Update (2018): TMI galore!
Mangalore. Stirs up a lot of feeling. The first city, other than Bangalore, where I spent more than a year, the city where I lived independently, the city where I gained financial independence, the city where I started watching movies (for real!), the city which has given me a few best friends, the city where I fell in love… I have so many fond memories of this city that I could go on and on and on. But this post is about my visit to Mangalore last weekend.
I had been to Mangalore for the first time since I moved to Bangalore in last July(2009). Surekha had been insisting for quite some time and her brother’s engagement came at the right time.
It started off with the ticket booking. There were no train tickets available and I had to book a bus ticket. I booked KSRTC AIRAVAT Volvo bus ticket to Mangalore starting on 26th February. I was confused about the timing when my colleague suggested that I pick the bus which leaves last and told me that I’d definitely be late. In fact, he was right; by the time I left office it was well past 8PM. My bus was at 11PM. I didn’t forget to book a train ticket for return journey but it was on waiting list(WL#15).
26th February 2010
I reached Majestic just 5 minutes before the departure time. I called up Sreeja and Sushanth from the bus; Sreeja was in another train to Kerala and Sushanth was too drunk to even pick up the call! The journey was good. It was far better than I anticipated it to be! I had traveled in Volvo only once before while traveling from Mysore to Mangalore (the very first time to Mangalore back in 2006) and it was suffocating. This time I felt it was quite good, in fact, I cursed myself for traveling by private sleeper buses between Bangalore and Mangalore for last three odd years. The Volvo takes just about half the time it takes in private buses and is very comfortable.
27th February 2010
After reaching Mangalore, I went straight to a saloon and messaged Sunil. As soon as I came out of the saloon, Sunil was there on his bike! We went to his flat where I lived for about two years along with Sainath and Sunil until Sunil got married, bought the flat and kicked me out. There she was - Madam Surekha. I must tell you Sunil and Surekha are very dear to me! If you ask me what I miss most from Mangalore, my answer would definitely be… :o)
I was the atithi and the hosts had prepared Puri-bhaji. ;o) It was nice; I gulped, I think, around 6 puris :D Sunil suggested that we join Vijesh and his colleagues, who had come down from Bangalore to attend his engagement, on a trip in and around Mangalore. Only five could fit in the car and it was decided that Surekha would drop out.
We started from Mangalore around 10AM in Wagon R. We visited Thousand Pillars Jain Temple in Moodabidri, followed by Shri Annapoorneshwari Temple at Hosanadu Kodyadka in Moodbidri. This temple has a 61-feet Hanuman statue, an elephant and a few deers. This was the second time I visited these two temples. I had come here to Kodyadka with Surekha and her parents before in the same Wagon R. She is very fond of this temple.
Next destination was Madhuraa hotel at Karkala. After having lunch there, we went to Sunil’s house in Karkala – his native place. After an hour or so, we left to Hanumangundi waterfalls.
I really wanted to dive into the water but I had gone there unprepared and decided not to. The path leading to the falls is very steep, climbing your way up could be a tough task. We then stopped for the sunset at Hejmadi beach. Unlike Panambur beach, this one was very quite and there were very few people.
I somehow like the sunsets in pictures than in real life unless I’m walking hand in hand with a girl! :o)
I can say, Sunil and I, both were missing Surekha. We came back at around 7:30PM and went to Cherry Square for dinner with her. Some like it hot is a must have if you ever visit Cherry Square.
That was it, the end of the first day. Not to forget, I also met Sainath and Rupesh, my roommates in Mars #606 along with Siddarth during my stay in Mangalore. They were vacating Mars 606, I visited it probably for the last time. I have fond memories of M606. The best thing about this place, apart from room-mates, was that I could see the ocean from my bed and many a times I used to wake up in the middle of the night, sit up and gaze at the ships.
28th February 2010
The day of the engagement! I had breakfast at Surekha’s parent’s place. I had plans to meet Divya along with Sai, but both were busy studying for an exam. What has this world come to…exams take priority!! 😛 I was at home while their (Sunil & Surekha’s) relatives started coming home and had nice time knowing them and interacting with them. There were even talks of finding a suitable bride for me. One of the aunt, who is a doctor by profession, mentioned that she knows quite some girls and asked if I’m interested. Before I could say something, Satish uncle said, “only if the delivery is free!” Everyone burst into laughter.
The ceremony started at 4:15PM in th evening in CBOO hall near PVS circle. I met a few colleagues from Mangalore along with Shilpa, Ravi, and their beautiful daughter Shreya. Flying kisses from Shriya were awesome. I really liked the Set-Dosa served there and got it twice. I had tea twice; taking the total count to 6 cups of tea for that day.
After the ceremony, Vandana, Vijesh’s would-be, had come home. We had a nice chat and the best part of it was she supporting Karkala. ‘I like Mangalore but I like Karkala a bit more.’ Surekha has to find someone who likes Mangalore to make it even (2-2) LOL.
After dinner at aunt’s place, we came back to Sunil’s flat. Surekha slept early; Sunil and I were talking past midnight.
The day was perfect in all sense except the spelling on the board which read, “Engeagment: Vijesh with Vandana”
1st March 2010
It was Monday and we had taken a day off. It feels wonderful to sleep till 9AM on a Monday morning. After the breakfast we went to aunt’s place. Surekha wanted to watch Karthik Calling Karthik. Initially we decided that we go to 1PM show but Sunil was somewhat reluctant in the end; we had launch at home and left to Big Cinema in Bharath Mall. We were around 15 minutes late. It was a ~2 hour movie and it wouldn’t hurt even if you go 2 hour late to the movie, it will save some torture I promise. Such a crappy movie! Sunil slept during the movie, so did I.
After the movie we went to Hotel Ayodhya (which featured on Highway on My Plate on NDTV Goodtimes) and to a roadside panipuri vendor.
I then went to Infosys Mangalore DC to meet friends. I met Sreeja, Sushanth, Sushanth Mohan, Janaky, Jaykumar, Sandeep Shetty, Bikramjit Saha, Manjunath T, Pulkit, Arun Menon, Samir, Steephen et all. Divya wasn’t around this time as well; I couldn’t meet her before I left Mangalore in July 2009, yesterday as well as today. Her bad luck. 😉
I met Neeti on my way back from office. She had come down form Meerut that day and couldn’t come to office. I kept my promise by meeting her when I was in Mangalore but she couldn’t keep her promise of making yummy Maggie noodles and custard for me. She was very tired and I could meet her only for a couple of minutes. I’m sure she would have kept her words if we had time. It was lovely seeing her - such a sweetheart she is.
Mom had called twice to inform me about violence in Shivamoga and Hassan over an article published in the local newspaper. Meanwhile Sunil had called to inform that train ticket was not confirmed. The status was WaitingList#1 and the chart had been prepared. We went to KSRTC to get bus ticket; only last row tickets were available. While we were thinking what to do, a person came to the counter to cancel his ticket. I grabbed the ticket from him - seat #15.
Back at home, I packed everything and after dinner waved goodbye to everyone. The joy of getting #15 didn’t live long, At the KSRTC bus stand, they had cancelled my 10:29PM Volvo due to clashes in Hassan and put the passengers of that bus in some other Volvo bus which had around 20 reservations. I ended up getting #35.
2nd March 2010
The return trip was quite okay but I got knee pain in the end. I was at home by 7:30AM and I slept the whole day. Complete day was wasted except that I wrote a recommendation, got two calls from work, and wrote this.
Last three days were among those days which would remain afresh in my memories. It was lovely esp. because of Sunil, Surekha, and their family. I sent her an SMS after from the bus that read “If your parents are looking to adopt, please suggest me.”
Photo courtesy - Mallya