Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Musings over Padma Awards and a small food joint in Bangalore

Padma Shree Dr.D.Chinnaiah , FRCP, with his wife.

As we celebrated the 63rd republic day, it was also an occasion to recognize great contributions to the country through various medals, orders, decorations and our own Padma awards. No doubt, the Padma awards as different from those decorations to the uniformed men constitute a different category and the awardees more often than not represent people of eminence from various fields.

When we honour great men or women we are in fact honouring our own civilization, our own times and our own legacy thus remembering with gratitude our forefathers who have helped us to reach the place in history we enjoy today.

Padma Awards

Instituted in 1954, the awards of Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri, in that order, come behind the highest civilian award of Bharat Ratna for distinguished services to the nation.

While the awardees from the fields of arts, entertainment and public affairs are rather well known, those from the fields like medicine or science and technology are less known in comparison. This may be because of the nature of their careers and activities thereof.  

Over the years, we have indeed witnessed  many controversial awards too, as in the case of Nobel prizes  ; but these have not necessarily diminished the aura and recognition attached with these awards. One thing the State governments could do well is to include the brief life sketches of these eminent personalities in the curriculum especially in the upper primary or high school syllabi. This will enable our future generation to know more closely about the lives of their seniors who have greatly contributed to make the life enriched for every citizen of this great country. We could of course do away with some of the film personalities who have been honoured with Padma awards but whose behaviours in public life and conducts in general leave much to be desired.

Visit to Padma Shree Dr.D.Chinnaiah, Bangalore.

Last week, I was fortunate to meet at his home, Sri. Dr. Devappagowda Chinnaiah, an eminent cardiologist from Bangalore, who was a Padma Shree awardee during 2006. He is a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and was the founder Director of Jayadeva Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences and Research at Bangalore. I was fortunate to see a Padma Shree award in its original form very kindly brought to us by the gracious wife of Dr.Chinnaiah.  A much respected and loved person that Dr.Chinnaiah is, he lives in Jaya Nagar with his wife. Their daughter who also lives there told us of her Neurologist husband Dr.G.T.S. Subhash and informed us of their imminent visit to Cochin in connection with a National Seminar of Neurologists at the Bolghatty palace Hotel. I informed them that it is a good occasion to see this small island and the Dutch palace built in mid 18th century which was later used by the British as the official residence of the British Resident of the Princely state of Cochin.

Padma Shree Medal (Obverse)  of Dr.Chinnaiah


Padma Shree Medal (Reverse) of Dr.Chinnaiah   

Vidyarthi Bhavan, an ethnic restaurant

Coming back to a lip smacking subject, I know that among the fabled food joints of Bangalore, there are quite a few small restaurants serving great ethnic food. My friend, Vinod Murari took me to such an exotic place. This small eatery which was started in 1943 is in Gandhi Bazaar near Basavangudi   and is called Vidyarthi Bhavan. Probably in those colonial times it served the students, I presume. It does not serve any conventional south Indian meals for lunch but instead serves exotic Masala Dosa, Poori, Idli,  Kesari bath , Vada and Kara bath which are very tasty ,  natural and moderately priced. The unique chutney they serve with Dosa is not brought in small bowls but is poured into your plate using a large serving bowl with handle in the traditional style. What was interesting to note was that the shop opens in the morning for breakfast at 8 am and closes at 11.30 am and then it reopens only at 2 pm when a small hungry crowd awaiting the lip smacking delicacies could be seen eagerly waiting to rush into the dining area. I must admit that the wait was worth it because all those items we took were simply sumptuous and extremely delicious.

Vinod Murari in front of Vidyarthi Bhavan

Price list displayed; moderate prices.

Quite a crowded place

Those of my readers who go to Bangalore and who have not visited the place may take note of the above and enjoy some great food at Vidyarthi Bhavan.

Tripunithura, South India,
1st February 2012.

Payyanur and its oldest Vegetarian Restaurant

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