Sunday, July 27, 2008

Of Dosas in Gandhi Bazar and New Guitars

Chatting with someone on Gtalk while composing a blog entry makes for a rather demanding weekend chore, but when the person whom you are chatting with happens to be someone who happens to be not just another someone, you do make the effort.
The last month has been rather dreadfully boring and I hope there are not too many of these in the near future. I did turn 26 though. I shall spare you the usual drivel of peepuls suffering from quarter-life blues. I managed to keep my reading progressing at a decent chug .
I had started reading Mao Zedong's biography in Japan in the spring, and was midway thorough it when I packed my backs to return home. It was positively depressing to find that my copy was not to be seen after my luggage porter was through putting my baggage into my hotel room in Thailand.(I was shifting my entire set of worldly possessions to India, so I did look like Fedex had outsourced a sizeable chunk of business to me).
So when I found a copy idling in my friend's bookshelf on a visit to his house in Hebbal, I brought it back home to finish it up. I still am to come to a conclusion about Mao and his life and times. There can only be a couple of em...Either Mao was a brain dead psycho or the authors are pushing some serious anti-Chinese propaganda. It is nonetheless a very interesting read.
Next went on to finish John Gribbin's Schrodinger's Kittens. Written in his usual fluid style, the book makes for a very good after-work read.
Still not able to finish Descartes' Error by Antonio Damasio after I decided to stop reading when I reached midway.
Put away Stephen Clarke's Merde Actually. This guy knows his stuff. A light,fluffy read(and I dont mean it in a kinda girly way) with a very fluid narrative.
My last read was Pankaj Mishra's very insightful Butter Chicken in Ludhiana...It's about life in the small towns of India during the early 90's when the beginnings of the Great Indian Middle Class was taking root. Makes you want to hit the road with a vengeance.
Planning to start Kawabata's Yukiguni (Snow Country) today.

The Bangalore blasts from the last weekend had taken the wind outta the city's sails on Friday. We have the usual political doublespeak clogging the airwaves and this is compounded with the usual insensitive media persons shoving their version of events into the viewers throats (sigh! miss the good old days when Salma Sultan and Komal GB Singh did their thing in DD).
I did register my token protest by eating in the busiest and the most Bangalorean of all eateries in Bangalore.Had been planning to visit there for a couple of weekends and finally did manage to go there this time around. Vidhyarthi Bhavan was not different from the last time I visited the place with my dad a few years ago
We were greeted by a dude just outta his adoloscence blocking the entrance with his left arm and were asked to wait for 10 mins. Two Kanglish speaking dames(the kind you see outside JNC or Christ College) waited for exactly 600 seconds before charging the sentry with perjury in the peoples' court. "Uncle neevu 10 minutes aagutte andree alva. Nodee 10 minutes aithu?" After a few more minutes of silent name calling by the sentry and the patrons, the sentry magnanimously let the throngs rush in but not before specifically ushering in the dames with a "Aunty, wolage hogi eega". The dames were obviously scandalised at being addressed so.
An 80 year old granny was probably crushed to her death on her way out, but such trivailities pale in significance to what the diners need to be up for next.
You need to be at your cunning best to grab a seat in VB without having aged significantly trying to do so. In fact it should be declared an art form by the state government and an award must be instituted for the same. My friend and I strategised a fair bit considering the sizes of dosas and chutney remaining in peepuls' plates, their age ,past history and high school academic records before deciding that a family of three sitting at the far left corner of the hotel were the best candidates to wait upon till they finished washing down their dosa with by-two Filter kaapis. Continents drifted apart, Halleys Comet travelled a third of it's orbit when finally the family rose, to find their way to the hand wash. I had strategically placed myself to ensure no other diner had the same ideas that we had. After demolishing two masala dosas and chugging half a liter of chutney, sharing a table with two middle aged men with a lot to say about the quality of service from Vodafone we walked out with a quiet sense of achievement.

I bought a new guitar(my second one) from Jayanagar 2nd block and I intend to see that is better used than my first one, which is probably gathering dust in a second hand gear shop in Higashimatsuyama,Japan.
The only tune the poor thing belted out was an occasionally correct rendition of Tujhe Dekha to Ye Jaana Sanam. More on my progress on this front in the next blog.