Category Archives: Karnataka

Glimpses: A brownie with Vir Das

Chocolate brownie
What looks yummier?

This post is not actually about the brownie (dry, uninspiring) but the guy in the background. There was once a time I had a bit of a crush on Vir Das, and that photo of him in the paper, with his impish smile, brought back some of the butterflies in my stomach. This photo is basically double drool- you drool over the chocolate brownie, then you drool over the not-so-chocolate boy.

Glimpses: Brindavan Gardens

Fountain at Brindavan Gardens
Fountain at Brindavan Gardens

I was looking through my posts on Mysore and I realized- whoa, I haven’t written anything about Brindavan Gardens! This oversight is not due to the degradation of my mental faculties after watching Chennai Express, but because, honestly, I didn’t like it much. The place has become too touristy, somewhat like the Juhu beaches and the Times Squares of the world, where people go only because other people are going. The lighting, while nice, is not amazing, and the musical fountain seems repetitive after a few minutes. Brindavan Gardens may have been charming once upon a time, but you won’t lose much if you give this one a miss.

5 Things to do in Mysore

Jagamohan Palace
A palace, Jagmohan Palace, to be precise. There are lots more

Considering you have two erstwhile capitals of Karnataka (Mysore and Srirangpatna) within 10km of each other, there is a lot to do and see in Mysore. But here are five things you absolutely should not miss.

1. Walk around the city centre. If you are an architecture enthusiast, you will have lots to take away from the royal and colonial buildings. If you are just a tourist, a short walk will take you to around the main palaces and the major shopping centres. If you are Bangalorean, marvel at the wide traffic-free roads and search for retirement properties to invest in.
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Glimpses: Ekta Kapoor Serials and Chamundi Hills

Chamundeshwari temple
Chamundeshwari Temple

Raktabeej vadhe devi, chanda munda vinashini
Rupam dehi, jayam dehi, yasho dehi, dvisho jayi

Translation: O goddess, destroyer of Raktabeej and demons Chanda and Munda, Give us personality, power and glory to defeat evil.

I’d love to tell you that spirituality and devotion to God were the reasons this chant, eulogizing Chamunda Devi, was playing in my head as I climbed the steps of the Chamundi Hill, but that would be a lie. The truth is, my legs, unused to strenuous exercise, hurt midway through the climb, and I had to distract myself from thinking about the pain. I remembered the serial, Kahin Kissi Roz, where the above chant was like a theme song for the heroine Shaina as she fought against her evil mother-in-law Ramola Sikand (crap, I remember character names from a K-serial!) I made it my theme song as I climbed the hill and when I reached the top, I felt as joyful as Shaina did when she thought Ramola Sikand was gone (crap, I remember storylines from a K-serial!) That was until I saw the queues at the temple. But our driver (who had climbed with us) came to the rescue once more, and we had a quick VIP darshan. Yay for well-connected drivers!

How I battled adversity at Srirangpatna

Daria Daulat
Daria Daulat, meaning ‘wealth of the river’. Nowadays, the river’s (Kaveri’s) wealth, or lack of it in summers, gives politicians opportunity to go on fasts and grab headlines

It was a bright and sunny mid-afternoon. The skies were clear except for a few fluffy cumulus clouds, crows were singing in the sweetest tones they could muster, and people were opening up picnic baskets in the lawns of Tipu Sultan’s Daria Daulat Palace in Srirangpatna. Amidst this cheerful scene that will never find itself in a movie about India (coz it does not involve semi-naked dirty urchins), a crime was committed, a crime of such heinous proportions that it makes a chill travel up my spine just to think about it, much less speak about it. But, in the interests of justice, I must tell you the specifics of the crime.
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