he once smoked on; everything preserved like it was bought yesterday.

The chandeliers were a work of art in themselves, each one sparkling rays of the sun that came in through the window. And the windows? Don’t get me started on how precisely sculpted every last curve on the patterns were.

I doubt anything I pen here could even come close to how elegant the monument was.

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Goa.

Clear blue waters till the end of the horizon. The sun shinning on it beautifully. Whosh of the waves hitting the shore. Warm, toasty beaches with tall coconut trees swaying gracefully. Overpriced plastic bottles lying on the ground, around empty dustbins.

Two-wheelers zooming every where, honking noisily as they try to get to the beach. Tiny tattoo shops asking you to get ‘flying butterfly’ tattoos. Magnificent old churches and their Sunday masses. Tourist guides hovering around you, offering guide tours (even of empty beaches).

Oh! The smell of goan fish curries in the air, which makes even a vegetarian’s mouth water. Alcohol bottles clinking, and tipsy men trying to be heard over the cackler of others. And of course, drunk men openly flashing and molesting women, while they smile proudly.

Yup, Goa.

 

Bus Stands.

In my previous post I mentioned about sitting at the bus stand and not wanting to go to work.The bus stand, like I said, was a melange of people. If I wasn’t lazy I’d have written about all of them.

A scrawny woman who always chewed pan came here every day unfailingly; she sat on the bench to the left corner and carried a basket far too big for her. She sat there till she finished chewing the first ball of pan, and made garlands out of flowers. She never got on to any bus.

Next to her sat a woman, who styled her hair differently every day, she was shorter than I. She wore neon-green aviators and always carried a book with her. She used her finger as the bookmark, but I never saw her read the book. She just sat there and listened to music on her little black ear buds till a Volvo to Banerghatta arrived.

The other was a guy was about 6 feet tall who went to the gym behind the bus stand. He always had a red backpack he wore on one side. Somehow his walk reminded me of the proud-walk the Emperor does at the end of the novel the Emperor’s new clothes.

Occasionally, I met a classmate who was always more than an hour late to her place of work. She interned at a neuropsychiatric hospital, and didn’t really seem to care that she was running late. (I don’t recall seeing her on time to class either)

‘Sitting here at the bus stand seemed far more interesting than getting on a bus and going to work’. It truly was.

Tampered Meds? Here’s what you have to do

Another one of my pieces for Citizen Matters.

Apparently, being given tampered or used medicines in Bangalore pharmacies are quite common, and an issue that needs to be talked about more often. Since not many people are aware of this, here’s what you have to do.

Dealing with Tampered Medication

 

Parishe

Scrolling down my gallery on a lazy summer afternoon, I found a bunch of pictures I had taken when the city was gearing up for the annual Kadle-kai Parishe, not of the parishe (fair/flee market) per se but just a few things that meant something to me. These little pictures took me back to that winter evening.

The parishe opens officially after these peanuts have been offered to Nandi, whose statue resides inside the temple on top of the tiny rock called Bugle Rock in Basvangudi. It is a weeklong affair that happens on the streets bordering Bugle Rock. Farmers and their families from the villages in Karnataka, and some on the border of TN and AP bring in the kadle kai (peanuts) that they harvest and sell it raw, salted or boiled.

We went on the evening two days before the parishe ‘officially’ opened. When it ‘officially’ opens the roads are blocked and closed off to traffic and the crowd from all parts of the city and other villages flock here. The unofficial opening is only known to those who are passer-bys or live nearby. But going earlier also meant that one wouldn’t be able to see all the stalls up.

Amma tells me stories of a time when I was tiny and would easily fit in her arms and on her hips. She would carry me around these lanes on evenings when she was bored and I was being whiny. She would put me on a kids ‘giant’ wheel and watch the whining vanish; she would then bring me back home only to be troubled by take me back’s and more tantrums of that sort.

This evening the traffic was still open, but still the farmers sat on the borders of either sides of the road. It was different; they hadn’t been worn out by this city yet. The roads were lit up, not just with street lights, but with fairy lights hanging down from every nook and corner. Never had Basvangudi been decked up so much. The parishe also hosted local handicraft sellers- some selling beautifully painted ceramic pots, others selling clay pots, some sold beaded jewellery, and others sold plastic toys. It was beautiful though, the happiness in the air, the crowd and everything.

The uneven rock around the temple were a bunch of amusement rides – the Columbus, a Tora-tora, a Giant Wheel, and another ride which I don’t remember. Every time the Columbus swung a roar of happy screams of children filled the air, along with a dangerously scary creek which and a thud. One could only hope that it wouldn’t fall apart and hurt anyone. While I stood amused, Amma coaxed me to go to the temple.

While I climbed, I thought of reasons to not go in- I’ll go see the new public gym, I’ll check the stalls out again –need to buy something, and what not. But, nothing seemed to work and my little happy stroll ended with going to the almost empty temple; the priests were oiling the Nandi statue made of stone. The huge stone structure was smooth to touch, probably worn by years of washing and oiling and other rituals, the coldness felt soothing under my palm.

While I stood there and waited for the prasada (why else would one go to the temple?), I looked up casually, and saw a flock of pigeons in every corner; nothing like your ornithophobia to come kicking in to ruin the experience.

Maybe, the year after would be better. For now, the highlight of this parishe, for me, was its lights.

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