Monthly Archives: January 2016

Bangalore Brew Works

Bangalore Brew Works had been open for a while, but we didn’t want to go all the way there until the microbrewery was up and running. That happened just in time for Oktoberfest and that’s when we landed up there. ‘Up there’ is probably the right description because it’s on the 10th floor. Thanks to that, a fantastic view of the city is on offer for a few tables. The others have to be content with a slightly less breathtaking view, visible if you allow yourself to see beyond the bar counter. The seating is mix of high tables and bar stools, and plush sofas near the bar, relatively low seating in the area that offers the superb view of UB City, and a rather haphazard arrangement of functional furniture in the centre. On Saturday night, there was a DJ playing some very good EDM. Rather loud, I’d add and at least a couple of groups were complaining. :) There’s the mandatory big screen, of course.

We had asked for a table reservation but were told we could just walk in. The place is quite suited to large groups.

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Atrophy, or not.

An excellent coincidence that I finished reading James P Carse’ “Finite and Infinite Games” the same day I wrote this post. The book helped me frame thoughts to my satisfaction. 

There was an age when accumulating possessions – from apparel brands to places visited to career designations to property ownership and anything that signals prosperity – was the game I played. Or games, because a milestone was a victory in that finite game, and I quickly moved on to another. Trophies that the world dictatedMore

Mofussil Junction

Ian Jack

What a lovely read!

Now that we have settled that, let me elaborate. Mofussil Junction is a collection of the author’s articles about India, written for various publications, over a time frame of more than 30 years. There are essays, profiles, and some wonderfully wistful travel writings. The book is divided into five parts – places, people, (the Nehru-Gandhi) dynasty, ‘Life and Death’, and ‘Fellow Travellers’.

He had me hooked from the first chapter, when I learned that Bihar was the birthplace of George Orwell! There are vivid portraits of Bombay and Calcutta in the late 80s, but it is the tales of Serampur and McCluskiegunge (not to forget this chapter’s superb title) that truly amaze! More

Real Virtuality

Much has been written about 2016 being the year of Virtual Reality, (or not) but at CES and beyond, one theme that I’ve been noticing is Real Virtuality. The phrase – I meant it as innocent wordplay to describe the thought I had, but the irony is that it is actually the name of a game! Irony, because my thoughts were around ‘real’ businesses (with obvious physical manifestations) entering relatively more virtual environments. ‘Virtuality‘ in philosophy is what is not real, but displays the full qualities of the real. 

While it had been floating around in my head, this post on GigaOm, on car manufacturers and their self-renewing straddle attempt in the future of the car economy, is what lent it a bit more solidity. The post mentions a few partnerships – Ford with Amazon for a virtual assistant service, GM and Lyft potentially for driverless cars. Ford is also well into its own autonomous vehicles agenda, has a partnership with DJI for drone-to-vehicle communications, (via) and has launched a wearables lab to test smartwatch integration with its cars. The car manufacturers are also developing their own systems, and are thereby in frenemy zone with the OS folks – Apple & Android.  More

1522

First published in Bangalore Mirror

We hadn’t visited Koramangala since we shifted to Whitefield, so I took the restaurant review as an excuse to plan a 2D/1N weekend getaway at B and N’s place. 😀 After a beef and pork extravaganza the previous night, we visited 1522 on a Saturday afternoon.

The usual story is a restaurant doing well in Koramangala or Indiranagar and then branching out to relatively uncharted areas. But this time, we have a plot twist. Imagine two storylines moving in parallel from the beginning of this decade. Amidst the deluge of fancy cuisines and posh experiences in Koramangala, an old warhorse holds its ground. It’s an icon after all, with a signal named after it, and the number of times a cab/rickshaw driver has been told “From Maharaja signal..” must be approaching infinity. Meanwhile, in the relatively conservative environs that make up Malleswaram, a new generation, riding on the legacy of a White Horse, slowly begins to make a name for itself. It’s called 1522. Cut to 2015, and quite against the conventional tide, a little bit of Malleswaram appears in Koramangala! (map) More

On books and realness

Optimized-shelf copy

The books on the bookshelf. Each with a story to tell – when I bought them, where, and why. Some of them are gifts. There is a tangible sense of our history (theirs and mine) and collective mortality when I run my hand across their spines, and flip through their pages. Sometimes they also contain the stories of unknown others. Many of my earliest memories are book -related – trips to Paico, Amar Chitra Katha purchased at railway stations, and so on. Some of the reasons why, despite not being the calibre of reader (and collector) JP Rangaswami is, I can still easily relate to why he is not buying a Kindle. Because I’ve had a love affair with books ever since I can remember as well.  More

March of the Aryans

Bhagwan S Gidwani

I feel a little conflicted about this book – on one side, it is wonderful to read a perspective on the dawn of civilisation and the kind of denizens our land had, but on the other, this is clearly a work of fiction, and the author himself states that his sources are not any written ones, but oral traditional memory from different parts of the world. It is clearly aimed at debunking the Aryan invasion theory, and tries to show that the Aryans had merely returned to their place of origin after traveling to many parts of the world.

In addition to demolishing the invasion theory, the author also tries to show that the Dravidian culture was not really independent in origin, but that civilisations on the Ganga, Sindhu-Saraswati, and other regions all had a common point from which they all emanated. More

Star Farce

The whole thought originated from Guess Who’s Kochi Biennale work. Classic Banksy style graffiti, but the fantastic Malayali touch is what really drew me to it. (no pun intended!) For instance, you wouldn’t be able to appreciate this, if you didn’t know this. A bunch of ideas immediately popped up in my head, and I chose the pop culture phenomenon that’s among the favourites. The timing was good, since we were in the process of finalising a home. But though I had begun the process long before we shifted, (in April) I just couldn’t find someone who could visualise what I had thought up. That was until late last year, when L introduced me to the folks who run Cupick, who in turn found me KRACK’N.

Agni and Gaurav immediately got what I had in mind, and in fact, made it much better. The result is this 6′ x 4′. :) (Click on the image for a larger size) More

Whitefield Social

We heard about its opening (in Phoenix Market City) in the first week itself, courtesy Instagram and the ” 2 Beers for Rs.2” promotion, but could drop in only a day after the promo ended. It was a Saturday night, and that meant we had to wait for more than an hour to get a table! The open area in the mall made that quite easy, and we sat gawking at people, and watching movie trailers on the giant screen outside PVR.

When we finally did get a table, it was a community table! Thankfully, our request for a different table was soon granted. The plush, comfortable seating in the outdoor section, was most definitely better. The place was quite crowded that night, so I couldn’t really get a good look inside. But a visit later, on Christmas day morning, gave me the chance to look around, since the place was almost empty. Pravesh, who seemed to be in charge of the outlet, gave me a little guided tour when he saw me snooping around. One of the walls has a history of Whitefield (wiki-like) and another has a huge blow-up of Whitefield’s first citizens. The  bar decor includes tiles like the ones found in Irani cafes, there are some antique chairs and in essence, the place has a uniqueness even while somehow retaining the standard ‘social DNA’.

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