Showing posts from May, 2013

Memories of Pondicherry (Part 2)

Picking up from where we left our sightseeing in Part 1.

Paradise Beach – We visited Paradise Beach on our second trip. We took a boat from Chunnambar Boat House to Paradise Beach, a beautiful white sand beach at the point where the backwaters joined the Bay of Bengal.  The boat journey across the backwaters was very pleasant and calm, providing us with spectacular views of the greenery along the bank. What I will also not forget is how the boatmen had thundered at Mainoo Ba when she had left her allotted seat and sat on the helm of the boat to have her photo clicked. “Madam! Go back to your seat now or the boat will capsize!” is still ringing clear in my mind.

The beach did not have too many people and at one point of time it seemed as if we had the whole island to ourselves. We picked up a few sea shells as souvenirs, had lunch at a shack and returned. The sea was acting very rough and we were scolded a few times by the coast guards for venturing into the water.

The Rues and the Prome…

Memories of Pondicherry (Part 1)

Warning: Long post ahead! More of a photo-story and a personal account than a travelogue, full of digressions, and there is a second part, too. Kindly grin and bear.

I have been to Pondicherry (now known as Puducherry) twice till now. The first time, it was a trip with my sister way back in 2007, and the second time was with a bigger gang - my parents, sis and her hubby, my aunt and cousin in 2011. Somehow, I have more memories of the first trip, although I had to emotionally blackmail my husband in the second trip to let me travel without him in our first year of marriage.

I think the first trip is special as that was the time both sis and I were ‘free birds’ and we travelled without any chaperone looking over us. I loved travelling with her as I could bully her into doing everything that I wanted to. She was the ideal companion, willing to go along with me without any complaints or questions. How I miss those days!

The Pondy trip was actually our back-up plan; our original plan was …

Masala Baingan (Spiced Brinjal/ Aubergine/ Eggplant)

We generally wake up late on the weekends. Breakfast, hence, is quite a late affair. While I do try to make something special for the family for breakfast, the late morning hour and grumbling tummies don’t allow much experimentation.

We were out for a late night movie the other day and just could not shake off our slumber the next morning till quite late. By the time I woke up, my father –in-law had already made a stack of hot chapattis.  I should have died of shame! He was confused as to what vegetable to prepare and had left that task to me. 

I quickly took stock of the vegetables in the refrigerator and found a packet of small brinjals/ aubergines/ eggplants. I didn’t want our weekend breakfast to be very plain and at the same time not too rich, either. So, this is what I came up with – my version of Masala Baingan or Spiced Brinjal. 

Let me take you around to the recipe.

Masala Baingan (Spiced Brinjal)


8 small brinjals, keep the stalk at the head and cut lengthwise across t…

My First Chicken Biryani

I did it! Finally, I made chicken biryani! After one failed attempt in the past and many subsequent lamentations, at long last I was successful in my endeavor to produce that dish which everyone else seemed to be adept at. Biryani happens to be one of my favourite dishes – I can have it at any time of the day! I can’t tell you how frustrating it was for me not being able to make it. Now, I can rest in peace. Whew!

Surprisingly, biryani is actually a very simple procedure. I don’t know why I was so scared of it. I would take one look at the list of ingredients and decide it to be too tough. My mind would start giving me excuses like “I don’t have the right vessel”, “Too many ingredients”, “I have no time” and so on. 

And then I noticed that everyone in my office brought biryani for lunch. Including a newly married colleague of mine who confessed that neither he nor his wife had any experience in cooking prior to their marriage. So, even newbies were cooking biryani, and such delicious…

A drive through Nagarhole National Park (Coorg Part 4)

We were on our way back to Bangalore, ending our Coorg sojourn, and decided to take the route Madikeri – Gonikoppa – Nagarhole – Huskur – Mysore – Bangalore. I was delighted by the prospect of driving through Nagarhole National Park (also known as Rajiv Gandhi National Park) – what if we managed to catch sight of a big cat, or at least one of the predators? How exciting!
We drove through never-ending stretches of coffee estates and tall canopied trees, breathing in lungful of fresh air. After all, that was our last day amid pristine surroundings, till we returned to our polluted, choked lives in the city. I tried to hold on to every picturesque view, right from the scenery to the pretty Kodava women in their typical reverse pleated Saree, and asked the husband to drive slowly. “No,” he said. “Gates to Nagarhole closes at 6.00 pm and we need to reach there before that.”
Even then, we could not stop ourselves from halting here and there to click some beautiful frames along the way. Soon, …