City Centre – Mangalore

Now having visited ‘Bharat Mall’ and ‘Empire Mall’ weekend after weekend, (and after finding out that ‘Mall’ is a very loosely defined word in this part of the world πŸ™‚ ), me and this friend of mine had something to cheer about – A new mall to go checkout.

If you are planning on visiting it, you should know that not all stores are open as of now. In fact most stores aren’t even occupied and there is talk of a multiplex, but I don’t see one being operational for the next six months at least. ( not that I am an expert on how fast they work on such things.)

The Mall:

Coming to the mall itself, it is fairly big. They claim that it is the second largest in Karnataka and the 10th largest mall in India. I am not sure about these claims, but it is fairly big. However it was a disappointment for a mall that has been declared open for about a week not to see that even just outside the opened stores, there is a lot of work going on. I am not even sure how safe it is to have it open when people are still putting up the name boards and such.

Web Presence:

I Googled for ‘City Center’ and it didn’t really turn up anything, which is in stark contrast to say ‘InOrbit‘ (which I visited in Malad-Mumbai and found to be great) or even Ampa Skywalk in Chennai (which I haven’t visited yet, but hear – is state of the art). Let’s not be harsh on these people. Maybe they will have some college kid build a site soon enough. πŸ™‚

Stores Inside:

I saw the ‘LifeStyle’ and ‘Westside’ stores being open. These are a welcome relief for people (like me) who are tired of looking at sad stuff in ‘Fashion Bazaar’. If you don’t believe me that Big Bazaar is kinda sad (Pantaloon is not all that bad), you should know that MSD is their brand ambassador. πŸ˜€ Both stores (Lifestyle and Westside) seem to have pretty much what you would expect anywhere else, but it is indeed refreshing to see that these things are not available and accessible to the people in Mangalore.

I was very happy and excited to find a Rubik’s cube in one of these stores. Truth is, I have been searching one all over Mangalore and did not find it in the other so-called-malls. It’s another thing, that I already bought it when I last visited Chennai from Odyssey.

Apart from these two stores, there was a ‘Fast track’ store, a Reebok store in the ground floor. There also seemed to be a footwear store, an Arrow showroom (which I don’t think has been opened yet) and an Indigo Nation showroom in the first floor.

Overall, the mall has an unfinished look to it, which is natural because it IS unfinished as on date. πŸ™‚ But I would give a lot of points for the abundance of escalators everywhere, both inside the stores and outside.

Some Pics:

Just recently I read this article in ‘The Week’ ‘Outlook’ that predicted that about 50% of the malls would close down by next year-end. Well, fact of the matter is, no matter how busy malls look, it is finally how many people end up buying stuff that matters. If you are a particularly headstrong consumer, then it’s trouble for such malls :D. Here’s a link to the story – The Vanishing shopping Mall. Theraphy for Retail.

“The” Flu

The writer of this blog post would like to refrain from making use of the term “Swine Flu” and hence the title of the post. (Oops, looks like I mentioned it anyway.) The writer would also like to refrain from putting up a picture of a pig on this post. (That will be more suitable in a post discussing the Ashes and how Ricky Ponting felt πŸ™‚ )

Now, I am sure you all already get bombarded with thousands of mails, forwards and links to pages where there is information about swine flu. So I am going to stop short of pretending I am a medical practitioner and not offer any (free) advice.

I was cleaning my house yesterday and being allergic to dust, started sneezing uncontrollably. Well, dust allergy is a problem, especially if you are allergic to dust AND live in the house I live in. πŸ™‚

So, I go on sneezing for about an hour, madly searching for Cetrizine pills (doctor prescribed, don’t worry.) and I can’t find them. Shit, shit!! so I do the next best thing. Go to sleep. πŸ™‚

I wake up and almost immediately start sneezing. So I decide that Ill go out have dinner and then buy the pills. I go to a restaurant and start sneezing uncontrollably there as well. People turn and look at me uncomfortably. To add to the charade, my friend mouths the words Swine Flu πŸ™‚Β  Now even the waiter was a little scared.

I was talking to a friend online, who also seemed to think that I should get myself checked for Swine Flu πŸ™‚ Well, I have been abused a few times in life as a swine, but I don’t think I had the Flu!! So after dinner, I popped in the pills and slept. I got up in the morning feeling absolutely fine. No big deal.

I went to the restaurant again today, just to prove to the people there that I am absolutely fine, and in the “Prime of my Lime” πŸ˜€ But as my friend points out, poor families who were scared out of their wits.

P.S: Cetrizine makes you drowsy. I was feeling groggy till about evening.

Language Barriers

I have lived most of my life in Tamil Nadu and I have never had any issues with language. I mean, I can talk Tamil as well as the next guy, read a bit of it and write enough to get me in trouble. I have never had issues, since wherever I went, I could easily manage with English, Hindi or most often Tamil. So, all my life I have never known what it is like to be spoken to by someone in a language you don’t know.

Suddenly that’s changed. I find myself in the middle of (nowhere actually) a place where I know not what they are saying. Sure, I can manage with Hindi, but there are people who don’t understand it. And I’ll tell you what, I don’t like the feeling one bit. Not knowing what someone is saying to you is pissing off.

Why am I writing this all of a sudden. Well, this morning a respectable looking lady asked me directions in Kannada. Well, all I understood was that she was asking for directions. I knew the place she was inquiring about, but then didn’t know how to make conversation. So instead of telling her “Go to that bus stop. Take bus 45 and you’ll be there”, I shrug. Now, I am a decent chap, and I feel bad about this. Now, if she has left it at that, I would have been relieved. But then she asks again quoting another landmark, she hopes I will know. I know this too, but then I don’t know how to tell her in Kannada. Also, worth mentioning is the fact that I was rushing to office. I can’t bring myself to shrug a second time. So, I point to the bus stop and mutter something, no one can understand, and flee from the place. Poor lady, must have been wondering what she said, that made me rush. It was embarrassing.

The second incident happened barely 13 hours later (the number of hours I work these days). I am in a bus back home, when some hot shot two wheeler decides to do some stunt in front of the bus. Now, the conductor getts annoyed and starts saying something. I turn back to see him , and eye meets eye. Suddenly, he takes I am interested in what he is saying and goes on and on with his discourse of which I don’t have the slightest of clue. I dare not tell him “Kannada Gotthilla” (I don’t know Kannada (The only phrase I know in Kannada) ), for the fear that he will punch me in my face. All I managed was to smile at him, turn my gaze away and never look in his direction again. And on the walk back home, I realised, how difficult it must be for people who don’t know the local languge in any place.

I Be Cooker – Semiya Payasam

Semiya Payasam

Semiya Payasam

Yet another day when I couldn’t find time to go have dinner, and by the time I realised the fact, the shops were all closed. (Yes, in Mangalore, don’t expect even the restaurants to be open after 10:00 PM. If you ever commit that grave mistake, you will have to simply skip dinner. (Or manage with the biscuit packets and coke available in any one of the daring shops, who open their shutters till around midnight.)

So, I come home and I am terribly hungry. Now, I have one packet of Maggi, but that’s simply not going to be enough. Thankfully, I had bought milk in one of those “daring” shops I talked about. Now, what was I going to do with the milk ? Sure I had cornflakes, (I am quite stocked on that front with at least three varieties to choose from.) but I am bored of it. Plus, I need to be “daring” as well, what with the “potti kadais” setting precedent and all. What do you know, I have semiya ( vermicelli) and I have sugar!!

Well, I agree I don’t know abc of making payasam, but hey, it’s worth a try, and it wouldn’t be the first time that I threw something I cooked, if at all it went bad. So I did go ahead and make payasam/kheer. πŸ™‚ It isn’t so bad after all. Just the right amount of sugar. Pity I didn’t have saffron, cashews and kismiss. ( dry/shriveled grapes ? πŸ˜€ )

I Walk Alone

Walk Alone

Walk Alone

The day: day before yesterday, the time: too late, don’t bother. (well, actually around 22:00) Our man (ok ,it’s very odd to call myself that) just finished work in office. From office to home, I have a last bus at 22:20. There is one at 22:00 as well, but then, more often than not when I set out to go somewhere at 20:00, I reach there at least 5 minutes late. So the 22:00 bus was a lost cause. So, I was waiting for the 22:20 bus.

I am in the bus stop waiting for 10 minutes, 15 minutes, time simply refuses to fly by. So I go to a potti kadai (don’t know what it is called in Karnataka/Kannada) and buy myself a 7 up mobile bottle. I am sipping the 7 up away to glory waiting for the bus. I notice that it is now 22:25, and the bus still hasn’t come. That’s when you are reminded of a God and start saying prayers “Please God, make this bus come somehow.” I wait till 22:30, and the bus is still not there. Whoa!!! Now I panic.

Finally I decide the bus is never going to come. So the logical next step is to take an auto and go home. But you know what ? Recession has really hit us. It’s time for cost cutting. So instead of doing the smart thing, I decide to walk. My house is a good 7 kilometers from my office. At my usual speed I get there anywhere between 40 minutes and an hour.

I am walking and am almost midway to my house when this guy on a bike stops. He says something in Kannada to which I have no reply, because I don’t have the slightest of clue what he is saying. Now, to describe this guy, he is really stocky. Not fat, but stocky. The type that could probably lift me with one hand, toss me away and laugh about it. He was also dark and that accentuated his red eyes!! And yes, he did look a little drunk. So I manage to say “Kannada gothilla” (which I am told means, “I don’t know Kannada”. So he replies in Hindi saying “you are like a friend to me” and offers a handshake, which I do not refuse. What’s to lose after all ? Then he offers me a lift on his bike. He asks me how far I live and I lie to him saying, just around the corner. Now, I won’t lie about this, but I was scared. I mean there are an infinite number of things he can do if I accepted the lift. The least scariest of them being me getting killed. So somehow I refuse the life and hurry back home.

And I live to tell the tale. The man could really have been a noble soul and maybe he would have dropped me home after all. But then when it is 11:30 in the night and someone you don’t know offers you a lift, you say NO, no matter what. The same is true with giving someone a lift as well. Always be on the lookout.

P.S: The title is borrowed from the Green Day song “Boulevard of Broken Dreams”. My shadow was the only one that walked beside me. πŸ™‚

Sunrise

If you laughed at my photo on sunset, here’s more to laugh at. Sometime last month, I came back from Coimbatore at around 04:30 AM and to my dismay found that I had a mound of clothes that I was supposed to wash like only a month back. (That’s exaggerating it a bit) So I was stuffing my clothes in the washing machine, when I saw the sun starting to appear. It was hard to resist taking a couple of snaps.

The photos are separated by approximately 20 minutes. My bloody bedroom faces the east and the sunlight wakes me up every morning. Darn!! I would rather, my bedroom faced west.

Sunset

Well, I figured I don’t have all that much time to write these days, and you know what they say about a ‘picture being worth a thousand words’. So I’ll be posting a few pictures once in a while. Well, I can’t claim to be a photography buff or even an enthusiast. I don’t even have a decent camera with me. All I have is the 3.2 MP camera in my Sony Ericsson phone. But I put it to pretty good use. πŸ™‚

Here’s “sunset” from my previous office I used to be in:

Sunset as seen from my office

Sunset as seen from my office

If you look closely, you should be able to see my reflection in the glass. But, then why would you want to do that. If only I had a better camera, I could have posted a picture of the place where river meets sea. Worth the view I tell you