I have been to Bangalore so many times, mostly for work or to meet relatives! Usually, when one says Bangalore / Bangaluru the following pictorial memories come to mind – the long drive from the airport to the city and the traffic! This post is meant to not talk about those two so let’s get to the real masala straight away.
Recently, I found myself tucked away in a small homestay / guesthouse near Indira Nagar. It was a 4 day long trip (in conventional terms, it was a workation). We had a South Indian wedding to attend which I always look forward to for its simplicity and food. Needless to say, I had a wonderful time at the ceremony!
In the next couple of days, I visited Lal Bagh, among other things. We hired a 50 year old guide who kept calling me ‘Mumma’. I was part scandalized and part amused. He took Rs 1000 for an hour long tour but I would say he made it quite interesting – with all the supposed facts and stories! Here are some of the photos I clicked:
You can see families idling away their time with a bed sheet underneath and a box full of food beside them. It was quite a sight because I thought who does that anymore. Usually, we would skip a place like this from a touristy itinerary but surprisingly I had a good time here. May be going old-school is the new off-beat and that’s what made this simple garden seem interesting on that hot summer afternoon. Oh did I mention that our visit coincided with a mango festival at Lal Bagh? We saw small ones and really huge ones – even tasted a few varieties of mangoes. So day was made! And of course, Mr Guide who kept cracking me up with, “Mumma, look here..”
We also visited the Shiv Temple at Old Airport road. The enormous Shiv statue is beautiful but this place is really a rip-off.
I didn’t feel the bhakti anywhere. Partly because we had to pay at every juncture and partly because people were busy clicking pictures of their kids while they performed the puja. Not exaggerating, but there were re-takes of the rituals because, umm, the capture was blurred the first time.
We spent one morning exploring the many book stores in and around Church Street / Brigade Road / MG Road. Those old shops somehow inspire to read more. How can they ever go out of fashion?
And now the highlight of my trip.
One afternoon, I went about for a solo lunch. I made a reservation for myself at Rim Naam, a Thai restaurant at The Oberoi on MG Road. I can’t stress enough how beautiful the experience was! The Australian wine, the lovely setting, the greenery around and the food and the kind hotel staff who were extremely sensitive to the fact that I was eating alone – they went out of their way to make my visit special! Even gave me complimentary desserts. It was just perfect!
You see, this Bangalore trip made a whole new set of memories for me that I will always carry around. Thank god the ghastly traffic doesn’t come to my mind when someone mentions the city. It sure brings a smile to my face though!