‘Twas the Christmas before COVID

Christmas 2019 has become an extra special memory as we spent it in the beautiful Indian city of Bengaluru, often called the air-conditioned city because of its superb temperate climate. While some of this has been eroded due to urban growth and deforestation, we found the weather in December dry and cool with day temperatures in the low 20s and night temperatures around 16 degrees, quite a change from hot and humid Brisbane. However it was the events we attended that made it especially memorable. The first was the wedding of our close friend Rajan’s son. Rajan had organised for his guests to stay at the historic Bowring Institute established in 1868 with lovely well-kept grounds, comfortable rooms and delicious meals. The wedding held in the equally historic St Patrick’s Church was just before Christmas on the 23rd of December, the only time the groom could get leave from his job in the USA.

Jozef and Indrani relaxing in the grounds of the Bowring  Institute before the wedding
Inside St Patrick’s

         

Christmas Eve was spent wandering around the streets of Bengaluru looking at the lights and displays and sharing the fun filled atmosphere with people of all backgrounds.  

Christmas Street and Nativity Scene

Then came Christmas Day which we spent with a cousin who I hadn’t seen for 15 years and his wife and son who I’d never met. My cousin took us to a famous restaurant, SodaBottleOpenerwala, which featured the cuisine of Parsis, a group that came to India to escape persecution in what is now known as the Middle East. The Parsis are renowned for their business acumen and concern for social justice but the cuisine is less well known so this was an unexpected treat. Their names also reflect their occupation, similar to English names like Smith and Carpenter. Apart from the food, there were quirky cocktails which added a special touch.

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The fabulous cocktails

The last thing we did before leaving Bengaluru was have coffee and plum cake at a famous bar and bakery called Koshy’s. The cakes made great Christmas gifts for friends at our next stop, New Delhi. I leave you with an image of elegance and taste which are the everlasting memories of our trip to Bengaluru.

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