A dash of Pepper…

…with a splash of Mint

Bangalore beckons

Posted by Pepper on June 23, 2014

It’s been more than a week since we landed in Chennai, and I must say, I am thoroughly bored. Bored out of my wits. The day of Oregano’s surgery was the only eventful day. The only day I felt the presence of some action. He was in the ICU for the first four days after his surgery. We weren’t allowed to see him then. He is back in a normal room now, but we’re still not allowed to see him. Fear of infection is what is prompting them to keep him in isolation. The hospital doesn’t even allow us to wait in the visitor area. As a result, we’ve only been home the entire time.

Oregano is doing very well. Though we can’t see him, we can talk to him on phone. Yesterday, he was even allowed to use his tablet. I find it amusing. He is active on facebook now. We continue whatapping each other. We talk on phone. But we can’t see him. It feels strange.

As for me, I didn’t expect my days to be this dreary. I am unable to work from home in full capacity. There is only a limited amount of stuff I can do while working remote. As a result, I feel unfulfilled and I am left with a lot of empty time. The days seem never ending. I find myself sleeping a lot.. Not because I am sleepy or tired, but only because I am bored. I’ve spent some time reading and watching movies, but despite that there are vast stretches of time I don’t know how to utilize. At the end of the day, I feel restless and look for ways to expend some energy.

It’s maddening. I feel like a prisoner at home. I have no real friends in this city. I barely know a few people around here and I haven’t contacted them for fear of lack of enthusiasm on their part. Also, the fact that I can’t walk out of home on my own because I absolutely do not understand the roads and I don’t know the language makes me feel disabled. And trapped. Mint takes me out for dinner sometimes, but even so. I am royally bored!

However, this time off in Chennai has given me the opportunity to closely watch and understand my MIL. I observe her as she goes about her day. I try to empathize with her past and understand how it colours her present. I do believe watching her from close quarters gives me a good understanding of her. It makes me realise she is trapped between two very different worlds herself. Perhaps I will write a separate post about her.

Finally, we’re off to Bangalore on Thursday night. Mint has a tournament and I thought I could use the opportunity to visit the city. Last I visited was 4 years ago. We’ll be there until Monday morning. So I have around 3 full days to spend there! I am hoping it is a good break. Also, since Mint is going to be busy with his tournament from morning to evening, I am going to catch up with some of my friends alone and still  have a lot of spare time to move around by myself. As usual, with my nearly zero knowledge of roads and directions, I hope I can manage moving around on my own. Bangalore people, any must sees or must dos? How do you recommend I fill my days?

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31 Responses to “Bangalore beckons”

  1. ferret said

    First of all, big hugs and best wishes to Oregano. I find myself incapable of words in some situations so haven’t ever commented on any of the related posts about Oregano here. Was very happy to read about the successfull surgery.
    And Bangalore, definitely find time to go to infinitea on cunningham road. They make awesome salads too. I’m counting days for my impending visit there next month.
    So what tournament is this, if i can ask?

  2. Santulan said

    Second hand bookstores! Bangalore some great second hand bookstores..
    Blossoms @ Church Street and Bookworm @ M. G. Road

  3. R's Mom said

    1. Loved to read the fact about Oregano recovering
    2. You have four days in Chennai, go to the beach, explore by yourself, travel by the local train, buy a truck load of mallipoo and put in your short hair, buy a couple of sarees for your sis and mom and for yourself and mil, go to the IIT campus and take a walk and watch the deers no?
    3. Have fun in Bangalore..its a pretty place. 🙂

    • Pepper said

      Arey but I just said I can’t explore by myself. 😦 I’ve tried and I’ve been horribly lost. People take me for a total ride when they realise I can’t speak or understand Tamil. I can’t even stop by and ask for directions at small local shops because I don’t know the language.. Also, the auto drivers scare me! Add my lack of understanding of directions and it equals to complete chaos. I’m not you’ve been in my place because you atleast understand, if not speak what you guys seem to call “Madras Tamil”

      I would have especially loved to visit the IIT campus. I’ve been there, but it never loses its charm. Especially because it is Mint’s Alma mater. I love it when he takes me around and shows me his hostel and his room… Maybe I will convince him to take me there tmr, just before we leave this city.

      Agree with you about Bangalore 🙂

  4. ashreyamom said

    chennai is a nice place if u know the city or language… but b’lore is better, any stranger can move around with an ease.. shopping and visiting pub – best time pass in b’lore.. or u can take a book, go to one of the good parks and spend time.. but again u will get irritated with too many love birds around.. :P.

    • Pepper said

      I agree, Chennai is a nice place. But I can’t get around by myself without being looted. And since I refuse to let that happen, I can’t move around at all.
      Well, I am looking forward to Bangalore.

  5. deuxtime said

    Oh yay Bangalore! Here’s some stuff you can do – since you’re going to be travelling by yourself, Hop-on-hop-off buses are a good option – http://www.mybmtc.com/bangalore-rounds. If you are free on Saturday/Sunday, go on a heritage walk, check out http://www.bangalorewalks.com/ for that (the website should update in a few days or else call the number). There are a few touristy places you can cover – Cubbon Park, MG Road, maybe take a metro ride to Indiranagar from there and go to Toit/100Ft/Any of the other awesome places in Indiranagar. For a nice breakfast, visit Hole in the Wall Cafe in Koramangala or Brahmins Coffee Bar in Basavanagudi.. oh my, there are so many things you could do!
    Hope this was helpful. In case you want any help, ping me! Have fun! And a big hi5 to Oregano!

  6. Hey, enjoy Bangalore and the ‘ME’ time. Worry not tis’ too shall pass and regards to the family

  7. Ranjini said

    If you’ve ever wondered what heaven tastes like, go to this restaurant CTR in Malleshwaram and have a butter Masala Dosa, uddina vada dipped in sambar with a strong cup of filter coffee.

  8. Too bad I don’t live in Madras anymore! If I did, I would have totally taken you around!
    Have a good time in Bangalore though!

  9. Sruti said

    Hi Pepper,

    Bangalore is a south indian foodie paradise. I would suggest you try out the hot idlis, crisp vadas and yummy masala dosas here. Depending on where you are staying i would suggest : Veena Stores, Brahmins Cafe,MTR and Vidyarthi Bhavan. There are a lots of places for international crusine.
    If it’s shopping you want–do try Commercial street– i love wandering along those lanes there–so many shops, so little time.
    And as for sight seeing, there is Lal Bagh and Cubbon park, Tipu’s Summer Palace, Bangalore Palace.

  10. Bangalore has a lot to offer, apart from the usual touristy spots. Here are some things you might want to do:

    1. Spend a day leisurely exploring Lal Baugh and Cubbon Park
    2. Visit Blossoms Book house and the other quaint bookstores on Church Street
    3. Have coffee at India Coffee House
    4. Buy sarees at KSIC
    5. Roam around the Basavanagudi and Malleshwaram areas – two of the oldest areas in Bangalore and great spots for photography, if you are interested
    6. Shop at the Malleshwaram 8th Cross market and Gandhi Bazaar
    7. Spend an evening at Sankey Tank, and sample the chaats at the various stalls outside
    8. Fine dining – Italia, Little Italy, Toscano
    9. Try out the dosas at Vidyarthi Bhavan in Gandhi Bazaar – personally, I am not a big fan of the dosas, but the ambience is very quaint and old-world
    10. Visit the Big Banyan Tree
    11. Visit Jana Pada Loka
    12. Visit the Bull Temple and Ganesha temple in Basavanagudi
    13. Explore the many churches around the city
    14. Explore the boulevard on MG Road
    15. Explore the suburbs of Laxmipura
    16. Bird watching at Kaikondrahalli lake
    17. Have the thali at MTR near Lal Baugh
    18. Go on a walking tour – there are a few conducted, exploring different aspects of the city
    19. Visit the National Gallery of Modern Art
    20. Eat at Koshy’s on Church Street
    21. Visit the Bangalore Palace
    22. Visit KR Market early in the morning, when fresh flowers are being delivered. It is an experience worth photographing, I’ve heard.
    23. Visit Pyramid Valley
    24. You might be interested in this: http://blog.nomadhq.in/15-microbreweries-bangalore/
    25. Have food at the food street in VV Puram

    • Pepper said

      TGND, a big hearty thankyou to you. Your comment is very comprehensive. It will be a good source of information. I know I will have a hard time picking from this list. With just 3 days in hand and things already lined up, I know I will have to choose well.

  11. Hay Pepper. Welcome to my city. Bangalore has changed a lot. You can take the metro ride at MG road til byappanhalli just for the experience. Go to Lalbagh or Cubbon Park and have a nature walk or visit the Bangalore palace. Malls are plenty and I am sure you would be meeting friends there but a walk near the New MG road in the evening sure would be too good.

    Also try and visit Innovative Film city.. Good luck, would have loved to meet you but not sure how are you placed and given the fact we have hardly interacted:-)

  12. Stu said

    I’ve moved to Bangalore recently (last year), and before that I was here over a decade back (and then too i used to live in a campus), so cannot really comment on what are the things to do. But if I were you, I would visit the many eateries and pubs with friends or even by myself. Perhaps catch a movie. I like the Indiranagar area because it’s filled with quaint little shops and eateries and cafes which sneak up on you and invite you while you walk or drive around in the lanes – that’s what I would do.
    Have a great time, and my warmest wishes for Oregano’s speedy recovery.

  13. Deepa said

    Very good news on Oregano’s quickening recovery and what a fella, he’s whatsapping it up from his confinement. I wish I’d thought of that when I was isolated for days at a time during my several surgeries. Next time for sure esp. since V would’ve loved to connect with me and was missing me much.

    Chennai can be fun if you know what to do and who to do it with and otherwise boring I agree. It’s not a very travel-by-yourself friendly city so getting around is a bit of a pain. On our last visit to the city 2+ years ago my mum and I watched every movie worth watching in town because the multiplex cinemas are so very good, ate at Buhari’s a zillion times(mostly for nostalgia sakes because mum use to frequent it many years ago when she lived in Adyar when working there) and did some temple darshan. I think if the occasion wasn’t somber this time you and Mint might’ve lived it up at the clubs and lounges which of course I’m purely guessing Chennai has having myself crossed the age to club hop:-)

    But B’lore will be cooler, I hope and you’ll have more pals to visit.

    M and V would like you to convey their regards and wishes to Oregano.

    • Pepper said

      I can imagine how much darling little V would have missed you during your surgeries, but you know what? I am not sure I fully agree with the idea of allowing patients to use their phones. On one hand they claim to be so particular about preventing infections, they don’t let you come close to anything that has not been disinfected. On the other hand, they allow you the phone! I am sure that carries bacteria! I’m surprised they don’t seem concerned about that.

      Anyway, occasion is somber this time, but even when it isn’t, Mint has never taken me to the clubs here. I’ve often wondered how the night life in Chennai really is. In his defense, I am not too much of a clubbing person, but I am curious and would have liked to experience it in this city atleast once.

      Please say thanks to M and V!

  14. I really wish i had something interesting to tell you about. Sadly, ive been in Bangalore just the last 2.5 months. You should definitely try out the 99-dosas shop. I guess they are everywhere, and you get every imaginable dosa there (my fav is the cheese paneer mushroom). Im not sure if these are exclusive to Bangalore though. I’ve never seen them in Pune so for me it was new. Anyway, no matter where you go, try ur best to not get stuck in traffic. There is no worse nightmare on this planet than Bangalore traffic. Also, there are tons of amazing restaurants in Koramangala, so you might wanna walk up n down that area. Ummm…dont think i can be of anymore help *feeling lame*

    Oh, and do NOT eat the chaat there. Most chaat places haven’t heard of chaat masala. Atleast the ones i’ve tried.

    • Pepper said

      Haha, you know, I come from Bombay, and believe me when I say this – I am no stranger to traffic. But having said that, I haven’t been to Bangalore in over 4 years, so I don’t know how it is now.

      Thank you! I’ll try the dosa place.

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