You can take a Mysorean out of Mysore… But… You cannot take Mysore out of a Mysorean!

The last week, given that I now travel to Electronics City for work daily, probably for the first time in six years I had to stay in Bangalore on a Friday evening and Saturday morning and experience the traffic! Though I had decided to stay back in my lovely lazy house in a green locality, a wake up call at 9AM (Yeah!) made me wonder what to do over the weekend. Took the normal 60 route and went to Basavanagudi, had amazing dosas at Vidyarthi Bhavana, a recollection of my stay there two years back and then…. headed to Mysore. As I just wondered why I was heading to Mysore for hardly a day left, thoughts came back on an old post which said, You can take a Mysorean out of Mysore… But you cannot take Mysore out of a Mysorean.

As I got into the bus, still wondered why I was going back to this old statement, a bus probably full of IT professionals heading for their home for the weekend (Yeah I can probably claim that I am not one now ;)). Each of those people had the essence of Mysore sunk in their hearts and well would probably live Mysore and breathe Mysore as many do worldwide! As a matter of fact, the past few weeks I have had quite a few people call me and ask how is life in Mysore and how is it as a destination to setlle! Though I had good words to say, I had to tell them that they cannot love Mysore by force, they probably need to go through an experiential phase and then decide on their investments! A lovely lazy city, I can claim, but still not a hot investment destination and I hope it never will be one.

What probably makes a Mysorean is the culture of the cultural capital of the state. The early morning walks on the lake bunds of the city (there are some 7-8 big ones), the walking tour of the palaces, the visits to the Chamundi Hills at the center of the city, a near-perfect zoo with great walks, the heritage buildings in every nook and corner – including the DC office, the Oriental Research Institute, the Palaces, the University, the colleges which are centuries old, my alma-mater Marimallappa’s, the spice markets in SriramPets and the ShivaramPets, the large markets of the city, wide roads and add to this an inclination towards preserving the culture, traditions, languages (yeah the city also houses separate Universities for Music and Sanskrit along with the Central Institute of Indian Languages) with a touch of modernity in the Urs Road, the KD Road and as my friend Raghu says you cannot miss the Purple Haze in Vijayanagar. So much in a city that still is green and decently planned around 10 miles away on both sides with huge riverbanks, cool evenings ranging from 17-23 degrees across the year!

Coming back to the primary discussion, the people in the bus, would probabaly have spent their younger days enjoying the city as it grew, with weekend trips to Betta or Chamundi Hills, savouring the dosas at GTR, the great dishes of Nalpak (which at that time was housed in Urs Road), VB Bakery on the Chamraja Double Road, the churumuri stalls near the town hall, the roadside stalls of VV Mohalla, the Chaupati point near Eshwara Temple, enjoying the delicacies of Annapurna Sweets and Mahalakshmi Sweets, visits to the huge markets with parents and relatives to breathe in the aroma of the city! More to add would have had the weekends spent in Ranganathittu or Talkad/ Gopalswamy Hills or BR Hills and of course the never ending Blue Lagoons near KRS. The rains of the city makes it more beautiful as people head to the Sangam’s, Sterlings and the Skylines of the city.  A visit to the city, without probably visiting the KD Road (Kalidasa Road), KD Cirlce juction Vijaynagar (though useless) (KrishnaDevaraya Circle) or the bylanes of Saraswathipuram would be meaningless for some window shopping or fun destinations. And yes the latest fun destination – the Planet X!

The view of the sprawling race course and golf course from the top of Ch Hills brings back the sweet green memories as one falls into a well of the childhood spent in the city. You must have had a great past life to have enjoyed this city and its colors with the Royal Aura. Wherever you go, you get back to the past and drool over the sweet memories of the city! And yes to be honest, no place other than Basavanagudi even has a scent which can resemble the aura of Mysore. For reasons unknown of my 4 years of stay in Bangalore (Keeping in mind, a year in Bristol and another in Chennai), I have probably visited every weekend to Mysore without fail (though the actual reason may be that I did not invest in a washing machine for some time ;)). But well this time, I honestly tried to stay back in Bangalore over the weekend and well, god knows what pulled me back here – Just as they say You can take a Mysorean out of Mysore, but you cannot take Mysore out of a Mysorean.

As my tribute to the city, I plan to cover one epic building/ downtown monument/ roads etc.. as I visit every alternate weekends hence forth! So, Read On!

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The Art(Science) of Learning a Language

Whew! Nowadays, I am sitting in language classes at Great Lakes! Yes, I have to learn Mandarin as a part of my curriculum and trust me this has been one of the hardest language classes I have sat through.

Back in the early days of my life, I honestly do not remember the way I learnt my mother tongue Kannada. It somehow seemed to come from the blood and has stayed there ever since. Be it grammar or the accent (all the three – Malenadu, Mangalooru and Uttarakannada bhaashe- apart form the Mysore side Kannada), I have no clue how I caught them up. Many people who try to learn the language feel its tough to read, write and understand, but well…. Even for me, I started following Kannada only after joining Marimallappa’s Institutions, one of the premier schools in Karanataka State. In fact, I had found it difficult to mingle with non-English speaking folks for the first few days when I joined this school, but when I left this school, I had forgotten the accent/ the slang I had learnt from CFTRI!

Then as I grew up, I got acclimatized with English. Somehow it went on and on, with schools having 1st Language English and 3rd Language as Kannada, I was able to gain a decent understanding and vocabulary of the knowledge. Learning came from books, billboards (At that time, most of the billboards were in English!!!) and many other sources including posters in railway compartments! CFTRI school, where I joined for primary education kind of added the necessary fuel to learn this language and more importantly use it until I joined Marimallappa’s.

One more language that added on to my list at CFTRI was Hindi! Being the national language, I picked it up as the II Language and somehow due to the impact of Doordarshan and amazing teachers, I had no issue in picking up the language to a large extent. But now, if the same teachers run me through a grammar test for the language, they are surely going to stop teaching Hindi!

As I moved  on to Marimallappa’s probably given the value system over there, I picked up Sanskrit as my first language. The school had its prayers in Sanskrit (Titled – Om Shri Gurubhyon Namah) and everyone prayed with folded hands, being from Teresian’s and CFTRI, it took me over three months to get adjusted to this style and  I still remember Shri N R Muralidhar, teaching Sanskrit in the most methodical, yet interesting way! From the basics of Ramaha Paatam Patathi to the most complicated samaasas and chandass somehow Dr. Muralidhar made it look like a cakewalk. I also owe my handwriting to him. My writing was like a hen’s leg, before he trained me in all three – Kannada, English and Devanagari scripts.

Then, there was a pause in the language learning process, though it continued with Sanskrit and English at pre-university levels, no major impacts. Meanwhile, I was almost forgetting a dialect which I was speaking at home called Sankethi – the language has no script, its only spoken. My mom’s family used to speak in that language and I somehow caught it and was speaking very fluently. Well but kind of stopped speaking it after sometime, regaining the lost tongue now.

During the final year of my Engineering, was jobless with only two days of classes. I used to work in Hewlett Packard for four days and under a special arrangement, used to attend classes on Friday/ Saturday in Mysore. Sunday used to go waste and me being me, did not wanna let go of this time. Alliance Francaise under the leadership of Mrs. Meenakshi Sukumaran had opened up a branch in Mysore and I registered for French classes with her. Superman Subramanya also came down for a class, but well did not go beyond the first class given his busy schedule! Took about a year or so to learn basic french, given that I used to attend classes only once a week. Even now, I am in the same state, with no one to converse in French – but somehow it remains a nugget in my collection of the jewels called language.

As I traveled to Scotland, thoughts of learning Galic had crossed my brain, but when my tour guide made me listen to the Scottish National Anthem – The flower of Scotland in Galic – I gave up! But got to know that Scots are striving hard to preserve Galic as hard as we are trying to preserve Sanskrit, the oldest language in India. In a similar way, Welsh, is being promoted in Wales.

And now, the reason for the blog. Of late, whether one wants or not, everyone in Great Lakes are learning Mandarin. In this jargonized world – to gain a Competitive Advantage, one has to learn the language of the country which has the maximum population in the world – China. Trust me, however the geo-political scenario might turn out to be, I pity the Chinese for having had to learn the language. Someone once said, the volume of data coming today every second apparently matches the volume of words used by New York Times a century ago over a year and that probably matches the number of characters in Mandarin. Well, with such a large character set, I really think, Chinese take at least half their life learning their own language! So tough is the language that our professor here has declared that she would be happy if we say Hello in Chinese and ask for ‘Ubhayakushlopari Sampratha’ in Chinese. I meant ask for the well-being (and that was in Kannada)!

If I can claim that I can understand something in Mandarin also, that would be my Seventh language. I am not counting the few words I know in Galic, Welsh as an extended vocabulary – I am not certified in them! And yes, even after trying to learn and still learning Seven Languages I am wondering what is the art or science of learning a Language? How does it happen? May be calls for some research.

Sense and NonSense

Back to movie reviews – Just one line on Golmaal 3 – Its crap and utter nonsense if you see it!

Btw I am in the Bangalore Area (as Linked In calls it), was here to meet Mr. Sridhar Lolla, the amazing mentor that LIBA, Chennai have assigned us for their Espire event. He has been an amazing mentor all along and his inputs have been crucial in formulating our plan as well as vital to build upon further. Tomorrow, we have the final meeting with him, over lunch. Dunno where, but definitely somewhere in JP Nagar/ BSK side. Then on, I will be free, and will return back to my life in the Great Lakes campus.

Past two days have been tiring and entertaining as well. With Espire final rounds coming up (though we have not publicized of having got in there, except seeking help form our beloved Profs. and industry mentors), sort of it has pushed a lazy person like me, to move around and get things going as well. Over the weekend, apart form the meeting with Mr. Lolla, we have prepared, the FE’s, got promotional material printed (including phamplets) for our service, created videos for promos (thanks to iMovies)! and of course, Siva and Shruti starting the buzz on Social Media to get it moving further. Have been looking like a clown preparing presentations/ documents for submissions in Cafe Shops, buses and trains over the past two days!

In between my submissions and Bangalore, I decided to hop into Mysore as well (yeah my mom calls it hop-in as I never seem to stay for more than 10 hours in my own house!), visited an ailing uncle, visited all the oldies, visited my Engineering prof. and congratulated him on his Doctoral thesis getting approved, visited my alma-mater all in just under 7-8 hrs! Mom, of course as usual forced me to the temple constructed by the Royals at the Palace gate on the pretext of a Puja for my Birthday!

Meanwhile, Aj got tickets for Golmaal – 3 in our second home – The Skyline theater and headed there as well! Trust me I do not want to write more than this on that movie. The best dialogue was that ‘If people stay in a glass house, they change their dress in the basement!’ waaah….

Then on the fun started, me and Abhi hit the roads to Chamundi Hills, the place we used to visit during the Dussera festival every year. Not that we visit the temples there, its just the ride and the greenery of the city that pushes us to take those bike-rides to the top often. And yes, this time as well, on those amazingly tarred roads, we were back at the city center in about an hour and tasted ‘churumuri’ by the town hall and well the eternal – ‘Phalaamrutha’ ice cream in the heritage ‘Landsdowne building’.

As we headed back home through the Irwin Road and the Princess Road to my home in the northern part of the city, was thinking of the day, after the meeting tomorrow before I head back to Manamai! Just after the meeting tomorrow with Mr. Lolla and Binoy, I am heading to meet Dhana, Thyagi, Rekha, who just returned from Bradley Stoke, Reshma and Navya (as of now) and looks like a reunion that had to happen long ago! With loads of time to spend before I have the bus back to Kalpakkam, the plan as of now is to work on the presentation and well, with crossed fingers, wait and watch if Dhana can get tickets to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows! Then this will be a trip which definitely covered what all I missed over the last six months!

As I head back to watch my favorite shows on NDTV now (one thing that I am not able to do on campus!), will close the blog with snaps from today’s ride.

Mysore City from Ch Hills 1

Mysore City from Ch Hills 1

Mysore City from Ch. Hills 2

Mysore City from Ch. Hills 2

The Town Hall - Mysore

The Town Hall - Mysore

The Clock Tower on Ashoka Road, near the main Palace

The Clock Tower on Ashoka Road, near the main Palace

Another One Year!

Yeah people did ask me on why I had put up this G Talk status. Probably it has now dawned on ’em. But well trust me as the notch on my wicket of age increases by one number in another two days. But, somehow I miss the birthdays back at home! Would probably laze at home and go to the temple in the evening (the only day I visit the temple apart from the yearly visits to the family deity). That seems much better than a tiring day outside in the world surrounded by many clueless people as to what is happening!

2 out of the past six years, probably I have been at home on this date, but seems inevitable that I stay back away this year as well. The aura of Mysore is somehow missed in the air, be it Ba, Br, Lo or Ch. Looking forward for the month end visit and re-union with all the old folks before a hectic season sets in.

When you start loving the public transport!

To be honest, I have not been a part of even a single bus day initiative kicked off by R Ashok, the transport minister of Karnataka. Co-incidentally I have traveled in an auto on all the four Bus Day’s until now that have been organized by BMTC in association with an NGO in Bangalore. Blame it on not having direct buses at appropriate time from the place of my stay to Cunningham’s or the attractive Green Auto’s on roads, whichever it is!

But with the pockets pinching over the past one week, as I have no more constant income, I have stuck to using low cost public transport. Note low-cost, I have stopped using the Volvo/ Mercedes services between Bangalore and Mysore and have moved back to the Red Bus! Today, of course, I celebrated Bus day compensating all the previous bus days missed by me and honestly, hats off to the transport organizations in both Bangalore and Mysore and JnNURM for revolutionizing them further.

Back to Mysore by train, from a day’s visit to Bangalore, to Varun’s new Ice-Cream Shoppe venture etc etc… I convinced my dad not to pick me up from the train station! Trust me, I was again amazed by the road transport facilities in Mysore. With digital signboards, indicating your wait for the next bus (116, to Infosys is pretty frequent ;)), I was sort of reminded of waiting for a bus in Piccadilly, minus the ambiance and well, a totally opposite weather!

So, folks my request with such amazing frequencies and service from BMTC/ MTS I think you must stick to Public Transport whenever possible! You wont feel bad, with the quality you are getting now a days, of course, maintain it pretty well as well, its your responsibility too!

Aaptha Rakshaka

It had been a long time since I had given Rajeev Masand a run for his money! Yeah… I watch only two programs on CNN IBN, one The Week That Wasn’t – *ing Cyrus, Kunal, Kaneez and of course Now Showing *ing Rajeev Masand. Well, I was bound to write the reviews of almost each of the movies I watched and the whole of the last year I did that without fail. This year has been horrible… to the fullest. It started off with My Name is Khan… and now to add fuel to that fire, its Aaptharakshaka.

I went to Aaptharakshaka almost two months after its release. Every one I met, called it an amazing movie. Guys trust me, I rate this movie 3 on 5, just for Dr Vishnuvardhan’s acting. See this movie, only if you are watching for Dr Vishnu. Aj had told that this movie is not good, still dared to go to this with an upcoming sub-registrar in Mysore, of course, both of us coming out cursing ourselves and disappointed. The movie is very predictable and has bad graphics. Music is mediocre. The Naagavalli story is becoming too common. At least the director must change the plots. Again the story of Vishnu and Avinash solving the troubles of the family of two brothers wont work out.

Its a pity that I could not be positive about Dr Vishnu’s 200th and last movie, which gave me a headache. To compensate, I will and shall watch Naagarahaavu as many times as possible when I feel like doing it, to recall his acting in the bygone era… Long Live Vishnu, the grand old fellow Mysorean… in the hearts of all his fans….

Moving Out….!!!!

Another 24 hours, I would be out of my froster home. The city that had been the home to me from five odd years! As I end my saga here, and move back to namma Mysooru for a fortnight or beyond before I venture to write my B School Chronicles in the blog, I am leaving Bengalooru with a heavy heart! Yeah… you are right… the amazing rain outside, the dogs barking, the honking on DVG Road, I am going to miss them all within the hours to come… and all of a sudden after four years they have started to look or sound good.

I have been criticized heavily at home and away for taking a snap decision to vacate my Bengalooru home. I stand by my decision, the moment I have no day to day transactions in this city, I would be moving out of it for its own good! At least, I will reduce its carbon footprint… So so long, Vidyarthi Bhavan, Brahmin’s Coffee Bar, Kamath, MLTR, Adyar Ananda Bhavan, Vinayaka Benne Gulkan, UD, Dwaraka, Iyer’s Mess. I am surely going to miss the area, for the food and ambience and of course people!

Coming to office, Vic was asking me, how I was feeling. Well it was a tough question to answer given that I had been associated with the organization for over four and half years now! There were/ are lots of close people there and it was tough to answer this question from the people centric point of view. But given my plans to go for management education and research from a long time, this has not really been a moving or nostalgic moment. My dissociation with the college was much more emotional then my current exit probably because there was no Money factor involved in the college for me. Once you start earning, you get commercialised. Peoplewise the story is different… Let it stay the same way as it is.

The other part of the story of course, is that I would be unemployed from the day after tomorrow for over more than a year! I probably had been awaiting my first job after the results just for a month. So its going to be the first time after I have started earning that money will sort of make its point in my life! I have tried to avoid posh hotels for the past one week etc etc… But still old habits die hard… Once you start loving money… You wont love anything else in life! :)…. Planning to break those thoughts now… and move further.