An evening to remember....

Ha am back……back after just a week, so let me cut the dramatics out!!! But but please please tell me that I was missed :-D. Well this time it was loads n piles of work at work that kept me away...yeah yeah after a point of time u just gotta work n its good for your morale n mind to wotk once in a while :-D

Last week also saw us being transported to a beautiful new world for a few hours...Hold on tight and enjoy as I try and recreate that magical world for you!!

Imagine a cool breezy evening far far away from city in midst of nowhere surrounded by sounds of nightlife...nah not some DJ belting away the latest in hit chart but the chirps of night animals n the gentle breeze of cold night air! N as u sit back on a comfy basic cushion-bolster seating sipping on hot coffee n munching on freshly roasted bhutta streams in the perfect musical notes of flute!!!

Ha am doing far-from-justice to the perfect ambience at the concert of Pandit Hari Prasad Chaurasia at Shankara Foundation! Now stop rolling ur yes n wondering what is me who sadly has no ear for music doing here!! Yeah yeah I still dont have the ear for music but am a sucker for such occasions n this is a wonderful opportunity to people-watch!! Also given that this was the professional concert that I was going to, was more than excited n ofcourse with a hubbs who is big-fan-of -all-music it was easy to pull it off!!

Well u need not trust my ear or taste of music......But the bug thumbs-up given by my hubbs n the expression on the audience faces tells it all! Especially the latter part is quite an amusing experience..... A far-from-sensibly dresssed Page-3 girls, a traditionalist south Indian family (Complete with grandparents n grandchild), the arty-type couples n more than a peppering of page-3 types!! Ha the way emotions play on peoples faces as they lose themselves in music is like a canvas of different colors! A middle aged lady with her son sleeping on her lap doing a head-banging ala teengaers enjoying rock music, an old lady whose expression on face as panditji played her fav raga matched the expression of people-in- trance, a couple tapping away unconsciously but in sync n ofcourse somebody sitting in a corner lapping all this away(me! me! me!)!!

Another thing tht I loved abt this show was the food(:-D) wasnt the meaningless fast n junk food but peanuts, roasted bhutta, aapams……… very correct for the occasion...Loved this small but important attention to details! N then the place... A secluded, airy, tastefully done place where am going back one day for sure! N the best of all should be the panditiji not just for his music but his sense of humour and a wowow music troupe...The jugalbandi between him and his tabla man was quite leg-tapping even for a duffer like me!!

The location

The stars

                                                  N the biggest star of all is at the left :)

Indeed an evening to remember....Thank You Radio One!! Yeah yeah we got the complimentary passes for this from Radio One...Maximum Music Maximum choice :)

Yipppeeeeeeeee!!! Its open...........

Yipppeeeeeeeeeeeee............................The long awaited elevated highway between silkboard n Electronic city is at last open! Took the test drive yeaterday n just loved driving the almost 10km distance in almost 10 mins.....

Wondering why am so exccited about some fly over opening?? Well for starters I can now zip my way home..... N u can maybe relate better when I tell you that in the pre-flyover era covering this 10km distance would take around 45 minutes on good days..... May be the empathy will grow when you consider that those were the 'just-married' days n well you know............. :-p

So here is to hassle free drives n may be lesser traffic woes

Pic courtesy TOI

Edited to add a few pics courtesy hubbs:)

How not to visit a historical place?

Been There Done that is the worst injustice that you can ever do while visiting a historical place. As you hop on n off forts, temples the essence n magic of place is lost on you n all you are left is feeling tired n sweating thnx to sweltering sun!!

Exactly the feeling am left with post the hop-on hop-off visit to Mysore!! Imagine landing at sangam when sun is at its peak, taking a quickie trip in a theppa before hopping onto the next place!! Now compare this to landing there somewhere in the evening, taking a leisurely stroll by the bank and then enjoying a ride in the cool serene waters!! Incomparable experiences hey............

So lesson learnt! The next time I make a visit to Mysore it’ll be at least for a weekend n then am gonna completely soak in the spirituality of Rangatha Swamy Temple, history of Tippu's land, a stroll at Sangam, spend a few hours in Mysore palace before winding it all up in the cool airs of Chamundi hills..................

But a happy discovery made in the trip is the audio kit introduced in Mysore palace! Its a small hand held device that will play pre-recorded sessions about the history of the section of the palace you are in. Avoids the hassle of understanding a kannadiga english speaking guide, paying exorbitant fees and then left wondering if the dose of history you just got is the original or a spiced-up version of the guide! N trust me the presentation and the knowledge given in kit leaves you with a feeling of satisfaction.....Of course this idea is a copy from some musuems abroad but a much needed addition in India!! Sadly this idea isn’t marketed as much as it should be.........

And incase you making a road trip from B'lore - Mysore drop in at Kamat Loka ruchi to taste some authentic south Indian food and pick up these cute Chennapatna toys

One of the Many temples that dot Mysore Town...N gopuram of each is equally intrinsic n decorative

An Idol craved on one of the gopurams

The 'theppas' at Sangam

A Shiva statue tight in middle of water

A Chennapatna toy tht dotes our bookcase

How about some Channapatna toys for your kitchen?

Offering 5 day pacakge to Goa!

Ha one month n am still not done peppering this space with posts of my vacation. Hopefully this is the last of the bear with me as I unveil a 5 day package of Goa for you!!

Did I mention that this was a road incase u taking other means of transport u amy waana tweak the iternary a bit.....N if u not so very lazy bums like us u can pack a little more...But incase u on a holiday with a perfect combo of been-there-done-that n relaxation then this is the best ever package ...He he me shameless that way!!

We started from home on early hours of 5th of december (n for a change early was early enuf....We were on the road before 6 in the morning...yeah yeah yeah) and via tumkur road - sagar - Jog Falls(n when we did a quick drop in there was hardly any water) we reached Gokarana by evening...I just love these temple towns that double up as tourist spaces.....They hv a distinct life n air about them...A mix of our average devootees n the hippie tourists brings out a splendid spectrum of life! We halted there for night n after a quick decko of Om beach, temple and the bazaar(Another thing I love abt Indian Temple town) where we had a personalized dholak made (Another post in it soon) started for Goa almost at 12 in the afternoon.

We hit our hotel at around evening n after the initial excitement burst n a elongated bath ceremony(:-p) at our outdoor shower, started out to Anjuna beach for dinner. That is all was day1 for us.

Day2 - What better way to start your vacation than a dose of water sports. Reach base by eveing n again head out to Anjuna for dinner

Day3 - Explore old goa, have a dinner of Goan sausages at Panjim.

Day4: A Wednesday. Check out the flea market at Anjuna. Post that head to explore the forts in Goa and end the day with a relaxed dinner at Arambol beach

Day5: Just chillax by one of the beach sides. Spend the afternoon in hotel pool and shop for all kinda knick knacks in the evening

N tht in nutshell is what my trip was....Lots of joy, beer, food, sun n sand!!!!

Dedicating this post to our loyal companion.......our Alto who made all this happen :)

Ps: A good site to look up is this for all 'hatke' locations

Knock Knock, Who is there??

N look who is visiting!!!

A closeup of the lump u c at the top

Yeap Yeap the pic u c above is indeed a bee hive and its not a random pic taken in some green-nook of the city...This pic is clicked in my bedroom balcony!! The recent most visitors of our home!!!

Now now this giving u creeps?? Dont u blame yourself..... Even I initially freaked out but now they have become a part n parcel of my daily life :) N as long as you dont bother them they arent really interested in you.

So the next time u want unadulterated  honey u know whom to contact.

A Happy Weekend!

Wishing you all a very Happy weekend! Leaving you all witht his picture...... Copied from one of the many forwards that we all reciecve. But very rare are the forwards that bring a genuine smile to your lips and a lightness in the heart.....

Click on the pic to view it!

An Engaging Affair -II

Its the time of the year!! The title should ideally read An Engaging Affair -III considering tht today(Jan 7) I complete 3 years of betrothal to the hubbs dearest :).

So whats up today?? Well first thing am gonna do is hit the bed(yeah yeah am sitting n blogging at 12:15 in the night) n tommo post a big day at office will catch up for dinner(of course)! Yeap yeap the place is selected as usual post due diligence (translating to first 30 mins of my time in office...Now now lets hope not all read this :-p )! So watch out this space for a yummy yummy review.

N wish us many many happy returns of the day!!

This day also sadly marks the anniversary of Satyam Fiasco.....Well am no more a Satyamite but am still proud that I was one!! N as Raju toils in the jail for all his (mis)deeds for me the picture that still comes in mind is one of a founder of a company which was my saviour in many ways n to which I still owe a huge part of what I am today!! Thank You Satyam.

Thought for the Day!

The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page!!

Loved this food for thought and I think its just so very true!!

@ Hotel Bougainvillea/Granpas' Inn, Goa

For me, the place where I stay on holidays is as important as the holiday itself.... A non descript hotel ain't really my cup of tea, would rather prefer a home stay minus the hotel comforts but leaving you with an authentic taste of the place!

With this in mind we zeroed on Hotel Bougainvillea/Granpas' Inn which was listed by Lonely Planet as one of the Best Heritage hotels in Goa! N the extract from the website says "Hotel Bougainvillea also known as Granpas' Inn, was renovated from a 200 years old Portuguese-styled Goan House, which has a pleasant blend of old world charm with modern comforts and spacious gardens".

Right bang on?? Now Now here is the catch..... Take it with a pinch of salt when a foreign publication suggests a hotel as the best heritage hotel.......what defines 'heritage' for them aint really 'heritage' for you! My fool-proof guide till date is “Outlook Traveller” .......But couldnt get hold of a copy of “Outlook Traveller Goa” !!

Ok now what am I complaining about? The word 'heritage' \'home stay' conjures up in my mind a place with minimal modern amenities but with friendly staff ,knick knack of yesteryears and of course some good authentic food to make it up! So what did I get here? A luxury hotel complete with outdoor shower (yeah yeah yeah! More on it later), beautiful swimming pool, professional staff(Note the difference 'friendly'\ 'professional') filled with 'elite' foreigners (U c in Goa the foreign tourists fall into 3 categories - one the usual everyday tourists like U n me, other the hippies n the third who are similar to first category but have resources to explore the inner nuances of a place ~~ Like the instance here where they stay put for a month just to learn Yoga!! ) and its the third category tht populates Bougainvillea....Translating to a very peaceful n serene surroundings which isnt what I was really looking for(??). But my biggest grouse…. Zero interaction with the house owners…May be a small interaction with the owners n a peek into the portugese life style would have added to a ‘Home-Stay’ experience making it v authentic.

Now after the uncalled for defaming of the place lemme get into the things I loved the best here. N I shout from top-of-the-roof that it is without a doubt the OUTDOOR SHOWER...... One reason why you may see me crawling back to the place :). Wondering how a Outdoor shower looks like ..... It translates to a backyard covered with high raise wall but open to sky! Well this open-to-air bath setting has been my long time fantasy.....N the experience was better than wht I had fantasized. But but given our Indian sensitivities am not sure if its an ideal family vacation place?? U C its just not the outdoor shower...The bath tub as well is covered by almost-transperent glass walls :)

N the other next best thing? The swimming pool complete with deck bed.......A swimming pool all to yourself, where your try your hands at swimming even as food n booze is awaiting you at the pool side...Imagine nibbling the finger food, taking a sip of beer even as you are soaking the pool. Heaven hey!! N of course with no audience other than the hubbs I lived my other fantasy of a dance recital in pool with no inhibitions whatsoever :)

So the next time you waana have a peaceful vacation in Goa away from all the maddening crowd n a small dollop of luxury to soak in you know were to head to!

'Hiya! I hv gone a level up'...

....... The exact words I hear hubbs telling somebody on the phone early in the morning on 1st Jan!! Now now before I burst the bubble lets do a small guessing game .... What would you expect a hubbs(of 2 years) with loans to pay off, a career to think of and a household to run to get all excited on the first day of the year(n decade!!)??? Possibly a promotion, a salary hike or possibly some profits in the stock market now now this ruled out considering we keep a fair distance from it)...

Well well if you had jumped to any or all of the above, you would be forgiven! For yours truly who knows him now for a good 3 years and was eavesdropping on this conversation took a sec to realize the truth!! Now before I burst the bubble lemme describe the setting for you.....The hubbs of mine had a expression akin to a boy getting caught and was slowly sneaking away from me to continue the conversation!! This set the bells ringing in my mind and the next line 'Last night I was at level XXX and now am at level XXX+1....Looks like a new year bonus!!!' belled the cat for me! N u add this to the fact that moments before he was browsing one of his fav site....Now now if u remotely know my hubbs n follow him social networking sites you must have guessed wht am talking of...

Ho yeah ladies n gentleman my responsible(???) hubbs kick started his new year with a game of farmville on facebook..............grrrrrrrrrrrr!!! These men I tell you!!!!!

This is how the year started off for us.....N how did the day end!! With a nice candlelight dinner complete with mutton-pista shorba, Noodles with scheawan sauce and wine to compliment it all in the comfort of very own home!!

I just love the gleam of wine glasses in candle light...N before you start throwing in compliments at me lemme clarify the idea was mine but the taste buds were tingling courtesy the hubbs :) Ha now now dont roll ur eyes...I was working tht day(N where all I did was catch a laptop-show of 3 Idiots...I just loved the movie!! N if u ask me I'll say its been more-than-inspired from Five point someonw) yeah yeah I can do with some sympathy for it :)

Well well isnt it these small things that make life most joyous and leaves us with more beautiful memmories!!

Not sure if you agree but I think these small things sound more romantic, delightful n larger-than-life than what it actually is!
So so how did the new year day go for you??
PS: 1 day minus of the predicted not-so-lucky fortnight