Bangalore: Mantri Square miles

The Bangalore trip continues..and this evening, after freshening up we finally took mom out and to a place where she has nothing much to do..Sapna Book House. I thought she would enjoy the books, pics and strolls up and down the 3 storey building but to my misfortune, both Fi and ma were terribly bored with the snail-pace librarian's paradise. I made my purchases and we left an hour later. Fi suggested we go to Mantri Square mall soon after. Really? Mantri at
this hour?? (about 7 pm) ...I gave in only because I couldn't see two morose faces at once. The journey was short, about 10 minutes from Gandhi nagar to Malleshwaram. What first struck me was the expanse of the mall. Huge! I am used to the moderate Big Bazaar in my city but this seemed beyond my comfort zone. Or so I thought...

We braved the escalator with shivering feet. Fi stood straight, I almost fell down only to be supported by Fi and mom kept walking upwards the escalator in sheer fright! After that, we never chose to meet mr. escalator again..even if it meant walking up and down flights of stairs and going on the lifts.

Event at Mantri Square

UFC...where are you??

The whole persuasion front from Fi to go to Mantri Square was for one reason and one reason only..UFC Undisputed 3 (Xbox 360)game. He has been bugging me for the past one month for this one game (the sport of which he is a huge fan), I checked every possible website that might sell this and to no avail. So, if he tries to tell you that he wanted to go to the mall for any other reason, don't believe him. Ok, so we went to Reliance Digital at first and his heart sank a little as the game wasn't available there. We brisk-walked to another store - 'Games The Shop' where there was one piece of this game. Once we walked out with it, he said, "Is this true? I can't believe it!" I was glad he got his game...hopefully he won't spend all day ogling at it..nah, no point hoping.

Ma, bangles and I am not shopping???
Mummy dear had her hearts fill at Reliance Living and Reliance Trends (next day) ...She ended up buying a lot of bangles. Man, the sheer joy on her face! Worth it. And I just wondered, who is the trendy one again??
I warned her that gold-coated bangles will fade in time but I was reminded to allow her to be herself. Yeah, sometimes money isn't what counts most..its a loved one's happiness.
       We strolled around Reliance stores for quite a while. One good thing about Bangalore malls is that the Help doesn't stick to you like leeches on your back. I loved the freedom of strolling around taking my own time. Although Time-Out still needs to grow and expand in terms of variety, it was very neatly displayed. Although I didn't find any books related to aquarium care, I did find the atmosphere very chirpy and pleasant.

The obscure bucket of wings..
   On our way out, we did get our buckets of chicken from KFC..I don't understand why Fi and mom love this place so much and the food much more! Anyhow, at 9 p.m when there was no more time to check out the rest of the mall..I came across SPAR, Pantaloons ...I so wished to pop in but time begged us to get moving and bid farewell to Mantri.

The Next day:

 SPAR..Spare my aching bones........please!

The work part of our trip clearly finished with and our bones aching from head to toe, mum and I insisted we head out to Mantri asap early morning. Fi joked, "Even if you can't walk there, you will surely crawl your way around".Fi warned me that I wouldn't have much time for anything else (I wanted to head out to another mall in the eve!) at the rate at which we are gonna spend time at Mantri today. I begged to differ. At most,2 hours tops, I thought. Oh, how wrong I was...

 We were determined. SPAR alone took us 3 hours! I never knew that Spar is an international food retail wonder they have the best setups and arrangements of everything from groceries to flower pots and plant trimmers! Plant trimmers in a hypermarket?? Seriously? I have yet to find good oven-ware in Indian malls..and these people at SPAR even have a Fish Deli! The chicken section looked so neat that I could massage the meat on my face..Ok, I wouldn't but that deli was as good as the cleanest bakery I ever saw.

While I was ogling at the meat, Fi ordered us some cake - Mom ordered a fancy looking cake (the name of which doesn't come to mind) and I took a bite of the mini truffle pastry. Mum's cake had this little fluffy looking melon-ball like topping that we were all curious about. By the time I took to bat an eyelid, the yellow fluffy ball was gone! She gulped it down! She said she bought the cake only to taste the fruit topping. Haha! While mine was a bit dry, lucky her - her's was so light and creamy. I will be trying the croquets and rolls the next time I visit SPAR's bakery. But more than anything, Spar cheered me up with what I wanted to buy for a year now - Chumbak accessories. The website alone lured me with funky key-chains, groovy magnets and hilarious phone accessories. They are so funny, so ME!

At the utensils and clothes section, while mum and I shopped to our heart's content, Fi seemed out of place. Then again, he did get his precious UFC game. So all's fair.

After a good time at SPAR, we popped into the discount rich 'Show Off' store. After almost an hour and a half of searching through half-price Levi Strauss jeans, I finally was beat and with a pair of jeans that actually fit me. MRP - 1699 rs, Discounted price - 790 rs (incl tax). Nice steal, huh? Lunch was had at the curious Taco Bell store that boasted of unlimited refills for soft-drinks. In a place like India, soft drink refills are what we live for.. even if it means buying deceptive nachos. OK, I don't mean to be rude but after watching Eat Street on Fox Traveler Channel where the Mexican food looks larger-than-life delicious, I was less than thrilled after tasting what seemed like cheese-overload on nachos. The tacos and burritos seemed to contain the same stuffing. Only the rice bowl was relatively edible. The prices were cheap compared to any international fast food chain but the flavours weren't at par. Live and learn..

Au Bon...PAIN?

After that unappetezing turn towards fast food, we strolled a few hours more..all in all about 7 freaking hours! Fi was right, we didn't have much time for another mall-visit but we did have some hot coffee at Au Bon Pain. I never thought that we would be sipping Café latté at an international bakery/café! I easily get intimidated by the genteelness of a place. Au Bon Pain (means 'Place with good bread' ...and I thought it was a some kitschy French punk-rock Cafe!!) was surprisingly very inviting and had a welcoming and calming atmosphere about it. I could easily slink into a couch with a book and sip my coffee over occasional glances towards the passers-by. My Café latté was splendid for its affordability, even with the 4 sachets of sugar I had to pour in it to cut down the bite of the strong coffee. Someday, I'll have a one-of-a-kind  Café - lounge on the lines of this enterprise, just for the sake of its simplicity and unpretentious food.

Ah..what a day it has been. Started with a walk up the stairs of the first floor and down the last few, with bones aching worse than before. Hey, Bangaloreans have it good! I only get to enjoy it..maybe once a year. The soreness and pain I suffered because of the endless walking paid off in great memories with my loved ones, with every sip of free-loaded soft-drinks. Some Sunday,sometime soon, I'll be back here.


  1. Wow.. You really proved that you are a true Bangalorean..Thanks for the good post..It was fun going through the post..

  2. Hey keep posting such good and meaningful articles.

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