cafe masala

Posted by Anantha | Posted in , | Posted on Sunday, August 17, 2008


Hemanth was wriggling his bike past the other vehicles in the traffic. I was the pillion. My phone rang. That was the 3rd time Sri was calling me in last 20 minutes. She asked me, “Where are u guys?” This time she was angry. I chose an appropriate lie from the template I usually carry, “We are in the Brigade road signal”. We were actually some where near Rajbhavan. “K.. come soon..”, she cut the phone. We reached Brigade Rd signal five minutes later. While waiting for the traffic signal to turn green, a chick in frilled white skirt crossed the road in front of our bike. I told Hemanth, “I wish it was windy today” and grinned. Understanding the gross intention behind my dialogue Hemanth laughed. I imagined a ‘Marilyn Monroe act’ by that chick in the middle of the road. I bet Hemanth was also thinking about the same. We guys know how kameena our brain is. But I get angry when any female comments, “you guy are mean”. The word mean makes me angry, I prefer kameene :) If you gals have just coined the word ‘kaMEANe’, No I hate that word too. The signal turned green and our bike cleared the last hurdle to reach our destination, Eva Mall.

We reached Eva Mall. I got down from the bike. Hemanth told me to face the music first and drove to basement to park the bike. My phone rang for the 4th time. “this is too much…”, this time it was Rakhi speaking. Before I could reply, I saw Rakhi and Sri waiting near the entrance of the Mall. I said, “we have reached, I can see u gals..”. I could listen Rakhi saying, “at last.. they have come” to Sri before I cut the phone. I strode towards them. Both of their faces were angry red. I think this angry red shade is inimitable by any artificial coloring agents. The shade can be seen only on the cheeks and the nose tip of the females whom you have made to wait for an hour for the dinner. I greeted them and blamed on the traffic for reaching late. Though every one curses Bangalore traffic, but it surely has rescued all the late comers/goers like us. Seeing an Archie’s gift wrap in my hand Sri’s angry red face shed its inimitable shade and returned to the usual fairness. The very sight of her BDay gift had pacified her. It was for Sri’s BDay treat we four had gathered for. Café Masala in Eva Mall was her own choice; we guys had no problems with any hotel in Bangalore as far as we are getting a free meal. Hemanth appeared making ‘we are really really really sorry’ face. Sri patted hard on his back in acknowledgment. Rakhi said “you guys are so late I think the reserved table would have been given away to others by this time”. This time I genuinely felt sorry for the girls for the effort they have put in to come early and book a table.

Sri was enquiring the receptionist for the booked table. A suit clad guy escorted us to the table reserved for us. It was a table for four. Sri and Rakhi sat next to each other, leaving Hemanth and me no option to choose but to sit next to each other. The very next moment I felt the place was just nice for both of us guys, as we got to face the people in that room, where Rakhi and Sri were facing the boring wall hanging behind me. My eyes took no time scanning all the beautiful females in that room and shortlisted few of them for the further scrutiny.

As decided before only, we chose to go with buffet for dinner. My eyes were planted on a female on the diagonally opposite table. That was a gang of 6 adults and 2 kids. The female I was looking at must be wife of one of the three morons there. I believe any guy however intelligent looking he is, who accompanies a beautiful female becomes a moron for the other men in that premise. This could be called as one of the postulates in the huge book called Letch Sutra which I am penning. Hemanth and I are no survivors of this rule, as we became 2 morons with 2 nice looking females for other men in that hotel.

Ok.. the starters started descending on our table. We were waiting for it with our sleeves folded. Hemanth felt it wudnt be too nice to make Sri wait for her BDay gift till the end of the dinner. He handed over the gift to Sri. Sri said thanks to both of us with a 10 inch wide Julia Roberts smile. I told her to unwrap it and see the gift. As if she cared to wait for my consent, she had already started unwrapping the gift. Most of the females I know unwrap the gift similar way, they do it with so much of care not hurting even a single piece of cellophane used to wrap it. Unlike we boys who love tearing any paper given to us. The gift was a soft toy, a puppy peeping out of its dog house. The roof of the house was pink in color and Sri lovvved it. She re-iterated, “Thank you so much guys”, with a 10 and a half inch Julia Roberts smile this time. We started belting the buffet.

Hemanth was teasing Sri for her weight issues, Sri in return was pulling Hemanth’s leg for his lazy looks. Rakhi was laughing for and against the three of us. Sri was also giving a fair share to my canine teeth and receding hair line. Though my canine teeth are not the things I am very proud of but my receding hairline has never been a concern for me. My mother and my sis worry about it a lot. Chhmnn.. I forgot to update you on the beautiful female in the next table. How rightly some one has quoted, ‘all the desirable things on earth are either illegal, banned, expensive or married to someone else’. In between our conversations I made it a point to check her out. Every time our eyes met, My heart got a mild electric shock. She looked the most beautiful when she was sipping the soup from the edge of the spoon. The strands of her hair slid down to taste the soup in her spoon. She displayed the slightest discomfort and quickly grabbed and restricted them behind the lobes of her left ear. I felt she flaunted her left cheek to me. This time my heart failed almost. Aloo tikki in my plate appeared like pacemakers to me for a moment.

main course
We were done with the starters that were served to the table. That means we had to walk to the place where food was kept for buffet. That also means, that opens the door of opportunity for Hemanth and me to check out some more females on our way to the food and back to our table. We did it no different. I got to see the face behind that English music that was being played all this time. It was actually a talented singer, who was singing all this time, which I actually had thought was a tape that was being played. All I could say about his singing was it was melodious but I did not understand it. I cant distinguish the genres Jazz, Blue, Reggae.. et al. According to me there are only two genres of English music. The music I like and the one the one which I don’t. So this talented guy was playing the former.

I stuffed my plate with all the varieties of food that was there and returned to the table. While returning I got to check out another female in deep necked black dress flaunting her not-so-nice cleavage to all the men in the room. In my early teenage days I had this weird perception that all females would have perfect cleavages. May be I had developed this prejudice after seeing some Hollywood actresses. As I grew up, the facts and ‘FIGURES’ ‘BUST’ed this myth. Hemanth and Sri followed me to the table with full plates. I think Rakhi was still surveying the variety of food there. I occupied my seat. Hemanth insisted on swapping his seat with Sri’s. Sri sat next to me. May be Hemanth was interested in sitting next to Rakhi or may be he was uncomfortable sitting next to a guy u see. That’s quite normal. Rather those kinda abnormal instincts are not yet considered normal in India. Rakhi came and sat in her place. One pokari kid of my diagonally opposite table looked least interested in food and was running around the table. He was whirling a woolen hood (kinda) in one hand. Once it slipped out of his hand and hit Hemanth’s back. Thank God it did not fall in any of our plates. Sri felt amused but Im sure Hemanth must have felt like folding that kid in his woolen hood and throwing him away. Hemanth hates all kids. I too hate kids when they act unruly. All kids act unruly all the time.

delicious desserts
Sri started taking all our snaps. Sri took the snap while Rakhi had spoon in her mouth, took snap while Hemanth was cleaning his lips with the napkin. Forget how she took my photo. I look bad in all the poses. So it did not really matter for me. We started the final round of course, the delicious desserts. I again made sure each variety of desserts has occupied a fair share on my plate. After getting it to the table, I glanced all the other plates to check if I have missed out any thing. Sri said, “basundi is yummy”. Shaks.. I missed out taking basundi. Sri told me to taste it from her porcelain bowl. I tasted and said I will take a full bowl in the next round of desserts. Sri exclaimed, “you wanna go for another round…?!?! there is still space in your stomach..?” I said, “my digestive organs stretch or shrink depending on the price of the buffet” All grinned hearing my comment.

We decided to leave the table only after I finished my second round of desserts. I bore an expression of killing 100 enemy soldiers in the battlefield. Sri paid the bill. All 4 us walked out of the hotel. My eyes were still hunting for the babes around. Bingo!! There I saw 3 RED HOTT babes waiting in the lounge. They bore Arab/Iranian looks. All were blondes. One of them had her eye brow pierced. Sri and Rakhi insisted on using the stairs to go down. I had no problems with walking but missed the sight of those 3 HOTT babes.

I said aloud what I was thinking, “those must be some exotic dancers”. Others nodded in agreement. I continued, “I believe they will be paid only 3 to 4k per performance”. I could see disagreement on Rakhi’s face. She was about to give the right compensation details of exotic dancers, but Hemanth quipped, “Oohhh 3 to 4k per PERFORMANCE is it..?” and winked @ me. He stressed the word performance. I giggled and said, “I was talking about dance..” and laughed. Sri caught the ‘mean-ing’ of ‘performance’ this time. She said, “thooo u guys are always like this”, looking at Hemanth n me as some lower forms of life.

We came to the entrance of the Mall. Hemanth and Rakhi went to the parking lot in the basement for getting their respective vehicles. By that time, the same 3 babes appeared in the coffee shop. They did not seem interested in spending lot of time there. Two of them came out of the coffee shop. The third one was buying some frappe (kinda) inside the shop. All the three were wearing short white tops and skin tight jeans. The waist line of the jeans and the short white tops seemed like lovers who have fought for some silly reason; both just did not wanna meet each other. Leaving me no option but to stare at the fair skin exposed to the cold air of the night. Sri noticed me letching, she said “Ananth.. Stop it.. ur acting too cheap today”, she was slightly angry. I smiled sheepishly. By then Rakhi and Hemanth drove their two wheelers to the place where we were standing. Rakhi looked like a fat Eskimo in her heavy jacket, Sri wrapped herself in stole and sat behind Rakhi. I again became pillion for Hemanth. We all thanked Sri for the nice treat. Rakhi n Sri disappeared in the traffic, I asked Hemanth to drop me till the door as it was already close to 11 in the night.

Huliyuru durga and Hemagiri beTTa (part 2)

Posted by Anantha | Posted in , , , | Posted on Saturday, August 09, 2008


Heights of serenity

As we were walking in the direction of the new hill a group of people standing in a t stall called us and asked weather we were trekkers. this obvious from our nike,woodland shoes and t shirts. they asked us whether we climbed huliyu durga. when we replied in the negative they told us they had scaled the peak several times in their youngster days. they also mentioned a chap named chitradurga koti raja climbs the peak like as though it were a lolipop. we said ok and moved on. the new hill called as hemagiri betta was quite 'climbabale'. it was very slopy though.we climbed enough so as to be in line with the height of huliyudurga. from that point we could get a 3 dimentional view of huliyudurga. it looked majestic. i was wondering whether there really was some way up there. we sat down on the rocky slope of the mountain and laid back. it was a great feeling. the weather was just right. we were at an altitude of perhaps more than 2000 was cloudy with the sun playing hide and seek every now and then. there was the cool breeze and absolute silence. i felt like sleeping there for the rest of my life. ananth pulled out the apples from our bag. for the next 10 minutes it was just the apple and us. we were tired and nothing feels more relaxing than sitting there alone and munching on blood red apples. "so hows work goin" asked Ananth. " its just fine. one of my friends just got promoted" i said rather sleepishly."ok lets change the topic" Ananth said. i was glad he said that. we discussed about our family back home, the daily rat race routine,what we would be doing 10 years from now and things like that. it seemed more of philosophy than practicality. it went down well with the hilly breeze, the solitude and the apples. i saw a chameleon come out of a creek and perch itself on a big rock. it was looking up somewhere and ducking changing its colors instantly. as i turned back and looked up there was a eagle above the hill and it seemed to have noticed the chameleon. we finished our apples and started the climb uphill.

We were still half way up the peak. there were a couple of small ponds on our way up. it was a pretty wide hill top with a ganapathi temple on one side. the locals had told us that people visit the temple only during a fair held once in the year. truly, there was not a single soul in site. we explored the peak a bit and came across a natural sofa like setting carved out into the huge rock. there was ample space to sit leaning against a back rest. there was a pond in the front with some kind of crotens lining the edge of the pond. in front of the pond was the edge of the hill from which we could see the endless horizon ahead lined up with hundreds of peaks and mountains. it was bliss. we were pretty tired and immediately slumped down the moment we sat. it was really serene out there. absolutely lorries no autorickshaws no sound just peace. the breeze blew occasionally making the grass sway in one direction with a low whistle like sound then silence again. it seemed like it was thundering somewhere and we were able to hear the echo of the thunder.

We lay there gazing lazily at the beautiful sceenery in fron of us. it was starnge local people didnt find it so interesting.why do they have to when their internal mind is at so much peace. no deadlines, no promotons, no EMIs. just sow the seeds and go to sleep or take the sheep out for a walk thats it. i wonder what pleasure people derive out of spending hours at the forum mall. ananth suggested we doze off for a couple of minutes. i actually liked the idea but did not fancy
dying out of snake bite or something. i suggested we just lie down but keep our eyes open. on the darker side of it,the spot is ideal for bumping off someone.not even your ghosts will ever find your body until atleast the next fair. just then i received an sms "happy friendship day" it was from a colleague. it was almost 4 in the evening. We spent some time on the hill talking bout films etc then decided to come down. the downward journey was butter.

'top' class journey
We passed by the same set of shops and lanes we came across in the afternoon.and reached the local bus stop. i was feeling bored that the day was about to get over and a good trip was coming to an end. but i guess only i was thinking so. the fun was far from over for mr ananth as he was sketching something in his mind. i learnt about it after the next 30 minutes. we waited for our very reliable KSRTC bus to turn up but it dint turn us down. it kept up to its reputation and did not show up. there were a lot of rangeela busses but it was being filled like a garbage truck. there were people everywhere. inside the bus, aside the bus, over the bus everywhere. they were spilling out from every nook and corner of the bus. it seemed like the bus was about to burst open. i remembered a fevicol ad once aired on TV. and i had one chance to be a part of that crazy stuff. ananth said "come lets travel atop the bus for a change.I have done it twice before and i tell you its total fun" I was like " what the hell??!!! are you crazy ? these drivers drive like hell. do u want to risk your life ?" ananth didnt sound amused. we waited for some more time. there was no sign of KSRTC. we had two rounds of cucumber laced with chilly powder. still no sign of KSRTC. "come lets go" i said.

Ananth climbed up like spiderman and sat on the roof. i grumpily followed and landed on the roof. it was a nice feeling. soon we were joined by few others and the bus started. i was feeling on top of the world. this was a never before experience. the cool village wind was hitting me in the face and the view around was awesome. just then ananth warned me and i ducked in the nick of time. one had to be very alert for tree branches which were abundant in the forested area. the roof top conductor displayed a couple of stunts as he walked by the railing of the bus dispensing tickets this, even as the bus was moving. suddenly the bus started to pick speed and we were shaking like drunkards. it felt like we could be thrown down any moment. this was the second time i realised my already screwed up, cheap life was at stake. but luckily the driver slowed down soon thereafter. it was an experience of a kind. i suggest you guys try it out sometime if you have a already screwed up life that is. as they say happiness comes in small packages our over the top journey was cut short as the conductors signalled us to get down as a couple of seats were empty. we cursed as we came down. the next moment i was inside the bus sitting in the last row next to a lungi clad old chap who was smoking beedi on my face. ananth had already dozed off.his eyes were closed, mouth was open and he was swaying about the center of axis of his body. he looked like mini gatotgach who could anytime fall on the kaurava army after being hit by karna. ananth was hit by sleep.

We got down in Magadi and got into a rangeela bus waiting for us. he dint leave soon after we got in was filled like a garbage truck. 30 minutes into the journey and ananth was into the second half of his incompleted sleep. his eyes were closed, mouth was open and he was swaying about the center of axis of his body.30 more minutes later he woke up himself and started speaking about thriller movies and novels. one where several people after being invited to an island end up dying one after the other without a clue and it remains a mystery as to who killed whom. we then moved on to james hadlee chase novels agatha christie. i was simply nodding my head and looking out of the window.suddenly ananth popped me this question. "Will you write in my blog? I mean i want to try something new this time so for a change you write and i publish it" I stuck out my tongue like a cobra and continued to look outside the window. Writing isint new to me. I have written tens of mails to my PL TL PM DM and all those abbreviated higher ups you can think of in a software company and each mail was more or less like a blog just that it was on some technical issue rather than a weekend trip but this would be the first time I would be writing a blog. Kya karta boss ? public ki demand thi, toh Billa ko likhna hi padha...

Huliyuru durga and Hemagiri beTTa (part 1)

Posted by Anantha | Posted in , , , | Posted on Saturday, August 09, 2008


We were returning back from our trip to Huliyuru durga sitting inside a Rangeela bus when suddenly Ananth popped me this question. "Will you write in my blog? I mean i want to try something new this time so for a change you write and i publish it" I stuck out my tongue like a cobra and continued to look outside the window. Writing isn't new to me. I have written tens of mails to my PL, TL, PM, DM and all those abbreviated higher ups you can think of in a software company and each mail was more or less like a blog just that it was on some technical issue rather than a weekend trip but this would be the first time I would be writing a blog. Kya karta boss ? public ki demand thi, toh Billa ko likhna hi padha.

Rangeela bus and 'Chellenging star' Darshan
As is the case with me as always, nothing about this trip was planned. Actually the bus conductor decided it for us. "where does this bus go?" was the stupid question i asked the conductor as we hopped into a Magadi going bus. he rolled out the names of some places which i forgot as quickly as he had mentioned it. Ananth asked him whether the bus goes to some place called Huliyuru durga. As Ananth and the conductor were busy deciding on the venue i was busy watching Rakshita. It was the Kannada movie "ayya" which was being shown on dvd coach. Darshan was the hero playing a cop and he was mouthing some explosive dialogues .."illegal agi janagala mele weapons use mado nimgulige ishtu kobbirabekadre legal agi weapons use madoke license iruva namage yeshtu kobbirabaradu ?!!!! niyyatatagi yella ketta vyavahara galannu stop madi. idu ayyan warning alla, ORDER ORDer ORder Order ..." just then somebody patted me on my shoulder and said"ayya kutkollike solpa seat kodayya" some old lady with all broken teeth was asking me for a was actually an implicit order. chivalrous that i am i gave up my seat. Ananth too gave his seat to a lady.

We reached Magadi at about 9 and started hunting for something to eat. Ananth suggested we try out the local vendor by the roadside. there was tatte idli dosa onion bonda and uppitu. one thing thats worth mentioning is the food served at this roadside eatery would beat the best of hotel foods available in bangalore. it was so very tasty and we relished nearly 4 dosas tatte idli and bondas. the bill: Rs 18/- !!!!!!!!

We soon hit the roads for huliyuru. it was a ksrtc bus. we were sitting in the last row and the driver drove like he was participating in motocross madness. needless to say our kidneys and livers were getting displaced every now and then.

Where there is a hill, is there a way?
In the next couple of minutes we were standing in front of a tall hill. it was a monolith, a one piece rock they called Huliyuru durga. maybe for the first time in years i felt scared to my bones, not by looking at the hill but for the stunt we did in the next 30 minutes. after climbing half way to the hilltop through steps, we hit a dead end. the steps ended there and there was no mad made way further up, but that was not what we were told. a shepered told us get in through the bushes and find a way up there is one in there. we trusted the shepherd u know. we are so used to trusting our PMs when they say "u can do it" arent we? but as usual we were asking to get screwed.

Above scary pic is the aerial view of Huliyuru Durga.

Ananth boss took the lead. he disappeared inside the bushes. I followed suite. inside the bushes it was actually difficult to say wheather we were climbing up or climbing down. we were keeping our legs on whatever was visible. a branch, a tree, a twine or just anything which could take our weight. ananth was determined to find a way up. after following him up to some distance i realised we were going somewhere we were not even sure of + it was not even clear how high we were from the ground.i realised my already screwed up, cheap life was at stake. i realized i had not married yet and there were other hills to explore ;). though i had climbed this up somewhere i was sure i could not climb down. there were leaves all around and i cud not even see where i would be falling. my hands and legs were trembling. the last time i had realised such fear was during my power electronics lab when i was not getting the desired output on the CRO in the final practical exam. i had survived that one. i just prayed God to pull me out of this one safely. Ananth was blissfully unaware of my feelings and busy trying to see if he was already at the top. what he was not aware was that even if we reached the top and dug our flag there it would require atleast a rescue helicopter to get us down. A fact he would agree with after the next 30 minutes.

We scampered down the thing whatever that was we had climbed on to and started looking for alternate routes through the thick growth of bushes. at one point i was running through a new found route through the bushes but stopped short from a huge spider web. i am scared of spiders and luckily for me the spider was not at home at that moment or else i would have anyway jumped down from the hill. at one point there was a huge beehive but again luckily at that moment they were busy with their honey buisness. then, after searching madly for quite some time the truth dawned on us that there was indeed no man made way up there. all we could see was plain barren rock. from that point we could see another huge neighbouring hill at a distance and there seemed to be some kind of a temple at the top. annth said that we had to climb atleast one complete hill that day as we had come so far. so we started for the new found hill from down town.

(lets trek Hemagiri in next post)

Welcome the new author

Posted by Anantha | Posted in , , , | Posted on Friday, August 08, 2008



I had been to a day long trekking trip to hills in MagaDi with my friend Jagadish last weekend. It was evident that I was going to post about this in this space. But having known that Jagadish is a keen observer of facts and a good thinker, I thought that he could be good blogger too. So this time I wanted him to write for my blog about our adventurous [read foolhardy] trip to MagaDi.

Though he appeared a bit hesitant in the beginning, he accepted it and composed a really really really long post for me. I am actually confused where to run the scissors to cut down its length.

May be I will publish his write-up as next two or three posts. I enjoyed his writing style, hope you guys like it too..

welcome the new author and my great friend Jagadish to my blog space..