The 2016 Year-End Meme

It is the end of the year, and I am in introspection mode. Hence, this post.

  1. What did you do in 2016 that you’d never done before? 
  • I took up a short meditation class with The Art Of Living group. I haven’t been following anything they told me to follow, post the class, but it sure gave me an insight into yoga and meditation. I hope to go deeper into this in 2017!
  • I delved deeper into the world of food blogging. I began to understand different types of ingredients and cooking processes better, started experimenting a lot more. I started attending various food-related events, and started getting to know the food bloggers’ community in Bangalore a bit better.
  • We celebrated the kid’s second birthday.
  • I experimented with a part-time job, quit after a short stint, and became a full-time stay-at-home mother.
  • We visited Calcutta, a place I had always dreamt of visiting! We got to be a part of the Kali Pooja celebrations there, something that I will always cherish.
  • We visited the Sai Baba temple at Shirdi, another place that I had always wanted to visit.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next?

The only two ‘sort of’ resolutions I had as 2016 began were: To lose weight and begin to lead a healthier lifestyle, and to figure out what I wanted to do with my time post baby.

I would say I haven’t succeeded at all, with respect to the first resolution. Today, I am even more heavy than I was at the start of 2016. 😦

With respect to the second resolution, I have been moderately successful. I still haven’t figured out exactly what I should do, but I can say I am on the way. 2016 saw me experimenting with a few different things, trying to understand myself better as a person. May 2017 make me see light in this regard!

Now, for 2017, I have the same two resolutions plus three new ones.

1. I want to seriously lose weight and move on to a healthier lifestyle (which is at odds with the food blogging that I do, to be honest).

2. I also want to delve deeper into myself and find out something that would keep me satisfied and productively occupied, without having to compromise on my time with Bubboo.

3. Moreover, I want to devote time, money, energy and attention to fulfilling those little dreams of mine, like travelling to a place on my bucket list or buying something that has always been on my mind.

4. I want to work on bringing Bubboo up really, really well – do what it takes for that. Not that I am not doing that already, but that is a large life area I’d like to dedicate more focus on in 2017.

5. Finish all those pending tasks that I desperately need to get around to doing. They have been pending for ever. Create a passport for Bubboo, for example, and get Aadhaar cards for us done, things of that sort. Hopefully, the house and our lives should run more smoothly once we get around to doing this.

3. What date from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

I would say there are a whole lot of moments from 2016 that will stay in my memory forever. Little moments doing silly things with Bubboo, for instance, or attending my first event as a food blogger.

4. What was your biggest achievement of the year? 

I began to accept myself the way I am, began getting comfortable with myself, began understanding myself a whole lot better.

5. What was your biggest failure? 

I failed at keeping stress at bay. I failed at keeping mommy guilt at bay. I failed at keeping my weight under control. I We failed at maintaining a spic-and-span house.

6. Did you suffer illness? 

Yes, I did, off and on. Let’s just say 2016 wasn’t my best year, as far as health was concerned. In fact, I have been appalled at just how vulnerable my health is, in 2016.

7. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed? 

To be honest, my family’s. We were at loggerheads through most of the year. This is one thing I hope will improve in 2017.

8. Where did most of your money go? 

Baby stuff, the running of the house

9. What did you get really, really, really excited about? 

Nothing really, really, really excites me these days – there is always something or the other on my mind, things/events have been happening at the last minute, and I have been unable to really soak in the feeling that I am about to do something exciting.

That said, I was happy about attending the food-related events I attended, celebrating the bub’s second birthday, and visiting Calcutta.

10. What song will always remind you of 2016?

This song. I loved the wealth of meaning in it. And, yes, I heard this song only in 2016!

11. Compared to this time last year, are you happier or sadder? 

I think I am at the same level.

12. What do you wish you’d done more of? 

Been more mindful of the voice of my heart, maintained a better home, maintained my weight, and paid more attention to my health in general.

13. What do you wish you’d done less of? 

Eat junk food.

12. Did you fall in love in 2016? 

Yes. I began to love myself more in 2016, I would say.

13. What/Who was your greatest musical discovery? 

To be honest, we haven’t been listening to much music at all. There has hardly been any music playing at home for the last 2 years, which does make me really sad. I can’t say I made any new musical discovery in 2016, except for the Mohabbat Hai Yeh, Jee Huzoori Nahin song I mentioned earlier.

14. What did you want and get? 

Time at home, with the bub.

15. What did you want and not get?

Peace of mind

16. What was your favourite film of this year? 

I didn’t watch many movies in 2016, but I caught up with some good ones that I had missed while living under a rock after childbirth. 🙂 Of these, I loved PK, Ki & Ka, and Piku.

17. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? 

I turned 34 this year. I had a mostly blah birthday – I got my periods the same day, I remember, and the hubby was working. The OH and I fought over some silly thing. We then went out for an Italian dinner, and the bub behaved – that was the only bright spot of the day. Oh, and my mom made me some awesome gajar ka halwa, just like the old days, and that totally, totally cheered me up!

18. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? 

Losing weight, for sure.

19. What kept you sane?

Blogging and cooking.

20. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013. 

I’ll tell you more than one!

  • If you love something about yourself, your life or the people around you, acknowledge it. Be grateful.
  • Keep doing the things that nurture you.
  • It is okay to put yourself first, if you aren’t harming anyone else in the process, that is.
  • Believe in yourself before you try to get others to believe in you.
  • Acceptance is important, but make sure you aren’t complacent. If there’s something about your situation that you would like to change, work on it.

21. Which new places did you visit in 2016? 

Shirdi. Calcutta. I saw Madras with new eyes, too.

22. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

Dil dhoondhta hai phir wahi fursat ke raat din

That’s it for now, folks!

How has 2016 been for you? Do take up this meme and reflect on the year gone by!

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This is not the first time I have taken up this end-of-year introspective meme. Check out my previous versions of the very same survey.

In 2012

In 2013

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The Girl Who Eats The Moon

“Dearie, look up there at the sky! See, there is the moon!”

“Moon! Moon! Moon!”

“Shall we eat the moon?”

The little girl opens her mouth wide, and her father proceeds to grab the moon from the sky and put it into her mouth.

“Gulp it down quickly!”

“Apakk!”

“Yesterday, after you ate the moon, it got so dark outside. There were people looking for the moon, you know? Two of them came to our house and asked if we had seen the moon. I told them I knew nothing about it.”

*Big smile*

“Now, go to bed. If you go out, you’ll glow. People will think you are the moon.”

*Bigger grin*

This happens almost every day at our place, with almost the same reactions from Bubboo and almost the same dialogues by her father. It is the cutest thing I ever saw. 

Andha nilava thaan naan kai la pudichen, en rasaathi kaga is just about perfect for this father-daughter duo, me thinks!

 

All For The Sake Of The Baby

A nephew of mine, who turned all of one recently, lives in the US of A. Apparently, he loves Gada Gada Gudu Gudu Loda Loda Vandi, and insists on listening to the song every day while having his bottle of milk.

One fine day, the said nephew’s parents were enjoying a meal of pizza in a posh cafe when it got to be his feeding time. No YouTube video, no phone recording was handy then. The sis-in-law, noticing the child’s reluctance to drink his milk, decided to sing for him. She started off, in spite of receiving dirty looks from her husband, my cousin brother, who was treating her. He went on to warn her about their impending eviction from the cafe. She ignored him. The singing continued. The milk got drunk in no time, the pizza was eaten. No one minded, and Mission Milk got accomplished.

That’s how husband takes the back seat while the child occupies the driver’s seat.

This incident was relayed to me over a recent phone conversation, and I burst out laughing when I heard of it. I could see the scene in my mind’s eye, including my rather stoic cousin brother getting red-hot angry.

Gada Gada Gudu Gudu Loda Loda Vandi has become a favourite in our household, too, since. It has become a regular accompaniment while Bubboo is feeding.

Do you and your child have any special feeding practices, too? I would love to hear all about them!

Tum ko dekha toh yeh khayaal aaya…

… zindagi dhoop, tum ghana saaya

By now, most of you would be aware of the blog Antakshari game that was started by Bingo’s Mom some time ago. For the uninitiated, here are the rules – You get tagged with a particular letter, and you have to put up, on your blog, a movie song beginning with that letter. You choose at which stanza you wish to end the song, and tag someone else. The person who is tagged has to put up, on his/her blog, a song beginning with the last letter of the stanza where you left off. Fun, no? Not only do you get to interact with a lot of different bloggers, but also listen to a variety of songs.

I was tagged with by Monkey Mind to put up a song beginning with ‘Tu’. Now, I could think of a number of songs beginning with ‘Tu’ – some of them downright cheesy like ‘Tuuuuuu… kab yeh maanegi’  and ‘Tu cheez badi hai mast mast’. 😛 However, the song that I chose to put up is something entirely different. ‘Tum ko dekha toh yeh khayal aaya’ is a beautiful, soft, melodious ghazal, one of my favourites too. I hope you like listening to the song, if you haven’t heard it already, or re-listening to it, if you have. 🙂

Here’s wishing everyone in the world has someone who brings a patch of green to their life when everything seems arid, someone who brings a bolt of sunlight to their life when everything seems dull and bleary. Their own, personal ‘ghana saaya’ in their ‘zindagi ki dhoop’. Amen.

I’ll go on to tag R’s Mom now. RM, I’ll end at ‘Aaj phir humne dil ko samjhaya…’, so you need to start with ‘Ya’. All the very best! Hope you have fun doing this! 🙂

Reflecting on 2013

First off, here’s wishing all of you a very happy new year 2014! I hope you had a great time ushering in the new year, and will continue to have a wonderful time throughout the year. 🙂

I did this tag on my blog last year, around this time, and found it a lovely way to introspect about the year gone by and my learnings from it. I decided to do it this year, too.

Here we go.

What did you do in 2013 that you’d never done before?

~ I began to read historical fiction.

~ I went on a sponsored trip to the jungles of Kanha.

~ I explored parts of Bangalore that I had never been to.

~ I went to Fort Kochi.

~ I became the owner of a Kindle.

~ Watched someone deteriorate and die from cancer, slowly, at very close quarters. It was a first for me, and it impacted my life hugely.

~ I quit work to become a full-time homemaker and freelance content writer and editor. (I realise I haven’t written about this yet!)

~ Successfully completed two photography challenges, one in July and one in December

~ Heard Gulzarji, Prasoon Joshi and William Dalrymple speak live and unfettered at the Bangalore International Literature Festival. What a treat!

Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next?

Like in 2012, I didn’t make any resolutions for 2013. I chose a word for the year – ‘better’- and chose a few broad areas of my life to apply it to. I would say I have been 50% successful in this.

For 2014 too, I choose the word ‘better’. It still needs some doing.

What date from 2012 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

March 8, 2013. It was a very special day for me, among others.

What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Keeping off all the weight that I lost last year. Knowing me, that is a BIG achievement.

What was your biggest failure?

Not travelling enough.

Did you suffer illness?

Let’s just say 2013 was not my best year health-wise.

Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?

That of some of our relatives and the society in general. The same as last year.

Where did most of your money go?

In books, food, and exploring the city.

What did you get really, really, really excited about?

My trip to Kanha. How could I not?!

What song will always remind you of 2013?

Lungi dance and tattad tattad. No, not my favourite songs, not at all. These are the two songs that got stuck the most in my head in 2013, and will always remind me of the year gone by.

Compared to this time last year, are you happier or sadder?

I think I am at the same place.

What do you wish you’d done more of?

Brushing up on my general knowledge. Travelling. Social interactions. Meeting up with friends.

What do you wish you’d done less of?

Worry. The same as last year.

Did you fall in love in 2012?

Yes, with a lot of different people, with a lot of different places and things, at different times.

What/Who was your greatest musical discovery?

This song.

What did you want and get?

Maintaining the same weight levels. Better cooking. Better reading.

What did you want and not get?

More and improved writing on my blog. More travel.

What was your favourite film?

English Vinglish.

What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I turned 31! Gosh! I took the day off work and spent a relaxed time at home, then went out for a lovely dinner with the OH at Toscano.

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

A child.

What kept you sane?

Reading. Writing. The OH. Amma. Exploring. The little beautiful moments in the midst of the chaos of everyday life.

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013.

As I was saying in the last post, I realised in the last year, time and time again, that we are all living on the edge, all of the time. Life is short, and every minute of it should be lived to the fullest.

Which new place/s did you visit in 2013?

Vidyarthi Bhavan, St. Mark’s Cathedral, the Chitra Santhe, Safeena Plaza – all in Bangalore. Fort Kochi and Kanha, too.

Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

Geet gaata hoon main, gungunata hoon main

Delhi chronicles 8: Qawwali at the Nizamuddin Dargah

Almost everyone we told about our Delhi trip advised us to visit the Nizamuddin Dargah, and to hear the Qawwali performances that happen in the evenings. We were told the performances are stupendous, and that people from all over the world come to the Dargah to witness them. So, we after a late lunch and a cup of delicious tea, we set off for the Dargah one fine Thursday evening. The performances happen on most evenings, but sometimes get cancelled due to one reason or the other. We had heard that the Thursday performances are never cancelled, and so that was the day we chose. It happened to be the day just before Eid-Al-Fitr.

Honestly, we weren’t prepared for the scene that met us at the Dargah. We had known that it would be crowded, especially considering that it was the day before Eid, but we hadn’t estimated quite how much. The grounds outside the Dargah were choc-a-bloc, with people jostling for space for Namaaz and for the breaking of the fast. Some people were sprawled in the complex, with blank looks in their eyes, tired after a day of fasting. There were children and cats scampering around, flower and chaddar and incense sellers, eunuchs, the poor queuing up on one end for the free food distribution that was going on, lepers, beggars, gentlemen and women everywhere belonging to all castes and creeds, foreigners included. Someone rubbed a stick of attar on the OH and me and asked us for money. In a far corner, a lady was being visited by spirits and was shrieking, moving her head round and round. What we felt as witnesses to all of this was a mixture of emotions, something I cannot describe in words. If I had to try to put in a single word, I would say we were overwhelmed. We had never seen anything quite like this.

Here’s where saint Nizamuddin Auliya lies buried

We went into the Dargah, with separate places for praying for the men and the women and paid our respects to the saint Nizamuddin Auliya. The Dargah is, in fact, a mausoleum to the Sufi saint, and also houses the tombs of Mughal princess Jahannara and the Urdu poet Amir Khusro. Amir Khusro was a favoured disciple of Nizamuddin Auliya, and it is he who is believed to have given birth to the Qawwali form of music. How could we not get goose bumps on knowing that we walked on the very grounds that such greats once walked?

I had been awed by the character of Jahannara after reading about her in Indu Sundaresan’s Shadow Princesand was eager to see the place where she lay. It was rather sad to note that after she spent her entire life in service of her father, Shah Jahan, she now lies buried in a open grave (as per her own wishes, I must add). In contrast, her sister, Roshanara, wily and in favour with their brother Aurangzeb, lies buried in a grand garden in Delhi, called Roshanara Bagh. The inscription on Jahannara’s tomb reads:

Allah is the Living, the Sustaining.
Let no one cover my grave except with greenery,
For this very grass suffices as a tomb cover for the poor.
The mortal simplistic Princess Jahanara,
Disciple of the Khwaja Moin-ud-Din Chishti,
Daughter of Shah Jahan the Conqueror
May Allah illuminate his proof.

(Courtesy: Wikipedia)

The tomb of famous Urdu poet Mirza Ghalib is just around the corner to the Dargah, but sadly, we missed it in all the hullabaloo.

I was too overwhelmed by the crowd to take many pictures of the Dargah and its grounds, but if you do want to know what they are like, you should check out this post and this one too, from A Date With Delhi.

After looking around the Dargah complex to our heart’s fill, we started our wait for the Qawwali performance, which was to begin at 8 PM, because of the breaking of the fast. It was worth the wait, I would say. The qawwals started singing in the open courtyard of the Dargah, under the stars, and their loud voices created magic. They took everyone to a different world altogether, and soon enough, the overwhelmed-ness of the past hour or so were forgotten.

The Qawwali performance in its prime

In the midst of the performance, the Eid-ka-chaand was sighted and sirens began blowing to announce it. Wishes were exchanged, and the Qawwali resumed after a brief break. At this point, we had to leave because we had quite a way to go back to the guesthouse.

All in all, the visit to the Dargah and the Qawwali are experiences we will never forget. The Dargah (and the Qawwalis) have been featured in several Bollywood movies (including Kun Faya Kun from Rockstar), and now we know exactly why.

For those of you who are interested, here is a little bit of the performance that we managed to record. (The Qawwals are performing against the backdrop of Amir Khusro’s tomb – on the left – and Jahannara’s tomb – on the right).

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Have you read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5 , Part 6 and Part 7 of this travelogue?

This brings us to the end of the Delhi chronicles, by the way. 🙂

The Liebster award

I am both glad and humbled to receive the Liebster award for my blog, from Aditto. I am glad he thinks my blog is worthy of mention, worthy of reading. I am humbled because I think my blog posts are mostly the rambles of my mind as I go about making sense of life and the world around me. It is heartening to know that other people are finding solace, sense and fellowship in these ramblings.

Thank you for this, Aditto! 🙂

Now, to receive this award, I need to state 11 facts about myself. Here goes:

1. I have been reading Sam’s Letters To Jennifer, a book that I picked up at the Daryagunj book market when I was in Delhi. I am sorry to say I haven’t been having a great time reading the book. 😦

2. I am totally in love with the side plaits that I have seen many Indian actresses sporting of late. I wish I could have the kind of hair that you need to do such a plait!

3. At the moment, I am craving for some proper North Indian subzi with roti, something that is not too oily or spicy, but tasty.

4. I made savoury muffins the other day. They didn’t taste all that great, but it sure was a joy to peek into the oven and see them rise!

5. I have been toying with the idea of trying out this lemon olive cake with lemon glaze. I hope I get to it soon!

6. I met a couple of blog friends over the last few days. It is always nice to see the face and hear the voice behind the words I have been reading!

7. I can’t wait for Saturday to come! Phew, it is so difficult getting back to work after a mid-week break. (We had a holiday yesterday for Janmasthami.)

8. I happened to listen to Zumi Zumi recently on the cellphone of one of the OH’s colleagues. The tune has been stuck in my head ever since!

9. I watched Chennai Express with the OH. A totally dumb movie, stereotypical to the core, but I still liked the comedy!

10. I tried Nestle’s Alpino chocolates recently. They are supposed to be competing against Ferrero Rocher, but I don’t think they are as good. They are not too bad, either.

11. I just finished reading Nicolas Barreau’s The Ingredients Of Love. I enjoyed reading the book, even though it is not the most perfect of stories.

I also need to answer 11 questions.

1. What is that one moment that defined you?
A. There are many such moments that made me realise what I am. Difficult to pinpoint one!

2. The best thing someone has ever said to you?
A. ‘I am so glad you are my wife!’

3. If you weren’t doing what you you’re doing currently, what would see yourself as?
A. I would be a magazine writer or a freelance travel writer.

4. The best place you’ve travelled to, and the best memory associated to it.
A. I’ve been lucky enough to travel to some great places. I have good and not-so-good memories associated with every place I have ever visited. Difficult to choose one, but I’ll try. My first trip to Ooty with the OH after marriage was simply magical. I could just live in that moment forever.

5. How did you deal with your first heart break?
A. I realised that life had to go on, and that I was better off without a person who broke my heart. Later, I was thankful for it because it opened me to a much better, more passionate life.

6. What is the worst piece of advice you’ve given someone?
A. I have advised the OH to visit a lot of bad restaurants. Totally disappointing experiences, those! But then, you never know how something really is until you yourself try it out, right?

7. If you could choose your name, what would you call yourself?
A. I chose to call myself ‘The Girl Next Door’.

8. Have you ever done something stupid, and absolutely loved it? Temme about it.
A. Yes! On our recent trip to Chikkamagalooru, I developed a bad cold and cough, body ache and was on the verge of developing a fever. It was a bad idea to get into the freezing cold water of a waterfall that we had the pleasure of visiting there, but I did. It turned out to be an absolutely amazing experience!

9. What is the worst Youtube video of yours, that became a viral sensation among your friends?
A. I don’t have any Youtube videos.

10. Have you ever considered shaving your head, just for kicks? Would you?
A. I haven’t yet. I might, sometime. You never know.

11. Favorite way to waste time?
A. Random internet surfing, sitting in my balcony doing nothing.

I also need to pass on this award to 11 of my favourite bloggers, but I am going to skip that step. Most bloggers I read have received this award already, and it is incredibly difficult to choose a few favourites out of the blogs that I read frequently. Each one of them is special to me. So, if you are on my blogroll, consider yourself awarded!

Music magic

You don’t really need to understand a piece of music in order to enjoy it, shake your body to it, and fall in love with it. That is the magic of music – it is not bound by language. I have always felt so, and this post of Visha’s only served to reaffirm my faith in this belief. She had listed a couple of songs that she doesn’t understand fully, but still loves due to the feelings they invoke in her. I gave them a hear too, and loved a couple of them too, in spite of the fact that I didn’t understand them, too.

Over the years, I have heard several such songs and liked them enough to play repeatedly. Here is my list:

1.         Ekla cholo re

I am a big, big, big fan of the lyrics. They are so full of meaning, and so very inspiring. A wonderful hear! I love the rendition of Ekla cholo re in Kahaani, too. Big B’s baritone makes the song all the more richer.

2.         Teri looni looni si

I liked this Punjabi song the instant I heard it, while watching Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana. Very sweet, very melodious.

3.          Habibi dah

I love the slow, seductive tone of Arabic songs – well, in case of most of them. Arabic music is no stranger to Bollywood and Hindi music videos. I don’t know how I first came upon this song – a mix of Hindi and Arabic – but I can say it has been a favourite for quite a few years.

4.         Las ketchup

I first heard The Ketchup Song when I was in college, and loved its swaying, gay, peppy tone. I don’t understand one word of this Spanish song, but that hasn’t stopped me from playing it several times over since I first discovered it.

5.         Contradanza

I don’t ‘get’ instrumental music the way some people do. This piece of violin music, however, speaks to me like no other. It is super happy and chirpy, and never fails to uplift my spirits whenever I listen to it.

6.         Holiya mein ude re gulaal

This song used to be a regular at our school dance programmes, and I always loved its fast beats. I am confused about whether it is Bhojpuri or Rajasthani.

7.         Anjan ki sitti

This girl pointed me to this song only recently, and it was an instant hit with the OH and me. I love the image this sweetly sung Rajasthani folk song conjures up in my mind – that of a shy Rajasthani village belle travelling for the first time on a train (to meet her beloved?), scared, but excited.

8.         Gangnam style

I am sure Gangnam style needs no introduction. After all, the song was all the rage in 2012. I am not a fan of the dance in the video or Psy’s antics, but I somehow like listening to this song again and again. Maybe, again, it is the peppiness of it!

9.         Waka waka

No, I am not a great lover of football or anything – in fact, I hardly follow sports – but this song has been a part of my life since 2010. I love the video, too, just as much as the song. This one for Africa!

10.       Macarena

Macarena, again, is no stranger to Hindi film music. While I do like those Hindi adaptations, I like this original version even better.

Do share your thoughts about these songs, too.

Do you have any such songs on your playlist, ones you do not understand, but still love hearing? Please share the links in the comments.

What makes Bangalore Bangalore for me…

The OH, our home and that of his parents.

Being able to have my own home garden.

The flowers of many hues that seem to be blooming around the city, irrespective of the season.

Sudden spurts of rain, at any time during the day or night.

Falling in love with the gorgeous, gorgeous weather.

The highly Kannadiga way of saying ‘Maestic’ and ‘Yenktesaaa’.

Gorging on the freshest of fruits in every season.

Clear, clear, clear blue skies with hints of clouds at times, and grey, leaden, overcast skies at other times.

Isn’t that blue gorgeous?!

The beauties that the local markets are, especially before a festival.

The ‘Darshinis’ and the ‘Sagars’.

Silk sarees, roses and strings of jasmine.

Aunties in their silken and golden finery, thronging temples during festivals.

Bisi bele bhaat and chow chow bhaat.

Grabbing a bite on the go at Taco Bell or at one of the many eat-and-go restaurants around the city.

The Volvos.

Vada dunked in sambar and filter kaapi.

Obattu straight off the stove.

Shopping for fancy toe rings, earrings and neck pieces at Bhavani Kangan and Mahila Bangles.

Buying gifts from Sutradhar.

Lots and lots and lots of beautiful trees and tree-lined avenues.

One of my favourite roads – the New BEL Road stretch to Sadashivnagar Police Station

The number of artsy and cultural programmes that seem to always be on in the city.

Exhibitions like Dastkar, the cake show, the book fair, and the flower show.

Cheeky, cheeky songs which are sometimes in bad taste, but fun nevertheless

Shopping for books at Blossoms.

The book h(e)aven that is Church street.

Fine dining at Barbeque Nation, Cream Centre, Italia and Toscano.

Experimenting with the various types of cuisines that the restaurants in the city have to offer.

Masala dosa, khali dosa and benne dose.

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful stone buildings and the loveliest of houses.

A house that I spotted on my wanderings around the city, and instantly fell in love with, mostly thanks to that canopy of brilliant orange flowers

Learning new recipes and keeping the faith in old ones alive.

Strolls in Sankey Tank, Lal Baugh and JP Park.

Cheese-  and calorie-laden pizzas and soups on winter nights.

The joy of discovering fresh manathankalikkai or ari nelikkai in the old markets of the city.

Loads of travel. Always planning for the next trip.

Being awed at the variety of Christmas decorations, and setting up our very own tree at home.

Lots and lots of new experiences.

Shopping – both for real and window shopping – at the many malls across the city.

Getting mehendi on the hands on the pavement in Malleshwaram market.

Ice creams at Corner House, Swensen’s  and Naturals.

Dharwad peda.

Pineapple kesari.

Poori and sagu.

The lovely temples and churches around the city.

Candles at the St. Mary’s Basilica on Christmas day

Learning to love the fruit biscuits from Karachi Bakery (not that it needed much learning, anyways!).

Chances to introspect and rediscover myself.

Loads of photography.

Dil pasand, stuffed buns and masala bread from Iyengar’s bakery.

Gobi manchurian and masala poori on rainy nights.

The Bangalore Palace.

Icons like Koshy’s, Vidyarthi Bhavan and MTR

The ‘swalpa adjust maadi’s  and ‘channagiddira’s.

Horrible traffic and taking an hour for a drive that should ideally take 20 minutes.

Waiting for the metro project to materialise so that the drive to office can get infinitely better.

The yellow and red of the Karnataka flag.

The big banyan tree.

Struggling with the rudest of auto drivers I have ever seen anywhere.

Discovering the charm of rural life.

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Inspired by Cupitonians’ post on Bangalore here.