About the Blog

This is my diary....what I make sense of, around me. You'll find short prose on contemporary topics that interest me. What can you expect - Best adjectives? …. hmm occasionally, tossed around flowery verbs ?…. Nope, haiku-like super-brevity? … I try to. Thanks for dropping by & hope to see you again

July 30, 2009

Jana Gana Tu.....Jane Gaana mein

'Anirudh' my 3.5 Yr Old Nephew has attempted at rending the National Anthem in his own inimitable style. His pronunciation is hilarious but the spirit is genuine. Hope you too enjoy it

July 18, 2009

Khana Khazana: Belgaum Khau-gallis

Belgaon-Belgaum-Belagavi: It may carry several pronunciations but is quintessentially the same old place where I grew up and have fond memories of. It may still be a sleepy old town, by Bangalore standards (that is), but in many ways exhibits a unique flavor in many other aspects of its facets. A confluence of various cultures it could still be the second most cosmopolitan city in the state after Bangalore. And among the notable features of Belgaum is not only the cool temperate climate, sweet water (now available 24X7 in many parts of the city) but also its veritable delicacies.

Belgaum is my favorite place for 2 reasons; its the place where I grew up - home, school/college, club, friends et al., but also great cheap food. The city may be a potpourri of various influences but it still retains originality in the quality and taste of food in some of its quintessential eateries. Madhavashram, Amba Bhavan, Uday Bhuvan, Prakash, New Grand, Ghanis, Ajanta, Zuber, India Bhel House are all venerable names in this lexicon that belong to my list. It has its own list of Khau-gallis where one can still find cheap, tasty and hygienic food.

Belgaum city Khau-gallis- Khana Khazana

The Savaji food rules the Belgaum taste buds, hot fiery dishes cooked in a concoction of grated coconut & red chilli powder, garlic etc with generous amount of oil that necessarily has to float on top of the gravy (also called cut) comes in Mutton or Chicken variety. The Savajis trace their culinary history to the Maratha rulers and their influence is still widely spread in North Karnataka, from places like Hubli upto Gulbarga where the food is quite popular. I am disappointed that there are hardly any such eateries in Bangalore, frankly there is a overkill of Andhra style food here. A lot of culinary dishes that you find in North Karnataka has strong affinity to Maharashtrian food - Rotis or bhakar, Zunka, Poha, Amti etc etc is quite common (like the dress code).

Then there is this Mughlai food in Belgaum, and some of its exponents could be the best in business in this part of the Deccan region outside of Hyderabad. Zuber’s, Niyaz and Ghani’s biryani are worth giving a hand and leg for, its flavor and taste, quite distinct from that of the Hyderabadi types.

For Veggies the numerous Khanavali’s (aka Basappa Khanavalis)in Belgaum give a unique peek into the culinary culture of the shaivaites that the various Mutts propagate in this region. Jowar Rotis in accompaniment of fiery red hot or blackseed chutneys, served with zunka and raw onions are its forte. Usually accompanied in this palate is this delectable side dish of Brinjal cooked in a gravel like masala ground with groundnut,sesame seeds, coconut etc. Finally for the desserts it is the famous Belgaum Kunda (a brownish milk based sweet), Dharwad Peda or the Gokak Kardant (Cake of dry fruits & coconut) that can signoff the treat

All about Belgaum (AAB), a local popular website has published a useful list of popular delicacies in Belgaum city.

July 11, 2009

And quiet flows this Kaveri

I recently happened to meet the Director of Municipal administration in connection with a Business related proposal. The official happened to be someone I knew but never had the occasion to meet before. Her name is Kaveri & she is a KAS officer (Karnataka Administrative service). Some strange unusual anxiety gripped me going into this meeting , I had heard about her in the PG campus back in the University days and was in the NEWS for being the women topper in the KAS probationary officers exam back in 1994. I was one of those aspiring candidates then & had made quite a few friends in the campus from different study streams who took this exam. Some among those are still in touch, one is an Asst. Commissioner of Commercial taxes while another is other an Asst. Commissioner of police. Others have gone into oblivion.

Her office was located in the heart of the Central Business district of Bangalore in this strange & eclectic building called Visvesvaraya towers (named after the brilliant engineer & erstwhile dewan of Mysore popularly known as Sir M.V). The building looks quite Mod from outside but step inside & you’ll find it typical Goverment’ish, the usual environment characteristic of Babudom hits you. The elevators inside & its panel outside resemble straight out of a 1950’s Eastman color Sci-Fi movie. When I entered her cabin on the 13floor she was huddled with 2 other officials half buried in a pile of files frenetically clearing some of them before end of day. Govt offices have the luxury of closing at 6:00 pm, whatever may the urgency, it can await the Babu’s kind attention the next day. However it must be said that Yeddy (the CM) has been cracking the whip of late& making officers accountable on progress, so it is not unusual to see Bureaucrats sweating it out in the corridors of power. Sensing such a situation beforehand I had referred the name of a senior colleague before seeking an unscheduled appointment with her.

As I entered her cabin, she seemed to take a momentary pause from her pile & asked me what it was it about. As I nervously muttered about my purpose of visit giving a quick background to the meeting, she listened with a calm demeanour. But somewhere beneath the still countenance was some urgency & was not surprised when she gave me the number of another colleague who she said was in the concerned section and would be a better person to deal in the matter. So as I prepared to get up I asked whether she was from the 1994 batch of KAS.

A curious smile lit up her pretty face & she gave me a more attentive and interested look. She said 1997 batch but I immediately countered saying that was the result year and the exam year was 1994! That started a prolonged discussion. Her cabin was expansive and had one of the best views I had ever seen in Bangalore. To the immediate right was the Vidhan Soudha & Attara Kacheri at close range and beyond that the UB city interspersed in a sea of greenery(thanks to Cubbon park), all cloaked in a blanket of light drizzle on a cold dreary evening. I had imagined that the view from my 4th floor cabin at the ICICI towers on commissariat road was fantastic but this was even better.

Somewhere during the chat I propped up the question that I always wanted to ask; how the KAS career had been sofar? That question has always been of great interest to me, I had made a conscious decision then to give it a pass. In a plain matter of fact speaking she shrugged & said it had been Ok. No tinge of either satisfaction or disappointment left me even more curious but I did not pursue the point further. The purpose of the meeting had been different & I had to call it ends as the clock was ticking towards 6:00.

July 7, 2009

#50, 1 Year and ...

....the blabber continues. Well that’s how I intend to describe my blogging adventure of the past 1 year. In a nutshell that is. Coincidentally I am into the 50th article on this occasion and it has been one happy twitter on various topics. The upsides have been many, 20 odd dedicated readers, many a good reviews but by far the most effective & meaningful one has been in reaching out to many of my friends & acquaintances who otherwise would have relegated me to the dustbins of their memory – ‘Out of sight , out of mind’ as the adage goes. Given that the mindactive decay is very rapid in this information explosion age, blogging has helped me keep connected with them.

Come to think of it, in many ways this has been an exercise where I have been trying to connect with the surrounding and sounding out my reaction. Obviously the risks & downsides have been there, I could be sounding goofy at times or sometimes the reader may have got the impression that I had indulged in an exercise of deprecation, unwarranted opinion making or scoring brownie points. But that’s the risk part that is always involved in doing something and taking the Bouquets & Brickbats in equal measure was my call.

Many have asked me about the title to the blog and I have been explaining thus; The way I look at experience is a cumulative sum of everything that crosses your path which most of the time hits you like a waft of air - perceptions, interactions, situations , circumstances etc and each has its own story to tell; it only requires a kind of sensitization to receive it & interpret to explain it in one’s perspective. All this happens in the deep recesses of the mind which in many ways acts like the vast labyrinth of mindscape akin to Grey Hills. And fluttering through these recesses are the thoughts that echo incessantly. Some humming by while others creating a big twang. (sounds esoteric eh?)

This Blog has been an attempt to interpret all these thoughts which I believe may interest the readers. I have consciously moved away from restricting to any one single topic or theme because I am not espousing any cause or interest. If I did, I believe, might have brought in the fatigue & disinterest in me more than my readers. Many thanks for all your support & encouragement.

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