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There is something strangely liberating about getting lost in a city that is not your home. I have always revelled in the joy of discovery that something like this affords you – the unknown lanes, the strange faces, the incomprehensible language, and of course, the flavours , aromas and foods that are completely fresh.

I am lost in Bangalore. Yes, I know that sounds like an oxymoron, and yes, only a moron would get lost in a place like Bangalore with it’s neat roads, pretty-orderly traffic for a major Indian city, and quite systematic in layout and planning. So, how come?

Well, I started out looking for a place called Sunny’s  – came highly recommended by local foodies, complete with what to eat, how to eat, where to sit and other such details that only true foodies pride themselves on. But, returning to a little-known city (for me) after 4 years, and being driven around by an uncommunicative cab driver has put me in an unenviable position, quite like a foreigner. But before I launched headlong into an internal moral debate on whether it’s a good thing to be a stranger in your own country, I needed to find a place to eat. So I switched to hunger-panic mode, quickly scanned the horizon through the car window, spotted a cluster of tall buildings called UB City, and did the simplest mime – pointed and yelled ‘Stop‘. Effective!

So here I am dining al fresco at  Toscano – a beautifully Smoked Salmon Bruschetta, followed by a juicy and tender Chicken Tapenade, washed down by a really tall iced tea. I have Midnight’s Children for company, and a lovely monsoon breeze fluttering the canopies as I finish up my salad and watch the world go by…

Plate-licker’s wisdom : Hmm, not a bad way to get lost after all!