Saturday, August 23, 2008

Food-filled Saturday & a mini re-union

As my lovely vacation reaches its final leg, the momentum in the degree of fun that I am having is picking up. The day started with a wake up call from an old friend - one of 2 people I was going to have breakfast with, at our old, favourite joints around town. Got up, refreshed myself and reached the famous Veena Stores at 8 a.m. sharp, to be greeted by these 2 tall, ex-colleagues turned wonderful friends. It was a mini re-union of sorts for the 3 of us - Sharat, Vijay and I - to be back in Bangalore after such a long time and to be visiting these old, famous and favourite restaurants/food joints.

Kicking off the breakfast menu with the legendary idly/vada-chutney combination, we moved up the "value-chain" with khara baath, sauvige baath and sweet pongal at Veena Stores. My stomach was already full by the time we finished these, but these two pot-bellied, tall guys around me were in their elements & all set to continue the feast at 2 other famous places. Of course, their tongue-in-cheek of why I am so puny and slim(ok, that was my interpretation!), as against their pot-bellies, was one of the many jovial moments of the morning.

As we trudged down the near-empty street, on a a cloudy and lazy Saturday morning in Malleswaram, we caught up on each other's lives and had nice, long conversations of cultures, languages, et al. Typical, re-union chat, but a little more realistic & not the least bit flashy or ornamental. Good, old-fashioned friendship!

We reached CTR (Central Tiffin Room, now renamed as Shri Sagar) and dug into the ultra-famous "benne masala dosai". The only disappointment of the morning came at CTR, what with the Mangalore bajji and Maddur vadai, not available at that time. Sigh! I was choking, by the time I finished eating the full dosai. But, my counterparts were even more enthusiastic! We walked down to Janata Hotel - this place is usually known for its fantastic masala dosai, but not just me, but even my tall, pot-bellied friends were unable to even consider digesting it. We tried a slightly lighter alternative -kesari baath, which was the second sweet of the morning, in less than an hour, across 3 restaurants!:) This was awesome! And the weather and the quality of our conversation was immensely engaging!

By the time we came out of the Janata Hotel, Sharat, Vijay & I were pooped/tired - and tired because of the effort that went into consuming all these delicacies in one go!:) Anyway, we strolled down the street back to a basketball court(called the Beagles Court!) near Veena Stores and had a long, engaging conversation for the next couple of hours. It was actually so nice to be sitting down with 2 old friends, watching kids practice basketball on a Saturday morning, a stiff breeze blowing across our faces occasionally et al.

Finally, at around 10.30 a.m., calls from one of our local headquarters (read home), prompted us to trudge out of Beagles and head back home.

I was so pooped and full that I wanted to just crash into my bed for the rest of the day. But, I had a bunch of errands to finish and also had to watch a set of finals in the Olympics. Did all that, and skipped lunch!

In the middle of the afternoon, I left home for the Forum mall in Koramangala with 2 other folks and came back home by 7 pm. Of course, this was not before I endured 25 kms of driving in nightmarish traffic, literally moving, bumper to bumper! God help the roads in Bangalore, not to mention the traffic sense of people who drive:(. Managed to chip in with a McDonald's burger, french fries and coke in between, in the mall, amidst a maddening crowd on a Saturday evening in this mall.

In the evening, my bro-in-law was feeling rich, and took 2 of us - my cousin and I , to the Windsor Manor! It was the first time ever I had entered this particular star hotel in Bangalore, and lined up a beautiful dinner by the poolside!:) Wow, good place, awesome ambience, and obviously the other extreme of the spectrum compared to a Veena Stores or a Janata Hotel or a CTR!

Am pooped and tired - of eating. Am going to sleep now. I need a break, as this vacation is "tiring", but am not complaining!!:)

No comments: