Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Frozen memories freshly thawed

It’s just rained here in Chicago; the sweltering heat has been replaced by a cool sigh from mom earth, her thirst quenched. The green looks greener and the horizon mystic. The sidewalk has been washed for me to stroll on. I think of Mangalore yet again.

Mangalore, a city so romantic that it gives you a heart break even before you fall in love. A city so fresh and green and wet that every time I walk down the produce aisle of the grocery stores, I get reminded of my St.Aloysius college where I spent a staggering 3 months doing MicroBiology before I bid adieu to take up Engineering, Ideal ice-cream parlor where the mouth-watering ‘Gadbad’ and 'Parfait' fought for consideration- bigger decision than MicroBio or Engineering, Saibeen complex where good looking guys just hung out on the railings teasing the girls passing by (I hung out for the shopping experience of course), Shangri-la (my dad’s company guesthouse which reminded me of that Monastery in ‘Lost Horizon’- beautiful, pristine, secluded and a welcome retreat. The cook, Kalthappa or Padayappa or something Coorgi was an amazing old man who’d feed you till you threw up.), Hampankatta- where I spent countless hours looking and bargaining for the platform shoes that went out of fashion the minute I bought them. I used them as step ladders to reach and turn the antenna in our terrace for better TV reception. Hotel Srinivas where the masala dosa would drool at the Hotel Management guys that served us, Kasturba Medical College hostel where I spent shameless nights and days at Nerdy Neelu’s room eating off in the mess while home cooked food was a couple of miles away (something about a rancid room in the basement smelling of formaldehyde and bones did it for me), Ashoka Travels, the bus that managed to deposit me safely in college (in spite of the driver's death wish) and taught me the lyrics to ‘Tan tana tan tan tan tara’ and not to mention a conductor who wore Nikes and Swatch. Of course the place had the beaches, back waters, narrow winding roads, hills, moss, fern and lots of rain. Mangalore rains were funny. Your left hand could be soaking while your right hand would stay dry. One day, I remember outrunning the rain all the way from the bus-stop to my house. Then, I would run outside and get wet anyway.

No wonder I love the gloom before the rain.

35 comments:

D said...

*sigh*... brings back fond memories. Will be visiting there soon... so hurray for pisco!!

Zoheb said...

Hotel Srinivas where the masala dosa would drool at the Hotel Management guys that served us

Is this some kind of figure of speech? It is pretty awful :-O And bachha log reading this blog, Mangalore is yet another coastal city where it rains. Dont any of you guys start running off for a vacation there. This post was caused by wonderful memories of a teenaged hormone-tinted past. I can write similar stuff about the samosa stall next to my junior college, but that is for another day. All this Ideal Apocalypse college and Srinivas humping Katta stories must be consumed with large doses of salty dosa. One more trip to Mangalore waiting tables at Hotel Srinivas should bring alpha back to her senses. But until then I am here to protect those of feeble minds swayed by similar stories from untrustworthy alpha :-)

Actually, I did a similar thing to my friends when I convinced them to watch "Mast Kalander" starring Dharamendra and Dimple with my wonderful nostalgic memories. Majorly pissed off they were with me after the three hour ordeal :-)

alpha said...

Zoheb: What you aren't booking the next ticket to Mangalore? LOL! Laughing my part-Manglorean ass off! Stop raining on my foggy memories. Actually you might be right, which kinda sucks. I am planning on visiting Hotel Srinivas someday (to see if they still come handsome- the dosas) and if you are right, I'll come and clobber you up and send all the rain from Mangalore to Seattle.

One day I write something serious, from the heart, romantic and you tear it up! Shay!
You drooled over a somosa wala? Would love to hear that.

d: You from Mangalore? Lets beat up Zo. And what the hell is pisco? Did I miss something while I was there?

Parna said...

i read this while the smell of hot sambar whafted into the room. and Now i want some dosas :| man! i miss dosas and this post made me yearn for some Right Now.

AmitL said...

LOL...Twin,this post sure seems to be bringing wafts of food smells to people,judging by the comments.:)Ever thought of starting a food blog?)...BTW,I did get the innocence in the expression about hanging out"Saibeen complex where good looking guys just hung out on the railings teasing the girls passing by (I hung out for the shopping experience of course)"...of course,of course...I wouldn't believe otherwise,for sweet lil innocent u...hahaha.

Anonymous said...

Hampankatta, Ideal IceCream Parlor, Hotel Srinivas .. those are some memories alright ! I loved Mangalore and its sultry weather to the core. I was from KREC Surathkal, BTW.

Bloghopper

toinks said...

:)
Have been to Mangalore twice. Once for a friend's wedding in a small place called bhatkal... sigh* sigher* sighest*
We stayed at Murdeshwar, ate gadbad ice cream and good mangalorean food...
The second time was when we went river rafting in Agumbe, some kms away from Manipal...
Aww.... shucks alpheshwari ... i missing it all...
And there is still no sign of rain hither in dull dry delhi ...

anumita said...

Aah, there you are! Good to have you back. Mangalore seems interesting suddenly.

KJ said...

" masala dosa drooling at the hotel mgmt guys " ROTFL.

"Saibeen complex where good looking guys just hung out on the railings teasing the girls passing by (I hung out for the shopping experience of course)"
ya ya ya , if u believe that, u wud believe in anything. i agree with amit

loved ur post. got me senti too

:-)

Chugs said...

:)

Leela said...

Your nostalgia for my hometown is amazing. Sadly I can't relate to any of it.

GratisGab said...

The guys in this complex were good looking...how were the girls? Tell us about Alpha.

Why would you run outside again after getting home?

Nice to see you do a different style. Good post.

alpha said...

parna: was this post abt dosas? running to check.

bloghopper: Oh wow! I can go on abt the KREC campus, SAC, Incident (haven't gotten over the name), the beach, sun sets.... I didn't study there. My uncle was a prof and warden. My cousin studied there. I spent a lot of time in the hostels and library. I could dig up some dirt if I knew your year of graduation.

amitl: this wasn't abt food re..and me starting a food blog would be like you starting a blog on women's clothes. or maybe that was a bad example..maybe you know quite a bit already.

toinksulakhmi: STOP IT! You are torturing me..Agumbe...waaahh..me want's to be transported there..right now!

KJ: Thanks..

anumita: yes, you have to live there to love it. visiting doesn't do it.

leela; complete waste you are!

chugs: kaiku smile kartha hai? do i have something stuck on my nose?

gabby:
a)You would love the kind of girls out there, including alpha.
b)to get wet
c)thanks

Parna said...

alpha, it wasn't, but it did make a passing mention, which was enough to trigger my hunger pangs.

alpha said...

oye parna..why parna? I love your new blog!

Parna said...

you figured? :) anonymity beckons this time.

Patrix said...

Great nostalgia post! I never thought the grocery aisles would evoke such memories; maybe its those showers that turn on suddenly. One of our family friends have a house on the Mangalore beach but haven't been able to make the trip yet.

Ash said...

Refreshing and lovely post, Alpha ... bit thrown off by the change in style, but loved the nostalgia !

Trust me, I know exactly how you feel...am going through a bit of self-inflicted homesick heartache myself.

So when are you planning your next trip home ?

alpha said...

Patty: Yeah it think its those sprinklers!! You must go and visit your friends and take me along with you. I hardly know anyone there anymore.

Ash: Thanks Ash...Posts that take me 2 seconds to write are becoming a hit. Hey! Congrats on your RA...wowiee! Take a hug, a hi-fi..everything.

Going home November. It'll be tough to make it to Mangalore..been wanting to see it for a while. Heard things have changed quite a bit.

toinks said...

November you say? Does delhi figure in the 'must visit places' list? huh? huh? And oh yeah, if you ever want to go to Mangalore, let me know. Have some fundu junta there who will be glad to welcome you. They like birds and brains out there. The 'and' was me being nice.
:P

Quizman said...

Mangalore, Kapu beach, Udupi..very nice places all. Ideal's has got to be the best ice-cream parlour in India. And it is quite egalitarian. Everyone from the local day-laborer to suited execs eat there. The ice-creams are simply out of the world...

And the private buses with conductors shouting..Udupi, Udupi, Udupi....and the driver pretending to release the brake so that people board that bus.

Sigh...memories, memories..

Quizman said...

..were you at MIT or KREC? Or to put it in perspective..Big Dad's or Sadanand?

alpha said...

Toinksu: Love you! I will surely pile on..just don't tell them friends that I am a klepto.
Dilli? I wish..last time I missed you in Bombay! I should just quit my job an do an all India tour staying at your friend's places..knowing you, you prolly have them scattered upto Mizoram.

Yay Quizzie! You the man! Sadanand was the name I kept forgeting! the canteen where you could see the sunset? *dreams on* wait a min..food sucked though.

Of course Big Daddy, no doubt about that! KREC was for geeky public...basically an other way of saying my brains couldn't fetch me a seat in KREC.
Have we met in the bus or anything? Do I owe you 10 bucks?

Minal said...

Dear Alpha,
You wrote about Manglore, a city which is very close to my heart.
A city where I started living first time away from home in Mumbai. Didn't stay there long, but in a short time it grew on me. A city I still reminiscence about, a city I long to go often to. A city that gave me lovely memories and lovely friends.

I cried badly when I left. Being a Mumbaiite it's tough to like any other place, but Manglore had a special charm! It still does. It always will..there you've got me too nostalgic, I'll stop now:-)

:-) said...

loved this "One day, I remember outrunning the rain all the way from the bus-stop to my house. Then, I would run outside and get wet anyway." :-)

Quizman said...

Alpha: We've met only on cyberspace.YOu could pay me the 10 bucks though. I used to have the smorgasbord.rediffblog, remember? We did a skit on Patrix. :-)

hmm..I was at MIT. Many years back. Choti duniya.

That is probably the only place where Swami has transmogrified from a term of respect to a generic name for waiters.

alpha said...

Quizzie! YOU FROM MIT???!!! That's so cool. Comon you can tell me the batch! I'll then know if I shud be worried or not.

You wont belive how much of torture it was to stop calling waiters and my lab mates 'boss' after I graduated and came to the US.

Of course we met in cyberspace before and I am not giving any imposters any 10 bucks! Can't easily forget a perfect Marati movie that went haywire! Poor maligned Patrix had to start another blog for that reason.

minal: sigh! You make me want to cry.

See people, I am NOT kidding abt this place. It's a place even I have lived for only a few years, but absolutely love it!

smiley: thanks dearie!

Quizman said...

Alpha!!!!!! An alumnus!

Moi -> 1989 grad. Really old, huh? What about you?

I see that you're a transportation engineer. During my time, the only Civil chicks were the Bijapuri laborers. :-)

Btw, my friends and I used to have an underground newspaper called UG in those days. [Released twice every year] Did you or someone else continue that tradition? [The old Mech Prof..Iyengar chap..whatsisname...used to help us edit the newspaper.]

Quizman said...

Prof. Venugopal..That was his name.

alpha said...

Respected quizman uncle, Regretfully I inform you that UG newspaper prolly went underground long back by the time I got there, but the name stuck. Anyone who was shy, not outgoing, introvert was called a UG. Makes me wonder what this whole newspaper was all about. Do you have a copy I can see? Sounds cool. I was in the editorial board of the college magazine. graduated in 98. That itself seems long ago!

Venugopal does ring a bell..maybe that's what he did...but we had a siren...no bells.

A post on Manipal should be coming soon..man o man! I just had so much fun with the other bijapuri gals. We had our own cement basket with our names carved.

Pallavi said...

Loved visiting Mangalore.. and I could not imagine how loaded the Gadbad icecreams were :)

Anonymous said...

alphaaaaaaaa!!!!!!!! girl u from mangalore???? pehle bolneka tha na... me studied there too!!!though didn't study at Aloysius, i certainly did hang out a lot over there :D

S

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Max said...

Hey Alpha! Thanks......
I musta been one of those guys you talked about Siabeen. So... Chalti hai kya nou se bara???

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