Monday, April 28, 2008

The mountain cake-shop

It was 5 in the evening. Our grandfather had left us at the cake shop while he went to get tickets for The 36th Chamber of Shaolin at Rex, next door. My brother and I were ravenous. Cakes of every shape and colour beckoned at us from glass cabinets all around. Goodie shelves were stacked sky-high with pastries, patties, puffs and pies. Our only hope of getting anywhere close to the counters was to crawl under the legs of the crowds that thronged them. After a couple of slithers, twists and crawls, we finally managed. We stood on tiptoe and reached as high up as we could, waving wildly to attract the attention of the surly attendant. She paid us no heed, choosing instead to scowl at all the others that had managed to reach the front of the counter.

In sheer desperation, my brother yanked at the hem of a skirt near his head. A chalky voice neighed down at us from above: "Eh, look two littl'uns. What y'all want my darlings?" it said. "D..d..danish pastry."said my brother. "Two", I added, holding my fingers up at a smiling, heavily made up face. "'Ere, give dese two sweet'earts danish pastry neh." said the large woman to the surly attendant. The attendant reluctantly slapped two drippy, treacly treats on the counter and returned our change. "Go siddown dere 'n' eat." she said, pointing to an unoccupied table. "Y'all came 'lone eh?" "No, our grandfather's gone to the theatre to buy tickets." we chimed in chorus. "Ooh, holidayzuh?" she said, and turned back to continue haggling with the attendant, while my brother and I ran to the table slavering over our spoils.

This is my earliest memory of Nilgiri's - the most celebrated cake shop in South India. They'd been around over seventy five years before I arrived on the scene, and still stand strong and proud today. New cakeshops have come and gone, some with arguably better fare than their old world competitor. None, however, have been able to replicate their unbeatable always-been-there flavour, that seems to have ingrained itself irreversibly into our palates.

By the 1940s, Nilgiri's had moved down from their mountain abode into a little shop on Brigade Road stocked with homemade English goods. When they started their booming fancy cakes business in the '50s, everybody in Bangalore ordered from them. For every function, a cake more special than the previous one would be delivered fresh from Nilgiri's. For a wedding reception, my grandparents ordered a cake shaped in the form of an entire stage. For Pongal (yes we are incurably cantonment), they ordered a sugarcane shaped one. My mother's birthday cake was in the shape of a house, my uncle's was like an aeroplane, and the crowning glory was a rich Vat 69 bottle cake specially ordered for my great grandfather's birthday.

Nilgiri's, though hugely popular by the '60s, was still a friendly little shop. My mother remembers an incident from back then, when she arrived by auto on Brigade Road and realized she'd left her purse back home as usual. She hesitated only for a moment before deciding what to do. After admonishing the auto driver for not bowing low enough, she adjusted pin no. 112 in her bouffant hairstyle, batted her mascara'ed eyes and told him to wait by the side of the road, so as not to inconvenience the 8 vehicles that plied on it daily. Looking steadfastly away from the risqué poster at the Opera theatre, she took 347 mini-steps across the pavement (on account of her double wrapped saree), and stood at the Nilgiri's counter, knotting and unknotting her pallu worriedly. "What happened ma?" asked Mr Chenniappan, the kindly proprietor. The young mutter, amidst heaving bosoms, fluttering eyelids, and helpless looks cast hither and thither, explained her predicament. Without a moment's hesitation, Mr Chenniyappan emptied a bag full of 1 paisa coins onto the counter and said, "Take as much as you want ma". She counted out 100 coins, the staggering fare from Malleswaram to Brigade road, and gave them to the waiting driver, who was standing with his palms folded over his head and one leg crossed over the other, waiting for his fare in a meditative trance. He accepted the money with another low stately bow and sputtered away, humming the latest Sivaji hit.

But that was then. By the time I was tall enough to reach the top of the pastry counter, things had changed. The sweet little mountain-bakery had been replaced by Nilgiri's Supermarket, the biggest shop I had ever seen. You could get everything you'd ever read in an Enid Blyton there. Marzipans, gingerbread, licorice, cheeses, marshmallows, jellybeans, asparagus, easter eggs- everything. And at the cake shop below: pastries, puffs, pies, minces, pizzas, tarts, eclairs, macaroons- and of course, those slurpily delicious Danish pastries. The counters were operated by a bevy of Tamil women, all equally surly, and if my grandmother was to be believed, "hired directly from Nimhans, I tell you." They looked straight through you, said "No" just on a whim, and in the unlikelihood of their taking mercy on you, made you acutely aware of how privileged you were to be getting something from them. Nevertheless, the crowds surged on through the '90s and midway through my college years. Nilgiri's cakes were, after all, the cheapest and loveliest to be found.

Upper Crust, the restaurant started by the Nilgiri's heir-apparent, did roaring business, especially with the college crowd. People from my college, strategically situated in the heart of the city, would be the first to bunk class and appear there for a quick bite (and sometimes a long drawn out date) before a movie. The cafe-restaurant was also the perfect place to meet after a long day at work. When they started serving Chettinad cuisine, our joy knew no bounds. Unfortunately, the cafe went into decline in the 2000s thanks to family feud, and closed down a couple of years ago. Die hard Nilgiri's buffs like me grew sadder as the stacked shelves in the bakery grew lighter and lighter with every passing year.

Last week, an enthusiastic classmate and I decided to organize a college reunion at the Nilgiri's cake shop. We felt it was the perfect place to renew old aquaintances, and perhaps bid fond farewell to our old favourite hang out. As we waked down the stairs to the basement cake shop, a pleasant oniony aroma hit us. It was the all-too-familiar smell of Nilgiri's baking. The cake shop under its new management had been given a face lift. There was air conditioning, modern furniture, elegant lighting and even a children's play area. Nilgiri's' slightly anachronistic trademark pastries and cakes stood proudly in their shelves once again. The surly staff now smiled waterily at the customers, as they laboriously keyed bills into their new cash machines. The food, in true Nilgiri's style, was cheap, pleasant and satisfying.

As for the reunion, the less said about being the only singleton among 10 ageing classmates - spouses and children in tow, the better.

65 comments:

maami said...

There is something utterly homespun and warm about a cake and cookies joint and its baking aromas. Makes you think life will remain warm, buttery and sugary. I'm sure your reunion was just that.
Cheers for some more cup cakes.

kavitha said...

Thanks to your snack-filled post, iam hungry & want those indian pastries...NOW!!!
The lady in the pix is scarrrry. Also, ahem-ahem the "blessed" women illustration was only for your family members, no? :P

kavitha said...

ahahahaha...the "mountain" cake-shop...ahahaha...

Scribbler said...

Bikerdude, if you think the ladies of Nilgiri's are surly and will deny you danish pastries, allow me to accompany you some time to any of the few remaining bonafide Irani bakeries/cafes left in Bombay and Pune. There you will meet true grumpiness, with a family lineage, no less, and a propensity to shout at all favoured customers. :)And this a lovely nostalgic post; I will forward to my father, who used to live in Bangalore in the sixties.

(Comment too long now!) Could I please link to you from my recently revived blog? I'd like to share the joy.

Bikerdude said...

maami: Absolutely true. However, my reunion was not like that :P

kavitha: Thu where all you look I say. Here also moral police, is it? Haan I seem to be unable to draw non-blessed women. I have however covered demurely with pallu now. Go tell it on the mountains only :p

Scribbler: Oh yeah Ive heard of those. The ones with a big NO followed by smoking, drinking, sitting, standing, laughing.. etc, right? Would love to go to one of them! And sure, link away :)

Coo said...

And how can we forget the flavoured milk counter at the entrance 'Pista paal packet' we used to call it. that 500 ml sachet of pista flavoured milk.. cut a tiny hole at the corner, insert straw, sip and heaven!

kavitha said...

wahaaat? bikey paiyya is drawing, writing double meaning stuff then quickly quickly modifies it but cho cho pavam gals *keeps chamath face* are blamed! nonsense i say.
ps: now the moderate-mountain aunty seems ready for kung-fu! :P

Bikerdude said...

Aye no double meaning and all ok. Nice fellow I am. PS and by popular demand, the blessings are back on. Humph now nobody will read blog, all thanks to you :P

Prats said...

oh so nostalgic pa.....all that you said about the cake shop. I remember in those days, any cake ordered from cake shop and not iyengar bakery meant...we're very 'modern'..
and the pies were so amazing...more like an extension of Rex....I had the same good feeling when I went there few weeks ago

narendra shenoy said...

Beautifully written. The scenes just come alive. Enjoyed!

philramble said...

Nicely written. I took to cakes and pastries late in primary school, and never experienced the Nilgiris cakes, since their shops were too far away from my Rajajinagar house for the Saturday evening walk. Instead, we usually visited the excellent LK Iyengar's bakery and the kind gentleman there used to take to my little sister and me rather fondly, sometimes packing in the extra cup cake or cake slice for us kids. He's still around - although much older, though not any less kind and his son runs the shop these days. I don't know where you stay, but you can sample some of his stuff by dropping into the shop on 1st cross, B Block Rajajinagar (turn a left at the park on Kuvempu road).

Abhipraya said...

Nilgiris was the first supermarket I ever saw or set foot into and what a proud moment that was :)

Yes it was the perfect place for long drawn dates on shoestring budget :P

How that memory of yours works I say? So precise.

maxdavinci said...

aww fantastic post pa, yor blog is turning into the unofficial b'lore sights and sounds guide....

more power to you!

playbyrules said...

you should be the official chronicler of our city. gazetted blog. nilgiri's in malleswaram proclaims it is the only vegetarian supermarket,to cater to our tastes! sweet of them.

anoushka taraporevala said...

biker dude: i loved your poste on several counts.

One: i made a lifelong friend at the airport road nilgiris. and to think that i rewarded that person with a whack on the knuckles. sheesh! i must have been high on the rum balls of nilgiris

second: the brigade road store had the first outlet where i could buy kiwi fruit and yes, cart it to bombay (as she was known then) and flaunt my well travelled status to sundry relatives. ps they also had a lovely brand of coffee called kothas. is it still around?

third: the blog reminded me of my kiddie days. guess we had some kinda equivalent in bombellis of the seventies in bombay: mountainous cakes, pastries to die for and puffs made of all kind of forbidden savouries....

ah memories!!!

Anonymous said...

Bikerdude,

been reading your blog for a while now - it's a fantastic read, and brings back many fond memories of B'lore for me. Haven't commented until now - the Nilgiris nostalgia got the better of me!

Growing up in the 70s, my father's office was in the Rex theatre complex, so Nilgiris was our default snack place, when funds permitted. I remember their vada-sambar and apple cake (which contained nothing apple-related). Their annual Christmas cake display was a huge thing as well.

-M

Drenched said...

Oooh! I am glad I read this post! I went to Bangalore some 4-5 years ago and I distinctly remember visitng this cake shop every single day during my one-week stay. However, being the dumb Surd that I am, I forgot its name and I have a disease - the I-can't-rest-until-I-recall-something syndrome. No one here knew what place I was talking about in "far off" B'lore. Finally, NILGIRI'S it is! I knew it was named after some mountain range! (My general guesses earlier had been Himalayas, Alps and Rockies.)

Anonymous said...

Nice post, BD. I dont know if anyone remembers, there used to be a little Nilgiris on 19th cross malleswaram run in the garage of the owner's home. Very warm cosy place. We used to combine our few paisas and go eat their apple cake.sighhhh memories!

expat_in_NH said...

Great posts BD. Brings back great memories of growing up in a Darshini-less Bangalore. Did you ever go to the annual Christmas cake show at Nilgiris? Precious memories of asymmetric Taj Mahals, a garishly colored Buckingham Palace and lopsided depictions of the Nativity, all done in scrumptious cake. (My only regret was never having won one of them in the annual raffle). Keep the posts coming - brings back warm memories on snowy days!

narendra shenoy said...

Very much I am liking the cakes
That Nilgiris and other peoples makes
Though other peoples cant
In the words of my aunt
Makes the earths rattles and shakes

Anonymous said...

Fantastic post. Could really identify with it. Studied in Straceys :) so MG and Brigade was like a backyard.
Another trivia about Nilgiris id like to add is that it had male and female employees till some point in the 80's and there was a huge strike. After that the management switched to an all female staff.
Nilgiris also used to have door deliver in my Grandfather's times.
One could also maintainan account at Nilgiris and eat all you want and pay at the end of the month, if you were known to the manager.
sorry , long comment , but Nilgiris holds a special place

-V

I love Lucy said...

I absolutely love the Black Forest cake at Nilgiris.I have had so many versions of it but what we got at Nilgiris was the bestest pa!We used to get for our happy birthdays..the whole big cake.
That restaurant on the second floor was very pricey,ya.The same piece of the aforementioned cake was almost thrice the price.
"Two", I added, holding my fingers up at the smiling, heavily made up face.
Veryyy cute :)

kavitha said...

saar saari saar! escoose my maaral polees notes amidst the appreciative nostalgic comments. PEACE. *waves white bandana*

10yearslate said...

Hatth paisa kott baraf thinno mandhige Nilgiris antha dubaari angd-yaag tarkaari, cake thogoLLo dhairya iddhill bid-ree-pa.

(For 10 paisa paying and shaved-ice-cone eating people, like Nilgiris expensive shop. vegetables and cake buying courage not there leave it-sir-father)

Kadeek omme, pant shirt-ge isthri hodedh, theleeg eNNi methkond dhairya maadi oLag hogi, agdhi phirst time, allay naa strawberry nododhni saahebra!

(Finally once, pant shirt ironing hit, hair oil plastered, courage manufactured and went in, very first time, there only I saw strawberry lord and master!)

James Mylaporean said...

Yennapa Bike paiyan - Nilgiris top class but romba wold ba - konjam Madras pakkam vandhu putcha adyar ananda bhavan badam mysore pak and agarwal bhavan sonpapdi + badam milk sappidu - nilgiris ellam marandhu poividum :-)

Bikerdude said...

coo: I love pista pal packet. When nobody is there, full left right I will look and sarrrk drink off one packet and go.

prats: Conversely, for my family, apparently Iyengar bakery cakes seemed to be ghar ki murgi dal barabar. But then again would Iyengar bakery make whiskey bottle cake? No.

Shenoy stores: Muy danks sare. I blogrolled you off, please don't mistake ok? ok. Err and the sheer genius of the poetry renders me speechless, ok? ok. (OK I have to stop saying ok? ok at some point)

philramble: Oho one more Iyengari bakery buff aa? Haan I must come check LK out now. Also please come to the Iyengar bakery in Vyalikaval for delicios cashew biscuit and khara bun.

abhipraya: Because, like my vedu paati, all my memories are tied up with food. Happiness :)

maxda: thanks da :)

playbyrules: I wonder if Nilgiris Brigade rd stores meat products. No, no? Strange, never noticed.

anoushka: Glad Nilgiris holds so many lovely memories for you. The exotic fruits guy outside Nilgiris is still there, fleecing away as always! I havent seen Cothas coffee in a long time. We get ours ground at malleswaram. Slurp@ bombellis. Where was it?

anonymous: Your father's office was in Rex? How cool! Also um, a tad inconvenient when you'rebunking college and watching movie though, huh? I think the Xmas exhibition is still on btw.

drenched: Glad to be of service!

anonymous: Oh was there one? I've always thought of 19th cross as this hidden mysterious wonderland, cos it was the only street off the beaten track in malleswaram. Good to know.

Bikerdude said...

expat_in_nh: Strangely, Ive never been to the cake exhibitions though I always saw the pictures in the papers the next day. Whoever thought of making a red fort cake, huh? LOL. Weren't all the proceedings given away to orphanages or something?

anonymous: Ah! That explains the female staffing. But do you know where they were hired from, or was my grandmother actually right? Oh yeah my parents keep talking about the famous Nilgiri's account. Thanks for commenting- very insightful.

I love lucykutty: Thanks I say :) I must confess, after being used to the Black forest cake (or BFC as we called it) in Nilgiri's, when I went to the Black Forest in Germany and ordered it I was like Aiyo thatsaaalaa? So yeah, long live Nilgiri's for doing better than the real thing (which is quite mediocre btw).

kavitha: Uff thank god nobody else except you and me are as blessing obsessed, eh :P

10yrslate: Hehehehe too much boss. As usual I chortled when I saw your comment and got all my leming colleagues popping out of their cubicles :) Yes I think Nilgiris was the only place you could get strawberries until they started selling them on the road in the early 2000s. Bloody sour they used to be back then though. Full lalita pawar only we'd become after eating one. Nowadays thanks to monsanto, we have large, cheap flat testing fruit everywhere, in little plastic boxes half-filled with leaves.

va ya, va ya, jamesu: Oh I love ananda bhavan! But what to do old plateau dwellers like me have to be satisfied with Nilgiris produce for now :)

Anu said...

Didn't get a chance to visit Nilgiris on this time's trip. Your post brought back a lot of memories!

Is Opera still around? Still showing "don't you ever go to watch a film in Opera" movies?

And wasn't that 36th Chamber of Shaolin - me is not nitpicking - just that I want to see that movie again - it is fabulous!

10yearslate said...

36th chamber of Shao-lin...Aa picture agdhi hit aadh myaag China dhindh bhaaL andhra bhaaL thud class kung-fu picture bandh-vu ree.

(36th ..that picture big hit became after, from China many means many third class kung-fu pictures came sir.)

ellaadh-raag noo villain-gaLu hero manee sutt, avva-appa-na kondh, thangi-yaar-ann kedisi haakidh kyaar, avaa mudhuk gurugaL (eNNisi aa kade ee kade 9 biLi koodhlu thumbiddh meesi-dhaadi) kade bandh
"Master, teach me kung-fu" annaava!

(In all movies, after villains burnt his house, killed mother-father, sisters spoilt and put..he comes to old teacher (with exactly 9 hairs of white moustache/beard on either side) and says
"Master, teach me kung-fu"

Scribbler said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Scribbler said...

I am so glad I am learning Kannada. Suddenly all the translations are so much more delightful.


Bikerdude, yes, the Iranis are the guys with the big signs that prohibit everything. Actually that was one Irani (and he closed shop, sadly) but the rest exist in that spirit.

anoushka taraporevala said...

biker dude: no no no there more than ONE irani joints (authentic) in bombay. there are three in dhobi talao itself : wanna know their names: exotic only, they are: kayani, bastani and sassanian. if you walk past any of them you are assaulted by the aromas -mince patties mixed with plum cake.

ps bombellis was on VN road - the road which links fountain to marine drive. i think it was next to the hotel ambassador

pps whats it mean when it says 'post removed by author. censorship aa?

Scribbler said...

anoushka, Bastani (who had the famous sign) closed four years ago. Kyani's is still there, but their grumpiest waiter has, er, gone to Dubai. Sassanian is no longer grumpy. What to do, I think the grumpiest one left is the one at the bottom of Pali Hill, who shouts at everyone when he's in a good mood.

anoushka taraporevala said...

bastani closed, yes, temporarily,two and a half years back, i thought, for renovations (as old jer mahal, the 124 year old building that housed it was in danger of being taken over or collapsing, which is quite the same thing). i hear noshirwan is going to open it soon. so lets hope that the chicken patties will start rolling out soon. till then we will have to do with an abomination in worli called parsi bakery which among other fusion food, (though i doubt khushroo mordian knows the phrase)chicken chilly patties.

Aqua said...

OK this comment is totally unrelated to your post. just realized y're a part of Madrigals etc. whoaa! I watched your group perform at fireflies a few years back and it was mesmerising. one of the best performances that night.

great work. and hope to see more shows. do let us know via yr blog.

weed said...

I remember getting a green guitar shaped cake from the brigade road nilgiris for my fifth budday ... there used to be a big fat book that we used to flip through every birthday to pick up some exotic shape!...
btw where yegsactly is this vyalikaval iyengar bakery?..

lilith said...

i remember the cake exhibitions! my favorite cake ever was the old lady who lived in a shoe. my second favorite was the amitabh bacchan cake. i was five or six and i cried because they wouldn't let me take them home.
and what? the artist biker is single? no way :)

NK said...

As usual, great post BD! But why are you partial towards the Cubbon Park, Malleswaram areas of Bangalore?? How about a post on the sights & sounds of Basavangudi, Jayanagar 4th block, etc i.e. South Bangalore??? May be the Dosa joints of Basavanagudi (UD, VB, etc) can find a mention eh .......

Bikerdude said...

anu: The Opera building still stands, but the 'andha madiri' ('that sorta') movie theatre shut down ages ago. It's under litigation I think, otherwise I'm sure it would have joined the ranks of the demolished Bangalore beauties long ago.
Oh yeah it must have been the chamber not the temple- sorry was too young then and dont remember the movie at all, apart from some guy with a bald head and a jadey (braid).

10yearslate: Oh so thats the origin of "Mastah! Teach me Kun'foo (shwwwick.. schhhwwwwwwik)." Not so many kung fu pics these days no? Not that I miss them though.

scribbler: Yes, nobody can beat 10yearslate's Hubli-Dharwad Kannada translations!

anoushka and scribbler: Get a room, you two! But not before taking me out to each of the iranian restaurants (and parsi bakeries) mentioned. Anoushka, what is that place - somethingboy, that lays out that fantastic parsi lunch?

anoushka: No no, it means the person who wrote the comment deleted it themselves. full enthu :P

aqua: Thanks. I didn't perform at that particular concert though we did one recently at Good Shepherd's.

weed: Attaboy (err girl?) Lovely I say. I on the other hand had to make do with woiiiyon-types jayaram bakery cake (which wasnt bad but no fancy schmancy). Neev ella bidi pa (You and all leave father). Vyalikaval Iyengar bakery is on the main road, next to rajesh hotel. Ask off anyone "Iyengar Bakery elli" or simply sniff the air and you'll find it easily.

Lilith: Oh yeah apparently grandmother got old lady in shoe cake for her birthday once. Bloody nonsense I say everyone gets fancy cakes except me. Oh but then I got once guitar shaped home made cake from a non-nilgiri source, so I guess its ok. Humph. Sorry for rant. Yes artist (gaaaaahahaha) biker (hmph) is quite (unsurprisingly) single :P

nk: Aiyo its because I don't know much abt South Blr bakeries da. If I say off something wrong means all you fellows will come off and beat with stick on head no, thats why. But I love love love VB, UD, Butter sponge, Vidyarthi Bhavan, etc etc. Full poem and all I wrote off about it ok, in prev post.

Pri said...

che u like butter sponge? they had one temporary shop in airlines for some two months. then one day sudsuddenly it became off fruit shop. also any idea where this iyengar bakery special honey cake originated from? it was one thara gross and one thara exotic at the same time.

a million different people said...

All said and done, the bakery near my house is the bestest. You're driving down the road, and the unmistakable all too familiar sign that says "Hot Chicken Pups" blows your mind. Until you hit that speed-breaker and then all's fine.

The Nilgiri's snack counter sells meat products no? Chicken puffs and buns count, I'm guessing.

Yes, the Pista-paal totally rocked. As did the rose milk.

Anonymous said...

The opera building was under litigation and about two years ago it was handed over ot its true owners. he has fenced it and must be waiting for the right deal !

-V

Rach said...

You write well. I wonder how many people will see that line and go "well, d'uh!" judging by the praise you seem showered with. Aaanyway. Nilgiris, of the days when the only English movie in town would be either in Rex or Plaza (with the broken seats) - that's when I remember going there the most. I think the emergence of Multiplex Bangalore somehow coincided with the emergence with the New Nilgiris Management..and things didn't go so well after that, did it? Haven't been there in a while, but I'm guessing the cake shop still rocks.

Penguin said...

Wow! Reading this early in the morning has made me hungry for Nilgiri's veg puffs :-) And also reminds me of the time I hung out with 2 friends for 5 hours with 10 rupees between us for food - by the time we left, we were nice and full with cake and ice cream! I louuu!

Prats said...

oh oh!!!! you are wanting whiskey bottle cake and that too from iyengar maama????? tsk tsk....
But you will get 'one pups' saar...bun butter jam??
I had thought that the one pups was only from my old time iyengar bakery in jayanagar...but this part of town, is no different....all same to same...

nerfherder said...

Nothing to do with Nilgiris but your post reminded me of a song called "What About Me" by an Aussie band called Moving Pictures. Total one hit wonder.

Well there's a little boy waitin' at the counter of a corner shop
He's been waitin' down there, waitin' half the day
They never ever see him from the top
He gets pushed around, knocked to the ground
He gets to his feet and he says;
"What About me, it isn't fair
I've had enough now I want my share
Can't you see? I wanna live!
But you just take more than you give..."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zawR7VYNdNg

usha said...

nice one, that was!
n i genuinely agree with ur grandmother's postulate about the ladies who work there. seriously!

I find the Nilgiris better for grocery shopping too, as compared to the Food Worlds n Food Bazaars of today.

but for cakes and pastries, I somehow find myself rushing to the Good old 'All Saints' almost always!

Bikerdude said...

pri: Yes miss high fly I like butter sponge, what you will do now? Thu that ghastly honey cake was .. err ghastly. Easy to swallow gabuk like that though. Musthave originated from Mrs Iyengar's kitchen. All items available there. Exotic anthe. Ubbb.

a million: heheh did you know that in lalbagh/brindavan express they sell Eatable Pups? (Vegetable puffs). Must be same bakery fellow only selling. Ah yes true Nilgiris sell chicken, mince puffs etc.


anon: Oh ok. Another one bites the dust soon eh :( i thought there was some other complication - the Urban Arts Commission rule that no building over 100 years old can be pulled down unless if falls of its own accord (do i hear evil laughter from Opera owners?)

rach: Yep, thank god its back to life!! By the way there were about 10 English theatres in Blr those days But of course I've only regularly done the the Rex-Plaza-Symphony-Galaxy golden quadrilateral :)

penguin: 10 rupees you will get aa? I think now only one puff you may or may not get that too. That 7 rs softie is still there though. Please note eatable pups comment above :)

nerfheader: That boy was me! Sniff.. waill!! Sob sob. Thank you for doing this to me.

usha: Yes one or two of them still survive, but now dressed smartly in shirt pant and green cap itseems. Last time I saw her barking at someone who asked her to heat the coffee. Ah allsaints person you are aa? very good yes I agree their stuff is good. Fatima and Thoms also not so bad.


Also does anyone know of the famous 70p Bun in Vijayanagar Iyengar bakery which now sells them at Rs 2? Quite funny.

Cynic in Wonderland said...

..now i am so hungry! very evocatively said! i can practically smell the cakes baking and its making me even hungrier!

Epiphany said...

Man I'm feeling hungry now...great post...I think I gotta head back there sometime..

Rach said...

Galaxy? Ooh ooh, the old Imperial theater that got raided! Isn't that the one? On residency road.

Anonymous said...

erm... 50's, 60's, 70's... DUDE! how old are you?

Bikerdude said...

cynic, epiphany: Heh come on over and I'll buy you a pineapple pastry :)

rach: No they are different. Galaxy was a slightly run-down theatre with a long sweeping ramp on Residency road (opp pub world). Closed down in 2000 and is demolished now. Imperial was a little up the road but gone too. Apparently it played good movies back in the day, but I've only seen it play porn.

anonymous: Gosh, I'm old as the hills. Considering my Sankey Tank post was from 1882, that would make me over 126 :P

Scribbler said...

Okay, now. Enough olding-folding to gullible readers. Also, so much cakery is making us all fat and tending towards bosoms of all female figures in your cartoons. Next post on some form of exercise, please.

Anonymous said...

WoW! sorry I have no such lasting memories..although I studied in ooty so can relate to the nostalgia part.:) but im here purely as an admirer of ur writing..its the 2nd piece ive read..the first was of ur wedding banters..it was hilarious!!!!!!

Sorry I feel like I should write something funny...but this post is coming off as a smitten fan ;) well the good thing is with this kinda writing u wont be single too long :) looking forward to ur next post

Bikerdude said...

scribbler: Aiyo I can only write about food ma. What's life if you can't even eat properly I say? Is it not?

anonymous: Thanks :) Always wondered how life would be growing up in the Nilgiri's. Would have been the ideal existence for me!

kavitha said...

New Post...We Want! :)

captainjohann said...

Great writing and so much humour. Loved it

bluejay said...
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bluejay said...
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bluejay said...

Great writing style.. was just introduced to your blog.. since i recently moved to bangalore.. and
thanx for bringing back sweet ol memories associated with bangalore.. for me.. nilgiris was bangalore!!(well..for a kid with a sweet tooth..it was heaven!!). tho.. the new one seems to be improving.. i still miss the old one.. sigh.. :)

kicking.and.screaming said...

I don't know if youre maybe 50-something in years, but youre kinda cute.
Gawk, why do you keep removing comments?

kicking.and.screaming said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
kicking.and.screaming said...

PS- I tagged you to DesiPundit
You frequent it? Should. Very nice.

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