This post is dedicated to all my friends who stayed in Bangalore at some point of time and contributed to the special memories of my favourite city.
Last Saturday saw us gallivanting in Bangalore, like the good ol' days. First stop, as always was India Coffee House on M G Road. But before we could get there, we had to brave Bangalore's Saturday afternoon traffic rush. Fortunately, the Gods were kind to us and we spent only a little over an hour to reach M G Road from Whitefield, which, considering all things, wasn't too bad.
India Coffee house has been an absolute favourite right from my early days in Bangalore. Situated bang on M G Road, it still holds it's own admist the Barisstas and Cafe Coffee Days that have cropped up in the last few years. I still remember my firsr visit to ICH. It was a Saturday in the year 1998, and I was fast asleep in a tiny Cambridge Layout flat, when an incessant knocking at 8:30 AM woke me up with a jolt. With eyes still closed I opened the door to find Siddharth. Now don't get me wrong. Siddhu's a dear friend and I am always pleased to see him, but on a saturday at 8:30 AM..uh huh! To say I didn't welcome him would be putting it too mildly. Anyways, he said that we were all (I had 2 room mates then - Sandhya and Sonam) to go to a real good place for breakfast. I protested against the earliness of the hour and what followed next was paens about that special place where you get the world's best scrambled eggs. Thinking it would be easier to just go along with the plan, rather than argue, or worse, be left behind, I agreed. We left for M G Road in an auto. In those days, the ride would take about 5 to 10 minutes. As I entered the celebrated doors of ICH, two things caught my attention - the large mirrors on one side of the wall and really old posters campaigning for Indian Coffee. The place had an old world charm, meaning, it's furniture looked like it was from the 1950s. Siddhu placed the order, since he knew what was good there, and in time, I came to know that EVERYTHING was very yummy there. One bite into into the "scrambled egg on toast", and I was hooked for life.
Back to 2008, the scrambled eggs still taste divine. Also divine are the dosas, the chutney (we always ask for extra helpings of this special chutney which makes us go weak in the knees), the finger chips, the tomato minced omelette, the vegetable cutlet and last but surely not the least, the coffee. The only other coffee that comes close to the one served in ICH is the one my Dad makes.
After having satisfied our stomachs, we headed for the Premier bookshop. I took a short detour to Bombay Stores and our wallets turned predictable lighter. Next stop was the Strand bookshop, another old favourite. Some years back, there was a south Indian fast food joint just beside the Strand Book shop, called Kadambam. Sadly, it's no longer there. Strand looked like it hadn't changed much. After spending a good hour or so browsing through old favourites and a brief chat with Vidya Virkar, we set off for Commercial Street. Some shopping and loafing around followed. By then it was around 5:30 PM and it was the time when the cooks at K C Das start frying the yummy loochis. Needless to say, Ferose wouldn't have missed this chance for anything. His love for anything Bengali is legendery.
The last stop was Cambridge Layout. I was hankering after a particular road side stall that serves the softest idlis this side of town. It was not in it's usual place, but after searching for a while we found it, as usual, crowded with customers. Among the patrons were the usual suspects : auto drivers, a few office goers, a couple of college students and people like us, who will go to any lengths for that perfect idli! And all for Rs 7 a plate. Heaven indeed!!
Dusk was setting in, and the traffic was getting worse. It was time for the us to head to Madhu's place, where a party of old friends meeting us. I cannot think of a better ending of such a satisfying day in Bangalore.
Before I sign off, here's what I am listening to these days: Bryan Adams' latest alum "11", the soundtrack of "Tashan" and "Jannat", and "Journey" by Fuzon.