Life and Times in Jayanagara Vol. 1

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Cultural Identity being a melting pot in Bengaluru

In one of the remaining quiet corners of Jayanagar, I entered my adulthood, all on my own, terrified at the prospect of deciding on which brand of toothpaste I must purchase in which of the sprawling markets. 

I have been to Jayangara every day for the perfunctory tuition and CET coaching classes, before I started to stay there. So I remember when there was an Iyengar Bakery in place of the Mishra pedha place. I also remember the old BDA complex, before the fire devoured its dust. The spiciest Pani Puri (at request) can be found in front of the Westside store.

I know it’s older than India itself, and the parks in the area were a careful labour of love by horticulturists from around the world and the farmers from surrounding villages.

There was a time when the only Hari Super Sandwich was the one diagonally behind the South End Circle junction, which had no great clock then.

 

I know the best Vada Pav. (Mumbai Vada Pav, frequented more often than the Burger King that looms over it.) I know the best place for chaats and parathas. (Kedia’s Fun Foods!) I know where you get delectable green chutney for the ribbon pakoda. (Mishra pedha!)

As the number of trees on the road dwindled, I slowly learnt Meswak toothpaste is cheapest at D-Mart. I found the only healthy wholesome quick meal to have is at a North Karnataka food joint. I learnt that sprinkling a little salt in a pan of frying onions makes the process of sautéing, faster. I discovered my preference for North Indian Masala Tea and South Indian “decoction kappi”. I know Jayanagar like the misshapen lines in the spine of my seventh grade copy of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. I know it’s older than India itself, and the parks in the area were a careful labour of love by horticulturists from around the world and the farmers from surrounding villages.

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Image courtesy: Amrita Shivaprasad, Instagram

 

 

 

 

 

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Street tea, biscuits, samosa, chatpat; Illustration by: mauvesea.files.wordpress.com

 

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How I imagined North Bangalore life to be, in my childhood. Classy, and anglicised? Ah, how times have changed that.

 

 

Pattis and Ajjis could be heard muttering and murmuring mantras, shlokas and chants from afar, like sweet witches of a by gone era, narrow eyed at the hapless girl wearing a short or a skirt, perhaps. Hummm.

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Pani puri stands aplenty; Illustration by sketchindia.files.wordpress.com Pani Puri

 

 

Paul Fernandes capturing Bangalore 

Everyone runs to Pavilions in parks, when Bangalore rains strike us suddenly. Image courtesy: mohini from sketchindia.files.wordpress.com

 

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Ganesha temple opposite Maiya’s, filtered by trees, as is almost all of Jayangara. 

Illustration of Cubbon Park Central Library, which reminds me South End Circle Library, by sketchindia.files.wordpress.com

 

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Illustration by: Paul Fernandes

First Post Nostalgia #MyFirstPostRevisited: Wading through Bangalore International Film Festival 2016

my first post revisited, sarah brentyn, blog hop, storytelling, book nerd,

The blog hop was created by Sarah Brentyn.
Thank you for the tag Nandini! Your blogging ethic and dedication inspires us all! Hop to her blog for relatable literary wisdom pieces.
I have re-blogged my first ever post, which was a review of Bangalore International Film Festival 2016. Not that long ago, then. Huh.

The rules for the tag are:

No cheating. (It must be your first post. Not your second post, not one you love…first post only.)
Link back to the person who tagged you (thank them if you feel like it or, if not, curse them with a plague of ladybugs).

Other rules:

Cut and paste your old post into a new post or reblog your own bad self. (Either way is fine but NO editing.)
Put the hashtag #MyFirstPostRevisited in your title.
Tag…um…ten two twelve five (5) other bloggers to take up this challenge.
Notify your tags in the comment section of their blog (don’t just hope they notice a pingback somewhere in their spam).
Feel free to cut and paste the badge to use in your post.
Include “the rules” in your post.

Completely silly rules that I’m making up as I type:

  • Drink a glass of wine, bottle of beer, cup of coffee, mug of herbal tea or whatever floats your boat after you hit “publish”. (In other words, toast yourself. Go you!)
  • Read the post out loud in a Mickey Mouse voice.

My voice is already mouse like… huh. My pot of cake awaits me…

Anyone who wants to continue the hop, full speed, you!

-JRK

light writes

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On BIFFes 2016 – http://www.polkacafe.com/bangalore-international-film-festival-2355.html

My association with BIFFes 2016, I like to think, started when I randomly ended up volunteering for BISFF 2014. A phone call from a friend regarding the event, an email later, I was volunteering for the short film festival. I particularly loved Line Gasoline in a Car by Massimo Amici (How do you resist a line like “Love ran out like gasoline in a car” said in between a sun set? Such intensity in emotions, those actors surely had really been through all that, did they not?) Stanley Pickle (highly recommended!) was an enchanting stop motion animation, and The Diminished Risk(really recommended!), an absurdist comedy. Butterlamp told stories of families gathering up for pictures, and The Stowaway (yes, recommended) had an orphan girl running away and staying in a blind old woman’s house (“How is the grass?” “Oh it is blue! The blue of a…

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NaPoWriMo: On the realisations

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On the realisation that nothing really matters-

Like someone holding onto your backpack or coat, to tickle you,

but you need to get away so you wriggle free,

and forget your expensive coat,

or backpack with all important story books,

but you don’t care, and you run.

 

-JRK

NaPoWriMo reads: Howl by Allen Ginsberg, Harlem Renaissance Langston Hughes

Beat Poetry: Howl by Allen Ginsberg

Beat generation is a group of writers interested in changing consciousness and defying conventional writing.

I have become obsessed with Rent the Musical, just as with Hamilton: An American Musical. La Vie Boheme is my favourite sequence, because it encapsulates everything of the New York City Artists, Poets, Dancers and Musicians scene, from the ’70s. I have read Patti Smith books, listened to music of that drug fueled creative era… And fighting AIDS.. And all of this, is in the musical, in this one super energetic song.

It makes so many references to sooo many figures and iconic landmarks in literature, music, dance, art, and culture, (some signature cocktails as well I am sure) I have been leafing through each reference, slowly, but surely, thoroughly.

Here I knew of Allen Ginsberg.

Here is Howl by Allen Ginsberg, a Beat poet.

Animation and spoken word poetry with the slightest music works so well, does it not? James Franco performed in this version. It is not perfect. But the animation is by Eric Drooker is.

The complete version follows:

 

 

Daniel Radcliffe(Kill your darlings) and James Franco(Howl) both potrayed Allen Ginsberg

Bonus!
Langston Hughes poems reference explained!

And a Langston Hughes poem, Harlem:

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-JRK

City Diaries

via Daily Prompt: Lifestyle

City Diaries: For that road trip you always wanted to take

Images and Videos from City Diaries

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What started as a passion to experiment with capturing the best but affordable places in and around Bangalore has gone on to become a travelogue. College students around Bengaluru have begun to appreciate the quintessential road trip experience everyone must have in their college life but City Diaries goes above and beyond by pouring in affection for Karnataka’s refreshing beauty. Bengaluru itself is an artsy place without even trying. City diaries makes a clear distinction between the tourism and traveling.

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Sourabh  Hamigi and his friends do not just see Mysuru Palace, Bandipur Wildlife Reserves and Gokarna beaches but also give you a snapshot from thier vantage point of view of Gopalswami betta, Kumaraparvatha, and Gandikota. In this way, the viewer, you, feels our thrill and wonder as well. Essentially, you feel part of the journey. The videos dance to the music of the beautiful places they see.

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They take you to waterfalls, to Grand Canyon of Asia, and even our own Gandhibazaar. Observe the phenomenal sensation of sitting by camp fires under starry nights, camel rides, random coffee stops, and jamming sessions. Planning, organizing and engaging the audience in alternate travel routes has helped Sourabh to become self-aware regarding his surroundings and to become sustainable in a world hooked to the internet almost all the time.

Sourabh’s favourite trip so far was to Hampi. Why, though?

“Hampi is a place like no other. It’s unique, it’s serene and it has a VIBE of its own. Of all the travelling I have done in the past few years, of all the videos I have made from travelling, I think I put the most time and mind in creating the video For Hampi. Hampi is beautiful and it deserves nothing less than my best effort in showing that beauty and hopefully that beauty was well preserved in ‘Hampi vibes’”


A co-traveler, and photgrapher, Kaushik talks about his favourite experience- “We visited Kumara Parvata hill, adjacent to the temple in Kukke Subrahmanya. It’s a very famous trekking spot in South India, considered to be one amongst the hardest. It was a 28 km trek both ways, and easily the best one I’ve done so far. The overall experience was very refreshing. What these kind of treks do is, you’re put into testing. Your mental toughness is the main thing, besides physical fitness. What I learnt is that, anything is possible if you convince yourself so. It was mind over matter for me, while returning, it was very hard, sore knees, bruised feet, no water, scorching sun, and a bus to catch after the decent. We could not afford to rest for much. So I only told myself, I can either focus on the pain, or on the destiny.
So there is a lot to learn and experience through such treks. So that’s about this trek. It was an amazing experience overall.

And about why I like to travel? It’s all about the joy and gratification that comes with all the experiences I go through when I travel. Whatever little travel that I’ve done, has actually helped me evolve into a better person. Taking hardships in the right spirit. Getting out of your comfort zone. Meeting new people, and of course, stories! For me, its mostly about stories, the ones I come across and the ones I tell.”


For Shakul the allure of traveling is in that roadside coffee joint or exquisite tatte idly-

“I only see how much the description meets the tongue. I look for things that complement really well.

I believe that everyday we learn something. And that’s what we are meant to do maybe? To live a life, you have to explore and learn. When I travel, I am exposed to many new things which I am very keen to understand. So I learn better, get to know what others don’t. Like delicious food, of course!”

Why yes, he is a food blogger, yes!

 

                        “Every time I travel, it unlocks a part of my mind that allows me to see through my camera in a different perceptive” Sourabh says,”I travel to learn, to relax and to calm myself and most importantly shoot and capture moments.”


Sandesh, yet another co-traveler has plenty of tips and tricks up his sleeve-

” I learned that everyone’s perception of travel is different.  For me if it is about the raw experience of travelling in whichever way possible- Like a local bus , or standing in a general class train, or the local food- even the people who want to go in the luxury of their own cars or go by extravagant transportation also seek to go travelling . No matter how much you plan, if it isn’t a packaged tour type. Something will go wrong or different and that doesn’t matter. And it’s better to get down and try something rather than waiting and contemplating for too long when you’re traveling because you may run out of time or not experience something again . It’s better to be someone who can go for days with lesser than 6 hours of sleep than someone who absolutely needs sleep. During travel, being energetic and enthusiastic is very important. You can’t worry about being sleepy or feeling weak.”

On his images, Sourabh says-

“Do you know how stars are captured by a camera? Those pictures of the stars that are barely visible by the naked eye?

The camera’s shutter is left exposed over a period of 10-20 seconds to capture one photograph of the beautiful starry night. Now if we had to take a 2 second time-lapse of the stars, that would be around 12 seconds X 2 seconds X 25 (frames) = 1 hour of work.

The point is not to show how much work it takes to capture these pictures but to convey the fact that beautiful moments that are recorded, are as good as they are felt, enjoyed and taken in.”

Like the videos, share your thoughts and subscribe to City Diaries to see more of Sourabh’s adventures in and around Bengaluru, right here! Click here: City Diaries

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Words by JRK

Images and Videos from City Diaries

NaPoWriMo: On Poetry

Although i have been reading books for fifteen years now it is only recently that i have started to read to feel.

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Monty Python characters know about poetry

Until recently i had been reading running away from my world into a books world.

There is something in the poetry which I couldn’t quite get a hold of. And this has been the reason for my negligence with poetry. Sure I understand the metaphor, ironies, contextual references but understanding poetry is different from wanting to make it a part of you for resounding with the nooks of your soul’s refrigerator.

Words strung together, one after another, with a certain licence in language are more articulate about feelings but more difficult to get through with than simple words in a line.bxdivyfljpd16

Poems as not the case of most stories seems to have no beginning middles and ends in the right order. They are the continuation of musings of emotions until they run out.

All serious poetry is much harder to deal with. Poetry written for oneself is a personal part of the person. Poetry written for the 1-89masses is commercialization of that part. But does that mean it must only be pretty words wrapped with a social message each time? Maybe rhyme sequence and structure does not matter anymore, but that was poetry.

Poets are supposed to have been troubled souls. With light coming in and like coming out, of their bottles.

 

How much do they know about what they write about?

Who is the greater writer?

One who feels every emotion deeply and is able to transmit them into a sheet of paper…?

Or

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Sean Carter knows

One who feels nothing; they thinks they feel nothing, who run away emotions and thus, can express only from thier repressed cushion soul, yet deliver the blows to make the reader go through it all anyway…

Who is it, really?

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Langston Hughes visualised

-JRK

NaPoWriMo : Harry Potter/ Hamilton mash up Parody

Okay, okay I got this. I got this. Here goes. For those of you who don’t get it. Story of Harry Potter in Hamilton rap. Original song

How does a Chosen One, orphan, son of a bright red head sneered mudblood, and richest wizard Welsh man,
Dropped in the middle of a cruel muggle house with Dudders by Dumbledore’s brain rationale, in neglect under the stairs,
Grow up to be a hero and an auror?
Got the Dark Lord to cower, slimy Snape to scowl and with Hagrid he entered Diagon Alley, by being a lot Gryffindor braver.
By fourteen, he defeated He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named times four!
And everyday while Death Eaters gained powers he kept his guard up, inside he was longing to be a part of, saviour complex, the brother was ready to beg steal borrow or barter and bleed for Truth.
Hurricanes came, devastation reigned, Cedric Diggory’s future drip-dripping down the drain. His wand connected to Voldemort’s; priori incantatem! His scar began to pain, a testament to his mother’s love and green eyes gained!
Now the word got around, this kid is insane man! Took up many adventures with Hermione and Ron, man!
Get your education, don’t forget from whence you came,
And The World Knows Your Name!
What’s your name man?!
Haaaarrryyy Poooottterrr. My name is Harry Potter! There’s seven horcruxes to destroy. Just you waaaaaiiiit! Juuuuust you waaaaaiiiit!
When he was fifteen- Philosopher’s stone, toilet basilisks, dementor of bad kissing skills and a Godfather lost.
Harry could speak Parseltongue, many a time he was half dead. But Harrymade his choices, Dumbledore helped as did the Weasleys and the brightest witch of her age!
Learned the patronus from a father’s friend, another father’s friend betrayed them.
Left him with ruined pride something new inside. A voice saying, Harry you could be great in Slytherin.
He retreated and started teaching Defence against the Dark Arts.
There would have been nothing else to go if he were less courageous. He would have been better home than Hogwarts, but no! Dobby!
He started working, working to end Tom Riddle, Prophecies come and go!
Destroyed all the horcruxes he could lay his hands on, waiting for the future as Dumbledore died alone.
See him now circling Voldemort, neither can die while the other lives!
In Hogwarts you cannot apparate!
In Hogwarts you cannot apparate!
Harry Potter, the world reads for you!
They know what you overcame!
JK Rowling they know you rewrote the game!

The World! Will! Never! Be the Saaaame, wo-oh!

 

-JRK