A day in Mangalore was very very well spent. Friends, family, an old teacher, the works. I realize I miss that city. Mangalore is no longer that overgrown small town it used to be when I was studying there (I realize I say 'in those days' more often now; that old thing called age catching up!) Mangalore is more a city today, with ugly malls and more traffic. Yet, it isn't likely to go the horrible Bangalore way. The weather there is pits and I don't care much for the beaches as much as I do for the mountains, yet Mangalore is a lovely place to be. Once you get used to the heat, it does wonders to your skin, people are friendly, things inexpensive and even I could learn to love the beaches.
There was a time, long long ago, when I was seriously contemplating moving there. I can't say whether things are better because I didn't.
Mangalore remains one of old palatial bungalows hidden behind tall palm trees and overlooking the backwaters of the beach, of narrow roads that wind through quiet lanes, of literature and Yakshagana. And of the fairs, the jaathre, with candy and pop corn and merry-go-rounds. All so delightfully small town-ish.
On a day trip to the city, we did just that. Some moments here.
As always, I so wish I had a better camera.
It is heartening to see little children still being innocent enough to enjoy and burst into giggles on a ride. The seats are modern, by way of Pinocchio and Tom and Jerry, but the innocence remains.
I absolutely love the merry-go-round. The horses and the scooters go up and down and round and round. The children laugh and wave at their parents standing on one side. There are the naked bright lights that they shield their eyes from. Up and down and round and round.
Giant wheel. Another old favourite. Brought to mind evenings spent in a box car watching distance lights from the top and screaming, not because the operator was turning it too fast, but just to hear the wind carry my voice in the direction of those distance lights.
Food, unclean, but incredibly delicious. Back in college, right after classes, we would come to these grounds in the city and eat, play silly games and take the rides.
The ride we sat on. And screamed. And screamed. For memories of childhood. For the simple fun of it.
Popcorn I can pass. Cotton candy I cannot, even if you hand me a packet at midnight!! An absolute favourite. I loved how there were so many of those harsh lights everywhere. It gave the whole place a feeling of being in a small village.
The dragon ride awaits little kids. I love the unsophisticated and sometimes kitsch paintings on the sides of the rides, reminiscent of a simpler, older age.
Ice cream afterwards at Pabba's nearby. After Ideal's, Pabba's is the place for ice creams. No visit to the city is complete without stopping by there. I had, another old favourite, Parfait, originally an Ideal's creation. More memories of college followed.
I miss Mangalore.