Things I’m Doing Before I Leave Bangalore – I

29 Aug

In continuation from the end of my previous post where I highlighted (more than once) my fast approaching wedding, please do excuse me if most, if not all, my posts hereon are wedding-centric.

A little after the discovery that I could be getting married was made, it dawned upon me that I would have to leave Bangalore. If I were to rewind my story a little bit (or maybe a considerable bit) to about 3-5 years back when I actively started being open to the idea of getting married, it was also the time when the concept of having to actually move out of the comfort of my mom’s nest chanced upon me. I use the word “chance” because I’m that rather boring, unadventurous home-bird who hasn’t ever stepped out for long periods of time to flap my own wings, as it were. Except for the one time I went on an exchange program for 3 months in class 9, which doesn’t really count as a milestone in the development of a normal bell curve-fitting human being, I’ve always been at home and they were very conscious decisions of mine to do so. But somewhere along the line, a couple of years after I’d finally actually gotten done with the series of formal education Indian society deems “fit”, I’d really (finally) begun being open to the idea of leaving home. It was a thought and I’d left it at that, until talks of getting married started taking place.

And so here I am today, preparing to get married to the fiance who isn’t Bangalore-based. Because I was open to leaving home, the idea of relocating wasn’t a big deal back when I first met him. Of course, as is the case with almost everything, there’s much truth in the saying “it’s easier said than done”, which is applicable almost universally, if I may say so. So lo and behold, when I first got the hint that I would be getting married and therefore relocating in reality, it wasn’t as easy as it first seemed, I admit. It’s not that the idea of starting a new chapter in a new place with someone you’ve chosen to be with, isn’t exciting or thrilling. It’s the idea of actually stepping out of your every comfort zone that’s a different ball game altogether, especially if you’re the unadventurous (in this arena) kind.

It’s since then that I’ve been on this trail of sorts to do those things that I’ve really wanted to do in Bangalore or associate most with my home city. Of course we shouldn’t be surprised that most of them are, indeed, food-related. So after that rather long introduction, hopefully I’ll be able to document the things I’ve been doing and am trying to do before I leave Bangalore.

I first heard of this place back when I was in college. From friends to colleagues thereafter, the stories about this place never ceased to reach my ears. Of course I wasn’t as curious back then and figured I would visit this rather small and non-fancy eatery when my inclination and urgency would eventually surface. The friend who first spoke to me about it, and I, made our maiden trip together to CTR 11 years after she first told me about it. Eleven years. Talk about inclination and urgency. She’s been there countless times of course and was very kind to accompany me on my visit.

CTR isn’t really a fancy place and there isn’t even any guarantee that you’ll get a seat to sit at the moment you go there. Situated (I love this word, it sounds so travel-esque) at the corner of some cross on some main in Malleswaram, this tiny place (even after its expansion) still has more people waiting in line to eat its dosas than it can accommodate in one go. Go there for its benne dosa (butter dosa). I think it’s one of those landmark eateries Bangaloreans (and non-Bangalorean dosa lovers) have been flocking to for generations. It’s a non-fussy, in-ornate, simple place filled with people, a sizzling kitchen, crispy dosas and of course tumblers of steaming filter coffee. They do have other eats as well, but we stopped by for one each of this.

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I’m guessing the provision of (ghastly) plastic plates has taken over the rusticity of perhaps serving dosas on steel or leaf plates. But then again, the sight of a pale plastic plate is soon dominated by the brilliantly crisp, shiny, crunchy butter dosa. Forget about diets and calories and fat. Munch your way through this and then thank the dosa Gods for giving you this privilege/honour. Wash it down with filter coffee and exult in the experience of finally making it to this landmark.

It is important to always say and keep in mind that expectations from classical eateries/experiences must always be made minus ideals, to avoid the obvious – disappointment. We’ve perhaps savoured nicer-tasting dosas or had better experiences at newer places and so be it. But as someone looking to explore the character and history of a place, it’s important to make room for the experience in itself. And so with that, it makes me happy to know that this was one place checked off my list. It certainly was one of the crispiest dosas I’ve crunched my way through. If I do have the chance to, I hope to crunch my way through another one before I leave.

Happiness does indeed lie in a crispy and crunchy food experience. It’s true.

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