Sunday, February 25, 2007


After finally making it out of Kerala, we had a quick, 36-hour pitstop in Vik’s home state of Karnataka to visit the Bangalore chapter of the Kaberi Admiration Society (Vik’s Usha Aunty and Ramarao Uncle, cousin Nayan and his wife Gauri, and their two energetic kids, Aditya and Vir).

Staying with Usha Aunty and Ramarao Uncle allowed us to enjoy a break from our hectic schedule. Kaberi and Ramarao Uncle chatted over coffee in the mornings while Vik slept in. Evenings featured scintillating conversation over pre-dinner drinks (Kaberi tried Johnny Walker Black for the first time and discovered that she is not a scotch aficionado). Usha Aunty and Kaberi also enjoyed some quality girl time together, so much so that they are both convinced that they were close in a previous life.

We also enjoyed spending time with the funloving Nayan and Gauri. Nayan, the consummate foodie, always introduces us to the best restaurants. On this visit, we enjoyed gourmet Chinese at Szechwan Court at the Oberoi Hotel, continental cuisine at Herb & Spice and Indian-style tapas at 90 Foot Road. But the undisputed gastronomical highlight of Bangalore was the green chili martini with a fierce bite and an excellent buzz (don’t worry, we managed to get our hands on the recipe).

In our limited time, we were able to see the progress of construction on Gauri’s and Nayan’s new house and spend some time with Aditya and Vir. Kaberi has decided she wants a son just like Vir, who could literally be her Mini Me. When 3-year-old Vir doesn’t get his way, he pouts and makes the pronouncement, “Fine-I’m-not-your-friend.” This amused Vik to no end and reminded him more than a little bit of the negotiating tactics of his significant other.

Even Bangalore’s more mundane moments were memorable. On Kaberi’s request, Nayan got her an appointment with his dentist. After a 20-minute cleaning (which cost $16), Kaberi emerged with nicely-polished pearly whites and a new appreciation for her Dad’s strategy of delaying dental treatment until his annual trips to India. An emerging global capitalist, Kaberi is now a huge proponent of personal dental arbitrage. Clearly, the global medical tourism boom has some legs. Meanwhile, Vik spent an inordinate amount of time coming up with list of names for Nayan's Indian beer venture. Vik took great satisfaction when several of his ideas summarily dismissed by Nayan for not being edgy enough (Darkhorse, Riptide, Firefly, Night Owl) were received warmly by a larger group of dinner companions.

We wished we could have stayed in Bangalore much longer, but we had a plane to catch to Jaipur, the capital city of India's northwestern state of Rajasthan (“Land of Kings”).

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