Thursday, May 19, 2016

Mysore - Memories of a Summer Afternoon

The entire trip to Mysore came by thanks to the kindness and love of good friends. My friend Aruna Manyam from our engineering college days, a feisty lady with a mind that's delightfully her own, a complete rebel and surely a lover and keen observer of life, was telling me how beautiful sunrises were in the balcony at their Mysore flat. I told her how I'd love to stay in Mysore for  a while, walk around and imbibe the place and perhaps write some (inspired by RK Narayan hopefully). She quickly offered me her place to stay and I took it up because I was going to Bengaluru anyway. One thing led to another and the trip came through.

The first thing I noticed when I walked into the flat was this old poster that conveyed some of the sentiments I believed in. "I love everything that's old - old books, old wine and old friends." I do remember reading a variant of that - old wood to burn, old books to read, old wine to drink and old friends to spend time with.
My sentiments exactly 
That does remind me of course of the kindness and love that was showered on us throughout the trip - my sister Mythily offered me her Duster to take along for the ride which was pretty generous considering its quite new, Vandana put us up for two delightful days in Bengaluru which we spent hopping across to Kanchan's house and back and on the way back, we had to stop by at Rajesh-Nisha's home which is a must-stop in Bengaluru for the easy vibe and fun conversation. It's not a bad thing to have earned such currency in the world. I think I can get by.

Mysore was hot.

But driving round Mysore was a huge revelation. Looking at the old buildings, the quaint parts of the old town, the coffee shops that remind you of the Mysore that RK Narayan wrote about, the many Tiffanys (Mysore for tiffins), the superbly old world Hotel Dasaprakash, the weather.
It's just so old world that you feel like wrapping it up and preserving it before some of the new corrupts it and devours it. I remember seeing this lovely 1950s kind of a bungalow that seemed to have been split between two brothers - one old world and one new,

The old remained delightfully original and serene while the new stood by, shining granite etc, frowning and hustling and threatening to take over.

The zoo then, twice in two years and it was still a delightful experience. It's small in terms of area but well presented and you see most animals from pretty short distances and get good views too. Contrary to what we heard about the zoo and the animals, most of the wild animals were around and putting up a show in the heat. The elephants, giraffe, rhino, hippo, birds, lions, tigers - nice.
This one was a huge show off

We were advised to lunch at Triple R or RRR Restaurant and we found one in the centre of the town but there was no parking there. I drove in and out of Dasaprakash where I'd have loved to savour a thali but protestations from the youngest member drove us away from within the premises.
Marketplace - like a 60s set
We finally lunched at the seedy Viceroy or some such name where the simple matter of a buttermilk could not be addressed properly.
Sleepers - Lovely
I walked a bit and found chaps sleeping contentedly in the tree shades in the mid-afternoon sun. Ah, life as it must be lived.


Rajendra said...

Mysore is a delight. Very unlike Bangalore.

Harimohan said...

Yes Raja. The chaps sleeping at noon under the shade without a care in the world epitomise the essence of the town. Lovely.