Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Friends..bangalore...and a memorable trip!

This time pree’s tweets are going to show me the way J

22nd December : 9:29 AM Aah.. Njoying.. Nw wating frnds to come to ma home!!

We were on the way to banaglore, boarded a 9pm bus from pune. The bookings were done in advance but last minute hiccups are always there. The travel decided to change their pick up point without informing the boarders. Luckily dad was home early and ash and my baggage got a ride through the traffic jam at yerwada. We were panicking about the bus leaving but then were waiting for almost half an hour after the scheduld hour, for the bus to start. Anyhow we thus started our 14 hour journey to the city of gardens!
Pree had prepared methichi bhaji (my request) and masale bhaat (my request again) for us. The bus reached majestic at around 12:30 or so, and we were to look for platform 17 on the local bus stand. Yeah, there platforms are not only for trains but also for buses. The bus service is pretty organized there. We were hunting our platform 17. We spotted 15,16,18 but no 17. Wonder where Rowling got her idea of platform 93/4 th :P We were looking on the inter city bus stand :P
The people there were pretty helpful, they not only helped us locate the intra city bus stand but also mentioned the bus number we had to board. Our bus number was 333, but what do we see. We have a 333W, 333P, 333A etc etc.. J Good thing we could remember the name of the flyover there, something like mar thali :P
The buses are A/C and posh and comfortable. They have a separate space for people to keep their luggage, pity that we did not notice that before we were nearing our stop J There are female conductors there and the bus drivers don’t force you to run a marathon to board the bus. Even when you have to alight, the bus drivers consider it their responsibility to help you alight safely and in peace. There is no bell in the bus there, conductors whistle ;) Infact some of the buses don’t even have conductors. Buses which have only one door have only a driver who also acts as a conductor, weird isn’t it :P

So, we reached the marthalli flyover after almost an hour and pree came to receive us. Her place was not more than five minutes from there. They have a nice flat there, which feels like a home. Her roommates were working in office and we, were enjoying the garma garam polis and bhaji and bhaat J after a nice warm water bath.
Plans for the evening were a girls night at a disc. So we decided to take a three hour nap to be fresh later in the evening. But who wants to sleep, we fell on the bed giggling and chit chatting and after an hour or so, surprisingly, everyone fell asleep J

We woke up around five or so and put on our party wear. After Rashmi arrived we started our journey to explore bangalore’s night life. We went to Fuga and the entrance was amazing. Red lights on the floor and dark inside. But it being a weekday, there was no DJ and since we were too disappointed, the owner there redirected us to Banagalore central where they have a rooftop disc and the 22nd was a girl’s night supposedly and they were offering free entry and complimentary drinks ;) What more could we ask for. We rushed to central. The place looked fine, but it was a bit deserted at 9pm. Crowd slowly started pouring in, while we made ourselves comfortable on the sofa chairs in open air. We ordered just two plates of starters that cost us 500 bucks :-O and the waiter there comes up and asks you to shell out 500 even before the order is placed, weird! We took our complimentary drinks (3 each :D) and were waiting for someone, somebody to rock the dance floor. It was 9:30 still no one. Finally one gutsy female inaugurated the floor around 9:45 and we rushed in. Danced to the foot tapping numbers and then moved out before it started getting stuffy with smoke and scantily clad gals unable to carry off their dresses and guys ogling!

We left central around 10:15 or so and the rickshaw drivers outside thought we were drunk and offered to show us that there was a pothole outside :P. But we are always giggling even when we are normal :P We giggled and laughed all the way back and am sure people around thought we are high :P

We slept off that night with dreams of shopping for the new day :D

23rd December : 11:28 AM ZAAP on the way to Iskcon temple

We were supposed to leave home by 9 but we lazed around and ended up leaving by 10:30 or so. The temple is open only till 1 in the afternoon and we made it in time J The temple is nice, the management for footwear and cameras and other belongings is good.
On the floor below the temple there is a shopping fest. Books on spirituality in different languages, murtis, calendars, frames etc etc. This was okish. The lower floor had food :D

 23rd December : 1:38 PM yaay!! Food feast at Iskon temple..!

Different types of rice, sweets, some wadi that we had and badam milk. And since pree was paying all the way, we felt like small kids making demands on their parents. We always saw something or the other and yelled “pree te havay”, “pree badam milk” “pree jalebi” and the list was almost never ending :D
On the way out we had Prasad and then were in no mood of lunch.

23rd December : 2:16 PM amruta's life is "paripurna" says popatwala.. ;D

On the way out amz wanted a parrot to read her future and we picked a very young jyotishi. The most ridiculous thing he could have ever said was “Aap apna haath kisi ko bhi mat dikhana, aapke liye achcha nahi hai”. Rest was as expected, everything he said was so generic that it could fit anyone’s life.

23rd December : 4:48 PM shopping shopping at commercial...

Next we headed towards Commercial, which is analogous to laxmi road, tulsi baug here. Our shopping lists were singleton sets but when we entered, it felt as if everything we saw we needed :P I first bought a nice big purse and then stuff to fill it :D Was fun and by the time we were done, we almost kept telling ourselves “We have 5 more days to go, we need cash” :D

23rd December : 7:03 PM nw on brigade road in cauvery emporium..

We were supposedly heading for dinner somewhere on brigade road, when we again enter a Cauvery emporium where we spot some nice wooden and jute work :D Shopping again, and pree’s tweet says it all J

By the time we could explore all the restaurants in the place, we were exhausted and wanted only two things “Fish and “neer dosa”. And since we didn’t know the place we actually asked the usherer at the entrance itself if we will get these two things. If he said no, we asked him for some other place which served them :D. We found our eatery at Coast 2 coast. Food was good and the tweet, here goes  - trying new southy dish Neer dosa in coast II coast

24th December : 6:48 AM : sakali sakali.. Gulabi thandi.. Mysore sathi nighaloy..
Bags packed, we were ready to leave for banagalore. And yes, it was cold and fun J

The journey to mysore was three hours. We mostly slept through it. And when we reached Mysore, we were too certain that we would find accommodation where we wanted. But yes we were not so lucky this time. We then had to hunt a place and ended up paying four times the cost we were ready to pay. Anyhow, we then left to enjoy places in mysore.

24th December : 12:43 PM : munching in Gufha...

Our first stop was Gufha for lunch. Its ambience was based on the theme of a cave. It was made very well, was dark cozy and comfy and made me miss my lover ;). Food was good too and I’ll definitely recommend this place to anyone going to mysore. It’s a must must must!

24th December : 2:24 PM : sandalwood...

Did you think that our shopping streak was over, considering that we overspent in Bangalore and then overpaid at the hotel? No, we shopped like crazy again and were all smelling of sandalwood by the time we left the ‘authentic cauvery emporium’ thanks to the very enthusiastic saleswoman, who thought sprinkling all kinds of scents on us would lure us even more :D. How right she was ;) It was just the start of the day and we were already lighter on funds and heavier on weight :P

24th December : 3:50 PM : awed by the artistic creativity at mysore palace..
Finally we started sight seeing and were inside this huge palace, the Mysore palace. It belonged to the wodeyar dynasty. The interiors are very artistic and the painted glasses with the sunlight on them are a sight for sore eyes. Ironically, the small temple in the palace premises is not at all artistic, there’s not even a single carving not even a small piece of art. It was out of place, I felt.

Next plan was the zoo, but since we overdrew time in the palace, we had to skip it. Next stop was the vrindavan garden and the musical show at night.

24th December : 6:02 PM : uff.. Finally got bus fr vrindavan garden..

The vrindavan garden looked amazing at night. The fountains looked fabulous in the dim lights. The garden is so huge, that we did not realize that all the crowd at the entrance had entered the garden. The musical show was nice too. All our efforts had paid off, the garden is a must watch only at night in the lights J






24th December : 8:46 PM : way back to room... Fountain fountain all over.. Juss wonderful..


Tired we made our way back to our ‘Prestigious’ hotel ‘The President’. Had a warm water bath and were ready to face the next day J

25th December : 7:01 AM : waiting fr a bus to Ooty to start.. #ooty

Yes, we were leaving for ooty. My dad had kept arguing with me to carry my winter wear as it was going to be cold. And I had kept fussing about carrying all the heavy wear boasting about how I don’t feel cold. So I was all the more excited to go there and find out who wins J
The drive to ooty was five hours. On the way we passed a tiger reserve where all we could spot was a few deer and monkeys and elephants. Nevertheless the scenery around was serene. We reached ooty by noon and then looked around for accommodation. This time we were lucky to find the expected place at the expected rates. And boy, was it cold! It was fantastic, I love winters!

25th December : 1:27 PM : In Ooty.. Having south indian meal..

We freshened up and then moved to our lunch place where we all ordered the south Indian meal and were excited about having it too. But you know, all you get is loads of rice. No chapatti at all. Of course I could not finish all the rice, but here’s a glimpse of how the empty plate looks J










We then boarded our jeep that would take us sight seeing in ooty. Due to time constraints and the fog reducing visibility considerably we decided to skip pykara.

25th December : 3:18 PM : at Dodabetta peak in queen of hills...

Our first stop was Doddabeta, the highest peak in South India. It was misty and chilly. And I loved roaming in the midst of people clad with sweaters and mufflers, showing off my designer casual wear :D I didn’t need a sweater and thus I was nicknamed ‘vampire’ :P

25th December : 4:42 PM : inside tea factory..!!
25th December : 4:52 P : Home made chocolates!! Yaay...!! :D









Yes, we were inside the tea factory and I think the snap says it all. Shop-a-holics strike again :P. We also bought loads of home made chocolate. Next we visited the rose garden. It was fun, looking at never ending rows of roses. All labeled, different names (didn’t understand the nomenclature scheme though). We spent around an hour among the roses and thus missed the botanical garden and boat house. We then had dinner and moved to our warm place, as me the vampire had also started feeling the chills. The house was cold, the floor ice. The water ice too. We all crumpled into the blanket and watched a movie before we slept off. Next day we were to travel in the mini train to Coonoor.

26th December : 9:42 AM : no toy train to coonoor this time :(

The trains were cancelled as the rains collapsed a bridge in between. We hired a cab to go there instead.

26th December : 9:43 AM : on the way to Coonoor.. Valley view...

The valley view on the way was breathtaking. We could see tea gardens, that never ended. There also were tiny toy houses scrawled all over. We were just 10kms away when

26th December : 10:19 AM : bridge collapsed in between due to rain.. Road blocked.. :( so small change in plan. Going Pykara!
Okay, so plans changed we were back in ooty. We saw a couple of places like the pykara lake, waterfalls, the shooting point, pine forest etc. But what we will never forget in pykara is – the cab driver. He was the best nuisance we ever saw! We have never bargained or argued with someone at this level! All I can say now is “May God help his future customers J
We left the cab somewhere around 2pm and then started exploring other parts of ooty we had missed the day before. First stop was the ooty boat house. After waiting in a long line for almost 30 minutes, it started raining and they declared that rowing boats will be stopped. But since we showed enthusiasm of boating in the rain we were taken :D. It was fun rowing in the rain and I had a shot with the oars. It was only fair that we moved in circles for some time, given that it was my first shot with them oars ;) The tweet 26th December : 4:12 PM : at boathouse.. Boating.. Raining... :)
After that we had a ride in the mini train there 26th December : 4:43 PM mini train.. Remembrd "fulrani" in peshwe udyan :D and the weather in ooty could best be described as
26th December: 4:29 PM : sun in d mornin, mist in d aftrnun n rain in evenin.. Thats d climate in ooty...

26th December : 5:43 PM : in botanical garden, ooty..

Our next stop was the botanical garden we had missed the previous day. And boy, thank God we didn’t miss seeing it today! Its huge, its pretty, its well maintained and even if you spend a whole day inside, you will still have plenty to explore! I loved the small small things they had created using flowers, for example the map of India and states marked out so well all with flowers. It was a pity that we just spent an hour inside..




After this, we had dinner in the next restaurant we spotted. All of us called for rice and had it (later realizing that it was so tasteless). Why the hurry? We had to pick up our luggage from the cloak room at the station and then wait another two hours for our bus back to Bangalore. We then rushed to the station and collected our stuff. Original plan was to enjoy ice cream while waiting for our bus, but that changed to two three rounds of coffee since it was so so so unbearably cold out there.
Our bus arrived and we knew we had the last seats but little did w know how uncomfortable they were going to be. Anyhow, we managed to reach Bangalore in one piece reminiscing al the fun time we had had J 27th December : 6:08 AM : back in bengaluru...

After we were back at pree’s place we all freshened up, packed our bags for pune, had some little breakfast and then headed out for lal baug in Bangalore. Lal baug is good, but if you visit it after the botanical garden in ooty, you will think its no comparison. We spent some nice time chit chatting there 27th December : 12:01 PM : spent some peaceful time at Lalbaug botanical garden, bangalore.. and then had to reach Forum value mall in time for a movie 3Idiots. And as pree said she has always gone to any movie sprinting to reach in time, we helped her never change that routine :P We were literally sprinting and hence missed only the first five-six minutes. The movie was good but we were hungry! After the movie we were supposed to have lunch but instead settled on pastries :D We did have an early dinner though (as early as 6 :P) and then moved back to pree’s place. Met an old college friend, chit chatted for some time and then…the most difficult moment! We were goin back to pune L We had to leave pree there and head out. All the way in the bus, I felt pree was there and just now she’s going to yell ‘aapla stop aalay’ J

Miss you pree and I’ll always cherish every moment we spent laughing for no reason at all, discussing budgets, discussing jokes and PJs :P

Love ya J

6 comments:

Pravaahit... said...

now thats calld following :P :P :D

n yeah i too miss u ppl sooo much!!! i wish v cud implement idea of having same house in same city... n have same fun together... :)

Amruta:TheOptimist said...

Marvellous .. simply good..

Zar, mast...
The blog is so organised with pree's tweets that i re-lived the whole trip.. :P.. good going..

Ya. good idea pree. We can do that...

Mohsin Khan said...

nice post.. bahut time laga padhneko :)

charutajoshi said...

nice trip...i didnt get any of those home-made chocs?

Zaru said...

@Pree...
seriously...lets start discussin ;)

@Amz...
thanku :)

@Moshin...
thanku:) yea..bahut time laga trip ki yaadon se bahar aane ko bhi :)

@Charuta...
yea..home made chocs gapak gayi mein :D i cnt share chocs!

Pappul said...

fan ... fan ... fantastic ... the blog made me stammer coz I was so engrossed ... great trip ... keep them coming ... Cheers ... !!