Category Archives: places

Welcome to India

When did being born become a crime ?

When did an education become a privilege ?

Who said love is punishable by death ?

Why does getting married to the person you love seem such a bad idea?

If divorces are allowed by law, why are people so afraid of the idea ?

Crazy and unbelievable as they may seem, this is reality. This is India. Welcome

Here, babies are killed, thrown into the gutter or a waste bin just because they were born female. Here, children, right from the moment they are able to walk start hard manual labour, making everything from match sticks to fire crackers, from washing dishes to watering plants, to feed themselves and their families. Education isnt an option for them. Oh yes, they have reservation, which often helps the already well off to save more money in sending their kids to the best colleges without any merit. Here, lovers are killed in the name of honour, often entire families coming together to massacre two poor souls who didnt nothing more than love each other. Here, marraiges are arranged, often like cricket matches are fixed, based on caste, status and bank balance of the families than on common interests or passions that might give the marraige a chance. Here divorcees are always at fault, blamed for bringing a bad mark to the family name, which somehow was untarnished by anything in ages. Here, women on the lowest strata of society are more likely to raise their voices against oppression than their richer sisters who were brought up to be submissive, bharatiya naris. Here engineering and MBBS are the only career options you have. Humanities and arts are for someone else. This is where our elected official watch porn in the assembly, while their cronies are throwing chairs at each other for legislation that never sees the light of day. The biggest bridges, the tallest towers are all made of second quality material, standing tall more on hope and prayers than any real, measurable quality. This is where such a rant can possibly ban my blog if Kapil Sibal has his way. But its still my country and I love it.

I love it because I am awesome friends with at least 4 women who left their husbands and are happy on their own. I love it because I have friends who chose alternate careers and are fledgling stars  in various fields, I love it because even now in spite of reservation merit shines through and gets what it deserves, I love it because love marriages do happen and both the bride and groom survive, I love it because I have  beautiful nieces by blood and by ties that are stronger who will grow up to see a better India, I love it because my friendly police man takes old photocopies from our hostel for his son to study, I love it because in spite of all of this there are voices that raise concern, there are blogs that still stand strong, there are people who care.

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A 55er ? inspired from Usha Ma’am

A glimpse is sometimes all you get

of a dream, an angel, a moment just before sunset

This is it you say to yourself

and then it passes, its gone, it never was

The search begins from then on forward

For something that defines you but cant be expressed

Such is life, This is It

***********************

This is what a 55 er is; information from Usha’s post :)

A literary work will be considered 55 Fiction if it has:

  • Fifty-five words or less (A non-negotiable rule)
  • A setting,
  • One or more characters,
  • Some conflict, and
  • A resolution. (Not limited to moral of the story)

****************

I dont have a heading for this one and am not sure if this one does justice to all the above rules. But if it doesnt, then maybe i can write one again. 😀

Chammak Challo – III

Our lady CC has not stopped her antics and still finds a way to remind us all of the small things that make life so interesting..

A few years ago, in the famous Anand theatre in Hyderabad, our very own CC joined me and the gang for a movie (Tashan on the irst show on Saturday).. True to her gender tradition she was late by a nice half hour, walking in she found a seat next to Vermaji, a true delhiite. Vermaji never guessed when he woke up that he was gonna end up in a movie hall with CC. Late as she was, Tashan being the movie it is nothing was lost. But CC is not one to let a story go by, so she started asking Vermaji very innocently her typical questions. ” Yeh Kaun hai ?” ( Who is this ?) ” Yeh kya ho raha hai ? ( Wats happening now ? ) ” Aise kaise ho sakta hai ? ” ( How can that happen ?). Kindly note that the movie was well beyond any understanding for all of us and there was nothing to be figured out based on what she missed.  But Vermaji dutifully answered all questions from a random stranger for the rest of the movie, walked out with a very happy CC and then vowed to never watch a movie with her again.

Then a few months later, CC got to know that Varmaji has vowed eternal distance from any movie theatre she is in. Non believer that she is, she walks up to Vermaji and he denies any such thing ever happening. Another movie is planned together and on the promised day both of them show up on time very much the best of friends. For the gang just watching Vermaji try to not squirm when her voice sounded was enough of a treat and the movie “Oye Lucky Lucky Oye” turned out to be more fun than anyone else in the world.

CC still is trying to figure out why we all laugh so hard when Vermaji is near her. Vermaji still tries to figure out how can he can tell her shes very irritating in a movie hall without breaking her heart.

While the two of them are miles apart now, heres hoping we all get together to see another movie someday, somewhere.

An Ode to You – III

This is pretty much the last one of this series or so i hope. I know the obvious reactions that there should be more than three but lets just say this is it. This is the last one because nothing else will come ever as close to a fairy tale ending as this one. And also because i am the one who screwed it up.

Words fail me when i think of you..

The one that didnt get her rightful due..

Call me a coward, call me any name u find right..

I am sorry i didnt put up a bigger fight..

I survived that crash to find you by my side..

I took you along wanting you every mile of the ride..

But when things went out of hand and you were out of sight..

I thought it unfair making you share my plight..

We are best apart in our separate worlds and thoughts..

But yes more often than not a memory comes afloat..

Of times that were ours alone from the rest of the universe..

A lifetime in a passing moment, of eternity a small doze..

________________

Thats the closest i can come to sorry. Hope if you ever read this you do understand..

Review – Ali Baba Cafe & Restaurant

Ali Baba Cafe in Fraser Town was a surprise find for me last week. Bored as usual, i pestered my room mate into going out for a drive and one thing led to another and we ended up in Ali Baba Cafe at around 9p.m.

The first thing one notices on entry is the distinct Arab artifacts and paintings on the red walls. The first floor which is the restaurant has a very well thought out seating arrangement and makes a person feel at home almost immediately.

The service is pretty standard for a medium sized restaurant but it is when it comes to discussing the menu that they excel. For Ali Baba serves something unique to Bangalore with its Bhatkal Cuisine. I was first vary and then pleasantly surprised by the flavours that were served up in front of me. Everything from the dishes to the spoons, from the tea pot to the handis shows the amount of thought that was went into the design.

For those still not convinced, just go and try the Bhatkali Biriyani and trust me you will become instant fans. The kebabs all have different names than usually seen in the restaurants that dot Bangalore, so go ahead and experiment.

Dont forget to finish off your dinner or snacks with their Persian Tea (its moroccan tea as in the menu).

If you are not a foodie like me, then go to Ali Baba for its Sheesha’s. The shamiana on the second floor itself deserves special mention. The colorful and elegant Sheeshas that they serve that mesmerizing pass time of the Gods are more than their moneys worth. Have a hookah sipping some Persian Tea and you will get a glimpse of how it really is to be done.

So finally for the rating: I give Ali Baba cafe & restaurant 4.5/5 overall and recommend it whole heartedly to anyone who loves his meat and likes exploring the varied sights Bangalore has to offer.

The Migration Ends..

I have always for a very long time wondered about the innate need of Indian Men and Women to fly the nest.. That dream to move to a foriegn country and make it their own.. To be “Settled” in terms defined by their neighbours in a village back home.

I was coaxed and coerced and finally fated to make that flight. On Nov 19, 2009, i decided to try my luck at it. Born into that most migratory of indian races , Malayalee, my destination was predetermined almost 15 years ago when my dad decided to pitch his tent in Doha , Qatar. So here i was, 2 years of corporate experience under my belt and still fresh from wounds to the physical and the emotional planes of my life, looking for a break, a change and hopefully something i could finally be part of.

Frankly i am dissapointed. The so called Persian Gulf holds a lot of promises for a lot of people. These people are the ones that have their lives planned out and live on a time line. The guys who know their first job, their first car, their first house and sometimes even their first and only wife by the time they are 15. Or for the ones that just need the money. For there is money here , loads of it. I can easily earn over 1 lakh INR a month here as a start and save over half of it. I just dont choose to.

I would prefer making a very decent amount of money that gets me through the month as it comes and leave me enough for the odd purchases when i need them.

As this particular migratory bird decides India is the only place he will live in, life suddenly has a lot of gaps that need filling. I am going on sabbatical my beloved readers. I am going to spend the next 3 months trying to figure out what i want to do, what i can do and how i will i do it.

Any and all suggestions are welcome. Proposals for anything but marriage will also be entertained and i look forward to meeting you all, old friends and new, sooner or later.

Allepey – A Night on a Houseboat

Allepey, also known as Venice as the east, is a town now past its peak.. Its glory still holds in the beautiful old mansions and houses that rub shoulders with the new glass facades of modern architecture.. The whole town was once accessible only by waterways, much like venice.. Now the canals and the boats on them are just like a museum piece, more memories than actual utility..

Tourism is reviving the town though, the idea of lagoons garlanded by coconut groves are enticing, the houseboats , still handmade , are each unique and no two look the same.. Spending a night on one almost as good as it gets.. The food prepared by the boatmen is to die for, mostly non vegeterian, it is spicy mouth watering and makes u eat like a pig..

Now coming to my ride, 8 people,cousins and friends, we got on expecting a once in a lifetime kind of experience and were not let down.. From the moment we left the shore behind we started our noisy racket that lasted into the wee hours of the morning.. After a few drinks, lots of music, a little fishing and some amazing food, each of us fell silent and slowly slipped away into our on worlds, some watching the stars on a velvet sky, some just staring out over a calm vast expanse of water that was all around us.. Of course there were the usual culprits who went into nocturnal shells and coochie cooed to their sweethearts in the bedrooms.. By the time we went to sleep we were dead tired, but around 7 when i woke up, i saw that everyone (myself included) had left the comfort of the bedrooms to sleep on matressses on the floor on deck.. Breakfast was idli , chutney and pineapples.. Then we went for a ride around the lagoon and saw atleast 500 more boathouses, some ashore , some like us on the way back and some starting their rides.. The only thing common was that everyone seemed relaxed, almost everyone was smiling and life seemed to have no worries.. Amazing how being on an unanchored boat gives one a feeling of freedom..

That was it, some pictures, a couple of videos and a heartfull of memories.. Then we were back on hard ground.. Till i make that next trip, for somehow i know that this is not the end..

Closure

Once again i walk the path..
Where we once walked together..
Once again i sit in the shade..
Of a tree that knew you and me..I dont know if i ever said all that i wish i had..
But now it doesnt matter anymore..
I am over the going crazy and being mad..
For me you are finally out the door..

Cherish as always will the memories..
Every moment and every word..
I am not running away anymore..
My life has led me to a new road..

This time though i will not return..
This once is the last time..
I am burying it where it was born..
My eyes no longer my love can mime..

Runway 9

Runway 9 is a pretty neat hangout on the outskirts of Hyderabad best known for its Go-Karting track.. It took me 9 months in Hyd before i got to check it out but then my lazy self takes all the blame for tat.. The track is 713mts long and really neat…. The Karts could use a little more tuning (their top speed is a lil low).. The turns are really cool and the tyres are just right for skidding into them.. They also have additional stuff like shooting , archery, rock climbing , Table tennis, foozeball etc and they are fun too.. But its the track that is a must ride..  They have a skating rink too but coz of my amazing balance on skates , i refrained from it.. 

They have 4 ,6 and 8 lap coupons.. I propose either the 6 or 8 lap coupons becuase somehow 4 laps seem a little short..

Archery isnt as easy as it looks, i got 3 out of 4 arrows on the board but didnt hit bulleye..

For anyone who is in hyderabad and feels theres nowhere to go, and is tired of the whole disco, pub scene (which isnt really great anyways ), hit runway 9.. It isnt really far out but is a nice drive..And if u wanna party they have a pub there too (called the chequered flag )

PS: ( I lapped all my friends 😀 )

The Week that was.. Chennai- Blore Diaries.

When i packed my bag on Saturday, i had big dreams of seeing two cities (one i had almost forgotten after a brief stint in 2003, the other almost home – a friend i had been missing for two long).. That luckily didnt happen, i didnt see any of chennai except for a few lanes in KK nagar, the Bus stand at Koyampedu and Egmore station, and i was there for 4 days.. What i did see though was long lost friends , classmates , roommates and then some more from days of old.. Instead of seeing the Chennai of the present and wondering about the future , for 2 days i was dwelling in a place out of the past, from engg days to be exact.. As we recollected stories of a eventfilled 4 years , we laughed like hell, we felt fondness for a place we were all pretty happy to leave.. Some stories were of madness, some of something almost like love, some were stories of times like the night we were sharing , of a bunch of guys, a few beers and a lot of heart to heart talk.. The marriage that i went to attend was also very heartwarming.. The brides family of which i soon became a part was amazingly down to earth loving, caring , fretting and managing things..

Then came Bangalore, i touched there at an unearthy 4.30am , but i was in my kingdom.. Waking up an old friend at 5, then sleeping till 9.. Land up in college and i find Amaze 08 was in session(for the unitiated , Amaze is the college fest of IIPM, and Blore IIPM is reputed to hold the biggest show among all IIPM’s.. To top it of , i found myself judging Dumb-C , my pet game since engg days.. The clock struck 5 and i was  in my favorite hangout in Koramangala, the 4th block Barista, ( the place was a study room, a recreation room and a lot more for a lil over two years while i did my MBA) , meeting old friends over coffee seems a phrase out of a book but thats exactly what i did.. I was there till 10 pm.. So 5hrs and 6 coffees later, i reached another friends room, where i discovered that a workmate of mine has been keeping a secret for no apparent reasons..

The next day was pretty uneventful , a 3 hour stint at barista and then i was in my old room, with roomies who havent changed , but then 8 months isnt too long a time i guess.. I have been lounging here since, two days of the laid back life i once led , and it feels amazingly good.. Except for a small coffee break ( coffee day indira nagar this time). i havent stepped out, have seen 2 movies , had brunch , tea at 11am and dinner at 1am.. Yes, this feels like home..