Tag Archives: Holiday

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! :)

106: Ostrich Situation, Again

16 Apr

It’s Sunday, and I’m trying not to mourn the loss of a beautifully perfect weekend. There was relaxation, food, laughter, games of cards, music, soft lights, cold drinks on ice, gardening, eating, sleeping, and wrapping up the loose ends of the week that was. It was perfection like most things seldom are; not that seeking perfection is an ideal or even a goal.

Thoughts about tomorrow do make sneaky appearances into my mind’s space from time to time; thoughts which I drown by sticking my head into things that’ll help speed their disappearance. They pry their way when I’m prepping for the upcoming week or when I’ve chosen to watch just another episode of DS instead of finishing what’s at hand.

And it’d be a shame to allow this to ruin an otherwise magical weekend, wouldn’t it?

96: If I Could…

6 Apr

…I’d wish for this. 

57: It’s Time To Leave

26 Feb

I thought it’d be easier to say bye now that it’s been over a year since I moved out. But it wasn’t.

I imagined feeling less morose about leaving everything that is home, but how stupid I was to even think it.

It sucked then, it sucks now.

And somehow, I’m glad that some things don’t change, no matter how difficult they can be.

56: Bangalore With A

25 Feb

…means staying out later than I ever have, in the company of people I’m meeting for the first time.

It means getting “don’t be too late”, “how are you coming back home” texts from ma that are usually reserved for my brother.

It means being absolutely okay with doing whatever it is I want to do without the worry of getting back home before autos or taxis become hard to come by.

It means letting go and easing up.

It means being clear about not sharing Corner House ice creams with him.

It means being a little extra proud of where I’ve grown up; because hello it’s Bangalore!

:)

54: Time’s Flying

23 Feb

A tends to join me in Bangalore during the fag end of my trip, and so it has been more often than not. His arrival heralds two things: that it’s time for me to switch roles and become a wife, and the realisation that my holiday is nearing its end. It’s a bittersweet feeling, I’ll admit.

We all went to receive him late last night, and here he is, ready to put his feet up and see the city from my eyes. I always have so many places to take him to, so much to tell him about, so many experiences to try and relive with him. Some of them happen, some of them remain as wishes; sometimes for the best.

The partner in me has taken charge without a second thought, but the daughter in me still wants to hold on to time a little longer. Where does time go by so fast to?

53: Bangalore In A Week

22 Feb

I’ve been here for exactly a week now, and this is what it’s been about, and somehow always has been, irrespective of the duration of my trips.

Visiting Commercial Street to hunt for saris, suits, the odd bangle set or so. This time it was also for Tamil Nadu cotton bedsheets.

Stopping by at Woody’s for my filter coffee or biting into a plain or palak (spinach) dosa at Shiv Sagar, followed by fresh lime soda, sweet and salt. Sometimes if we’re indulgent, we stop at that corner shop, as we have been for decades now, to have either a scoop of banana ice cream or Bowring kulfi which he now keeps.

Rushing to the tailors, both in different parts of the city, and sternly giving them deadlines that are obviously a little before my departure date.

Getting entwined in reunions of various sorts – family, friends, classmates, ex-colleagues, and of course, my four-legged family friends.

Sipping chai or coffee at Airlines and getting transported back to those bygone days. Of course the only things that have changed are that it’s a no-smoking zone now, and that I can go beyond ordering just a glass of chai/coffee for myself, even though I seldom do.

Visiting Koshy’s, if the plan works out, and ordering our default favourites just for old time’s sake.

Perhaps a walk in Cubbon Park, which still hasn’t happened, but I hope it does.

Sinking my teeth into beef, beef, and more beef.

Now thanks to Swiggy, I haven’t found the need to get my ass to Corner House, which also is a mandatory visit. I’ve been ordering in my sundaes and indulgences ever since I got here.

Carefully picking meat off thorns as I relish my favourite – fish. Yesterday, for the very first time in my life, I stopped a fishmonger, Aslam from Mangalore, on his moped, and bought fresh mackerel and prawns from him. It’s either this or heading out to a coastal eatery to get my fill.

Stopping by at Blossom’s Book House. They’ve shifted a little up Church Street, next to Matteo. This time I was in a rush, and couldn’t stop by. But walking past it counts, right?

Making my customary pit stop at Home Stop, just because I love their stuff, always have, and hopefully always will. Now if I could only afford the many things I love. :P

Having my fill of Bangalore’s beers. Always.

And dosas.

And filter coffee.

Now that I’ve made this list, it doesn’t seem like much at all. In fact, if one were to be efficient and plan their holiday well, it would’t take time to do all this. But here I am, feeling like I’ve done whatever I came here to do, but still with a lot more left to do. Nevertheless, and with all that has come my way, I feel immensely grateful to just be here, spend time with the ones who make it worth my while, and to go back with my glass full. :)

26: It’s The 26th!

26 Jan

As my country woke up to its 68th Republic Day, I found myself awake at a time when I was hoping to be ensconced in a comfortable sleep instead. It was much before the parade was due to start anyway, and the idea of reading in bed did strike my fancy when I woke up at 5am, this morning. I would’ve ideally loved to get out, sneak a bake in, get back into bed, and then wake up to the divinity of a freshly baked cake or muffins, perfect for a weekday holiday indulgence. It would’ve also made me feel super productive, efficient, and capable. But I sneaked a peek at my phone instead, and drifted back into sleep, thankfully.

I woke up well in time for the parade, and having prepped today’s meals yesterday, because I was feeling efficient and not because the parade was to be on (it’d slipped my mind, to be honest), everything went on smoothly. We had our rounds of tea, breakfast, and I even made it to watch the anthem, the 21 gun salute, and of course the entire parade, in time. At first we were on NDTV, but nothing of national significance is complete without featuring our national channel DD on it, no? So we switched to DD instead, and relived numerous moments from our childhood via this simple switch. It’s amazing how so much has changed, and yet how DD still remains the same. So much so that it even missed the proper coverage of the sukhoi formation. Sigh. But I did love the presenter and the language she used. So much grace, and so much dignity.

Either way, the weather has turned for the worse here. We’ve switched on the lights so early, and it’s a grossly saddening experience to endure. The storm outside makes me want to find my comfort in a hearty meal or an engrossing book. I wanted to do a bit of shopping but that’s ruled out. Moreover, since every single cop in and around NCR has been deployed for R-Day duties, it’s quite a challenge to go out on roads with no authorities supervising them. Lol.

Anyhoo guys, it’s the 26th, it’s a holiday; you’re probably on a long weekend break if you booked in advance, or are just doing more holiday things instead of staring at a screen. It’s time for me to get out of here as well, and see what I can treat myself to, in this wretched weather. Happy Republic Day, peeps!

Throwing Back, This Thursday

21 Jul

Because Thursday has somehow become synonymous with being reminiscent, today I thought of becoming a sheep and following the herd trend as well.

Last Thursday saw me wake up at my usual unearthly hour (for a holiday) and fumble around in the cool confines of our hotel room as I rummaged through tea bags to make myself a cup of tea at 7am. There was no bed to be made and the idea of slipping back under the sheets with my bevvy was an idea that toyed with my desire to throw all routine out of the window. However the practicality of balancing a hot mug of tea while remaining covered in bed didn’t seem very likely given the klutz I can be. So a sofa by the french windows whose drapes I’d slyly and slightly pried open without disturbing my sleeping husband (he doesn’t like the curtains open) took precedence.

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But the husband woke up soon enough and there we were, drinking our tea while he watched his tv and I read this rare gem. Soon after this entire tea ritual, I found myself being tempted by the desire to take a post bed tea snooze…I guess fluffy hotel beds with their sea of cushions and the idea of no regular weekday routine does the trick. We lazed around, read the newspaper, watched tv in bed and transformed into lazy hippos that didn’t have anything better to do; except that in sometime, our friend hunger began to make itself present.

Since our package in Shimla wasn’t inclusive of breakfast, we had the flexibility to eat from wherever we wanted to; which led us to exploring the town and the possible eateries we could feed our growing hunger at. We chanced upon a simple, non-fancy but colourful cafe just opposite Shimla’s Town Hall where quite some rather good food in the name of massive stuffed omelettes were wolfed down. But my best memory from this place was this astoundingly amazing coffee I had the pleasure of finishing my meal off with.

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I was a little apprehensive about the coffee; as I always am about tea/coffee as mentioned about in my previous post; but desperately needed some. It was the best decision off the menu, ever. Hideout Cafe makes one of the best cappuccinos I’ve ever had; strong, robust, energising and far from insipid like many I’ve had before. Please order it if milk coffee is your thing.

To tackle that post-meal slumber which effortlessly slides down one’s eyelids without prior notice, we walked around town and explored what seemed to be the more commercial and therefore crowded, touristy spots of Shimla. It was a good walk, though one we wanted to complete asap because we don’t like crowds or too many people in general. Sauntering through Shimla’s narrow lanes was a pleasure because not only do you walk in clouds more often than not, but because the buildings make you feel like you’re in a fun historical book…the authenticity of it heightened because not all roads allow vehicular movement on them, except garbage vans, ambulances and police vehicles. Do walk along some of these roads in Shimla and you won’t be disappointed, I promise. They speak a different story.

That was last Thursday for me. There was a lot of walking around, driving around, eating (though I wish I could’ve had that orange slush and ice cream priced at 60 bucks which is a rare find in cities – both slush and that price), and exploring scattered with slumber now and then.

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A loves going to the mountains; he says it refreshes him completely – his mind, body, soul and his digestive system. Haha! This is not the first person saying this to me; S thrives on going to the mountains in Kerala – it helps her immensely in every way. And they’re both right. There’s something about being in the company of these majestic mountains and all their splendid magic. We become sponges, soaking up all that fresh crisp air, greenery and general wholesomeness. While I was there this time, I really thought long and hard about the ‘beach or mountain person’ question that many ask. That’s for a separate post; for I feel like I’ve found a valid, and surprising answer.

Also, the answers you randomly chance upon when in the middle of nowhere, is strange and mind-boggling.

Also also, while I was on holiday last week; this appeared in the world.

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Yet another app, yet more artwork ready to morph photographs beyond recognition sometimes…yet another addictive toy to add to the repertoire of your phone’s credibility.

So yes, like I said at the beginning, I’ve become a sheep today…and I kinda like Prisma too.

Fail.

But happy throwing back to your favourite times this Throwback Thursday.

Timeout

14 Jul

A and I decided that a break was in order for the both of us. A lot of our life centres around the breaks we take like, some sort of energy bars that need consuming before we resume on the year’s journey, brimming with demands and things to be done. 

The weather has been absolutely cruel – I’m sure it’s normal for the people who are used to it, unlike I am – and so we decided to rejuvenate our lost energy in the mountains. I’ve obviously been a lot more sceptical what with the fragility of the Himalayan region. But the idea of sinking into pyjamas and sweatshirts, fingers cupped around steaming mugs of chai and of course, just getting away, was more than enough to keep my hesitancy on the back burner. 

I hope we get to spend the next few days just soaking in all the character, magic, narratives and hidden stories of the pieces that put our trip together. 

There’s something about road trips, irrespective of how tiresome they end up becoming, that just makes your heart skip a beat…that mak you want to stay up and not miss a single thing. 


Here is me breaking the stereotype of a sarson ke khet (mustard fields) and butter chicken dhaba Punjab. Out in the distance lies Himachal Pradesh in those mountains. 

Traveling is humbling. 

Travel is the best education.