March 30, 2005

my favourite Bangalorean phrase

no, it's not chill madi. no local says that.

It's petrol bunk. petrol bunk!

common usage: Turn right after the petrol bunk.

try using it in everyday conversation, it makes an expensive trip to the fossil fuel outlet much more exciting. as if you're in the 2nd world war and dodging the luftwaffe to get to the bunker.

does anybody know of the origin of the phrase? is it a linguistic anomaly restricted to bangalore or a widespread phenomenon of the deep south?

March 29, 2005

bangalore- the caramel custard of india?

i'm not pretending when i say i like bangalore, i really do like it. but it's beginning to seem a bit bland. likeable. innocuous. like caramel custard.
the test match was a case in point. clean stadium. comfortable. no police harassment. food easily available and well seasoned. well-behaved crowd. everyone sits in their comfortable plastic chairs and talks about dravid.
where's the buzz, people? younis khan is batting for heaven's sake, can we have a little backchat? maybe heckle ganguly a little? man does not live by bread alone, yknow..

of course, the custard turns wobbly when you apply the analogy to traffic in bangalore, which is anything but bland. specially since i stay on banerghatta "killer" road. (when a road has a middle name, you know you're in trouble) and the landlords provide the town with the element of brooding evil.

March 28, 2005

when doves cry..

.. what about when pigeons poop as a song title, prince? stupid pigeon relieved itself on me while i was watching the match at chinnaswamy. everyone around wagged their heads and said "good luck da". i just felt lucky there wasn't a horse sitting on the rafters.
15 minutes later kamran akmal got out, so should the credit be shared between bhajji and pidgie?

March 24, 2005

Irster bunny!

tomorrow's a holiday- great friday! and sunday's easter! i miss the marzipan eggs marz-o-rin makes. large enough for a marzipan ostrich to have laid em. hard as rock and sweet as only marzipan can be. wrapped up in foil and tied with ribbon to a bright yellow cotton chick. (no, not that kind of.. never mind)
chocolate eggs just aren't the same somehow. had quite a few of them last easter- cadburys made ones that had a realistic-looking yellowish yolk inside.

a little known american easter activity- blowing up peeps
peeps are fat pink and yellow marshmallow "treats" shaped like hens. they're all over US stores before easter.
they taste horrible. practically beg to be blown up.
gather a group of easter revellers. paint eggs. eat egg salad and devilled eggs and lots of candy. then, place a peep or two on a paper plate. gather everyone in the kitchen, switch off the light and place the plate in the microwave. turn it on. watch the peep get larger and larger bathed in the microwave light. it slowly puffs up all over. grotesque? yes. but very funny, specially as it deflates back to a puddle.
(jenn, it was your idea. take a bow)

no animals were harmed in the activity.

March 23, 2005

Pitch doctor

I haven't been in Bangalore long enough to figure out the weather patterns, but i know that it rains randomly. the heat's been building up the past week and today is cloudy. what does it mean for the match tomorrow?

i can't do a pitch report, cos i'm at work. and cos i can't, really. but don't you hate it when shastri goes to the pitch, comments on how dusty and crumbling it is and then using a key widens the cracks in the pitch further?
good job, ravi. what next- show us how uneven the turf is by yanking out a clump of grass?

Vai not?

Heads up for May- Joe Satriani's performing in Mumbai and Bangalore. Of course he comes to Blore on a Tuesday. Knopfler was here on a Monday and U2'll be here on a wednesday. (Made that up, hoping to create a buzz, maybe it'll reach Bono even as he helps write off Africa's debt)

Confession- never listened to Satriani. Nor Steve Vai. only heard of them because the salunke vihar engineers would talk mystically of floyd, vai, satriani and fender stratocasters. i'm such a wannabe.

but here's something i do follow- the cricketers are back in town! the city can have their Wall, i'm to going to chinnaswamy to watch sachin, baba.

no, not sachin-baba. he has his own baba-log now. sigh. he's grown up so fast..

March 22, 2005

valhalla! how are you?

for the tens of you directed here by sabnisancha gaurav, a qvick disclaimer- there's nothing remotely scandinavian about me. so don't go expecting reviews of ibsen and nostalgic tales of a lazy day at the fjords.

Open the door, darling open the door. why are you angry so?

i wish the US could have been lobbied to give modi a visa. before you fling up your hands in secular horror, hear me out. give him a 10 yr visa. and thackeray, weepy singh, laloo, jaya, maya, shiboo.. and ganguly too. surely some of them will take it. and stay there.

March 21, 2005

naach basanti naach!

7 am on the bangalore mysore highway. Am heading for Ramnagar (Ramanagara? Ramanagaram?) to go climbing, with the work gang. Ramnagar is where the Gabbar hideout scenes from sholay were shot, so we're boning up on our sholay trivia. I get confused between basanti and dhanno, and sandeep suggests that I think of Gubbz saying "naach basanti naach!" ergo basanti is hema malini and dhanno is the mare. i am of course picturing a horse doing the salsa while tied-up dharmendra looks very confused.

We stopped for breakfast and i dug into steaming hot set dosas, with a lil bit of coriander at the top. i decided not to care that the cook was cleaning the tava with a broom (Kharata zhaddoo?) we then had the obligatory "pancher" and had a kid wheel away the tyre. meanwhile the obligatory village drunk (at 8 am!!) told us to turn at the arch. repeatedly. turn. at the arch. he followed sandeep around pointing and muttering about the arch. and the turn.

we got the tube replaced, drove back down the highway, turned at the arch and drove on till we reached the end of the road. a 500 step stone staircase led to a temple. on the way, some cave painting beckoned us. by cave paint- i mean chuna and red painted stripes. the caves were great. enjoyed the play of light and shadows and the ol lunge-leap-smash-knee-to-get-grip maneuver..
Pictures to be uploaded once they're developed.

we prowled around a bit, couldnt really make headway from there, returned to the unendliche Treppe. at the top we found the temple, went up the well trodden trail, climbed an iron staircase to the top and enjoyed the view while kites buzzed us. a little later we were back at the temple and trying to scale the really craggy rocks just across. it looked impossible- sheer drops and lots of thorny undergrowth. but two SSLC kids guided us onto a trail that led us straight to the top. they abandoned us halfway because of ursaphobia (dont go looking in the OED for that word). as the going got steeper (and the steep got going?) i kept an eye out for an angry bear or two. saw nothing apart from a few animal droppings which could not possibly have been bearish in nature. (unless it was on one of those starchy diets?)

the last bit was slightly harrowing. the wind picked up and we were tottering on rocks that were teetering on other rocks.. a bee hive was spotted and luckily remained undisturbed. we saw avishek and sandeep sitting in the temple courtyard across the valley and hallooed for a while. "whats the score?" i piped reedily. sandeep duly checked with airtel and relayed us the score. "is laxman retired hurt?" i yelled. after that they decided to maintain radio silence.
we didnt get onto the highest rock- needed ropes for that, but it was a good feeling. accomplishment. yet humbled by nature types.

drove back to bangalore, sleeping most of the way and had lunch at the pongal cafe. i resent being referred to as a north indian (not that there's anything wrong with it) as i think of us all one big happy family south of the vindhyas. or satpuras. but when it comes to mounds of rice, i start in horror and edge away from the banana leaf. good wholesome food, but ah needs mah chapatis!

March 19, 2005

nandini's pedhas- so far away from me

i cant claim to have been in a deep enduring relationship, we first met the day i moved to bangalore. 17th january. i wasnt really impressed at the beginning. i'm from pune, remember? but the fondness grew and soon we were spending every weekend together.

vrinda and lisa knew i was hooked, but other than the occasional raised eyebrow, we didnt really talk about it.

then i got busy with work, started running, discovered the gym at work, started getting to know bangalore and (cliche alert) we began to drift apart.

at the picnic on sunday, i decided that (americanism alert) this wasnt really working for me. i decided to keep a little distance between us.

last night i restlessly roamed about the apartment, thinking of those fat lil nandini's pedhas i'd stored in vrinda and lisa's fridge. v and l reported that the pedhas were depressed and ready to jump off the 6th floor balcony, cos they thought i didnt want them. no more long distance relationships, i vowed. let no expiry date put asunder what god has put together. this weekend, i'm bringing the pedhas home!