Monday, September 20, 2010

The Bangalore Experience

When I’m travelling, I try to take in as many sights as possible, and experience as much of the local culture and cuisine as I can in my short stay in a new place. Yet, I’ve lived in Bangalore for over four years, and have missed out on some incredible Bangalore experiences. So I decided I’m going to list all things Bangalore that I want to experience – and I am going to complete this list in the next one year (I know one year sounds like a long time for such a small list, but I’m not going to be in Bangalore from October to February, so am going to start working on the list only once I’m back).

1. Kannada Gothilla: Quite shameful that I still can’t speak Kannada, after over 4 years in Bangalore. Even more shameful considering Telugu is a close cousin. I can read, I can understand, but I can’t speak. I even went to Kannada classes for a couple of days, and picked up a smattering of the language, but those skills are rusted from lack of practice.

2. Dosa at Vidyarthi Bhavan: Yeah, you read that right! I’ve never had dosa (or anything else) at this legendary Bangalore eatery. Largely because I don’t care much for Masala Dosa – I prefer plain dosa – and I know dozens of other places much closer to where I live where I can get a really good dosa. Still, I intend to go to VB one day to figure out what all the fuss is about.

3. Kannada Movies at the Theatre: I’ve wanted to watch a Kannada movie in a theatre ever since I moved here, and never got around to it. I did see Mungaru Male in a bus once, but watching it in a local theatre is the real deal. Mostly it is because there are usually so many movies I’m desperate to watch in a week that this fancy takes a backseat.

4. MTR: Sigh! So I’ve never had lunch at the legendary Mavalli Tiffin Rooms. Went there twice, and still didn’t get to eat there. The first time, we landed up at MTR without any cash, found out they didn’t accept cards, hunted about for an ATM, and by the time we found one and drew cash and got back, they were closed for lunch! The second time we went, we were super hungry, and couldn’t quite handle the long wait, so we left after half an hour and went elsewhere for lunch. Maybe third time lucky.

5. Bangalore Palace: It’s rather sad that I’ve never visited the Bangalore palace, given how I’m really into palaces and forts and other historical structures. When I’m travelling, I try and visit as many historical places as possible – so it’s ironic that I’ve not been to a palace just a few kilometres from where I live.

6. India Coffee House: Now this is a place that tourists associate with Bangalore, and I have not stepped into its hallowed portals once in the four years I have lived here. It’s funny really – I’ve even directed foreign tourists to the India Coffee House, and yet never been there myself. Must. be. rectified.

7. Lalbagh: Okay, before you gasp, I have been to Lalbagh. But that was before I started living in Bangalore – when I was here on holiday many years ago. Once I moved to Bangalore, I never stepped into Lalbagh. Every year, I think I will go when the flower show is on, but I’ve never implemented that ambitious plan.

8. Breakfast @ Max Mueller Bhavan: Puzzling why I’ve never tried the famous breakfast at Max Mueller Bhavan, given how I love continental breakfasts, and considering I’ve lived in Indiranagar for so long. It probably has to do with the fact that I never managed to get up early enough for breakfast on weekends.

9. Bannerghatta National Park: All right, I know this is not a typical Bangalore thing to do, but I lived on Bannerghatta Road for two years, heard that BNP made for a fun day trip, and yet never got around to doing it.

10. Shopping @KSIC/ Mysore Saree Udyog: Every female I know who’s ever visited Bangalore has bought Mysore silk sarees, either for themselves, or to take to relatives back home. My unfortunate mother has certainly not been the recipient of any such gift from me in all the years I’ve lived in Bangalore.

All you Bangaloreans – is there anything else you would recommend on this list?

And for everyone else – what are the things you want to do in your city, which you think are an essential ‘your city’ experience, and which you still haven’t done?


Chinkurli said...

forget Vidyarthi Bhavan, head to CTR in Malleswaram for the best masala dosas in the world! :D

Chinkurli said...

forget Vidyarthi Bhavan, head to CTR in Malleswaram for the best masala dosas in the world! :D

smartassbride said...

I lived in Indranagar too! :-)

and I got a 8/10 from your list. I relocated to chennai after 4 yrs. of stay in bangalore, and didn't get past "kannada gothilla" and "illi nilsi" :( i regret that.

you have a good break! :-)

Anonymous said...

Brahmin Cafe for idly, vada and khara bath and saturday morning stretching and run with VR Beedu at Kanteerva stadium

Apoorv Gawde said...

Yeah even I haven't done a lot of stuff you mention here. And Vidyarthi Bahavan for exactly the same reason - I am a plain dosa fan :D

Plus if so many people like somethings then they are bound to be boring and overrated :D

Ramya said...

@Chinkurli: Now you've added one more to my list! :p

@Abi: 8/10! You are a much better Bangalorean than I am.

@Anon: Where is this Brahmin Cafe? I've not heard of it till now. And who is VR Beedu? :-)

@Apu: Re the plain dosa, no wonder Amu says we ought to have been siblings :p
And agree, when something gets over-hyped, they rarely live up to expectations

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