Monthly Archives: July 2008

Hungry Kya to Kaati Zone ka Roll Kha




Imagine this:- You are extremely hungry and want a filling snack.


Imagine this:- You don’t have much cash but you have to take your girlfriend out on a date and treat her well.


Imagine this:- Your friends have all managed  to grab a treat from you which you need to throw but you are almost broke.


Imagine this:- You are running late for a meeting and your grumbling stomach needs a quick lunch


Whatta do…?


Seemble, call Kaati Zone or simply walk-in


Kaati Zone is responsible for making the kaati rolls famous in Bangalore. It is a Bangalore-based chain of Indian fast-food restaurants specializing in Kati Rolls. Founded by Kiran Nadkarni in 2004, the restaurant is famous for its Chicken Tikka and Mixed Veg Rolls.


The USP  of Kaati Zone is the packaging and the pricing. For a megre sum of 100 bucks you can have a delicious, filling roll. The resturants are hygenic and the rolls are wraped in a special spill free wrap. So all you need to do is, drive in to the nearest Kaati Zone in town, place your order and enjoy a drive back with a hot and tasty roll without having to bother about all that spill or simply call them for a home delivery.


Kaati Zone not only sells rolls, but you can get vada pao, omlette, paranthas and chaats too. They also have diet rolls for the health freaks with a variety of fillings to choose from.


For people who don’t know what a Kaati Roll is, here is some information.


Kaati Roll is a  fast food popular in Kolkata, India. In Kolkata, it was introduced by Nizam’s, a restaurant in the city noted for its Mughlai food inMumbai, it is similar to a frankie.


It is said that the kati roll was the result of some quick thinking on a busy day. Apparently, on that particular day, the number of people asking for kebab and parathas far outstripped the number of plates available, or the pace at which the plates could be washed and recycled. It was decided to wrap the kebab in parathas, and in the process, reduce the number of plates required by half.


So next time when your stomach says, “Hungry Kya?” The answer will be Kaati Zone se rolls khaya kya?


You can reach them at:- 080-4112-2100






Last evening on our way back from work I stopped at an ATM on Coles Road. There I saw this light brown spitz wandering aimlessly in the middle of the road amidst heavy traffic. Luckily the drivers could see it and slowed down but I kept thinking aloud about the dog and its state. It was small and was probably abandoned or lost. It had no collar and had matted fur.

I was thinking and talking about it to Vinayak who was waiting for me inside the car when I saw it getting hit by a motor bike and fall down. It did not move and I thought it must have died. I ran  towards the road where it lay still in the middle of traffic. It lay there with eyes wide open and motionless giving me all the reasons to believe that it must be dead. But then I saw its paws move a little, I immediately rushed and carried it in my arms. It was a female.

Vinayak and few other passers by also came, one girl also waited till Vinayak got all the numbers for the Animal Shelter CUPA. We decided to take her to CUPA which was about 7-8 Kms from Frazer Town which meant 1 hour of travel in that rush hour. But we were adamant on saving her. Through out our entire journey to CUPA she kept breathing heavily and drooled a lot.  We were expecting the worse but we made it to the hospital on time.


About CUPA:-

CUPA is an organisation for the welfare of animals. A registered public charitable Trust, CUPA was founded in 1991 by Crystal Rogers, an Englishwoman who made India her home. From two tiny rooms in her house, CUPA today operates from three centres and occupies a total land area of ten and a half acres. More than 10,000 wild and domestic animals pass through its portals, and activities range from urban stray dog control to load bearing animal relief centres; from a veterinary hospital, emergency care centre, and 24/7 animal shelter operation to rehabilitation of wildlife in their indigenous forest zones.

CUPA is also involved with legal issues protecting the interest and welfare of animals, wild and domestic, in the High Court of Karnataka.
It has popularized the compassion for both stray and pet animals through the writing of columns in local newspapers, thus making it acceptable for urban people to adopt homeless animals.

Today, CUPA in Bangalore is synonymous with animal advocacy and welfare. The Karnataka Veterinary and Fisheries Science University (KVAFSU) has generously allowed use of its land for an Animal Shelter on their campus in Hebbal, where CUPA provides personalised care for stray, wounded, abused and abandoned animals.

There were no external injuries but she looked shocked. The x-ray confirmed no fractures. The doctor gave her pain killer and asked us to take her to CUPA animal shelter. We left her at CUPA for adoption or at least some peaceful days to spend there at that age. (Doctor said she must be 7-8 years old at least).  CUPA vet hospital looked well equipped with ambulance and other peripherals and runs on charity. We bade farewell to her and named her “LUCKY.”

It was 9:15 in the night when we reached home and were greeted by two hungry dogs of our own. We were extremely tired and went to bed early but I am sure we both had a peaceful sleep that night becuase we could save Lucky.

Toscano-A must visit for mouth watering Italian

UB City on Bangalore’s Vittal Mallya Road is the new happening place. It mostly has the up market international brands from Louis Vuitton to Dunhill to expensive gourmet places like Michael Besse’s Ecstasy. Few days ago we just happned to go to The Collections in UB City where they have a food court on the terrace.  Wrought iron chairs, a fountain in the middle and lots of open spaces are a treat to all the senses.

Vinu, our friend from Mumbai, just came in to have lunch with us and we decided to check all the new restaurants in The Collection. Toscano caught our eyes with its Olive green and Mahogany interiors. We have always been fond of salads and pastas so we decided to check that place and were completely bowled over by the service, decor and food quality. The place is a little expensive so in case you are looking for value for money this is not where you should go but if you are looking for a classy, delicious food at one of the most beautiful places in Bangalore, then Toscano in UB City is the place to be.

The lunch buffet is priced at 400/- though we went for ala carte. Grilled fish is something that one must try for the main course. Mixed salad is a must try for all cheese lovers. Since I am fond of chocolates, I would also recommend the cappuccino brulee.

The service is quick, efficient and the staff courteous. After a heavenly meal we all went to the kitchen to give our compliments to  Chef Gautam.


Here are the details of the Restaurant for you:-


Wine Bar, Resturant, Pizzeria,

Fine Italian Cuisine

The Collection-U.B. City, Level II, Concorde Block,

24, Vittal Mallya Road,

080-4173 8800

NOTE:- Photo Courtesy Vinayak Das

Life goes on

Sushma came running down to the phone, it had been ringing for long.



Sushma pan tingly answered, “Hello”

Kavita, “Hi, how are you?”

Sushma, “Oh! You. Hi. I am good. Tell me what’s up?”

Kavita, “I just called to chit chat. Have nothing else to do in life so thought might as well talk to you.”

Sushma, “Good that you called. Even I have nothing else to do in life. Basically I was also sitting in front of the TV to kill time.”

Kavita, “Hmm…life has become so mundane, isn’t it? I mean all that we are left to do is run a house. Do never ending chores. Chores after chores.”


Sushma, “Yes. Boring chores. I so much want to get rid of them. I wonder why am I so bored in life?  I mean before I got married I used to do all these things for myself but it never looked like a chore.”


Kavita, “That is because when you were single you had the option of not doing this if you did not want to.”


Shushma, “Hmm! I guess you are right. So what else in life?”


Kavita, “Nothing much, Suresh keeps busy these days at work and I feel all the more lonely.”


Sushma, “But the baby must be keeping you busy?”


Kavita, “Oh Yes, pretty much but sometimes the baby gets on my nerves. If I am trying to read a book I can’t do that because I always need to keep an eye on the baby. There are so many things I simply can’t do because there is a baby at home. It’s been so long since I traveled, read a book or did something that I really like doing. Sometimes I have to feed the baby, sometimes clean the potty, rest of the time there are CHORES that I have to finish.  Oh! That reminds me, I have loads of clothes to wash.”


Sushma, “ That should be easy, you got a machine.”


Kavita, “Yeah, but taking the clothes out of the machine, putting them on the cloth line, fetching them back  and arranging them in the cupboard is an exercise. Talk to you later. Bye.”


Sushma, “Ok take care. Bye.”


Sushma hung up and started reminiscing her being single days. She had so much time then. She could do anything that she wanted.  She could read, paint, watch TV, go for a walk, sleep as long as she wanted. But now things have changed so much. She is in a very happy marriage and its also not that her husband asks or expects her to do things but there is something inside her which  would not let her keep things all messed up. She simply can not overlook the house when there are jobs to be finished. She went to the kitchen made some tea for herself and sat down to read the newspaper when suddenly the door bell rang.


It was the courier that she had been waiting for. She had applied for a modeling assignment long time back. She had always been fond of facing the camera and be right under the spotlight. She got the assignment too but had been postponing it because her marriage was in the pipeline then and later the family obligations kept her busy for a while. Now that she was settled in the new set up she thought this is the time to re-start a career and do things that she had always enjoyed doing.


She opened the envelope. This was the last letter from the agency. If she did not come to meet them and sign the contract the assignment will be given to someone else. At the bottom, there was a hand written note of her favorite photographer with who she had a very good professional relationship. The note read, “Sushma, this is the maximum I could do. They wont wait any longer. I requested them to give you at least 15 days more but they said you got to meet them in 2 days. And yes, last time I saw you at the grocery shop you had put on a little weight. Is it still the same?”


Sushma rushed to the weighing scales, it showed her a number which she had never seen before. She would not be able to lose that weight in 2 days. No way. 10 kgs is not something you lose in 2 days.


She kept thinking and doing multiple calculations if there is anyway she could get back in shape and re-start her career. She tried calling her husband but he smsed back saying, “In a meeting.”


She went to the study, sat on the PC, wrote an e-mail to her favorite photographer, searched the net for some over the counter anti depressant, some psychiatrists then started dusting the computer which was gathering dust. She went down to every nook and cranny of the house and started cleaning. It was hot summer of Delhi. Her body was tiring quickly, her throat parched but she kept doing the chores, washing, mopping, cleaning the dishes, receiving letters, paying bills on line, making grocery list, cutting vegetables for dinner. Finally when her body could not take it any more she went to the fridge, took out the last piece of chocolate cake, ate it all and wept like a child looking at her old photo on the wall by then it was time already to start preparing dinner.




My first break in writing came to me as a surprise. Vinayak called me to ask if I would be interested in doing a copywriting work for a real estate project in Wayanad to which I coolly said, “yes”.


After a while I got a call from Deepak who asked me a few questions to which I answered and also gave him my blog link. I was convinced that I aren’t getting the assignment as I am an amature blogger writing mostly personal stuff.




But to my surprise in the evening I get a call from Deepak asking me if I would be able to leave for Wayanad on Friday at 10:30 p.m.?  This was an all expense paid trip. I had to say yes, but what about the apple of my eyes, my 2 puppies?  Sanjukta came to my rescue, as a true friend, she has always played the role of a nanny to my four legged babies. She agreed to stay at our place over the weekend. While I was making this arrangement with Sanjukta, Deepak called me again to know how much  would I charge? Now this was a tricky one which I comfortably left on Vinayak to handle. With no prior experience in writing I had no clue what number to say.



Friday evening, at 11 p.m. we left for Wayanad and as notoriously famous I am, I slept all along my way. Early morning we reached Wayana where we were introduced to Anil Abraham who is the owner of cottages and tree houses at Pristine Wayanad. A very friendly person with a very pretty daughter. He was covered by  Malayala Manorama in the month of February for making an eco friendly cottage all by himself when many farmers in his village committed suicide due to lack of agricultural facilities.


Pristine Wayand is a must stay whenever you are in Wayanad, simply for the homely experience that Anil and his family bring to you. All the meals are cooked by his wife and not by cooks. He makes it a point that you meet his family and feel at home.



I wanted to be there at Pristine Wayanad for some more time but work started soon. Vinayak was appointed for the photo shoot. We were taken to the site and unlike the typical barren, drab plots that I get to see in Delhi’s outskirts, here we were taken to a hill, where we trekked through the jungles. I, for a second did not believe that this is the site that I am walking on. Abundantly filled with lemon grass, Jack fruits, Guava, Mangoes, wild berries, flowers, the trip looked like a nature walk to me. It was the dry season and I could see the huge craters in the foot hills which would soon be filled with rain water by June making huge streams that will entwine the place like a serpent amidst the forests, hills and everywhere.



We had to cover a 20 acres of land on foot. Our greatest  discovery was an old, abandoned, dilapidated church on the cliff which the owner had bought along with all the other houses on that hill.


Our second destination was another 14 acres of land, where we plucked guavas and ate it while on a Robinson Crusoe like excursion on that treacherous hill. 




Our 3rd destination was in the middle of the jungle. We could see rain falling on one part of the area and creating ripples in the water, and there was another area which remained dry. I could see the misty mountains as I stood there with the child inside me waiting to go bonkers with all playfulness but I could not do as I was with the client.  I so much wanted to run around, get tired and fall asleep. This was also the area where elephants come to drink water. All along I just had 1 question in my mind that in the name of development we should not let go of such bountiful natural beauty and ecology. With the development of lands so many trees will have to be cut down destroying the homes of so many othert life forms.



Interestingly the tag line of the project is supposed to be  “a home away from home” and ironically that will probably be achieved by taking away the only habitation that the local tribal, animals, birds and other forms of life have.



I kept saying  to my client that trees should not be cut in huge numbers, nor the elephant’s path should be fenced. Wayanad mostly has lose soil which is held together by trees, with heavy rains and no trees, land slide is inevitable.


I was doing an internet search about Wayanad when I came across another sad fact about how forests have been cut down leaving so many animals homeless and open to being hurt, hunted and killed. Wayanad also has a lot of tribal population which again sustains itself on nature. I don’t know how are they going to cope up with it.


 (Our Host)



Though chances are with infrastructural development these people might get  jobs as  maids, helpers, gardeners in a state which virtually has no industries. But on a scale of balance, which one would you choose? Development and jobs or Ecological Balance and environmental sustainability which is so crucial at a time of global warming? In a battle between Nature and human race, we have always been winning only to lose in huge numbers when Nature retaliates with all her might and fury. May be we deserve it, may be we ask for it.


After 2 days of work, 8 kms of trekking, almost 12 hours of non stop sleep due to exhaustion and tasty local meal it was time for us to say adios to Wayanad.  Before leaving, we went to a local tribal settlement. Where we met a 102 years old tribal lady. She belonged to the original tribal of Wayanad called Paniyars. Another community was Kusavas, who are traditionally a community of potters. After a  live demonstration of pottery making, we left with gifts of  clay pots.  Anil gave us a jackfruit and two papayas as our farewell gift with a promise from us that we will keep in touch and gang up with him for fun activities.


I would want to come back here in monsoon and in winters. On our way back we saw few accidents which are better left unmentioned. Constant company was given by our ever chatting driver, Girish.  Another surprise waited for us at the end of Bandipur forest,  where farmers were selling fresh vegetables at 10/- a kilo.  This was a steal and both our driver and I went berserk buying vegetables for the entire East Villa Apartment where we stay in Bangalore.


Even after coming back I could not stop thinking about the tribals and the wildlife which are at stake almost in every part of this world where we are trampling on someone else’s world to make a way for ourselves.


Sometimes I feel we don’t need so much. There is enough for everyone only if we did not have so much greed.


NOTE:- We stayed at “Pristine Nature”

Anil K. Abraham

+91 94473 16363

Buna Vista Hut, Kavumannam P.O.,

Kalpetta, Wayanad, Kerala-673121

A Pleasant Change

Originally uploaded by lighttripper

I think we are changing. We, as a society are changing and changing for the better.


This change was witnessed by a Gay Pride parade in Bangalore for the 1st time on 29-Jun-08. A walk, where all the men and women, who are otherwise ridiculed in our films for fun, who are only stared at and stayed away from, came out in the open with a simple yet powerful message, which said, “Here I am, just as human as you are and equally comfortable of who I am.”


This change was not welcome by many though and this was proven by the many comments that I got to see in various discussion forums. But the opinions of the speakers in these forums really don’t matter because if these people cannot accept alternate sexuality as a normal way of existence, then I don’t think we need these useless discussion forums anymore. These should rather be banned or fire-walled.


Come to think of it, women’s emancipation and empowerment also appeared as a threatening to many and it still is, therefore, empowering people who do not confirm to the normal gender roles, have a long way to go. Though the good part is, most of us now know that they don’t fear us anymore and that’s a good change.


Talking about these changes, another event that I must talk about here are the two monologues performed by Pritham K Chakravarthy.


Pritham Chakravarthy, who is a playwright, director, performer, film critic and activist from Chennai performed two of her famous monologues, “Nirvanam” and “Mirror”.


This event was held at The Centre for Education and Documentation, Domlur on a lazy Saturday afternoon of 5th of Jul 2008.


This event was organized by a Theatre group called Masra and was kept very low key, I really don’t know why?


Witnessed by an audience of not more than 30 people who were mostly in their 20s, I saw 3 elderly people also, who came very early to grab the best seats for the show. Another reason for me to believe that we are changing for good.


As a performer, Pritham is engrossing and believable. Her USP is her powerful body language and screaming eye contact that she makes with her audience.


I was overwhelmed with her acting so much that I was at a loss of words when the discussion with the audience began. She was so real.


In her first play, “Nirvanam”, she tells a story of a eunuch. A story of a boy who has the soul of a woman beneath all the flesh and bones and a human spirit above all. A spirit to find her own identity amidst all odds and abandonment. A story of courage, survival. This play is aptly named “Nirvanam” where a person who is ostracized by his own family attains Nirvana by getting rid of his “manhood” . The message which rips through your mind is, “A human is much more than we all perceive through the anatomy.”


The performance is so gripping that at first I thought may be this is the story of Pritham herself.
It was not easy for Pritham to interview eunuchs and get such insight on their lives.


Mirror, was the 2nd performance where Pritham enacts a story of a successful actress from the black and white era of Tamil cinema, who was once successful and independent. It’s a story about her insecurities, tragedies, heartbreaks and secrets. A similar tale where independent women taking their own sexual decisions with a liberated mind cannot be “good” wives. They can be good lovers and even better mothers to fatherless children but cannot be a wife.


Both “Nirvanam” and “Mirror” were in striking contrasts with each other. “Nirvanam” being a story of a man wanting to be a woman. Where the protagonist is taken care of by the Aravani community; a community which lives in the peripherals of society stricken by ignorance, lack of health care, education, any kind of human rights and poverty. “Mirror”, on the other hand, is a story of a successful and beautiful woman who is proud to be a screen goddess. She is admired by many yet she cant live a normal life. Both the protagonists are powerful and their independence is scary to people who are just about ordinary. The sad part is most of the world is filled with ordinary people and that is perhaps the reason why it is difficult for any extra-ordinary person to be a part of a normal lifestyle.



NOTE:- “Nirvanam” is a ceremony of the Aravani community where a man becomes a woman by getting rid of his manhood. The entire healing process takes 40 days and its on the 40th day that the womanhood is celebrated.


Both the stories are based on facts gathered from various interviews.


Photo Courtesy:- Vinayak Das