A Walk Into The Once Upon A Time...

What does home really mean? A place that you feel belonged to? But then there might be more than one in the list! For few home is where family is; waking up to the milkman ringing the door bell, granny's special Masala Chai, mum's simplest food with that heavy dose of love or sharing the current affairs with dad.. For many all this comes in one package, unlike me for whom home food happens every time any friend's mum cooks; I cant remember the last time I had my mum's food, granny's tea happens once a blue moon and it will cost me oceans to have fights with dad.. Hence, I stick to this on city as home, where love is always been enough for me - Mangalore.
The weekend that went by felt like a long walk into the past..

Tanir bavi, Mangalore
Photo Courtesy - KaveerRai
Thanks to the elections , I was lucky enough to get a break from work in five months.. Long weekend implied travel plan => backpack n disconnect! But just at the wrong hour the plan got cancelled and I was too lost in the head to think of anything. When all else fails, listen to the heart-> go home!
Well you do not need to plan anything when u go that side, a pair of shorts is all you would require. You can leave all other essentials, even the phone aside. I reached much ahead of time the next morning. Walked a bit to let the morning breeze settle in and hopped in for the morning ride to friend's place. His dog, Dino at the entrance and a warm welcome hug by my chuddy buddy and crashed.. The boys got home once the sun went down; rock, bakchodi and plan kudi session kickoff.. The all time favorite neer dosa with spicy chicken curry called it a night. Domino's cheese burst for brunch the next morning; all of us tripping on each other licking cheese from the floor, oregano packets and what not! A looong Sunday noon with more rock music, a few more Buds and some 'let it be' moments..

Monday - Full Power!
Now Mondays are usually my horizontal days.. Yea just sleep sleep n sleep. So it was a tough time for me to get off the bed, the empty stomach did the job though.
Off for some lunch, I went to the all time favorite, Hotel Janata Deluxe, one of the city's oldest veg restaurants . Yes I had veg with tablespoons of ghee!! They say the simplicity of a city is reflected in its food.. My meal consisted of possibly the most simplest dishes yet so delicious. And beyond everything, I wasn't charged any tax!! FTW! You really cannot talk much about huli or alasonde sukka but hell yea, so simple.. like every bite had so much love!! 

Stuffed, I walked across the street wondering where to go next.. Its good to see some urbanization but malls et all don't suit the city. Just an opinion! Now I walk up the road and it takes me to St.Aloysius college. Ahh! The moment! I paused, looked around and life rewound 5 yrs..

There was hardly any sunlight, instead this light breeze hitting me every now and then poking me with memories. 
Once upon a time coming out of the Chapel at the right hour meant to see your crush coming out of his class, or waiting for the lecture to get into the building so you could sneak out and escape to some beach. 

The silence just made the moment too perfect. From Chapel the legs turn towards the basketball court which now seems to have some sorta protection so you cant really jump from out. I doubt you can sit and relax here after class now.
The wind just raked up the past and took me to the Katte times..
Katte = Post class bakchodi.. Good times, I tell ya!
As I came out I saw the old hall still looking faint n dull from out yet strong.. The hall that gave many of us countless memories of fests and farewells.

Stepped out of the campus and rested for a bit at the BS aka bus stop, our 'adda' after college hours.. And my eyes fell upon the shops opposite the campus- Vihar Restaurant (every Aloysian's lunch), Vijay lakshmi traders(for the Lays, Truffles etc) and Sri Sai Juice Center. I had the traditional ice cream pastry which at one point in time used to be Rs.14 has now become Rs.43 and headed back home, overwhelmed.

Here's how the ride seemed like - A long queue of people waiting at the service bus stop, the best chat & juice at Juice Junction. C
ome down the road you will find the Vas bakeries, lift your head up  a little further you'll find Hotel Dolphin and exactly opposite to it there's Hotel Abhinandan for some yummm goli bajes. For those who cannot connect to all this, these are just places where you get great food from chats to burgers to ghee roasts! PHEW!

There's so much I want to write but I shall save it for another detailed post.
4 years in the city and its feel like home every time I hear someone faintly talk in the local languages. I turn right away, listen to their conversation and there's a wide smile. The city has just so much love in the air, you do not need to find a reason to be happy. If you are alone at the bus stop sweating in heat, you'll find an old man come to you and share his umbrella.. Someday you are getting drenched in the rain, this old aunt runs to you saying - "Putta, thantu gundi assa, be careful." Who even cares about all this these days? The food being the most simplest of all just blows your mind off gets you addicted and makes you wonder how on earth can it taste this darn awesome! Like i said, LOVE is always in the air.. And then when it rains, you are forced to get high on the smell of the wet red soil, kids having a blast in the rain, and the smell of buns and bondas from the kitchen. You just do not feel the need for the pastas and the cheesecakes. A weekend for any tourist in this city will be absolute disconnect from noise, fall in love with the local food, beaches and the people. Now ain't this good enough to call it home?
To a city that gets me goosebumps every time I visit and literally makes me shed a tear every time I leave, a city that brought out a part of me I craved to explore.. Mangalore - where Love is a way of life, t
hank you..

Sometime sooner I shall write an endless post on you..

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  1. nice piece Vij.. :)nw I get it y all tat excitmnt fr Manglre .. ;)


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