Friday, April 24, 2009

Wow! to Ohh no!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The rain continues its affair with Namma Bengaluru. Every evening by the time I come home (which is exactly around the same time), the clouds get overcast and it starts raining within half an hour of me reaching (thank god!)

Today was particularly cloudy. So much so that it was blackening. Subhash called and said it was raining heavily near his office and asked me to take an auto home instead of walking and if it starts raining while I am in the bus itself, I should wait and eat somehting in Pizza Hut while he comes over to pick me up.

So all set. I checked the clouds after I got off. Not too bad.

There was a cart vending particularly good looking mangoes which smelt heavenly as I walked past. I had to really control myself to not go there and buy some since I needed to get home as soon as possible. Believe me, it was tough. Anyways, I got home the usual time, and within 5 minutes the clouds enveloped even this place and right now, its raining so hard, its beating the doors and windows off everyone's homes. Luckily for me, I have a good window view where water doesn't come all the way through the windows so I can actually afford to take in the rain AND the breeze all without having a drop of water enter the room. Can there be anything better? No sir!

I had this urge to eat pakoras. Actually I do, every day, since one other card vends these heavenly smelling ones being freshly made just as I am walking home. So every evening I think I should go home and make some. Today I am actually going to implement the plan. I put in the batter and onions to soak :D (Did you know the best pakoras are made when you do not add water to the batter and let the onions mix with it to ooze enough water on their own, you do need to leave it for 15-20 minutes though, the more the better).

So looking forward to a nice evening with rain pattering on the window panes and us having hot pakoras inside the cozy comfort of home. Life couldn't be any better :D

Now the oh no!! part

Moments after I wrote the post, went closer to the window and peeped out, what do I see! We have a flood situation. Not in Bangalore, just in our house, somehow the three drains (*ALL* the three damned drains!!!) seem to have lost the will to drain water and its been steadily building up. I went out in a flimsy wind sheeter and made a lame attempt to unclog them three, but I couldn't find them in the water for a long time and when I did too, it didn't help much :(( And I got royally wet in the process, so I found some bricks and stashed them against the main door, found some old curtains and propped them against the door. Subhash is stuck in but-natural Bangalore traffic (especially Bangalore traffic when it rains), I have lost the appetite for pakoras and the rain seems to finally have taken mercy on me and slowed down. I am cooped up in the house, there is no power (thanks to the UPS, I don't have to sit in the dark at least), and I am blogging for lack of knowing what else do to.

Sigh! So much for an evening which started out beautifully! Still, at least I can blog, how about that eh? :)

The rain has downgraded to a drizzle now, there is no power anywhere and I didn't afterall need the bricks and the curtain proxying for a washer. But I still don't know how to unclog the drains. So I will just wait for Subhash to come and sort it out. Right now I am feeling at peace finally and am hoping and praying that it will not be short-lived. Please pray with me!!

Squashing a misnomer

Here, let me do my bit to eradicate this terrible falsehood:

AND, read through the comments.

Now some more:

So guys, please vote. "No Vote" doesn't really help beat anything out of the system if that was the notion you've been carrying around.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Yes!! We did!!

Vote. I mean. I must say that the democratic process was not so painful for us as it is made out to be. Fill in forms on Jaago re. Submit it in the ARO office off 100ft Road, check lists online a week before the D-day, remember your serial number, go and vote! :) Simple, right?

It was a mandatory election-day off today. We left home around 10.30 AM thinking that the polling booth on Wind Tunnel Road was ours. It was not to be. We were told to go to the one near Manipal Hospital. Since we started off walking (the rains over the last 4 days have made us treat the sun with impunity;) ). So we decided to walk it out. We stopped on the way for a cool Mango milkshake and the neighborhood bakery and set off again.

We reached the SDA school on Airport road, only to find that even this was not our booth. It was one that was further down the by-lane right behind Manipal Hospital. There were two tables outside every booth, presumably, Congress/BJP/JDS workers helping people find their names in the list. We had checked our names online, but the PDF file online didn't have our names, just the search showed up with both our names. And these guys just had a print out of the names. So, we were in doubt now. Will the polling officers have our names at least? Or are they also carrying the outdated lists?

We went into the school. This PS had the longest line of all the polling booths we stopped by!! So we decided to wait hoping that at the end of the wait we will be able to vote. Meanwhile I saw one of the school ayah's cleaning and separating seeds from fresh tamarind. Looked around and found a tamarind tree sure enough. Went looking for fallen tamarinds and found one nice one on a bench and came back and enjoyed it. It reminded me of school when my sis and I would collect tamarinds beating them off trees with stones in case my Dad was running late to pick us up :D

Finally went in after about a 45 minute wait. Thankfully we knew our serial numbers from checking online and it was a short 2-3 minute search for the polling officers to lok up both names. I am damn sure it would have been a mess in case we didn't pay attention to those and didn't have that info handy. Got the ink (which seems to be the new fashion statement) and the 2 seconds time in the secret ballot, with the electronic voting machine.

Came back home using GPS trying to find ourselves a shortcut through Rustam Bagh since walking back all the way on airport road seemed daunting. Trespassed through one small apartment complex to cross over from Rustam Bagh into our area and were home in like 10 minutes stopping for egg puffs on the way.

All in all, a great experience. I have to appreciate a good government experience when I come across it, since it is a rare find ;)

And I voted, exercised the most fundamental responsibility of my citizenship :) Hopefully next time there will be better choices. And hopefully tomorrow we will be better off for it.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Restaurant Raves - Two new ones

Restaurants that we tried I mean. I totally felt guilty for not raving about them.

Jamavar @ The Leela

This one was a special birthday treat :) Food was "delicate" and "fine" totally what you would expect from a hotel like Leela. We ordered the Tawa Aloo Chat for starters and it was a little too tangy even for me (and THAT is saying something). Subhash just couldn't handle it. They offered to eplace it with something else (again something you totally expect from Leela) but we said it was OK and got to the main course. We took the Baingan-Mirchi ka Salaan (being the typical Hyderabadis) and the Dal makhani (did I already say I HAVE to sample Dal Makhani wherever it is I go?). We order the Roomali roti, the Onion Kulcha, and the butter naan. All were simply yumm. I thought the baingan salaan was a little on the sweeter end but Subhash thought it was perfect!

Little Italy (100ft road, Indira nagar)

I loved this place. Especially the noisy ambience. If you are looking for a romantic dinner, avoid this place, but for me it was perfect! Kids running all around, couples dining and generally a lot of commotion and so much to observe over a meal! We sat in the small cove outside the lounge and it was perfect for observing everyone. But I did fear that some of the kids playing would slip and fall and land on me, but that didn't happen, thankfully ;)

I took the MuskMelon/Water Melon juice and it was uhh..umm..umm..good. I ordered another one, so much so :) Appetizer was what used to be our standard first course in Tomatina minus the piadine, the caprese. It was laid differently and was very nice and fresh. Good. The main course was the catch-your-breath "Masala Mafia Spaghetti" for me and the Vegetable Lasagna for Subhash. I ended up dousing both with my standard Tabasco to eat but they were delicately laced with all the right flavours. Extremely full by the time we finished this so no room for dessert, but we are heading there for dinner tonight so will check out the desserts including Tiramisu.

A happy stomach says bye and see you later!

Thursday, April 09, 2009

A birthday well spent :)

Thanks for all the wishes in the previous post people, truly cherish them :)

Birthday went well. Made some pulihaara (tamarind rice for the uninitiated) and left for work @ the usual 7.45 AM. Morning was a storm @ work where I was tryng to handle 2-3 meetings concurrently and even managed it successfully!! Then went for lunch. My lunch table gang got this "Chocolate Walnut Cake" from this place called Caramel opposite our Divyasree Chambers office. They brought it to lunch and we all had it and by god! it was yumm!!! Then got back to work, and my team had another cake planned for me! The blackforest one from Cafe Coffee day. All in all too much cake. One of my colleagues had wished me two days ago and asked for treat and I told him if he remembered to wish the right day I'd treat for sure. He did and so I bought sweets for the whole team.

Evening was photo session followed by temple visit followed by a nice dinner @ The Leela. Although I was not hungry enough, Subhash enjoyed the dinner and I enjoyed the ambience and the trees and the fountains! This place is so close to our house yet we never went there, but it turns out its not so much a rip-off as I used to fear it would be :) Food was quite what I would call "fine dining delicacy" :)

Loads of people wished me which naturally made me happy :D

So all in all a day well spent :)

Monday, April 06, 2009

To Hyd and back

Vacation was too short. And very very average. I hated the fact that I had to work. It was too hot and too humid (Hyd and humid?! Hyd always used to be so dry, god!). And all in all, very short. Did I say that already? Well, lets move on..

In a rare lapse of neurons, I completely forgot that an e-ticket with Indian Railways needs to be printed. When we were leaving home, I remembered because Subhash asked. And then to the station it was one long tense and nervous and nightmarish (my imagination gets the better of me, what if I have to get off the train and take the bus because I have no ticket) and so on and so forth. We reached the Majestic station and went and inquired at the reservation office. Standard government office protocol, didn't go anywhere with it, gave up and entered the station. Found this Chief Ticket Inspector (CTI) and asked him if there was an internet cafe with a printer (we kept looking for it while we were driving to the station but a) the cab driver was in too much hurry since he had another pickup and b) we never found one on our side of a less busy road). The CTI said there was and we went there only to find that the power had gone off (and the owner added that this kind of power outage was VERY RARE, yeah, well, that bit of info didn't help ease any tension).

One lucky thing was that we were early to the station (by 5.15 for a 6.20 train) so we could afford to hang around to wait and see if the power would grace us. But no. So we went back to the CTI and asked him what we could do since we forgot the print out. He said, no issues, if you have your IDs, show it to the TC and he will give you a paper ticket for a fine of 50 INR. I was like, whoa! If I knew this I wouldn't have worried so much. But still there was that small doubt if it would be as simple as that. So the rest of the train ride was spent nervously waiting for the TC. Plus the station vendors didn't have any Tinkle comics. So my journey was not so enjoyable as I had imagined and looked forward to it being :(

The TC came, checked the IDs, issued a paper ticket for a 50 INR fine, all without any ado at all! So much for my four and odd hours of eyebrow-knitted worry :( The next day I was printing the return ticket so that at least I remember that when I noticed that in the ticket's instructions itself, it says if you forget your print-out, you will be charged a 50 INR fine. I printed at least 50 IRCTC tickets so far without ever noticing that fine print. So much for it! So next time you forget to carry a print out, DO NOT PANIC! ;)

Rest of the trip was spent in part working and in part visiting relatives. I did manage to eat my favourite ice cream @ Softy Den and that yumm Universal Burger but rest was pretty routine.

Last day was Rama Navami so we went to a nearby temple which happens to be his parents routine every year. We sat through the Sita-Rama Kalyanam but the pradakshinas around the temple were painful since the floor was scorching hot, we were just running all over the place. Then we had lunch standing over the most hot and poking mud-stone floor I've ever set foot on. Plus it was hot and our journey back was hotter since car was like an oven by the time we got into it.

My mom made some dinner to carry with us (theplas, yumm!) and added neat packaging to boot (I think I get my lunch packing skills from her) plus threw in some biscuits. All in all, yumm. But I had just come back from all the heat above and my psyche was also a little rubbed and heated on the wrong end, so I didn't thank my mom enough for the lovely dinner she bought. Sometimes I feel we take moms so much for granted, that its pathetic. So here is to my mom and all the lovely things she does for me!

My mom and Subhash's mom added generous doses of pickles to get back home, and now we are having one every day, there is so much pickle variety that its mind blowing!

Tomorrow is yours truly's Happy Birthday people! So let the wishes start coming in ;)

back to work now. Sigh!