Oct 4th 2009

Got up at the crack of 9 AM and after a breakfast of Dosas thought I’d wander around one of my favourite hangouts in the past – KukkarahalliKere which I’m informed loosely translates to Crane Village Lake. Its a lake not altogether unlike Dallas’s White Rock Lake in that it too is surrounded by a neat walking trail.

I first accompanied Mumsie down the street to Loyal World a local supermarket – its like one of the grocery stores you’d find in Manhattan – small but fairly well stocked. “Temple Street” as its called has quite a few vendors on one side and I spotted one that particularly tickled my fancy:

Hot Chips If this enterprise doesn’t work out, he’ll be back with “Sri Vinayaka Hot Chicks”!

I felt bad about getting a chuckle at the the store’s expense, so I bought 100 grams of Tapioca chips whereupon I quickly discovered that the “hot” in “hot chips” was not the “hot” as in “Texas in July”, but rather the “hot” as in HOT PEPPERS!!!

On the way to Kukkarahalli Kere (I wonder how the British would have anglicised this one) I spotted this gem in front of us:

Coconut Bed Damn! I’ve got to try that sometime! The man is on a bed of coconuts piled up on the bed of a moving truck! In conjunction with the odd pothole, it might actually turn out to be some sort of dynamic Shiatsu therapy. He’s wearing a lungi.



Kukkarahalli Kere:

Lake This artificial lake is essentially a catchment area for treated waste water from the city. There have been several restoration projects over the years to maintain the quality of water in the lake as well as to eliminate the water hyacinth that at one time had threatened to occupy a sizable portion of it. Fortunately they’ve been very successful, and the lake is today, arguably the most scenic part of the inner city.



Big Tree
There are some very interesting trees around the lake. I cant tell if this is a single tree or the arboreal equivalent of “Siamese Quintuplets”!



Sloping Tree
This one’s also a stumper – if you’ll pardon the unfortunate pun! I thought trees grew vertically, regardless of terrain slope.



Forest Fire
My mum who taught Botany informs me that the flowers on this tree are called “Forest Fires” (Salvia Coccinea).



Varun
My 13 year old grand nephew Varun who accompanied me on my jaunt around the lake. He’s my cousin’s grandkid. My cousin’s daughter is my age. The earlier generations on my mother’s side were not exactly the most ardent practitioners of birth control. She’s the youngest of 8 children that survived. She has nieces and nephews older than her. Anyway, Varun is a sharp smart kid. We share the same interests in video games. He’s a huge Prince-of-Persia fan as well. Tuesday night we’re going to Planet X, Mysore’s premier video/indoor game arcade.



Birds
There are quite a few species of white birds on that cluster of trees. My mother’s driver Raghu appears to be quite an avian buff and he informs me that the best time to be here is in the evening when the cranes show up.



NCC Boats
These abandoned boats belong to the Naval wing of the all volunteer NCC (National Cadet Corps) of which I used to be a member (albeit in the Air Wing). They were used to train cadets in the basics of boatsmanship until crocodiles were discovered in the lake in the 80s. To this day, there are anywhere from 3 to 5 crocodiles in the lake, which has pretty much put the kibosh on boating.



The Illuminated Mysore Palace
Between 7 to 8 PM on weekend nights, the entire Mysore Palace is illuminated with something close to 100,000 bulbs. Its a sight that I’ve seen several times since the late 70s and it is always spectacular! Unfortunately tonight, I showed up late, approached the palace from the wrong entrance and fidgeted around with the tripod that I borrowed from my brother-in-law Babu (one of the most resourceful, knowledgeable, competent, helpful and generous persons I have ever known). Anyway, on account of my sloppiness, I was only able to take two pictures.



Gate
These are the palace gates, which are also lit up.



Front
This one is from the courtyard. I’ll try to take better pictures next Saturday when for starters, I’ll plan on showing up on time!

I got a waiver from dinner at my sweet cousin Indira’s (who’s really more of a sister than a cousin) so that I could watch Liverpool play Chelsea at the Pelican pub. Unfortunately, Chelsea is up 1-0 as I’m typing. I am likely to receive at least a modicum of grief from the matriarch, for this transgression in protocol. Speaking of grief, Liverpool just squandered a terrific opportunity to level the score. I may need another half-pint of KFish to drown my sorrows …

Well, Florent Malouda’s goal just put Chelsea up 2-0 with 2 mins of injury time in the 2nd half, so I’m headed home. Wish me luck with the matriarch. She is too short-sighted to appreciate the subtleties of the English Premier League.

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