This February, I spent some time in Bangalore. Intending to delve into the city’s past, I made a trip to the iconic Bangalore Palace, the seat of the Wadiyar (or Wodeyar) dynasty. It may sound like an incredibly touristy thing to do, but if you’re a history buff like me, then exploring old museums and monuments is always a fun way to get to know a city better.
I had heard a lot of mixed reviews, but decided to keep an open mind and no expectations. Paying about Rs. 200-something for the entry ticket (it’s more for foreign nationals), with an audio guide included was fine, but being compelled to pay an additional Rs. 500 to be able to take photographs with my smartphone was not something I saw coming! It’s quite a heavy fee, but one I also imagine is necessary in order to maintain the huge costs that the Palace and grounds must be incurring for the basic general upkeep.
A little sunburnt, with blistered feet and a satanic flu, but nonetheless happy – I returned from a new camp-out music festival in the Sahyadri hills, called The Lost Party, held this past weekend. Invited to stay by LetsCampOut, I was rather intrigued – having only been camping at a music festival once before (actually, it was rather like glamping), this experience sounded a little outside of my comfort zone – so of course I said yes!
I recently had one of the best meals I’ve had in a long time, at Byblos kitchen + bar. Tucked away near the Costa Coffee in Phoenix Mills, Lower Parel, this new kid on the block is gaining popularity faster than you can say supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. The brainchild of the Behl sisters – Chef Nidhi and entrepreneur Vidhi – five and a half years in the making, Byblos is their interpretation of a childhood spent in the UAE and a deep-rooted love for food.
I will travel for music.
Not only is it a great way to see new places and meet new people, but experiencing music you love and discovering new sounds is something I highly recommend. Far from the days when we could only pine for music festivals to be held in India, we’ve come a long way, with a multitude of Indian music festivals putting themselves on the map. Of course, there are the commercial ones targeted at the masses, engineered to churn out money like machines, but there are also those beautifully curated, smaller scale ones that renew my faith in the industry. Of the latter, the ‘Emerge Music & Arts Festival’ caught my eye mostly because of it’s lineup – Alt-J (an English indie rock band) and Rudimental (they are a quartet with a blend of live instrumental and electronic music), two of the best acts (in my opinion) to come out of the UK in the past couple of years and definitely not what I expected to see on an Indian music festival lineup, let alone together! With feverish excitement, I booked my tickets to the Bangalore edition of the festival (Emerge is a bi-city festival, which was to be held in Delhi and Bangalore).