Monday, December 12, 2011

Namma Metro

On a chilly sunday evening our entire family decided to check out Namma Metro. Well, it wasnt as easy as it sounds because initially the plan was to go to MG road by metro and then all of us so used to the comfort of a car decided that we'll come back by it instead. We were going to KSCA at the Chinnaswamy stadium for dinner so no better oppurtunity than to try the metro out.

We almost missed out on the experience since dinner got really late but managed to run and catch the very last train from MG Road to Bayappanahalli. Sai and I had initially decided to skip the ride and join Samarth in the car to pick everyone up at Bayappanahalli. But we got to the station and all of us ran out the car!! We managed to get tickets superfast and literally flew up the stairs (they had switched off the lifts by then!!) to get to the train on time. My mother in law suffers from arthiritis but in all the excitement, she also ran up the stairs!! I have never seen her walk or climb that fast ever!!

The ride was good....the train was pretty crowded for past 10pm on a Sunday evening. To get a view of the city you have to travel during the day. All we could see was flickering lights of a lazy evening. The ride was comfortable though. Stations peppered the short ride but that'll be good once the whole of Bangalore is connected and more people start using the metro.

Right now i think most of the traffic on Namma Metro is people like us trying the metro out. Once all the wings get operational is probably when it will be most useful in a city which has waaaay too many cars!!

Friday, December 2, 2011

A very very short journey....

We always forget to value whats closest to us. I realised how true this was yesterday when Sai and I decided to take photos of the plants and flowers in our garden. Why were we so busy planning trips to gardens and parks when there was a paradise of colours right outside the main door?!!

Our garden comes to life in spurts....with 3 boisterous doggies about all day long its a lost cause trying to have a lawn! And with them running amok all over the place and using the garden as a mini boxing ring, its really tough for most of the delicate plants. But looks like almost all the ones that have survived have gotten used to Max, Cocoa and Tiny and are here to stay!

Yesterday I got the time to walk all around the house and marvel at the tenacious plants which have bloomed and flowered and grown so marvellously! There are a lot of Geraniums - one of Sais favourites. We have them in most colours and the front porch is a tribute to creeper geraniums in all colours!

Another favourite is the bougainvillea and we have always had those in the planters....even before we became gardeners for a brief period. We have them in a lot of shades and everytime we see anything unique, we pick it up.

Then theres this fascination we've always had for the Temple Tree - the Frangipani. Its architecturally beautiful and a lot of gardens and homes we design have one as a central feature. Ever since we learned that all this hardly plant needs is a place to prosper, we've been collecting cuttings from every roadside plant we see and prefer!

There are soo many pretty plants and flowers....never realised how beautiful they all are till i saw them through my camera lens. My roses havnt bloomed yet....waiting for them now.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Almost everyone identifies Kumarakom with an image of a houseboat. For me this image with the 'vallams' all anchored to a pier is what Kumarakom is. The place is peaceful and fills you with serenity and one of the only places that all the resorts on the banks of the lake do full justice to.

When in Kumarakom, a boat ride on the Vembanad lake is a must if you are not already on a houseboat. The lake is so serene and the boat goes through the little villages all along the backwaters lending a amazing insight into the lives of the local people. The waters are their lifeline and it shows....

A little secret about Kumarakom is that the Vembanad lake is also a bird sanctuary where migratory birds keep coming and going.....its a tough task to catch sight of them but the usual like the kingfisher are a common sight...

The best part about the trip for me was that Max(our boxer) was with us... we had driven down from Bangalore with him. We spent a lot of time finding a resort which allowed dogs. I will forever regret not remembering the name of the place but the staff there were so sweet to him milk and bowls of food and were absolutely friendly with him!! He had the best time....fabulous food, lots and lots of attention, boat rides, AC rooms and high adventure!! He came on the boat ride with us and the people in Kumarakom got their cameras out to take pictures of him!!

A beautiful place...a beautiful trip. We will go another time....the peace and serenity of Kumarakom always beckons.....

Thursday, November 17, 2011

I'm beginning to really enjoy all my Sundays this month....its not just about being in front of the TV and comp whole day long anymore. We've been going out and having a great time with some fabulous people and at some really good places. What more can one ask for huh?

The last Sunday was Saishta's birthday celebrations at the Parkfield Resotel near Hoskote in Bangalore. First time we're going there and it was a great idea for a party!! All the kids enjoyed playing in the pool and garden and us adults lazed about watching them and playing a few games and relishing the food.

It was really entertaining to watch all the little ones have fun in their own ways...the birthday girl and my daughter were busy eating grass off the lawn, their cousins were busy running about, the elder boys and men were playing cricket and football and Ananya was taking care of all the younger little girls....a really heart warming sight to witness :-)

Kudos to Padmini and Vikram for organising such a fabulous outing for all of us....we needed it :-)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Road journeys....

I've never been much of a fan of driving holidays though i love driving... Max of 5 hours and i am fine but anything more and i start getting cranky!! And driving anywhere in India means at least 3-4 hours because of the roads and all the crazy suicidal people on them!!

Driving through a highway in India is like a video game...there are lots of obstacles and things jumping out at you from all sides and you have to avoid hitting all that and try and maintain a decent average speed!! In fact, someone should make a video game out of'll definitely be one of the most difficult road games!

That said, the most amazing things and sights I've seen are during our drives. And if you are driving in the monsoons, the whole roadsides are beautiful and green and clean...and the skies you see are some of the best ever!!

We have not been taking too many driving holidays since Ally was born but the few we went on have been beautiful...its all the rains...makes everything so fresh and beautiful....

We drove through a forest reserve to get to the Annapoorneshwari Temple in Horanadu and the drive was beautiful....saw a peacock, elephants and wild deer....its amazing how they have all adapted so well to the traffic. The ECR is an amazing drive....peeks of the beautiful Bay of Bengal and fabulous antique shops all the way to Pondicherry. But my all time favourite drive will always be the Bangalore-Mysore highway en route to all other destinations....have seen the most beautiful skies and scenery on this road and the drive itself is so smooth....

Till my next drive through the truly incredible Indian roads i'll sign off with one of my favourite shots from our recent drive....a beautiful laser show in the sky...

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Lazy lazy Sundays.....

Sipping a nice cold mojito, munching on yummy snacks, making new friends and having great conversations.....had not realised what a great idea Sunday brunches were till the last weekend!

Its a perfect idea! Party on Saturday night, sleep in late on Sunday, go for a fabulous brunch, have a lazy evening and then get to bed to start the perfect week. No wonder so many hotels and restaurants in Bangalore now have amazing brunches on Sunday! Casa Del Sol was good also because they had a lot of things for kids to keep busy.

The weather in Bangalore is always perfect for outdoor dining and Sunday was no did get a little hot and sultry at first but the rains came in for a rescue and created a perfect ambience.

Should do this more often....looks like Sunday brunches are going to be fixtures for us from now on.....:-)

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Restarting the journey....

Its been a long time and lots have happened.....but its never too late and we're back to penning down our experiences in this journey.

Our family has grown since the last posts....we now have 4 children. Max, Cocoa, Alia and Tiny. All of them are unique and make life so so much more interesting. Alia is mighty excited having 4 legged siblings and they in turn are very curious and caring about her. For us, the foursome make for some amazingly endearing moments, from a barking baby to protective brothers :-)

We're slowly getting back to travelling also...the baby is thankfully a willing traveller. And this time round we're doing things differently. We've slowed down and hence able to understand a lot more about the places and experiences. We're more understanding to a baby and so more patient and willing to learn and try a different approach. To Alia everything is a wonder, everything is new and we are discovering with her....from the little crevices in our home to the different colours and wonders anywhere and everywhere.

The journey is always a fulfilling one and filled with twists and turns and we're ready to take it all in.....and we start again......