Monday, September 24, 2012


Lazy Sunday Morning

Me: “Let’s go to Bistro Claytopia for brunch!”
Neel: “Bistro Claptepia?”
Me: “No, Claytopia”
Neel: “Claptoptopia”… “Clayteptepia”… “Claytomania”… “Kleptomania”
Me: *hands over head*

… and after a lot of such connotations by Neel, we went to Bistro Clapto… sowwy… Claytopia…

Sunny Play-day

I had wanted to go there for more than a year, but somehow, plans never happened. The reason that kept this Bistro on my ‘Want to try’ list was their pottery-painting concept. The place has a craft-shop, where they store a variety of semi-finished clay designs that you can choose to paint while you eat. It’s a fabulous concept: You eat and you paint. And for me, Food and Paint are the perfect ingredients for happiness.
Go Shawty, it's your birthday

Such was my happiness when I went there that I was mute most of the time, either stuffing myself with food, concentrating on the pottery painting or simply awestruck with the colors around me.

Bistro Claytopia is one of THE MOST COLORFUL EATERIES I have ever visited (a second colorful place that sprang to my mind right now is Champor-Champor, Pantai Cenang).

As I stepped in, Claytopia didn’t quite sweep me off my feet, but, a while later, I was absorbed in its multitude of colors.

On a Sunday evening, the place was buzzing with people, eating voraciously, painting between sips of coffee, sound of music and laughter, a birthday girl with her troupe of kids, a potter sculpting toys for the kids, fooood… in short, Joy Galore!

The semi-open dining area had a very kitsch feel, Moroccan lamps hanging from the ceiling, small pop-art paintings, more clay stuff (an orange clay-turtle climbing a tree! ), gramo-phone; … and the craft-shop was such an endearing place. There were clay designs on every shelf; some semi-finished, waiting to be colored and others, bursting with colorful patterns. Splashes of color everywhere! There were hearts, Buddha busts, monkeys, scooters, plates, tea-pots, bowls, vases, ducks, napkin-holders, piggy-banks and what not! Treasure island!

The food was good too… We went for the burgers, the bun fresh and soft, and the patty, lip-smackingly tasty! The hazelnut cold coffee was a delight and the brownie and ice-creams left us feeling like one of the kids.

My Precious! 'Love' and 'Flower': two new fish species

Oh, by and by, I painted two fish magnets at Claytopia and I christened them ‘Love’ and ‘Flower’! Handed them over to be baked and glazed… I should be getting a call from Claytopia in ten days’ time to collect them! Can’t wait to get my hands on “my precious!”! 

Paint my Love

It's too bad they don't have a website, but I do have their other details!

Bistro Claytopia,
#318, 6th Main, HAL II Stage, Indiranagar, Bangalore-560 038
T: +91 804126 7163, +91 80 4132 3394

There is too much of happiness in this one place! Once you go there, you will fill your tummy with food, eyes with color and heart with joy!

It's a mini-Wonderland

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Holidays, without plans, and a lot of paint:

I always prepare my holidays in advance. If I get two days leave, then getting an answer to that knock on my front-door is futile; I vanish from my apartment.

But then, suddenly, in the middle of a September week, I got these two days of holiday. I knew Wednesday would be a festival-holiday (I had marked it with a J on my office calendar); however, we got an extra day off, thanks to fuel-hike (boo!), FDI and retaliation. And though I love my holidays, here I was, without any plan.

Most of my friends work for firang clients, which means these holidays are non-existent for them; and while they slog in office, I chuckle at them and gain sadistic pleasure when they mock at me. But it also meant that I was the lonesome joyous jester and couldn’t think of anything bright to do. For half a day, I tried to consciously keep my nagging mind at bay. (“Yea, my dear mind, I know I should clean up the mess around my house but let’s postpone this to next weekend, shall we?”)

And with ever-growing heaviness and a sinking sense, I decided to take out my paints. Let’s mess up some more when I have to clean it next weekend, all the same!

Lately, I have started painting… again… I didn’t seriously paint during law-school. It wasn’t the lack of time but the abundance of opportunities that a college-life provides. Painting was the last thing I wanted to do and it would be my forte only when college-week would start and I needed those prizes (to show my folks that I’m not that worthless) and those extra attendance for participating in the college activities.

After the first layer of paint
Anyway, since I started off again, I had been posting my art-stuff on facebook (I show-off, yes, thank you) and seriously, I was quite alarmed (yes! Alarmed!) seeing the number of people liking it. I thought, and I still think, my art is pretty primitive. Nonetheless, people around me have started commissioning work, and since I try to be a nice person, I have promised to paint their desires.

One such commissioner has been my boss (gulps!). When she came to know of my art, she asked if I could try a piece on her two daughters. Now, when the boss asks, the request becomes a sort of duty in my mind, so I nodded… though I cautioned her that the results might not be very impressive…

So, here I sat, on my floor, two days of holiday, a lot of paint around and a photo of my boss’ daughters gleaming on my monitor.

I should let you know I have never painted children before, that I am not particularly fond of children and that I have quite forgotten what a child likes or thinks during her childhood. That being said, I am pretty impressed that I came up with the entire gamut of rainbows, blue-bells, frangipanis, butterflies, and made it look like I am still a 6-year old in my head.

The Final Result: Born like Sisters in this World
Medium: Watercolour

What say, eh? I am hoping my boss does not tear this up! *fingers crossed*

And I still have half a day left... Let's try cleaning some of the mess around... :( 

Friday, September 14, 2012

A new eye for this place old

One realizes the real value of an asset when it is lost...

Fortunately for me, I am getting a chance to truly appreciate this city for a whole year before I finally say good-bye.

You see, every time people ask me 'How is Bangalore better than the other cities?', I dryly reply as if on auto-mode, 'For the weather.' It is true. Bangalore has a lovely weather.

When Delhi makes everyone strip naked in the privacy of their homes and lay under the fan like the vitruvian man; in Bangalore, I open the windows, turn on the fan and cover myself with a light blanket. When Mumbai makes people scream in their heads in the sweltering heat and humid, we Bangaloreans sip filter coffee, smell the fragrance of the earth and let a good shower soak our souls. Nearby, Chennai burns and scorches, and we burn them a little more with jealousy when we tell them that it's that time of the year when we switch from light woolens to heavy woolens.

Frankly, I am so much in love with Bangalore's weather that I am dreading my shift to another city in India.

It was in 2005 that I first arrived in Bangalore, that's a good seven years ago.

I was mentally prepared for adversities of any kind. I have heard of harrowing tales of what happens when a single girl lives in a strange city. Bangalore was the first city I ever faced alone. It was also my first tryst with South Indian culture. I imagined myself having a terrible time, getting a culture shock, home-sick, developing eating disorders... All in my over-imaginative mind.

Believe me, the only problem I faced in Bangalore was of eating idlis and dosas; not that it gave me eating disorders but I was not accustomed to eating such food and was quite astonished at people who could eat idlis and dosas at any time of the day. Well...that problem, too, was soon solved and after seven years, my taste-buds have altered so much so that I am an ardent lover of idlis, dosas and all things South Indian and anyone who thinks otherwise can go elsewhere.

Not only have I adopted idlis and dosas, I have bonded with Bangaloreans, enjoyed pubs, strolled in the city's numerous parks, and the greatest of all, managed to befriend quite a few of those notorious, harassing auto-drivers that Bangalore is famous for!

This city absorbed me without question, and I, ignorant me, had been absorbed in my own life, never once consciously appreciating what the city gave me. Now, as destiny would have it, I'm moving out of this city next year.

September 2013, to be exact.

I have exactly ONE year in Bangalore. 365 days only. When I think of it in days, I seriously start panicking. A blink of an eye and 365 days would pass. This city has spoilt me silly, so much so that when I leave it, I might create a small Cauvery rivulet with my tears.

So to help ease my mind and in a conscious effort to truly appreciate Bangalore, I have decided to document my experiences in the city for the next one year in this blog (amongst other things, 'course!). Many a times, I have admired the yellow blossoms that fall on the street in the months of September or the smell of the freshly brewed filter-coffee floating through the air early morning while I dash for work. Every time, I admire them, and then I forget; except this year, after seven years, I shall share it through thoughts and pictures to the world at large.

And while we are on the topic of pictures and blossoms, the violet blossoms (picture above) appear in April and so does the red blossoms (picture below) that lines the streets of Bangalore.

And with this first piece published, I promise to write soon enough.


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