The Ringside View

My attempts at writing have always been stacked up in old diaries and scraps of yellowing paper.Time,neglect and phylum insecta however, always ensured that the gibberish i scrawled, never would see the prying gaze of an alien eye.Years later, i still scribble once in a while - this time in word documents stored in some obscure folder somewhere in the innards of my C drive.I am unearthing some of them and opening them up for the interested.To get what i call - The Ringside view.

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Location: Bangalore, Karnataka, India

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Nice place to be (....contd)

Chapter 1: Massalle!!!!

Best place to go for a jog - Its Sunday. And second week of January is too early to break your New Year resolution. It’s cold. But jog you must. Take the effort. The landscaped parks nearer home are no good. Go for the mother of all oxygen bars – Lal Bagh. It’s my vote for the best place to go for a jog.

Now to the crux of it. Best place for breakfast after jog - Your New Year resolution only talked about exercising. There was no asterisked reference to not eating good rich food with dollops of ghee after rigorous workout. You go by the old clichéd rule of ‘energy can neither be created nor destroyed’. The best place for breakfast after jog – Mavalli Tiffin Room.

Best place for longest wait to eat Masala Dosa – Mavalli Tiffin Room again.

Best place to brag I had Masala Dosa at – lo and behold Mavalli Tiffin Room.

You invariably finish your fast track exercising model (100 meters jog and 300 meters walk) in pretty quick time. Time now to exercise food pipe, digestive system and other internal muscles. They also need exercise you see. It’s seven in the morning. You reach MTR and you get the shock of your life. Half of south Bangalore are waiting hand on belly, grinning ear to ear for their Khara bath and filter coffee to arrive. Two hours is too much waiting time you decide and this is when the next place comes in handy.

Best place to have Masala Dosa in old world style – Its small, non descript and pretty much looks like an R K Laxman cartoon rip off. Sepia toned pictures of great men from bygone eras grace the oily walls (all eating Masala Dosas of course). ‘Right hand only’, you remind Paps. Dosa arrives, divine and golden brown. Ladles of lentil based chutney pours down like a waterfall. ‘Sambhar idhiya’, Paps asks. Sacrilege. No one’s asked that in a hundred years at Vidhyarthi Bhavan. Waiter glares. If looks could kill, he’s freakin ash. You continue eating like you disowned him a long time back. Vidhyarthi Bhavan, Basavangudi – the best place to eat masala dosa under SM Krishna photographs and all that.

Chapter 2: Tea, Coffee and other liquids.

Best place to go have cutlet and order no coffee – Indian Coffee House. You’ll get the stares and get asked ‘What else sir?’ a hundred times. Ponder for a while and then ask – ‘One glass water please. Amele bill kotbidi’. Never ask for coffee. The expression on the waiter’s face - priceless.

Best place to have lemon tea – Mecca, Johnson Market. You tell the man at the counter – ‘Do lemon tea aur do kajjur’. He in turn may look at his apprentice and say – ‘Kya re karra so; Kajjur’, but don’t ya bother, that’s the adjective version of it.

Best place to drink fancy tea and eat momos – Infintea, Cunningham Road. The tea usually comes with Bunsen burner, sand clocks and all apparatus complicated. Most drinks come with a glass or pot option. So its best advised you go for the glass while you coax whoever goes with you to go for pot. At least you’ll have entertainment at close quarters.

Best place to have coffee and feel higher up in the value chain – Barista, The Leela. Too many people are faking this now, so you are forewarned.

Best coffee place that is no longer there – Café Beanstalk, Houdin Road. How at all they closed it, I do not know.

Best beer hole to go to after bad performances at common admission tests – Pub World, Residency Road.

Best pub to go to and flash loyalty card – Pecos, off Brigade Road. It’s also the best place to go to, if your friends are human embodiments of oil tankers and you love popcorn – free with every pitcher.

Best pub to go to, if you’re not a beer guzzler – Mojo’s. Excellent egg chilly.

Chapter 3: Taking the woman out

Most clichéd place to take your woman out for dinner – Ebony, MG Road. She takes menu in hand and orders Mutton Dhansak for you. Why? Because her cousin told her it’s good. (You don’t like the way Dhansak sounds and you don’t really like mutton). Food arrives and even before you put the first spoonful into your mouth you know that Dhansak is not for you. Thanks for ruining my dinner btw. You make mental note, that this relationship if it continues this way, is heading the Dhansak route.

Ok, but still; why is it clichéd, you ask? I don’t know. The last time someone mentioned taking their wife out for dinner, I instantly barked out – Ebony. And the reply was – Ya, there only. So I decide to mark it clichéd. Period.

So then, best place to take woman out for dinner and still not compromise on Ebony view – Papparazi, Manipal Centre. It’s the old Pinch of Jazz, and I reckon they still do play the Jazz on weekends. Great décor. Good food. And super views of Cubbon Road decked up like a golden pendant (I wanted to call it queen’s necklace, but then if some Mumbai folks read it, they’ll laugh).

Best place for eating Black Forest Crepes in candlelight – Casa Picola, Residency Road. Despite the candlelight and all that there is no way you can give her undivided attention until justice is done to the crepes. Might be a good idea to keep her informed.

Best place to have ice cream – Corner House, Airlines Hotel. It’s never complete till you manage to get onto the swing in the attached kid’s park. We call it the contemplation machine and can be a good conversation spinner when combined with French apple cake with two dollops of Vanilla ice cream. If there are kids playing on the swing, don’t think, just throw them out.

Best place to have ice cream on a budget – Cool Joint, Jayanagar. Your elusive search for that ultimate combination of quality and (more importantly) quantity should end right here. It does not come easy though. Minor injuries and tomato soup on your T shirt should pretty much be expected as you jostle your way though the human wave, ice cream in hand.


Chapter 4: This, that and other things

Best place to listen to music – Java City, Church Street. CG by now is probably rolling on the floor and laughing. OK, agreed they do go out of sync at times. Agreed, the acoustics at JC is bad and all that. Agreed they do play pop. But it’s still a nice place for everyday music. Play on Lester, we’ll be there.

Best place to eat Rolls – Fanoos, Johnson Market. It’s like the Woodstock of roll eating. Land up anytime after sundown and you’ll get to know what I mean.

Best place to go have lunch when you don’t have anywhere else to go – Hotel Empire. Location not important. Look around, you might find one close to where you are. Or drop them a note and they’ll open one pretty shortly.

It’s also the only oasis serving food for all folks, drunk and lost at 2 in the night. It’s very often left over food I hear, but if you’re drunk that bad, chances are you would never realize anyways.

Best parking lot to chill out in – Hotel Airlines, Lavelle Road. It’s almost the place where we have our college get together these days. It works out cheap and the avoidable characters will not turn up telling – “You’re meeting at a parking lotaa?”

Best place to go for a breakfast buffet – Sunny side up, Ebony. Tailor made for Sundays. Provided you can wake up that is. But conversations of this nature post breakfast are not uncommon.

You: “I had breakfast at Ebony today”
Dad: “Where is that?”
You: “Barton Centre. 13th floor”
Dad: “What did you have?”
You: “You can have whatever you want. It’s a buffet. Idly, vada……”
Dad: “How much?”
You: “125 rupees inclusive of tax”
Dad: “What? 125 rupees for idly vada. You ……..” (rest of the conversation is predictably unprintable)

Best place to go watch a play – Alliance Francise, Vasant Nagar. It’s got a French Riviera atmosphere that is unrivalled. (Aside) Being a mongrel at the Alliance is a reincarnation option for many I know. Me included. Reason: you get petted and cuddled by all the good looking girls studying French at the institute. It’s almost as though, if you’re good looking and super hot, you’ve got to cuddle the mongrel.

Best….wait a minute. It’s got to end somewhere isn’t it? And since there is no logical end in sight, I may as well end here.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ayyo! How you can NOT mention Koshy's??? Or Nilgiri's? Or cheap old Ullas restaurant? Or roadside chaat stalls on Commercial Street galli? Or dark dingy Rice Bowl? Now you have to write sequel to sequel :-)

I've got maaaajor food cravings now all because of this post, and there is no bloody way I can get to Bangalore in the next 2 months. Damn!

- Lals.

PS - Is Vidyarthi Bhavan a thing with you guys only? I didn't even know it existed before I met KB!

September 16, 2007 4:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

nice post mate.. could've enjoyed more if only I were a bangalorean ;-)

September 16, 2007 9:45 PM  
Blogger Bikerdude said...

Awesome buddy. I approve of all your choices- though hello, you left out Thirteenth Floor, Purple Haze and your very own La Casa in Jaynagar!! Whaaaaaat I say.

PS: I also wholeheartedly agree that screwed as the city's infrastructure is, the city's become vibrant like never before!

Bega sequel bari ri!

September 16, 2007 11:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A great list of Best's. I Concur. I was directed here from Biker Dude's post --> Pri's World --> Preeth. I call it good Bangalore karma. You are ALL worthy Bangaloreans and keep our city flying high.

I miss you MTR. The box on the Indian grocery store aisle isn't doing it for me. En Saar - you have to write a sequel - so us folks can check out the happening places of today.

My short list of faves -- Bagathram; Chung Wah, Ramanashree, Kadambam, the dabba near RVCE (not sure if it is long gone), Taj Cake shop(Comm St.). ~ Maria.

September 18, 2007 2:03 PM  
Blogger Preeth said...

@Lals -> Ya.Too much missed out no.Wondering if I should go onto make it a triology.

@Laks -> Never mind.For the Chennai boy in you, there is always Krish Ashok's blog.

@Bikerdude -> Thank you bro. Don't force me about the sequel, I might actually write it :)

@Maria -> Thanks a lot.Mighty glad you liked it :)

September 19, 2007 3:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ayyo, write man! What you're thinking so much and all. If only you thought less and wrote more no, we would all be sitting at home a little happier. Now go WRITE! I'm sure Bikerdude and others also agree.
- Lals.

September 20, 2007 1:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very nice and informative post. You seem to be someone who has "lived" it in Bangalore. I did my schooling in Bangalore and then moved out to the US for last 10 years. Back for good now....and it is amazing to see how the place has grown culturally.

For dining out, I use an automated phone service called Ubona Foodie Hotline (080-40700000). Connects me to any restaurant without needing to know the phone number.

January 25, 2008 3:38 AM  

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