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175: By Default

25 Jun

We’ve had to take a detour because the highway we use to exit the mountains has been closed for repair. This hasn’t come as a surprise because we always have some new “adventure” coming our way every single time we embark on a road trip. This detour is one that A has never taken. We took the left turn instead of the usual right turn that we do, and ended up driving past beautiful mountain towns, fruit orchards, and brilliant terrain. While the road was indeed too narrow – often resulting in jams in order to allow vehicles from one side to pass at a time – it was one the two of us enjoyed going on. A large part of me was more tempted to get off the car and pluck myself a bag of berries and peaches, but there simply wasn’t any parking space to do so.

It looks like we have a long day ahead, even though it is Sunday. We’ve already been on the road for a while now, and it just feels never ending.

Our main entry into city life is welcomed by a ginormous KFC sign on the highway. There’s no better way than to undo your detox with greasy, fried chicken in between bread (my in-laws are strictly vegetarian and do not have even eggs!). And so city life begins. Again.

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171: Time

21 Jun

It’s been a while since I started believing in the power of time, and that there’s a time for everything. It’s been obvious to me in more cases than one where sometimes things proved difficult, if not impossible to do; rife with obstacles, while there were times when I didn’t even have to do much, and things happened.

Time has always made its intentions and its mastery clear to me, and there’s just no fighting it.

Here’s yet another example; and one I can openly share with you dear reader.

A, my brother-in-law, and I went for a cup of tea to our regular hangout. As we sat there sipping our tea, the clouds cleared in front of us to reveal the mighty Himalayas right in front of us – a phenomenon that is completely rare during the summer since the clouds shroud these pristine mountains. They’re best visible during winter – they appear threefold larger, more domineering, more imposing. However, I’ve never had the luck of seeing them as clearly as this.

Needless to say, I sat opposite them in stunned silence while sipping my tea, taking this view as yet another blessing of time’s doing. :)

169: Mangoes, Litchis, And Jimmy

19 Jun

There’s nothing more my life revolves around right now than these three loves.

I’ve lost all sense of time and do not know which day I’m at and how far along my holiday in the hills has gone. My days are spent reading, staring at the mountains, watching sunsets, and cuddling Jimmy.

I’m almost done reading A Princess Remembers, while remaining snuggled in between blankets and the cool draft that blows here from time to time.

Staying in bed for a considerable chunk of the day isn’t something I’m used to or enjoy too much. However, I’m taking what I’ve got – free time, peace, solitude, and a great view right from my bed – and making the best of it for as long as it will last. :)

Oh, and while I’m at it, I’m digging into chilled litchis and mangoes, because wow!

166: Back To The Mountains

16 Jun

We’ve landed in the midst of my immediate and extended in-law family, who have come from near and far to spend their summer in the hills. There are cousins, aunts, uncles, servants, cooks, and what have you. It’s madness, there’s chaos, and there’s also the peace that mountains tend to automatically emanate selflessly.

Our drive yesterday was rather long, but we were thrilled to find our maggi point guy’s stall standing as we climbed up the mountains this time. Maggi stalls speak of the arrival of mountains by default. We pulled up the only two chairs that were lined near his cart that was parked under the conifers, and we ordered ourselves some omelettes and tea, to go with the methi paranthas ma had packed for us. My appetite didn’t permit an extra greedy order of maggi, but I was mighty pleased with a crispy, juicy masala omelette that can only be found on roadside carts, to be honest.

Life is simple here. People work, and people go. There are no extra frills of unending thoughts and webs of worry that mar their faces. They smile, they walk on. Even the corncob boys sit around, reclined, waiting for annoying tourists to disturb their reverie.

As much as I love coming to the mountains, I still haven’t gotten used to the serpentine roads as I clench my stomach while we swerve from turn to turn.

165: And We’re Off Again

15 Jun

I’ve barely had the time to feel homesick or sink into a pool of self-pity. We’re off again, this time to my in-laws, and I’m uncertain about how connected I really will be with my blog while I’m there.

We’re on the road, driving down this time. My mind is all over the place, my thoughts fragmented, my emotions haywire. But I’ve got A and music for company, and a countryside to pore over should I find the need to lose myself from time to time.

I hope you’re having a splendid summer, dear reader. :)

163: Penultimate

12 Jun

My mind has reached a place of acceptance that we’re leaving tomorrow, that my stay in Bangalore has come to its end, and that it’s time to pack and go. S was supposed to leave the morning after A arrived, but that got pushed to today. We somehow managed to convince him to get his tickets along with us so we could all leave together – ma says she’d prefer that than the slow plucking away of her children from her nest. A was clear that he wasn’t interested in going out anywhere thanks to his cricket match that was on. So we spent Sunday chilling at home, watching tv, catching naps in between, and just being lazy. I didn’t watch much of the match and immersed myself in my book instead. I am currently reading “The Princess Remembers” – Memoirs by Maharani Gayatri Devi. I’ve loved reading it so far and hope to complete it as soon as possible.

We aren’t doing much today except gathering our things, packing, and just being lazy. Ma has gone to work and we plan to catch a late lunch of burgers, pasta, and steaks a little later. There’s not much I can comprehend from my current state of mind. Time just flies.

162: Sundaze

11 Jun

Yesterday was a packed day that ended much later than I’d planned. From late lunch drinks and snacks with friends to drinks and dinner with family, we spent most of our day out. If that wasn’t enough, we carried the party on at A’s cousin’s place till almost 4am – something I’ve seldom ever done. I loved it, to be honest.

A lot of my growing up years have been spent following a routine, being the “nice” girl who comes back home in time, who follows rules. Staying out till late is my brother’s forte and one I never really understood. I guess it primarily depends on the company you keep – mine always met during the day and wrapped up latest by dinner. There are only a handful of times I remember being out till late with friends, and that was either during a holiday or over a stay over.

Having said that, sitting outside in bhaiyya’s balcony; chatting, laughing, sharing stories, convincing A that Bangalore is a good place to live in, and generally just watching sheets of clouds roll by while gentle music played as a cool wind blew was an apt after-party. It’s one I’m totally game for if an encore was to happen. Age does mellow us down; the urgency to prove a point on the social front blunts itself till it fades away. No more do you find yourself in the company of people inebriated beyond their capacity with the sfx of nausea taking over.

As dawn began to unveil herself, we returned home and fell into a satisfying sleep. :)

157: It’s A Feeling

6 Jun

…that of ordering sundaes from Corner House, and settling back into our respective couches to catch up on episodes of The Crown, which btw, we’re completely hooked on to.

From what I gauge, and from what is in fact the way of the world, all that glitters isn’t gold, and the grass always somehow looks greener on the other side.

Having said that, I will also maintain that I’ve always wanted to live like royalty, even if it was for just a day. Okay two. :P

154: Snapshots So Far

3 Jun

Some experiences are best described without words. 

Here are some of mine so far, and I’m letting these pictures do all the talking. 

Banana chips and post-dinner conversations


Saris, dosas, window shopping in Commercial Street.

Friday afternoons with family and these eyes

Impromptu visits, conversations, and homemade fish fry and prawn curry meals

Sunny, windy, shade-laden walks under these gentle giants

Andhra meals, laughter, and bubbly fresh lime sodas

Relaxing with baking

152: Homeward Bound

1 Jun

I’m off to Bangalore for a short while, dear friends. It’s a break I have been looking forward to, naturally, and now that it’s time to leave (yes, I’m writing this after my successful book hunt at the airport – I picked up Maharani Gayatri Devi’s memoirs), the wait has become even more unbearable. What once used to take us days to reach by train, now takes us not more than 3 hours – we’re fortunate; but now even these three hours feel like a lifetime. My check-in was smoother than I’d imagined at this hour – and everything went off with a happy, genuine smile from both sides – from the lady at the check-in counter to the lady at security check to my coffee waitress. It’s a great way to begin a day, that’s for sure.

I hope to be able to write regularly, but there might be more cheating involved during this period than I’d like to acknowledge. I’m referring to blog cheating and food cheating, of course. Sometimes it is hard to draw the line between these secondary forces that pull me to Bangalore – is it the food, the weather, the memories, the walk back in time?, because the one thing I focus a lot on, is food. I’ll write more about memories on a later post; but food really seems to take precedence. Going back to what I was saying is that I hope I can maintain this venture while I’m busy stuffing my face with the madness Bangalore has to offer.

See you on the other side, dear reader! Have a pleasant and colourful June! :)