Mangalore is the city I grew up in. Like everyone else I’m extremely fond of my hometown and everything from there.
Most of my childhood memories are of visits to Kadri park (I wasn’t very fond of it) and the beautiful beaches (I so miss the beaches in Bangalore 😦 ). Oh how can I forget the festivals! Mosaru kudike at Mari Gudi, Dussera at Kudroli, Ganesh Chaturthi at Sanganiketan and Diwali with a lot of crackers, sweets and diyas at home.
Kadri Park was my dad’s favorite place for family outing. The only thing I enjoyed there were the mini train rides. I’ll never forget that group of college going boys who asked us kids to write them a letter when we reach our destination :-D(“Mutti bokka kakaji barele…”). I also remember the flower shows that would happen there every year (Wonder if they still organize them). I also loved “Charmuri” and Shetty ice cream Choco Bar :-).
I loved sitting on the beach, watching the waves. It is a real treat to the eyes to see the sky change color as the sun sets down the horizon. The warm breeze mixed with a hint of salt from the sea, the little sand castles I would never forget to build, and those cute crabs that I loved chasing. You have to experience the sand slip between your feet as the waves pull you deeper into the sea. I also enjoyed the boat rides from sultan battery to Tanneer Bavi beach. Kite festival was another attraction but it would be too crowded for my liking.
Did you know that Mangalore is also known as the ice cream city? 🙂 Ideals ice creams are my favorite! It’s like an obsession… I would go every weekend to Pabbas to eat my all time favorite Tiramisu and Gadbad. I would accompany my mother in all her shopping sprees in Hampankatta to just get a Gadbad treat in ideals :-). Even today, Pabbas is our (me and my friends) favorite hangout.
My writing on Mangalore cannot be complete without a mention of my alma mater Ladyhill Victoria Girls High School. I spent the best(est) 11 years of my life there and I thank God for not letting dad enroll me into Kendriya Vidyalaya(not that I have anything against the school). I also met my dearest friends (who are and always will be a very integral part of my life) there. We were lucky to have the most experienced (on the verge of retirement :-D) staff molding us into bright young ladies. I loved Satyavati Teacher’s classes as she would always share words of wisdom and not just stick to the textbooks. Aruna Teacher’s poetic style of teaching was also very influencing. My most favorite teachers have to be Teacher Rosely and Sr. Rose Agnes. I’ll always be indebted to my dear teachers for making me the person I am.
And you know what I miss the most sitting here in Bangalore? My dear home. The same home where I would run around as my mother tried to stuff food into my mouth and the same home I came back to after completing my MCA. This house has seen my achievements and my failures. No matter where I go, Vaishali will be “my home”.
People might remember Mangalore for the “pub attacks” and “plane crash”. But this is the Mangalore I have seen and will always remember – A city with a lot of memories, coconut trees, lovely food, mixed cultures, beaches, tiger dances (pili vesha), Yakshagana and friendly faces.
I owe whatever I am today to my city and the lovely people there. Mangalore, you complete me!