Open dosas on an open road

Just before the Adichunchanagiri Medical College on the Bangalore Mangalore highway, you will find a guard manning traffic from the divider and pointing a reflector towards a building at the side. This is Hirisave. You turn to your left (if you are travelling from Bangalore) and you see a large building with an even bigger garden and cars and bikes lining the driveway. Welcome to Mayura.

This hotel, run by South Canara professionals with their touch of finesse and polished cleanliness, has been a pit stop for travellers since the last 15 years. Getting straight to the menu – their dosas are brilliant. From the open dosa to the ‘light’ paper dosa, you have some of the best dosas along the entire Bangalore-Mangalore stretch prepared here. Though slightly off the highway, this place has gathered enough of a fan following for its dosas and thali meals that make it a venue to look forward to.

The open dosa is a speciality here and anyone ready for a different experience should try this. The dosa comes along with a huge blob of ‘desi’ butter that makes it literally melt in your mouth. The meals served with ‘desi’ ghee again are a treat and the South Indian thali is a speciality. And then there are the button idlis, tiny idlis served with hot and not so spicy dhal curry. This is a meal that settles well in the tummy specially if you are in the midst of a long journey.

You will find bikers from the Harley-Davidson club or cyclists on their weekend expeditions making a beeline to Mayura. For me, personally an extremely important reason why I make a stop here i because of its cleanliness. I haven’t seen a cleaner mass-serving South Indian hotel in South India. You have to hand it to the management –  spotless washroom, there’s even someone manning the place at all times.

As a group of four, we had nearly all the favourites available at Mayura for lunch. Needless to say we skipped tea and dinner.

Dignity in CinemaScope

Here is an Italian movie, watched seven years ago, once. I have never watched ‘The Consequences of Love‘ again. Such is this masterpiece, that I would rate above all features, and the haunting beauty of it all that makes me stop and just think of what transpired. I no longer wish to see this for fear that my view of this movie may diminish ever so slightly with every watch and make me forget about the plot. Gushing over this movie, I would like to reiterate that this is no run of the mill European cinematic fantasy where too much emphasis is given to the arty mis-en-scene’s and what not. There are moments of art that gel well into the storyline and do not feel forced or patronizing to the visual.

Paolo Sorrentino went on to greater things post this movie. ‘The Consequences of Love’ is set in Lugano, in the midst of the Swiss banks and retired expats who make this a haven of peace and calm, foreboding silence. The film breathes a richness in scene after scene enhanced only by the stars – Toni Servillo and Olivia Magnani. Magnani is one of the most beautiful actresses I have come across and her relationship with Toni’s character never extends beyond a touch. And there lies the beauty of this whole relationship with a backdrop of the mafia, money laundering banks, hitmen and gossiping retirees who come together to conspire and help the film reach a beautiful climax. Without revealing much, this movie is a moving visual spectacle that truly defines what dignity, character and beauty can mean in a relationship going past the ‘hurdles’ of trust.

Paolo Sorrentino went on to win an Academy Award much later but this movie is a masterpiece that will forever remain one.

Saxxy songs from our college days

There are a couple of songs that used to play at every college fest during the late ’90s and the early 2000s. Fun, peppy and with really good music videos to boot. ‘Paisa‘ by Agosh and ‘Kya Soorat Hai‘ by Bombay Vikings. The videos complemented the songs and featured the happy go lucky mood of this period brought about with the raw innocence of an age just getting into the internet/mobile/smartphone mode.

I wonder what happened to Agosh. They were really good and their tongue firmly in cheek video hit the nail on our aspirational heads. Kya Soorat Hai had Prabhudeva‘s brother shimmying around a late ’90s Bangalore and had some major Kwality ice cream product placement. Feast was it? So here are my two favourites on this Thursday evening.