Tuesday, April 21, 2009

My Best Friend's Wedding!

It was 20th April, 2009 and I was hurrying up towards the railway station at 5:30AM to make sure I don’t miss the same and I’m on time for Rajesh’s D-Day!!
Reached Majestic Bus Stand and figuring out how to reach the railway station. I was too sleepy and was traveling for the first time by train to Mysore all by myself. Spoke to a stranger and he said, he’s going by the same train and I could follow him. I could not match his walking speed though I was running :P
Thanks to the beautiful saree I was wearing that Rajesh had lovingly gifted me for his wedding :)

Stood in the not so long queue to get my tickets. Fought with some unknown who tried to occupy the little space which was left between me and the person in front of me. He, unwillingly moved out and I felt I have won the war early in the morning! I was kinda uncomfortable in the saree, had ran and my ankle was aching, the footwear was slippery. Too many wrong things at the same time and making this man move out of the queue brought some happiness :)

It was my turn to buy the ticket and I was surprised to know the price!! Its 42 bucks to mysore which is dirt cheap! The lady in the ticket counter asked, “for the 6:25 train?” I check my watch. It was 6:23AM. Asked for the 7AM one for which she said, “this ticket could be used for both.” I collected my change n the ticket, started walking towards the platform. I dint know which platform I need to get into to catch my train. Another question popped up in my mind. Which platform should I get into?? Quickly found a TC who was busy explaining things to some passengers. I just stood in front of him to grab some attention so that I could ask him my queries. It worked and he said, “yes?”. I smiled and asked him for my platform number and he was courteous enough to tell me, “Platform number 6.” Thanked him and started running towards the basement which will lead us to the required platform. Reached platform 6. Found some train there and read – “Mysore – Bangalore” Some happiness again. Somebody looked at me and said, “Ladies aadre last coach” (For ladies, it’s the last coach). Neither did I know there’s a separate coach for ladies!!

I made myself comfortable in the less crowded compartment. There’s was a medical student next to me sincerely trying to study her subjects. Two good looking men came in checked if it was ladies coach. The girl next to me nodded her head and they moved to the next coach. I felt I should have moved with them too to the next coach. But I was too lazy and decided, I’d settle in the current one. I was too lazy to move my arse to the next one. Two more ladies came in and it was just the 4 of us in the compartment. I called mom to inform her, train started and would call her back once I reach my aunt’s house in mysore. Called a few more friends and bugged them (Actually woke them up).

Started listening to the radio and after we reached the outskirts, the signal was week and I switched to the songs in my phone. And while I was listening to songs, I started to think on our (Mine and Rajesh’s) journey of friendship. It was in the year 2003 when we had enrolled ourselves for the MBA course @ PESIT. It close to a month or two and we had spoken once coz we were gonna be in the same team for the assignment.

The statistics class was goin’ on and I had no clue what my great friend was doin’ in the last few benches. The lecturer asked him to move to the first bench where I was sitting (I was in the first bench of the middle row. There were 3 rows). He sat on the first bench of the first row. She looked at him and said, “Here. Next to her.” He said, “Ma’am, I don’t know her. So, I wouldn’t prefer sitting next to her.” The whole class burst out with a big laugh. The lecturer couldn’t control the laughter too, she smirked and said, “So what? Sit next to her.” Poor Rajesh, don’t know what he thought of me, sat next to me. That’s when we started to talk, and I can’t believe its kinda become non-stop now!
He asked me, why I’m wearing the pearl studded ring for which the answer was, “coz’ my dad asked me to.” I asked the same question to him about some ring he was wearing, and I got the answer – “Coz’ it controls my wavering mind.” These were our first conversations and if I’m not wrong, I think, after this day, we started discussing on many other topics but the subjects related to MBA :)

He always used to fiddle with his mobile phone and sms his GF. Since I never had the luxury to have one on my own, in case, if I had to use his cell phone, he used to promptly ask me for the money – be it Rs.1.50 or less :)

We mostly sat together for the classes and talk all the time. I remember a lecturer had almost thrown us out of the class coz’ we were talking non-stop. He also used to make sure we sit apart :P
It was during the accounts / finance class, I used to sit next to somebody who knew the subject well. I hardly knew / understood anything in this subject as I was from the science background. And Rajesh used to hate me for this. But, I could not help.

One of our classmates, I don’t know for what reason – was it to play a prank or he was jealous or whatever, started sending an email to me from a junk email id asking me not to sit next to Rajesh, he’s not good, he has a girlfriend and I should stay away from him etc.. I knew it was somebody from my class but, I never bothered to respond as that was of least interest to me. But, this got a little serious and I had to inform my dear friend about it. Just to make the emailing guy more jealous, we would talk more, hangout more with each other and spend loads of time together during college hours. This actually made the two of us very good friends. Later, with some R n D and a friend’s help, we figured it was one of classmates who did all this and he left a sorry note with a rose on my bike. Rajesh teases me about this till date!!

He lost his first phone when we went to drink lemonade next to our college. I remember, it was a Motorola handset and he was very sad to know he lost it L
For a few months, he dint buy a new one and was feeling good about it. Late, he did buy a new one and again, got engrossed into it :)

There were times, he used to say, he’s really pissed with me but, never gave reasons! I’ve stopped figuring out why he gets pissed with me.

If there were lectures from some strict lecturers, we used to write the conversations on a chit of paper n pass it to each other for the next dialogue. If am not wrong, Rajesh’s still has all those chits. Those days were really fun. We used to hang out so much together. A few people incl a few lecturers misunderstood we were seeing each other :P

He was one of the laziest bums when it comes to the matter of making presentations or the assignments. Most of his assignments were done by me and fortunately / unfortunately we always were in the same team. Not coz’ we were close friends but, the lectures used to make teams based on the registration numbers and ours was 4 numbers apart. His was 61 and mine was 65. This was an advantage for him and most of the times, I used to do his assignments and at times, he used to copy it from mine. Time just passed and I enjoyed spending time with my classmates. It used to me who always forced many of my classmates not to miss out on the college trips. But, when the date and venue for the trip was decided, I dint go coz of some ego issues with my dad L
The next day, I see an email in my mailbox from Rajesh which said “There were times, when many of us dint wanted to come for the trip and you were the only one for it and forcing all of us. And now, when all of us were boarding the bus, it was only you whose absence was felt.” I really dint know what to say but our favorite word “Sorry”

Since, we were very good friends, for all the official and unofficial reasons, we made many telephone calls. Since, I dint have a cell phone, it was obviously the landline he always called on which my folks used to closely monitor. Everytime, my friends (especially guys) called home and dad used to pick, he used ask their bio-data. Name, from where he’s calling and for what has he called. The same question was posed to Rajesh too many times and once he answered for the question “From where?” as “From home” :P

Days passed, years passed and it was time for us bid good bye to our college days. He got placed in Blue Star and me in TCS. And he was offered the highest salary compared all our batchmates! Lucky Rajesh but, he had to move to Hyderabad. I surely did miss him as we could not talk as frequently as before but, somehow managed to make a few STD calls. Most of the times, it used to be Rajesh who called me and not me :)
And everytime, he came to Bangalore, with my repeated instructions, he used to get something made of the pearl or bangles. That’s what Hyderabad is famous for apart from the Biryani and the biscuits from Karachi Bakery!
I don’t know if I can call it telepathy or whatever. There used to be times, when I used to feel low, and he used to give me a call exactly at that time. Be it 12 or 1 in the night and used to find me weeping. I’ve still not able to figure it out, but, generally he never used to call me at that hour but when I used to be really low. He’s given me moral / emotional support whenever I needed badly.

A little more than a year after he moved to Hyderabad, he took a transfer to Bangalore. Along with his family and other friends, I was very happy to see him back in Bangalore. Talking got more frequent but meeting wasn’t so. Both of us had our own constraints and limitations. More than him, it was me who had all the limitations.
Like a revenge, his work in Bangalore consisted of many presentations that he had to make himself. That’s when he realized, he should have done some work during the college days too! And I had a big grin which conveyed the message; he should listen to me when I say something!! :)

He’s probably one person, I’ve openly shared most of my thoughts. I think, there’s nothing I have not discussed with him. Though he complains I’ve not discussed about some of the major decisions I’ve taken in my life. Yes, I did not but, I neither did discuss it with anybody else :(
I’m not sure if it was right or wrong. But, I cant go back and undo what has happened. I’m sure he’s pissed with me for this as well.

All that I can say is, good or bad, right or wrong, whether I’ve informed him prior about my good / bad / ugly decisions or no, if I got into any kinda trouble, he used to be just there for me checking if I’m ok. Got late at office, he used to pick and drop me home. I’ve gone out and it has started raining, he used to pick and drop me home. Though at times, there used to be a Gyaan Download, he used to do it as if it’s his responsibility.
For the past two years, most of my crying and dying used to be with him. Frustrated with anybody else, I used to scream at him, he used to know I’ve fought with somebody.

I can definitely not miss on this. Though he was born and brought up in Bangalore, his kannada speaking skills were average. Always said "thotti" ( dust bin / tank) for tuti (lips), "car ethkond barteeni" (I'll carry the car and come) and "Aunty, nan amma kobbu kottidaare" (Aunty, my mum has sent fat) for "Aunty nan amma kabbu kottidaare" (My mom has sent sugarcane).
Offalate, it has gotten better :) Should I take the credit for this?? Well, lemme not take so much credit :D

It’s very surprising to know, we’ve never been to a movie till date. We’ve known each other for 6 years now and not even once we’ve gone. During college days, many went incl Rajesh. Since I dint want to miss the accounts class, I ditched all of them.
Its again surprising to know, we’ve gone to a few temples together :P
He knew he’d be cursed if he dint take me!

He was one of the critics for me. Why is your dress like this? Your hair isn’t combed? Why have you cut your hair so short? Why is your skin like this? You have lost all the charm you had during college days? Why are thinking so much unnecessarily? Ooph!! The list goes endless :)
I think he’ll never let me miss my dad! He’s as good as my dad in all this.

His parents, like any others’ had started looking for the suitable brides for him. He used to give me details on all the gals he used to see. Infact, I had checked a few gals’ profile (he wanted me to) on a few matrimonial sites he’d registered. A few good, a few not so good, if good, the horoscope doesn’t match etc was the issue.
Btw, he’s mentioned he doesn’t drink / smoke in his profile and its all a big lie :)

Finally, with lots of bride hunting from his parents for him, he finally found his partner / soul mate in Gayathri – a pretty fair female like a fairy. Got engaged in the month of Feb (this was predicted by somebody when he went to Sholapur, Maharashtra). And the dates were fixed on the 20th of April, 2009. And that’s when he had to change the job and got too busy with it. He was asked to work from Chennai and was there most of the time when his parents were doing most of the shopping for him in Bangalore.
The D-Day had finally arrived and he was all set to lose his bachelors!

My train arrived in Mysore almost at the sametime when my flashback had come to an end. I got down trying to figure out which way to go and reach the Jockey Quarters Circle (First time I heard this, I burst out into laughter – thanks to the perverted mind, until my dad said, its near the race course) closer to which Nikita Bhoje Gowda Kalyana Manatapa was located. Reached there after the muhurtha and wished the couple whole heartedly for all the happiness in their lives forever!!

For all those, who thought a boy and a gal can never be “Just Friends”, we are the live examples proving them wrong! Who said, its not possible? Platonic relations are something that definitely exists when both the parties are clear about intensions and heartily wish good things for others. And these come with no expectations in return!

I don’t know about others, atleast for me, having such people around makes me smile all the time!!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Masala Klub

Apogee of the Indian Delicacy

This review is also available on burrp!
After a short cloudy and gloomy weather of Bangalore due to the depression in Chennai, it was time for the Sun to peek out of the sky and let us plan for the leisurely lunch. Masala Klub on Race Course Road worked out as planned! With the huge turf club opposite Taj, with beautiful greenery and magnificent bungalows set our moods up for the much leisurely time! Masala Klub is located in the Taj West End Hotel and serves Indian cuisine – excellent food from different parts of India.
As we entered, we had to undergo a thorough security check – once at the entrance of the hotel, and once again at the entrance of the restaurant. Flower decorations in earthen pots, the old fashioned lamp shades, and the fans with 5 blades – all reminded me of days with my grand parents. It has 2 seating areas – indoors and outdoors. Outdoors is anyday better which open up to a lush green lawn and a huge toy on which you’d see many kids going helter-skelter to get onto it and play all day running all over the lawn.

Next to Masala Klub, there was Mynt – Lebanese cuisine restaurant which opens to the same lawn from their indoor section. I think, out of the 3 Taj Hotels, this is the biggest and falls under the luxury category of their's unlike the business class of residency in trinity circle and gateway on residency road. Spread across 19 acres and flaunting the 120 year old tamarind tree, this is one of the heritage hotels of Bangalore!

The waiters welcome you with the traditional namasthe, a pleasant smile and help you occupy the respective tables. The tables are made of huge marble slabs which added up to the natural beauty. Each table had a ball made of Indian spices and its aroma spelled magic all through the meal. I wanted to take it home but, the extra decency that day stopped me from doing that. The maxic love potion (a tequila based cocktail) was good so was the gentleman’s choice of Budweiser pint! Spiced papads / chips (sandige) offered in a basket were the freebie starters. For the main course one could opt for the set meal which would have pre-decided set of soup, starter, main course and the dessert which comes at a fixed price of Rs.750/- for vegetarian food and ranges between Rs.850/- to Rs.1300/- for non-vegetarian food.

We infused ourselves with the vegetarian platter which contained the softest paneer I’ve ever eaten till date, well marinated gobhi, delicious sweet corn kebab and the awesome mushroom. This was terrific and won my heart. Platter was a huge hit – not too soft or crisp without excess oil and was just made right! Main course consisted of besan roti and laccha parantha with tawa babycorn and bell peppers. This, made me fall in love with the food all over again :)
The yellow gravy was subtle with spices and was aromatic. Cooked right and served right! At times, I wonder, how can everything be so perfect? We rounded off the meal with the excellent malai kulfi and the rabri. It actually was rabri falooda. Since, I wanted only the rabri, the waiters were kind enough to oblige my request immediately!

Masala Klub is an excellent place if you are looking for a good Indian cuisine food. Very authentic and the service is at its best. The waiters were very courteous and dressed perfect in the formals. The outdoor seating, which has the leisurely flavor, is a huge plus – absolutely no scrambling of tables and hurrying over your meals. Patrons were mostly the family – I could see three generations together enjoying the sumptuous meal! An a-la-carte meal for two with drinks would cost around Rs.2500/- A perfect place for a leisurely meal with family and friends!!

Masala Klub is located @ Taj West End, Race Course Road, Bangalore
Phone 66605660


Sultanate of Swing

This review is also available on burrp!
After the Transporter 3 show in the late evening, we headed straight to the SOS pub. Many people are not aware of its existence. Neither was I till recently. Reason could be, its entrance is hidden unlike the Bull n Bush and Sikander on the same floor.

The thick metallic door leads to the noisy lounge with the big screen tv sporting the matches. There was hardly any space left. So, we were directed towards the other lounge which has a separate entrance on the left hand side of the entrance door. This is slightly bigger than the first one and definitely accommodates more people.

It’s filled with the small cozy seats aptly designed for the couples. The music is really loud as it is supposed to be in any pub. The dim light contrasted the ambience. The vibrations from the music was so loud, we felt it in our tables and seats as though the speakers were right under us. As there are no more dance floors in Bangalore now, a few were trying to shake their legs in the place they were standing, enjoying the music, drink and ofcourse the cricket match that was being played on their big screen.

We ordered the usual KF pint and pineapple sour (whiskey based) cocktail. To accompany our drinks, we’d ordered the veg tandoor platter assuming it would fill our stomachs as we were hungry too. But, the quantity was so less, it nowhere closer to the satisfaction. Unlike the usual, we gulped down the drinks pretty fast. The total damage was around Rs.550

People, who love grooving into the loud hip-hip, rock and heavy metal music along with the lovely drink, check this place out!!!

SOS is located @ Garuda Mall, 4th Floor, Magrath Road, Bangalore
Phone 41126661, 41126683

Shree Sagar

Unexpected Treat

This review is also available on burrp!
This is in one of the busiest main roads of jayanagar and most of the times crowded with the people beating the peak hour rush! I've been here quite a few times and every time I get surprised with the taste of the food they serve. It looks like any other normal darshini with the service hall but, they really do have an edge over the others.
They serve South Indian, North Indian and Indian Chinese cuisine.

During the peak hours it gets madly crowded. So, try and be there little early to avoid the same. They have the non-a/c dining hall in the ground floor and a/c dining hall in the mezzanine floor.

The walls has a huge painting of the interiors of the palaces giving a 3D effect which results in making the dining hall look much bigger.

The service is quick during the peak hours as they need to accommodate more customers who would be almost on the road waiting to catch hold of their seats to have a quick grub. But, my recent experience with their service during the dinner was not good! The waiter almost threw the plates on our table as though he was least interested in doing that job. One of the plates, I think was used to much for a long time now. It had the stains of masala and the turmeric though utmost care was taken to wash this well! I failed to understand why that plate has not been replaced yet!!!

Now, about the food, all that I can say is, it’s really good. I’ve tried the sandwiches (love the cheese sandwich), the rice items (paneer fried rice is really good!) and ofcourse the usual Indian breads and the curries. After a long time, I tasted such good kaju masala and believe me, it made my day. The naan and kulcha were soft and fluffy, and the kaju masala had some different flavor which won my heart :)

So guys, not bothering too much about the ambience, if you are ready for an unexpected treat, just barge into Shree Sagar!

Shree Sagar is located @ 73, 30th Cross, 4th Block, Near 4th Block Bus Stand, Jayanagar, Bangalore
Phone 26630575, 26638897

Bobby's Dhaba


This review is also available on burrp!

So many good reviews, so many praises and so many finger licking goodies, helped me made up my mind, and I was bent upon trying this place for sure for the Sunday dinner. MY friend and I reached there at 7:45PM on the dot. Its adjacent to the Gurudwara and there’s no board to indicate its Bobby’s Dhaba. Looking at the crowd, I realized it cant be any other place and just barged in. found the menu on the wall with not too many varieties listed. They give you a small chit, where one has to write down the list of things one wishes to eat with their name. This is handed over to the person who takes the order. Looking at the menu, he asks us if we need curd along with it – “Saath mein dahi chaahiye Maharaj / Madam Ji”

After, I placed my order, I was told it would take a minimum of 1 hour!!!!! Though I had a strange expression on my face, my friend said, we’ll wait. He wanted to see if so many people come here, there has to be something very special about it and we need to check it out! During our wait, we noticed, its such a small place and they can accommodate maximum of 25 people. People just come there to enjoy the food. One can’t afford to sit and relax, enjoy the ambience (FYI - there’s no ambience)

We were finally called to occupy our seats by 9:15PM. A small table with wooden stools is what you would find there. I was too hungry and was just waiting for them to serve my food asap. A plate full of salad (cucumber and onion) was served. Then it was a big glass of butter milk. I placed the order assuming, they’d it would be Punjabi type lassi. But, it was the masala lassi by nandhini. Then, it was the turn of the kheer. This was made of rice and one of the yummiest I’ve ever had. Following this, we were served the main course – alu parantha, methi parantha, shahi paneer and alu gobi. The parantha was topped with a huge block of butter. Though I was shocked to see the amount of butter generously served, I realized after a few minutes, the paranthas would not have tasted so good without it. The shahi paneer, again with oodles of butter, is the best I’ve ever had. Ordered 2 more paranthas and lassi, we were completely full with satisfaction and glee in our eyes!

The best part is all this relishing experience cost us Rs.190 bucks!! The only drawback is the waiting time. Anybody, planning to go there, get there early to avoid waiting for a longer time!

I also happened to see a print out there which said, very soon they are coming up with another branch of theirs, opposite ulsoor lake near photo flash. This is definitely a good news all the foodies

Bobby's Dhaba is located @ Next To Gurudwara, Kingston Road, Ulsoor, Bangalore

Sapthagiri Davanagere Benne Dosa

Oodles of Butter - Left, Right and Center

This review is also available on burrp!
My friend and I bumped into this new place, opened around 10 days back to indulge ourselves in the Davanagere type of dosa. Its small place, looks like any other darshini of Bangalore, but, they’ve managed to place some chairs inside where one could sit but, hold the plates in hand to relish your food!
We placed an order for 2 butter dosas. I was damn curious to see how he makes it. So, just stood bang opposite the guy who were making these buttery and fluffy dosas. Well, after he pours the dosa batter, he puts small blocks of butter all over the dosa. A minute later, he reverses it, adds more butter on the top of it. A few more seconds and the crispy dosa gets ready to get into our respective palates :)

The potato masala they give along with the dosa is different from the usual masala dosa. This, they say is the authentic Davanagere Style! Its mashed potato with salt in it. And ofcourse, how is it complete without the spicy coconut chutney? All this together making an amazing combination, the dosa slides as into the mouth as smooth as the butter. Within no time, we had swiped our plates and were full with greasy dosa.

Apart from what we had, they also make masala dosas, set dosa, open dosa (they add some kinda powder on the top of the dosa. Must be something similar to chuntney powder), khali dosa, mandakki oggarane (it’s puffed rice with turmeric and onion seasoned well) and Menasinakaayi bhajji.
I also got to taste the mandakki which was so-so. But, the dosa is something which is not to be missed.
Each bite is more worth than the money you pay and I’m sure one could thoroughly enjoy it just like we did!

Sapthagiri Benna Masala Dosa is located @ 7/1, Banshankari 1st Stage, Kathriguppe Main Road, Bangalore

UD Residency - The Royal Treat

Madly Crowded

This review is also available on burrp!
This restaurant by UD group is tucked in a small bylane next to Keane IT Company on the South End Road. My friend and I were planning to go out for a while and thought of this place. Went there a little early by around 12:30PM and dint find many people occupying the table. There’s a spacious reception and the waiting area via which one needs to enter the dining hall. The dining hall is brightly lit with the rust brown and off-white combination and the tables very closely placed next to each other. People who are moderately / heavily built may find it difficult to squeeze in themselves.

We ordered sweet corn soup which was the usual. Later, it was baby corn thingy for the starter which was good! The masala papad was good too. I’ve seen in a few places where they add little grated coconut to the masala while dressing the papad. This is one such place. The main course, they said, the spinach corn rice was the specialty of the day! We ordered the same and it was nowhere close to a specialty dish. But, it was definitely edible.

By the time we started ordering our main course, the dining hall was jam packed not leaving any space for the people to move. Forget the customers; there was hardly any space for the waiters to move too! The meal was satisfactory but the place gets too crowded during lunch / dinner in no time. So, if you want to eat peacefully, go there a little early. A meal for two could approximately cost around 300 bucks!

UD Residency - The Royal Treat is located @ 19/2, South End Road, Basavanagudi, Bangalore
Phone 22454580, 22454581, 22454582


For Anyhting South Indian, Head Here!

This review is also available on burrp!
I’ve been to this place most of the times with my family. Our staple food being South-Indian, this is one of our favorite places.
I love the dosas, khara bath, kesai bath, idly with chutney and sambhar, chow-chow bath, rava idly, and ofcourse the meals.

Everyday they a special dosa variety, my favorite being the palak dosa, I’d be more excited if I get to eat it the day I visit this place.
It’s a pure vegetarian place and my parents love the way it is. The meal consists of the poori / chapathi (you could opt for either of the 2), with 2 kinds of subzis – 1 dry and 1 gravy, papad, sweet, rice bath, white rice, rasam, sambhar, fresh curd and pickle.
I bet, you have a meal here – you would come out with satisfied overloaded stomach with sumptuous meal.

A must try for all those whose staple food is rice and love the south Indian food

Konark is located @ 50, Residency Road, Bangalore
Phone 51248812