Thursday, March 21, 2013

day by day, as i sleep,
i close my eyes but i am wide awake,
the heavy heart doesn't let  me dream..
a prisoner for no faults of my own,
i carry nothing but love..
and yet i feel burdened..

but not anymore, not anymore..

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

switching off

Every once in a while, it's so important to switch off from life, from all the chatter in your mind..

I got reminded of it when, the other day, mom mentioned how relaxed she feels once she enters Parel.. It also reminded me of Reeti mentioning  a lot of times how all her worries fly away when she steps on the Matunga station platform.. (possibly because that's where some of her best memories were created.)

For me, it's the little loft in my house that shuts down my mind completely of all thought & worry.. I just have to go up there and I feel like I've escaped.. and it's not even like I have many memories there. It's just a small and cosy place which makes me feel so safe that I don't need anything else.

All that noise in my head silences when I go to the chai waala near my college as well.. it is one place we regularly went to everyday in the last few years of college.

Some people can switch off on their own, they don't need a place to go to.. I am still learning! :)

Want to switch off for good? Or atleast for thirty seconds right now? Go to and push the magic button! That's my gift for you :)

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Mangalore - 5

Continued from here.

Today, I'll write about Mulki, where I stayed all throughout. Let me warn you- this is going to be a long one!!!

Mulki is a small town about an hour from Mangalore.. Lots of temples, fresh air, clean beaches, narrow lanes, bad roads and warm people.

On the first day, my uncle took me out for playing badminton in a proper court.. I also remember having 'chaat'. It's far different from the 'chaat' you get here but still better than what I used to put up with in Hyderabad!!

We used to go to Hejmadi beach in the evenings sometimes..

I loved coming here.. this reminds me of a really nice conversation I had with my uncle here.. we bonded really well.

And here's my click.. nice, eh? :)

This is my cousin Anagha (on the right) playing with her friend Vandita. I also like the couple sitting in the far end.. Just noticed them!

 Kids love posing for pictures.. :)

The bungalow there is huge and completed 100 years this year. I shot a lot of videos of the house and took many pictures too.

And like I mentioned before... spent loads & loads of time with Anagha.. I love her!

And that's her mom i.e. my aunt

Anagha & Aniruddh on their scouts day:

Food in Mangalore is mostly cooked in coconut oil but surprisingly, tastes better than it does here. Maybe the quality of oil there is better. There is something called "Charmura Upkeri" which I took a liking to. "Charmura" is basically "Kurmura" or "Mamra" :

So, this dish is like "bhel" but made very differently. You won't get the exact recipe or image if you google it. You *have* to go to Mulki/Mangalore to eat it.. or just follow this recipe (I asked how it is prepared): You mix a lot of "Mamra" with pure coconut oil, chilly powder and saambhaar powder. Then add chopped onion, fine pieces of "kairi"/raw mango, chopped tomatoes (but not a lot of them else it'll become soggy) and salt to taste. If any of you do happen to prepare it, let me know how it tasted :) And if you don't know where to get pure coconut oil, go to one of those Ram Dev Baba/Patanjali stores and you'll find it there!

I miss my aunt's cooking there.. she used to come up with new dishes everyday..

One strange thing I found out was that cheese is very difficult to find there. Someone I know loves cheese chilly toast and I had learnt how to make it a long time ago. Each time I make it, it just gets better and better (atleast that's what I think!!) and I wanted to make it for them. But I couldn't find cheese in the whole of Mulki. I didn't think cheese to be so rare.. Finally, when we went to Udipi, I happened to find it in one of the  supermarkets. My cousin Aniruddh loved what I made but I don't know about the others :/

There is also one more thing that I love getting from Mangalore -- and those are sweet potato chips. I am really very fond of those and you don't get it anywhere except for Mangalore. If you ask for sweet potato chips anywhere else, they'll give you tapioca and tell you that sweet potato & tapioca are one and the same. But tapioca and sweet potato are far far different in taste and also in the way they look (sweet potato chips are deeper in colour & have more oil than tapioca). I loooooveee sweet potato chips and each time someone goes to Mangalore, I order packets of those. So if you happen to go there, be sure to look for sweet potato chips or "Kananga Kachri" (Konkani).

There is also a small hotel there that resembles the Malgudi Days hotel.. My uncle and I went for breakfast there once..

This is how it looks from the outside..

Shabby exterior but real good food inside :D

People wondered why I was taking snaps of the place.. :D

There is also a famous dhaba there where you get Punjabi / North Indian cuisine. It's called Bittoo Da Dhaba. We went there on the last day of my trip.

This is my uncle and me:

Coming to the main purpose of this trip..

My mother had asked me to go see her uncle (her only uncle alive) who lives there. Her mother (my 'granny' or 'nani') passed away before she could get married and hence, none of us got to see her. My nani's brothers had all passed away except for this one.

It was real nice meeting him..

Okay I know I looked really tired.. this was my first day there.

I asked my aunt (his daughter-in-law) whether he would remember me. The last time I had been there was when I was only five. To that, she said- he remembers everything. He remembers all the birthdays, all the phone numbers - of all the relatives and friends. 24 hours of a day aren't enough for him, she added. He makes his own tea early in the morning around 5 a.m., goes back to sleep for a couple of hours, wakes up for breakfast, calls people to wish them on their birthdays, passionately follows cricket on TV, naps after lunch, goes out for a walk, talks to everyone in the village.. he is a very busy person, she said.

I took a lot of videos around the house..

Won't put up all of them but this one is a bit special :

(In the video, he is actually singing a Kannada song that tells the story of Krishna & Kanakadas (the one I had narrated in the previous part of this travelogue). And I am telling him in Konkani that I don't follow Kannada.)

Loved my stay in Mulki .. and my grandpa was all the more happy..

Soon after I returned home though, in a couple of weeks, my only grandfather alive collapsed of brain haemorrhage and was in coma for two weeks till he finally breathed his last. :(When he was in a coma, I had asked my mother to call uncle up and tell him to play light music (grandpa's favourite songs) around him. I had read somewhere that music heals people when nothing else does.. but somehow it skipped our minds. Whenever uncle called, we discussed grandpa's health but we forgot to tell him this. I regret not remembering to tell him.. :( I am glad though that I went there. I had written in the first part of my travelogue how I was almost going to change my plans of going there but now I am glad..  May his soul rest in peace.