Thursday, September 30, 2010

Secular

That is the word on the top of my mind today. Especially after a lot of places have taken precautions over the verdict expected tomorrow. Why are we fighting still? I am sure both Ram and Allah wont mind what we do with that land. I hope they construct a school there and come up with a secular solution sometime real soon.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Men at arms

There comes a point in life when characters in a book become the friends you have always wanted. You laugh with them, you fear for them and you seriously hope you run into someone like them. Pratchett, somehow makes me want to get into the discworld. I have successfully finished 17 of the discworld books and be it the books about DEATH or the Night Watch or the Witches, I have loved them all. Some of course more than the rest, but overall, had a lovely time reading, laughing and overall living. 

Men at Arms had one of my favorite characters, Carrot. "People often mistake simple to be stupid." Carrot, an almost dwarf who believes in the inherent niceness of people (and dwarves and trolls and werewolves and even Golems) somehow ends up saving the day. There are numerous comical instances involving him, Angua (the werewolf), Gaspode (the talking dog), Detritus (the troll who once tried his stint in the moving pictures) and of course Vimes and the Patrician. The book tries to explore the concept of belonging, oneness, truth, deception and man's addiction to weapons. The "Gonne" commands those that command it and the novel chronicles the adventures of the watch in trying to apprehend the hand that holds the "Gonne" . Another track in the book explores the search to identify the right heir to the throne.

Overall a very good read. Definitely much better than my so called review. I would heartily recommend Pratchett any day for a good laugh. I am waiting to finish Soul Music. Another awesome read with DEATH. :)

Verdict

A case that has been pending for decades together. Finally, we would get to hear something about it. A verdict.
To tell us what to do and hopefully would be something sensible. Either way, the effects of this ruling would be a verdict on the emotional maturity of our fellow country men. How much have we grown as a nation? How ready are we to lay aside our differences and accept our short comings gracefully and work towards making it better? We have so little trust on our fellow beings.This is obvious with the way institutions have been declaring holidays and government has been banning Bulk SMS. In a lot of ways, it is justified if you just pause and look at history. Recent history.
Our country which was once the seat of civilization is now long lost in the glory of the past and not concentrating enough on a better present let alone a future.We are caught under the shackles of money hungry animals (Man is an animal) and we dont care two hoots about what is happening. I just pray that we grow up real soon and try to make this a better place to live in and recreate the glory that was once ours.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Chowka

I love food. So much so that the best way people cheer me up is by offering me a sweet or a chocolate or promising me a culinary delight. When Prateek told me about Chowka, I decided i just had to visit the place.The unlimited Rajasthani thali for Rs.120 in a city where a normal meal for two without mocktails or desserts, in a decent restaurant would come up to Rs.300. The place is truly value for money.


I loved the dal bhati and Churma and the basan ka curry took me back to my Pilani days when we used to have the same for lunch on wednesdays. The malpua was very well made and the courteous staff made me feel like royalty in a small, well lit cramped restaurant. I would heartily recommend this place to anyone who loves food. Indian food, really is the best.

Chowka is located in the Tippasandra main road and the management has made good use of the little space available. The service is prompt and quick and the food worth atleast a single visit.

Discovery at Talacauvery

A lot of times in life, one things leads to another in a way you never thought it would. A chance trip led to loads of introspection and also a little bit of gratitude to the world in general.  Today, we went to Talacauvery. I am not too much of a water person. I dont like getting wet when a towel and a changing room is not in the vicinity. However, I love looking at the waves and the puddles and the forms in the same. It is difficult to believe that hardly 30 km from Bangalore, the city where everybody is busy heading somewhere all the time lies an idyllic town with women walking on the roads in 'fashionable' nighties. Some of them, covering it with a dupatta. I dont think these are a bunch of people bothered about not being appreciated by those that dont matter (or do they? Would it be the husband's appreciation they seek?) and not bothered about being seen in the same dress two days in a row. (I wonder how many different dresses their wardrobe has. Materialistic of me, I am sure. But still, I cant help but wonder). Kanakapura, was so different from the Karanataka (Bangalore) I am so used to seeing everyday. We headed to Talacauvery through Kanakapura and Malavalli. 




After a few detours, we finally ended up in our destination. The place was beautiful. THe water all around with people,young and old alike,  playing in it, some with the balls bought from the enterprising salesmen who were showcasing their wares and selling the same.  The small groups screaming and singing songs. One wannabe adventurer,swimming underwater and coming up on the other side of his friends.A father with a fat big gold chain holding the hands of his kids and posing while his wife captured a kodak moment, with a poor kid looking at him from behind a coffee shop where he worked.There were a couple of newly weds, with the girls shyly stepping into the water and wading chest deep into it, a bunch of very conscious college kids with an arrogant attitude that they were trying on to hide their lack of confidence, and finally a group of ready to be drunk teenage guys drying themselves in front of the above mentioned gang of girls while talking loudly about their phones and their adventurous trip back. How can i forget the few beggars and the plastic covers that dotted the scenery?  It was an interesting watch. Much better in fact than the many movies i watch and rewatch. Much better because this was as real as real can get. The best reality check was the old man with bunched up veins in his knees who took us on the coracle ride. I wonder if anyone ever asked him if he was happy with his rewards. Even if they had, whether they could have done anything other than maybe slip him an extra fifty. The lines on his face told a bigger story than the words he never spoke.








This, is India at her best in a lot of ways. While the whole world is laughing or looking at us with disgust over the actions of few men at the top and their inability to honour their promise of hosting a world class event, I look at these people and see the diversity in a beautiful place. The poverty and the prosperity. Youth and old age. Beauty and the beast that man has created to destroy it. Family and the search for it. Literates and illiterates. A very young boy trying to communicate in English with a strong Kannada accent. The desire to be. The desire to live. The desire to desire. Today, i realised,for the nth time that I have been a lot luckier than most people in the world. I did not have to think about my next meal (should i say worry about where it would come from?) I did not have to work barefoot in the hot sun for a few hundreds a week. I did not have to suffer the real suffering. I know i would go back to the complain mode in sometime. I am afterall human. But I am grateful for what I have and I am grateful for again having had the chance to glimpse at my motherland in some of her splendour. All I can do is to bow down to her, proud and hoping that someday, what i see will be rosier, who i am will be chirpier and what the world sees would be the whole picture and not just a bright ugly piece broken off a jigsaw puzzle. 

Friday, September 24, 2010

Sadly satisfied

Is it always about the returns for everything in life? Is there nothing but that? I wonder. I am not able to see a quantifiable return for a lot of things I do.I am satisfied but a dissatisfaction sets in when i start looking at the lack of return. I wonder what is the term I should coin for this state. Sadly Satisfied. I hope it does not last too long.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Dead and not buried

I have something old. I had some lovely memories with it and some bitter. Like anything else in the world, it was also to me a mixed bag. One that i do not revisit often or rather at all unless it cannot be avoided at all costs. I tried to destroy the remnants with a single match. I wonder if it was correct. Maybe, i could have found some place for it in my life. Or is it the case of a lost pet that is never gonna come back? Is destruction any day better than a state of wistful contemplation? I can only wonder now. I know it is not too late. But sometimes in life, the past is better left alone. If you cannot take a stake, pierce through its heart and bury it deep underground.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Dreams

When the road is long
and respite is too far away
When the days are nothing but
hours leading on to hours
When life is a mere shadow play
with few scenes on constant replay,
All i can do is close my eyes
and revisit my dreams

The dreams of a better tomorrow
The dreams made of memories from a distant past
A past, also partly pleasant
The dreams reminding me
what today's hardship
is all for
why today is the way it is.

Failure was no option ever.
Rather try dying than give up all hope,
I trudge along
A lonely long road
wondering if the prize
is worth all this.
Wondering if that,
a worthy thought is

Friday, September 10, 2010

Rajdhani

This place is special to me for a lot of reasons. But right now, let us restrict the discussion to just food and food. :) I venture out quite often hunting for nice places to eat. Rajdhani is one of the few restaurants I go often to. (I have gone around 5 times in the last one year) The food and the prompt service remind me of eating in a wedding. Only this time sitting in a comfortable seat. The menu is usually quite elaborate and unlimited.

In bangalore, I have been to three branches of Rajdhani. The one in UB City is the best of the lot. The ones in Forum Value Mall and the BTM central are good, but fade in comparison with the original. In a city of VAT and BAT and what not, the restaurant putting up a price inclusive of everything only increases my respect for them. Their team work seriously would put a lot of so called teams to shame. They have this elaborate signals by which they communicate what dish a customer wants and in less than two mins, it is on your plate.

For some people who come from places with cheaper food, the price might not be an attraction, but for someone who spends loads in service tax and eats in places with crappy service, Rajdhani would be a welcome visit. I really love this place and would recommend it to anyone who wants simple plain food and lots of it real fast.

Big Banyan Tree - Off Mysore road



I had a lovely day today. There were numerous plans for this long weekend of mine. They varied from Jog falls to Innovative film city to sleeping. (The last one being the most important as i have not had time to sleep in sometime now. :) ) However, being the impulsive people we are, we finally decided to go to some nice place for breakfast (do i have to mention that it did not happen as well for most of the places were too far away and by the time we decided to head out, we were too hungry and the nearest restaurant was decided to be the best?). After a heavy breakfast, we ventured into the city. The plan was to see the much famed big banyan tree. On the way, we waltzed on the electronic city fly-over, ventured to the lesser explored parts in that area(which is most of it as i have only been in the main road in that place) and finally after going to areas like Begur, which i have not even seen in the Bangalore map, finally hit the NECE road. (ya, it is NECE. Not NICE).

I drove a car after a long time and I was quite happy to fly in fourth gear. :) After some more searching, we finally landed on the big banyan tree. I would say, it was worth the few hours in the sun. It was so cool and beautiful there. True, it was only a bunch of trees, but for someone surrounded by concrete jungles and noisy, witty monsters ( I am referring to all electronic devices around me), it was a much needed respite. I felt at peace with the world (for the time i was there. Come on, if i became a saint, lot of people would starve for want of entertainment)

We headed back to the city and had a lovely lunch at Rajdhani (the one restaurant i LOVE). I was a little sad that to see a few trees and monkeys, human beings had to travel so far. We have removed whatever possible greenery from around us and seriously live in pathetic concrete jungles. I wish things change someday and we are more responsible about what we surround ourselves with.




Thursday, September 09, 2010

Hatred

I wonder, how much joy can hatred give. Hating someone/something is the easiest thing in the world to do. Atleast for me, it comes without even me having to try. However, today, the only question i have is, is it really worth the trouble? What is all this hatred even going to change?It does give me something to do when i have nothing else to do. But at the end of the day, does this not just reflect my inability to find something to do with my time? Like everything else in life, all I can do is wonder and try to forgive known devils.

Simplified

I simply lose, whatever little
of sanity that was left

I simply wish that things
come to an end, one way or the other

I simply hope that losing something
is one way of getting something else.

Torn between - the known devil
and the unknown angel I stand
in a lot of ways, alone and confused
in a lot of ways determined and supported.
Attempting to simplify
Things that cannot be
emotions that can never be.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

I choose

Today, I made a resolution. To be proactive and take my life in my hands. I love cribbing. I guess anyone who has been reading my blog knows that. I try to remain positive but at times with life throwing wonderfully curved balls aimed at my head, it becomes damn difficult. I have to somehow continue. Keeping my head above the water. I was not made to sink. (not that my size would allow it) I was made to stay afloat. Maybe, I cant always swin against the current. I have to get a life jacket. I have to go ahead with my journey. For no matter what it is that life has in store for me, there are some things i want too. I might not even get it, but i dont want to give up without trying. Even if it means overcoming prejudices. Even if it means fighting a losing and a painful battle. Even if it means difficulty. I have to do what has to be done.

I choose

To live
To follow my heart and try to be who i want to be
To learn from the past but not let my mistakes bog me down
To accept that I am human and that I make a lot of mistakes
To search for the rainbow that has to come out after every downpour
To create some sun shine for making my own rainbow even if it is not already there
To be independent and free no matter what happens around me
To not compromise to be accepted by a society which is but created by me
To fly without wings for the sky is all i have above me. It is my base. It is my limit.
To fall in love with life and everything about it. No matter how difficult the process might be.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Kyon Hawa

One of the many lovely songs in Veer Zaara.


Ek din jab savere savere, surmayi se andher ki chaadar hata ke
Ek parbat ke takiye se, sooraj ne sar jo uthaaya, toh dekha
Dil ki vaadi mein chaahat ka mausam hai
Aur yaadon ki daaliyon par
Anginat beete lamhon ki kaliyaan mahekne lagi hain
Ankahi ansuni aarzoo, aadhi soyi huwi aadhi jaagi huwi
Aankhein malte huwe dekhti hai, laher dar laher
Mauj dar mauj, behti huwi zindagi
Jaise har ek pal nayi hai, aur phir bhi wahi, haan, wahi zindagi
Jiske daaman mein ek mohabbat bhi hai, koyi hasrat bhi hai
Paas aana bhi hai, door jaana bhi hai, aur ye ehsaas hai
Waqt jharne sa behta huwa, jaa raha hai, ye kehta huwa
Dil ki waadi mein chaahat ka mausam hai
Aur yaadon ki daaliyon par
Anginat beete lamhon ki kaliyaan mahekne lagi hain

Kyun hawa, aaj yun gaa rahi hai
Kyun fiza, rang chhalka rahi hai
Mere dil bata aaj hona hai kya
Chaandni, din mein kyun, chhaa rahi hai
Zindagi, kis taraf jaa rahi hai
Mere dil bata kya hai ye silsila
Kyun hawa, aaj yun gaa rahi hai
Gaa rahi hai, gaa rahi hai

Jahaan tak bhi jaayein nigaahein, baraste hain jaise ujaale
Saji aaj kyun hain ye raahein, khile phool kyun hain niraale
Khushbuwein, kaisi ye beh rahi hain
Dhadkanein jaane kya keh rahi hai
Mere dil bata ye kahaani hai kya
Kyun hawa, aaj yun gaa rahi hai
Gaa rahi hai, gaa rahi hai

Ye kiska hai chehra jisse main, har ek phool mein dekhta hoon
Ye kiski hai awaaz jisko, na sun ke bhi main sun raha hoon
Kaisi ye aahatein aa rahi hain, kaise ye khwaab dikhla rahi hain
Mere dil bata kaun hai aa raha
Kyun hawa, aaj yun gaa rahi hai
Gaa rahi hai, gaa rahi hai

Sahib Singh Sultan

I feel like the art director trying his hand at commercial movies. Not that I know any one like that personally whose feedback and emotions i have captured vividly. I just wanted to make use of words that were there on the top of my head. I noticed that the blog content has changed a lot last month and has more food and book reviews than before. This is not an effort to break from the same. For want of anything better to do, i am trying to have a artistic way of writing a food review.

What better place to choose than Sahib Singh Sultan where the art and the ambience is everything. Another concept restaurant from the BJN group which has given us Bombay Post, Samarkhand, Indijoes and other fine dining restaurants. The concept of a train with funky names like Chalti ka Naam gaadi and waiters dressed as Ticket Collectors and the like. The food is quite heavy on the tummy and ensures that there is a dent in the bank account too.

The service is quite quick and they anticipate your every need. The food tastes heavenly. Every dish is well crafted and is a treat to behold and consume. An ideal place to spend a lazy afternoon when you have some money to spare and best suited for special occasions. :)

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Packaging

Today, when listening to an mp3 i got from a random shop in the road, the We are family movie had a song from My name is Khan. I had to recheck the folder i was in as i was hunting for the songs from that movie unsuccessfully just in the morning. I started wondering then, if everything in my life is intent on giving me gyan.

This incident reminded me of the many things i thought i did not have and found in an unusual place. Maybe, all the things I am seeking in life are what I already have but have been mislabelled or packaged in the wrong box by this genius called experience which somehow makes things look different. Maybe, i do need a fresh perspective and a fresh mind with a solution.

Any body interested in doing a psycho analysis?