Tag Archives: anita

Enjoying Bangalore

This year, I spent just two and a half days in Bangalore, at Anita’s. And this year, unlike two years ago, I was ready for the way in which Bangalore is different from the India I’m used to (understand: Pune in 99-00 ;-) ).

Prestige Shantiniketan, Bangalore 1

Prestige Shantiniketan, Bangalore 7

I enjoyed staying in a modern housing complex which is pretty much a self-sustaining village (coffee shop, pharmacy, swimming pool, tennis courts and probably many other things), eating in nice restaurants (pizza and delicious lettuce, at Chez Mariannick, vietnamese food, at Phobidden Fruit), going to the cinema (Life if Pi with totally scratched 3D glasses you had to hand back before the credits finished rolling), the huge mall, even though we didn’t do any shopping (complete with bomb-check of the car as we entered the parking), having a driver to take us to the girls’ karaoke night out at Opus — and more importantly, back.

The mall

Cinema security in Bangalore

I had a little “hero moment” at Opus. The menu cards there are a piece of paper surrounding a candle, like what we would call a “photophore” in French. One of the women of the table below us (we were sitting at the floor tables) was leaning against the empty take next to ours. She didn’t notice that she was also leaning against the menu card and candle.

I smelled something burning, burning hair actually, looked around, and saw the menu card had caught fire just behind her. I move it away, and saw there was a patch of burning hair on the side of her neck — flames and all, maybe the surface of half a hand. I swatted it repeatedly with my hand — hitting her, in fact — and the put out the flames.

I think it took her a little while to figure out what had happened (from her point of view, somebody was suddenly hitting her quite hard on the neck) — but she thanked me profusely afterwards, of course.

Being in Bangalore also gave me a chance to see Ranjita’s beautiful pottery, after meeting her for the first time in Goa a few weeks ago. Check out the My Artitude India Facebook page if you like her stuff. She’s very talented and there is a lot of demand for her pottery.

Ranjeeta's beautiful pottery 1

Ranjeeta's beautiful pottery 2

I definitely plan on visiting her in Pondicherry next time I come to India.

At Anita’s also were of course Kitkit and Tikki — first cat in my lap for weeks. I miss my cats!

Kitkit 2

Tikki 2

It was nice seeing you, Bangalore. I’ll be back for longer next time I have a chance.

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Posted in India, Travels | Tagged anita, bangalore, Chez Mariannick, cinéma, fame, india 2012-2013, mall, My Artitude India, Opus, pottery, prestige shantiniketan, Ranjita, travelling | 1 Comment

From Pune to Alleppey

Leaving Pune was hard, just as the last times. I was sad to leave the town and the people I love, sad to leave without knowing when I will see them again.

Anita had spent a day in Pune, so we travelled back to Bombay together, which was nice. We went to Bandra to see if I could find nice silvery glittery sandals for my size 41 feet. I gave up, to no surprise — shoes that size aren’t really to be found, especially when the foot they must fit is also wide and high.

For dinner, we had what is probably the best Thai food I have ever eaten. I don’t have a great experience of Thai food, true, but in any case, I’m certainly going back to this place next week before flying back home.

We got on our train the next day after an excruciatingly long rickshaw ride to the station. I was prepared to repeat the Chennai feat of last-minute train-catching, but fortunately it proved unnecessary to excercise ourselves in such a manner.

We travelled in the company of a nice young man named Sharath, who was going to meet his family after two years and a half. We ate surprisingly good train food (including two halves of a chicken — the prices must have dropped for a reason you can certainly imagine), feasted on cashew nuts, raisins and almonds, and shot whacky videos with the digicam. I even jumped out during one station-stop to clean the outside of our windows so that we could film the scenery from inside.

We arrived in Alleppey half an hour late, which is pretty good as far as Indian trains go. As promised, somebody was there to pick us up, and we made it to the resort and into our room without a hitch. The resort looks brand new to me, though it is probably a few years old. Room and bathroom are squeaky clean and equipped with a mosquito net, the latest water-squirting technology instead of the normal tap for the toilets, and a couple of frogs on the veranda to help keep the local bug population under control.

We had booked a 3 day/2 nights package with the resort. Although the resort is nice enough in itself, the package organisation left us a little unsatisfied. We had to fight and insist a little to squeeze into our day and two halves here all the promised items of the package (canoing, water-boat backwater, cruise, village trek, ayurvedic massage, temple visit, etc.). Actually, it seems this resort is mainly populated by a lot of foreigners, most of them middle-aged, who spend a lot of their time sitting around in chairs. Based on the list of “Daily Entertainments” hanging outside the office door, I guess many people settle down here for some time to relax, get ayurvedic massages, take a few yoga classes and cruise around a bit every now and again.

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Tagged Alleppey, anita, backwaters, bombay, cruise, India 2004, keraleeyam, package, pune, resort, Sharath, thai food, train, village trek | Leave a comment

Preparing for Departure

In a week from now I’ll be on my plane to India. A bit apprehensive, as I was last time.

As always with unpredictable India, I have no idea how much I’ll be posting from there, and how often I’ll get to check my e-mail. It might be pretty often. It might be every couple of days. It might be once a week.

I’ll be staying over there for four weeks (Mumbai, Pune, Delhi, in particular), and finally meeting Anita, who courageously volunteered to come and pick me up at the airport.

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Posted in Personal, Travels | Tagged anita, delhi, holiday, india, leaving, mumbai, Personal, plane, pune, Travels, vacation | 6 Comments