Wednesday, June 26, 2013

My Lunch- Planning, Planning, and Execution

My Lunch- Planning, Planning, and Execution

Lunch (26-06-13)

It was noon. I was hungry. I wanted to have lunch.

What I didn’t want was to have lunch from either the EFLU hostel mess or Nissi Chapathi center. I wanted options. Options mean not the usual, mostly boring eateries in and around the university, in Tarnaka, in Sitaphalmandi etc. Here I exempt my dear ‘Kim Fung’. I love the place. It is not boring at all. I didn’t want to go there just because I had lunch there yesterday. What was it? Hunan Wonton Soup-Veg, Soya Chilli Wine Noodle -Chicken(all-time Kim Fung favourite), Spicy Basil Rice-Mixed (with prawns), some Spicy Chicken curry with some kind of sauce (forgot the name, the name was long, but looked tasty), with Vanesh and Dwija. The last two named are my friends, not eatables.

So, I was hungry the next day, which is today. I thought of all the places nearby I knew and was not satisfied at all. The time was 2 o clock. I was hungry. I asked Sindhu who was helping me book tickets to Kozhikode. Together we both began saying places where I could go for lunch. ‘Alpha hotel’ I said in between. Sindhu’s face brightened up suddenly and she made an exclamation sound. ‘Go go... go to Alpha, have biriyani she said. I liked the idea but decided not to because I didn’t have the hunger to eat one full Alpha biriyani. The thought of nice, hot basmati rice and spicy, tender chicken pieces made me hungrier though. At last Sindhu suggested, ‘Go to Suprabhat Habsiguda and have Ghee Idli. It is nice.’ My natural not-so-fondness towards Vegetarian hotels almost made me say no but then I thought, why not try that out. More than the word ‘Idli’, it was the word ‘Ghee’ which tempted me… hehe.  So, after one hour almost, I made my decision, finally.

A nice random bike-person gave me a lift till Tarnaka (Thank you unknown person!). When I was crossing the road I saw a guy selling something in a small mobile stall. I couldn’t resist looking. I was some white, solidified, milk looking thing which he cuts and gives in a small plastic cup for 10 bucks. I didn’t care what the thing was, just wanted to have it. My hands immediately handed him ten bucks and there I had, yummy milk pudding kind of thing (still doesn’t know its name), ha, what an appetizer!

So, I reach Suprabhat in a while. The normal veg meals which people were ordering and having (normal rice with lots of curries and one puri, little lemon rice, little curd rice, etc) made me confused. I stood there for 2-3 minutes looking at the menu, thinking of just the meals and the ghee idli, which I had in mind all the while. I gathered all my mental strength and told the guy on the counter, “ghee idli and single vada please.”

Dear Sindhu Jose aka Sindhuchechi alias Sindhu, you made my day! Right when the guy in food-giving section took two idlis from the oven (is it called oven?) and put two spoonfuls of ghee on top of it infront of me, I was in love with the dish. The idli and the vada was accompanied by sambaar, coconut chutney, and kaaram podi (the podi too had ghee all over it… made me happy happy haappyy!). After one idli and half the vada I no longer cared about the aesthetics of eating… I put everything together, poured all of the saambar on top, mixed-up and savoured it slowly slowly, till my fingers licked good.

Even though I was not fully hunger relieved, I decided not to eat more and left the place, chewing on a meeta paan. I got on a bus to Mehdipatanam and took a ticket to Jamai Osmania, which is just nearby. By the time I reached Jamai Osmania, I was convinced in my mind that God let me get on this bus till Mehdipatanam, and not any other buses through the place is because of the destiny that I should go and have haleem at Sarvi’s, Mehdipatanam. Even though it is not Ramzan season yet, due to popular demand, some outlets like Sarvi’s had started serving haleem. I took another ticket from the conductor, to Mehdipatanam.

After I got down, I rushed to Sarvi’s and asked if haleem was ready. They said I had to wait for half an hour. I was hungry hungry. The thought of haleem had been in my mind all through the journey. I decided to walk around a bit. I did. In the meanwhile, I had two singal tea, chota samosa, and two osmania biscuits from a worn down, being renovated, housefly-filled, next-to-three-meat-stalls,  Haasan Cafe. The Osmania biscuits were cold, dry, and the worst I ever had. Tea and samosa were good. 5 o clock. Half an hour has passed. I rushed to Sarvi’s and ordered haleem. The first spoon of the Hyderabad Ramzan specialty itself took me to taste heavens. The perfectly cooked mutton, the fine, melting bones of it, the ghee-cashew- pudina-fried onion garnishing on top…. Oh, what taste! Oh, how I miss this city, my alternate food heaven! (The other one being Kerala, of course)

One more meeta paan and I was done. The time- 5:30pm.

There, that’s the story of my lunch today. May all people who have read this get nice-nice food in the coming days! Haappy Eating!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

An Attempted Travelogue

An Attempted Travelogue

KSRTC Super Fast Journey (KKD-BNGLR) (22-06-13)

So, I am travelling from Calicut, sorry, Kozhikode to Hyderabad via Bangalore, sorry, Bengaluru. I am sitting in a KSRTC Super Fast (Kerala SRTC not the Karnataka one) which has just crossed Mysore. I am pretty much bored and my sleeping quota for the day is over. The date is 22nd June (it’s already 22nd???  I never knew… had to check my mobile to confirm… who cares about dates when they are jobless).

I started from home at around 8 in the morning. Right when I was about to call an auto till the bus stop, Jobin (my cousin) came on a Black Honda Activa like an angel and offered me to drop off till the stop. Ha, I was glad; I had saved twenty rupees by 8 ‘o’ clock in the morning… yay! (I know I am writing all sorts of bullshit which no one really is interested in but pardonne moi, I’m bored.)

 As with most of my journeys I had already planned what to eat from the restaurants which I come across. For example, I wanted to have breakfast from the canteen in Kozhikode Moffusil bus stand. During my bus journey from Koodaranji to Kozhikode, I thought what should I eat? Porotta? Appam? Puttu? Dosa? Pathiri? I finalized on 1 Porotta and 2 Pathiris (I couldn’t make up my mind to a single item). With them, Cherupayar curry or Kadala curry would make me really happy. Ha! Plan made, wonderful! I began dreaming about the food (as it happens most of the times). The journey was uneventful for the rest except for the conversation I overheard between two school kids about whose movies were better, Asif Ali’s or Surya’s (Really???)

Once I reached Kozhikode I rushed to the aforesaid canteen, without even checking the timings of the next Bangalore bus. Unfortunately, the place had no Pathiri, no Cherupayar, no Kadala even. What a letdown!  I immediately said bye-bye to the waiter and rushed to the nearest restaurant. Ha! There I am, having what I wanted- Porotta, Pathiri, Kadala and Chaai- made my day by 10 o clock!

Now there was a problem, it was raining heavily. I had to get back to the bus stand. I have an umbrella; I don’t want it to be wet. So I ran to the bus stand in between the heavy traffic of Mavoor road. I caught the Banglore bus right on time, my hair, my 10 year old, black Lacoste t-shirt (one of my oldest friends now), mostly wet. I had saved my umbrella from getting wet successfully, but not so sure about my laptop, my camera, my valuable certificates, yay!

The Wayanad Churam (mountain pass) was rainy and foggy- enjoyed the hairpin bends, the view, and took photographs. Sultan Bathery bus station was interestingly infested with monkeys. Some of them even got on the bus. "Lucky ticketless travellers!", exclaimed a guy next to me. The monkeys jumped off once the bus started.

Oh, I am unable to get the movie I watched yesterday from my head. Left Right Left by Arun Kumar Aravind. The dialogues, the characters, the actors, keep on coming to my mind- what a brave political movie!  

Traffic Jam, Traffic Jam now! I am somewhere near Srirangapattanam I guess. Oh the mighty soul of Tippu Sultan, help our poor bus out of it soon! From Karnataka the bus on the side, a veiled girl is looking at me… “Hi”. What timing for “Ormakkai ini oru snehageetham..” to play through my earphones! The Jam is over… bye-bye Ayesha… oh, yes, I named her.

‘Sri Varalakshmi Milatary hotel’ – What the hell is a ‘milatary’ hotel?

Back to past- I was excited about the part of the journey through the Muthanga wildlife sanctuary and Bandipur national park. As always, I hoped to see a tiger or leopard, but had to be satisfied by three wild elephants and a small herd of deers.  

Once you cross Bandipur, you feel the absolute difference in terrain and climate. The rainy rainy mountainous terrain is replaced by plain land and dryness. The rubber trees and areacanuts were replaced by sunflowers and cabbages. I saw the Sun after one week or so; I distinctly remember last noticing the Sun on 15th June when I was in SpiceTree Munnar.

One other interesting thing I noticed is how the playlist in your mind automatically changes when you see something. For example, when I was passing through the beautiful green Bandipur, I had all romantic songs like ‘Ethrayo Janmamai’, ‘Varamanjal’ and ‘Pachai Nirame’. I crossed Bandipur and saw the Nilgiri Mountains behind me and it changed to “Neelagiriyude sakhikale...” When I saw the sunflowers the KJ Yesudas of my brain shifted drastically to S Janaki with “Suryakanthi… Suryakaanthi…”

I think I am done writing for now. The reason might either be that I don’t have anything more to write or that my ass is hurting sitting like this and typing in a KSRTC. On a last but different note, I would also like to marry the singer who sang “Theeratha poga vaanam…” for David.  She would be my second singer-fantasy-wife after Shreya Ghoshal.


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