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178: Bangalore, This Time

28 Jun

I’ve been wanting to do a look-back on my trip to Bangalore this summer because it’s been different than all the others I’ve had so far. What highlights my summary of it was the fact that it was restrained this time. Little did I scurry from place to place, desperately trying to grab on to opportunities for memories. Seldom did the idea of restaurant-hopping make itself dominant (unlike the other trips). It just didn’t really obsessively revolve around food even though I did manage to have all that I always go to Bangalore to have. This time I even added brownie points in the form of an Andhra meal, and crab ghee roast.

It was also a time when I decided to stay put at home and prioritise the concept of resting more than I would have, ordinarily. There was an active effort invested in saying no, staying in, letting go, even if that meant sitting with family and doing nothing over traipsing across town to meet and catch up with friends.

I also didn’t really have the energy to do as much. However, we did throw in the usual trips to Commercial street and the tailors. Ma and I made additional time to hop over to Cubbon Park (while it rained) – something we’ve never done in the longest time.

There’s something very calm, collected, and yes, restrained. There was no urgency, no hurriedness, no desperation. It felt ample in all that we did and chose not to do. It couldn’t have felt more perfect. :)

176: HOME

26 Jun

We’re back, and we’re EXHAUSTED.

We were on the road for over 12 hours thanks to jams we encountered while entering the horrendous Ghaziabad.

Needless to say, A is tired. And so am I.

The best thing we have is this Monday holiday to sleep in and do absolutely nothing.

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.

174: It’s Almost Time To Leave

24 Jun

It felt like just yesterday when school shut for the summer, that I packed my bags for Bangalore, that A came to Bangalore, and that we came here to the mountains. Time has flown by and I’ve lost track of days and time, to be honest. When you switch your alarms off for longer than a handful of days, daily routine does get warped, and how.

The idea of going back home is both exciting and tiring – because I’ve lost track of doing any and every kind of work that my house demands from me. But I’ll keep those thoughts aside for now and enjoy the last day that we have here. :)

173: Mountain Drives

23 Jun

We had quite some plans before we set off on this trip to my in-laws, or so I think we did. One plan involved travelling as far as to the Indo-Nepal border, and what have you. The only thing is, and I’ll repeat again like I did here; never make plans. Or make loose plans if you so love making plans. So, having said that, it can be established that all our plans went for a fine toss. We’ve been put at home and our outings have been limited to either the market or our haunts that are not more than half an hour away. And given yesterday’s situation, today seems to have had a silver lining – because we stepped out and went beyond just a half hour’s drive.

We drove to Binsar today, which is Almora district’s forest area. As we drove past the check post and ascended its serpentine roads, one thing was getting obviously clear – the forests here looked as dense and similar in foliage as the ones you find in Kerala. I mean I always expected conifer forests and more conifers as the forests got denser, but instead I found trees (unrecognizable to me of course) that looked more like the ones you see in tropical rainforests. Nonetheless, it was fascinating to see all this foliage around me; dense, lush, beautiful, serene; and what a welcome change it was.

It’s sure to be known that there’s no better cure than time, and nature. :)

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!

168: Meet Jimmy

18 Jun

…the newest member of our family, much to my mil’s frustration (because apparently she was just kidding when she permitted us to get him home!) 

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.

163: It’s Time

13 Jun

S, A, and I left for the airport together, and sat to have our respective bevvys together while waiting for our flights. I watched his taxi to the runway and take-off, wondering just how big my baby brother had become. Soon it’d be our turn to leave.


Ma told me to have button idlis at the airport, so I did…and now I’m too full. Of everything that home can fill a child with. Including the heartbreak of leaving it. Sigh.

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.