Archive for the ‘Mangalore’ Category

Green fingers

I would attribute the above title solely to my parents. Landing late last night in Mangalore, I noticed a new layer of grass adjacent to our front verandah. As I got out of the vehicle the lights were shining down on a neatly trimmed lawn that I came to know later was a type of Mexican grass. It did stand out beautifully and I couldn’t help but make a rare comment on the green addition to our house to the delight of my mom.

Lawns definitely add to the soothing atmosphere of a home and along with this I have seen cherry trees and palm trees provide the right amount of shade and beauty to a yard. My parents green fingers may not have completely been bequeathed to me, but I do take pleasure in doing my bit of gardening whenever I can. While watering the yard this morning I noticed the phenomenal growth of the plantain tree that has already yielded a bunch. Constant manuring in the form of vegetable and fruit compost and plenty of water have helped this tree develop rapidly and no sooner did the first bunch get plucked and you had the next set popping out of the pods.

The coconut trees have benefited from this form of irrigation and manuring too.Additionally the falling coconut and plantain leaves act as a protective cover for the manure for it to fertilize the soil.

Next in line is a pomegranate plant that was given to my Dad by one of his patients. This plant is all set to join our garden and we are now in the process of identifying space for this. Would it be good next to the plantain tree or the Tulsi plant. A conundrum for now.

Another time… same place

I love nostalgia. The past is always strong, but the smiles and frowns it brings about do play out a deeper meaning of who we are today. So when I was asked to clean out the top cupboards in my bedroom in Mangalore this weekend, I gladly complied, cause everytime I do some spring cleaning (summer in this case) I end up setting aside some time to pour through some papers/documents/photos from the past that do fascinate me. For god’s sake, I did want to be a history teacher at one point in time 🙂

Anyway, I stumbled upon a stack of albums from my younger days and it was fun going through the lot. What I got from them – I was a brat as a kid, yes it brought back some very bratty memories, we cousins got together more often than today and had FUN, I loved every moment of my childhood except studies… and there are times I still do slink into that mode. While it feels good to be all grown up and doing grown up things, reliving my childhood always brings a smile to my face. I was not indulged, mind it, maybe a little bit, but hey I was disciplined enough not to turn into a serial killer.

Here are some of the snapshots of what I found in the top cupboard of my bedroom on May 19.

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Grandma and us cousins – L-R Mikey, my sis Veena, Mai (Grandma) holding our youngest cousin (at that time) Kenny, Karina and me. This was when the gang was down for the holidays from Florida and the photo was taken in Grandma’s home in Mangalore.

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Mai used to love watching Chitrahaar and Ramayan. These were her two loves on television. In fact till her last days she used to read a copy of the Ramayan along with her Bible. She used to encourage us to watch the serial too and we used to diligently follow her and sit with her.

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The Fernandes sisters 1988 – Mum and her younger sisters were called the Fernandes (their maiden name) sisters in Mangalore even after they got married. Here they are in Chicago, L-R – Gemma, Jovita and mum. The kid is Karina (Gemma’s daughter). This was taken when Grandpa passed away in Chicago and Mum had to travel there to help with formalities. Grandma was in shock and a year later we remember we being in shock when Grandma was diagnosed with Cancer.

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All the animals in the zoo – That’s us cousins again in the early 90s, It was always a noisy bunch of cousins that landed in Grandma’s place and drove her crazy. It’s been a while since we cousins got together like this.

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I love cars – Coming from someone who still doesn’t have his own four-wheeler, I used to love vrooming on Dad’s lap in his Beetle in Ketu, Nigeria. I remember identifying car brands as a kid and being indulged with all the latest Matchbox wheelers (including a sixteen wheeler). Thank you Dad! I still treasure those toys.

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Dad and me – I love this photo. This was taken on the steps of our estate bungalow in Mallandur, Chikmagalur. I remember Dad holding my hand and taking me through the estate paths and Mum warning him repeatedly to be careful as there were snakes and critters. Dad loved the outdoors (he still does) and instilled in me a love for nature and adventure that I still hold on to.

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Cousin Sonoo and me – We were both brats, no one would say that if they met us today 🙂 This was taken at my paternal Grandmom’s place in Mangalore when Sona Lisa Bose was down for the holidays from London.

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At Bon-Rose (paternal Grandparents place) – Seated L-R Aunty Hazel, Mum, uncle Gerard, Uncle Donny (both the uncles from Mumbai). Uncle Donny used to study in manipal Medical College and come down for the weekends. Standing (L-R) Cousins Shaun, Sonoo, Sharon and me

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Brat written all over – I was one, climbed all sorts of heights, sat on the bonnet of the car and got shooed by the driver’s, the driver used to complain to grandma about me all the time for loitering around the car and then sitting in the drivers seat and honking and fiddling with the switches and dials. There was even a time when everyone thought there was a rat nibbling on the car upholstery and in the end they found out who did it!

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Veena and Aunty Berna – A beautiful and happy picture if there was any. As a kid, my little sister Veena used to love hiding in corners. When Aunty Berna came down, Veena graduated to suitcases. She began hiding her small self among the clothes in the suitcase. It was cute and even cuter was Aunty Berna carrying Veena in her large shopping canvas bag around the house. Veena loved it!

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Aunty Jovita and Uncle Francis’ wedding in Philly – This was taken in 1986. You have Mom and her sisters, their husbands, moms brother and grandpa. Grandma never came for the wedding as she had a deep rooted fear of flying. Grandpa was the opposite – a real high flyer. i don’t think there is a country in the world he did not cover…ok that’s exaggerating, but he did cover quite a bit of the United Nations list.

Epilogue: Going through these images from the past, I realise how fortunate I am to have a family that lived life to the fullest and still does so. We may be at different corners of the globe, but the love and affection we share can never be taken away. There will be disagreements, hard days, silence at times, but in the end we always come together as one to celebrate and have fun. I love my family and all the characters that make up this large group where each individual retains her/his exclusiveness. Thank you for imbibing the best in me. The rest, I will figure out and learn.

The Gurudwara in Mannagudda

Mangalore’s only Gurudwara for the miniscule Sikh community moved to the outskirts of the city today. The community had been using a rented house as a Gurudwara in our area and it was the first symbolic representation of the community in Mangalore. An elegant and softer addition to our area, it was with a touch of sadness that we saw them move out today. When you get used to the presence of something culturally significant it always leaves a void when it moves on. Here are a few snaps from the final farewell to the Sikh community in our area. All the best to them wherever they may go…

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(The photographs featured in this post are the sole property of the author of this blog)

Yawnnnnn… and more yawnnnnssss

I am bored. Bored of everything around me. The World Cup was supposed to be a ray of hope in this boring life, but two days and 5 matches later… yawn. Maybe Maradona‘s antics at the sidelines were the only saving grace so far. Hope Brazil live up to some football with flair.

I am in Mangalore for the weekend and the weather is simply lovely. I love the first rains – they are an inconvenience agreed, but the first rains with the slight chill and the coastal breeze does make for a pretty scene especially with the cocnut trees waving in the wind and the semi-dark clouds that bring in a Middle Earth sort of feel in the monsoons. The last couple of days saw sporadic showers that have settled down this Sunday evening as I type out this post out of boredom.

Me and the folks are planning to go to the beach. Its been some time since I have been over there. Looking forward to this. The beach is at its best during the first rains.

Exploring Panambur

On my last trip to Mangalore I decided to make it a point to visit Panambur Beach. Caught up with Vishal, a Manipal classmate, who promised show me areas in Panambur I had never seen before. We first went to the old beach near the NMPT colony and surprise, surprise there was a parking fee, that too 15 bucks which is pretty steep by Mangalore standards. The ticket said that this went to the beach beautification fund, but from where we looked we just saw a sea of people throwing empty charmuri and chip packets all over the place. They had begun some water sports over by the beach and beautification definitely seemed to be far from everyones minds.

Averse to crowds, we took a diversion from the beach towards the rocks. On the way we spotted a couple of peacocks roaming around in the middle of the road. I tried to get them on my camera phone, but they were too quick.

From the Panambur rocks you have a clear view of the harbour with ships entering and exiting the port. When I had been year a few years back, a trail of broken bottles and garbage littered this part of the beach. For now, people seemed to be too bothered about the water sports to bother coming over here. Guess this was the only way to beautify places. Make people discover some other area to pollute to leave you in peace and cleanliness.

I was also taken to the NMPT colony, an area where Vishal relived his childhood memories. I was going right in for the first time in years. The last time I was in the NMPT school was as a kid in 5th standard when I attended an elocution competition on Jawaharlal Nehru. The colony is beautiful during the night and is one of the best planned layouts in Mangalore. Though some of the houses seem dilapidated, there seem efforts to upgrade these quarters.

Mangalore, I miss you.