Stepping on Human Skulls in Bangalore’s Black Magic Graveyard

As I stepped over the leg bone, I laughed. I’m no bone doctor, but it looked human to me. Orthopaedist, is that what it’s called? I’m no orthopaedist.

Must be from a cow, or maybe a dog. Do dogs get that big? Not a human. Definitely not a human.

But then I tripped, and I stepped on a skullcap, that really nailed it for me.

This Bangalore graveyard was covered in human bones.

“Maybe the dogs dig them up,” suggested Kaveri, as she led the way to the high priestess of the graveyard. “Or the rats.” Continue reading “Stepping on Human Skulls in Bangalore’s Black Magic Graveyard”

India’s Charlie Chaplin-branded Potato Chips

Okay, they’re not really potato chips. They’re about as far from that as you get — offerings like papad chivda, soya chips, sev puri, and mari banana wafers. They’re tasty.

And the bags are all stamped with Charlie Chaplin’s Little Tramp.

charlie-chips

I loved them so much I bought every kind the supermarket sold.

I think this might be my new favorite Indian snack.

Goodbye Telegram / Hello Telegram

If you’d asked me, I’d have confidently told you the telegram service was long gone, relegated to dusty 1930s spy thrillers, retro New York hipster bars, and awesome games I’m building.

I would have been so completely wrong.

telegram1

It turns out India actually still uses telegrams. Barely. The service is closing in days!

When I read this, I sent Woo an urgent SMS. “We’ve got to send a telegram. Pronto.” I looked at the note, and added one word to the end: “Stop.” And I knew, this was going to be awesome.

The local post office didn’t think it was as awesome as we did. “No, we don’t send telegrams,” the guy behind the counter said. “That stopped weeks ago.”

What!?!? Continue reading “Goodbye Telegram / Hello Telegram”

Dr Shankar’s Wonderful Collection of Brains and Other Medical Obscura

It came up over a bowl of brain stew at Karim’s, Old Delhi’s famously-dingy 1913 eatery.

“Tasty,” I said, wiping my mouth. “By the way, did I tell you about the brain museum in Bangalore? The architect told me we should go.”

Michelle tore off a piece of naan, and sopped up a wet chunk of brain. “We have to go,” she said.

And this weekend, we did.

Continue reading “Dr Shankar’s Wonderful Collection of Brains and Other Medical Obscura”

Another Little Bangalore Boat Church

53 weeks ago, I posted about my first boat church. The other day — deep in Bangalore’s Austin Town — I found another.

So what does this represent? St Thomas coming to Kerala? Or Jesus and Mary coming to India? Is the boat a little Fisher of Men? Or the stormy trip to Gerasenes?

How many of these boat churches are there? And when will I find one that’s not empty?

Elvises, Genies, and Sandalwood Beach Madness

If you know me, you know I like things big and overdone. I care less about the society of the spectacle than I do the spectacle of the spectacular. And Shangrila fills that fetish.

It’s this month’s hit song from next month’s hit Sandalwood movie, Topiwaala, starring the legendary Upendra (Uppi to his fans). And you have got to see the video: Honeymoon in Vegas meets I Dream of Genie in a Burning Man-Busby Berkeley dream. Dick Dale gone Bhangra gone Kannada.

You have to see it, here on BangBangBangalore.com.

Hindus Are Buried…?!

I didn’t know Hindus were buried. Like, they’re always cremated, right?

And then we stumbled on our local Hindu graveyard. And realized how wrong we were.

graveyard1_zps09ce07ef

The Bangalore architect laughed at me when I asked him about it later.

“That’s the great white myth,” he said. “You Westerners still like to romanticize us Indians like the colonialists. But it’s not true. These days, most of us Hindus prefer to be buried.” Continue reading “Hindus Are Buried…?!”

Great New Indian Sidewalk Movie Posters

First, does anyone know where in Bangalore, or perhaps India, I can get cardboard mailing tubes for posters? They just don’t seem to be available. What is this nonsense!!!

Second, if you missed these posts about the grand outsider Ramachandraiah sidewalk posters, see them now!

Batch 1:
harry potter
Original sidewalk posters for Harry Potter, Tintin and more
Batch 2:
moogamudiMore real work, including American and Indian superheroes!
Batch 3:

Custom-made posters including M, The Third Man, Suspiria, Wild at Heart, and Sixteen Candles.

Third, here’s the new batch of Bangalore-style sidewalk posters Ramachandraiah did for some more of my favorite movies…

My Neighbour Totoro

ganesh-talkies-totoro

I’d really wanted to see how they’d handle a Ghibli film… we’ve been doing Miyazaki marathons here at the Husainabad apartment building, and I thought they’d pair perfectly with his style. Sure enough, they did. The Kannada title of this film translated to something like “Nice Monster Friend!” Cute, huh? Continue reading “Great New Indian Sidewalk Movie Posters”

21 Amazing Bangalore Breakfast Dishes

The first time I saw the menu, I was lost. Sure, I knew dosas and idlis, but that was as far as it went. The other items were utterly alien to me.

indian-menu

And so I did the only thing I could: I decided to eat them all.

Norpro 3113 Cast-Aluminum Nonstick Aebleskiver Stuffed-Pancake Pan (Kitchen)


New From: $19.20 USD In Stock
Used from: Out of Stock

It took longer than expected. Tasted better than expected. And added more pounds than I would have thought possible. But here they are…

Pongal

Poongal Continue reading “21 Amazing Bangalore Breakfast Dishes”

The Great Poster Contest

So yesterday I got up to some dark nonsense… I ordered 600 more Bangalore sidewalk posters. You know, like these….

But not any of those. Chronologically, the movie’s leads were Buster, Louise, Glenn, Lloyd, Hayao, Johnny. Hint: might be directors. Hint: four are Americans. Hint: If you know my taste in film, and my obsessions, you should be able to work it out, right? Right??? Okay, here are two giveaway clues: Continue reading “The Great Poster Contest”

Amitabh Bachchan: Comic Superhero

I’m a huge fan of Amitabh Bachchan. But then again, who isn’t? He’s the king of Bollywood. BBC readers chose him as the greatest star of stage or screen of the last thousand years. I’m sure you’ve seen him as the angry young man in Sholay, or the angry old man in Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham. Or, if not, as the randy boa-wearing letch in Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna? Oh, you really should. (I’m sure you’ll see him in The Great Gatsby when it finally hits screens.)

And then you should read his comics.

Yep, Amitabh, the superhero. Continue reading “Amitabh Bachchan: Comic Superhero”

A Huge New Horde of Hand-drawn Indian Movie Posters

I hadn’t seen Ramachandraiah for far too long. He’s the movie poster artist. Some locals curse him as a ruin on this garden city. I hail him as an urban beautifying legend.

See his first batch of posters here.
His posters for my favorite movies: Suspiria, Wild at Heart, M, The Third Man, and Sixteen Candles.

“You want some samples?” he asked. His workshop was piled high in rolls of movie posters for local cinemas. Outsider masterpieces, they’re drawn in hours, printed on cheap sheets of 30″ by 20″ paper, and slapped up on highway overpasses, building sites, and concrete walls across the city.

His horror posters render horror in full 3-color gore and madness. Sam Raimi’s The Possession has never looked scarier:

Continue reading “A Huge New Horde of Hand-drawn Indian Movie Posters”