Evolve Back Humpi! A Super Resort and A Gentle Holiday.

Splendid is what I have to say about our stay in the lovely resort ‘Evolve Back’ in Humpi, Karnataka.

A visit to the ruins of the fabulous kingdom of Vijayanagara famous for the magnificence and architectural splendour and which had over 25,000 horses and 50,000 elephants, was overdue.

It’s 5 hours drive from Bangalore and a comfortable stay was needed and friends recommended resort Evolve Back.

Reviews and pictures were fascinating. And my wife picked up a 1100 sq ft accommodation.

Frankly I am not too worried about the size of the room. During my working life in Bombay, our family of four were living in a 900 sq ft apartment. And in a 8000 sq. ft house while working in Philippines.

Also, while doing a program in INSEAD France, the visiting Harvard professor took us to ‘Formula One’ accommodations priced at Euro 9.99. The concept was that a bed with clean linen and bathroom are all what is required for a traveller.

Holiday is different, but still 1100 sq ft is luxury. Imagine then to be told at check in that we were upgraded to 2600 square feet Jal Mahal suites with a private pool. Sublime!

The resort is just amazing, simply out of the world. It’s built, taking into account the opulence of the mighty Vijayanagara kingdom, the architecture and stone paved roads and the water bodies making it a wonderfully beautiful palace.

The trip was to see the ruins of the kingdom, but we were enjoying and living the royal experience inside resort, with the result we spent an entire day doing nothing, but absorbing the beauty, elegance, comfort, food and the outstanding experience of interacting with the well trained, polite, friendly and pleasing staff.

Everyone from the General Manager to those important service staff were eager to enquire our welfare and made us feel really valuable.

We even had a service personnel an angelic, smart and sweet young lady Miss Yashashri Bhaje assigned as a single point of contact so that we never felt any difficulty in getting anything. She’s immaculate.

The good old Ambassodor car-made convertible, the traveling flute artist whose melodies were heard from anywhere, the food in both the main dining hall and the dinner at Lotus Mahal all are some of the extras that is making one want to experience them over and over again.

The awe and amazement of seeing the ruins and architecture of the kingdom on the following day was a fitting compliment to the splendid experience we had in this luxurious resort.

Stunned in these momentous luxuries, a little bit of anxiety of a tourist on the recent cancellation policies of resorts were forgotten. Perhaps the tourism industry may take a re-look on something like 100% penalty for cancellation within 14 days to check-in. We’re in an uncertain times and a more liberal terms like a tiered penalty policy could make everyone happy. Such smaller breakage should compensate any lost opportunity, and could see more and more waiting in the queue.

I have no hesitation in recommending this beautiful property for a unique experience. Privilege of seeing the magnificence of the famous kingdom is enhanced with the wonderful experience at the resort.

Reasons why one should experience the stay here:

1. History of Hampi

2. Best in class resort

3. Super service

4. Will exceed expectations

If 5 is the maximum rating, this is 5+*.

Evolve Back Humpi! A Super Resort and A Gentle Holiday.

Valentine’s Day

What a special day this is! Celebrated with all the vigour and enthusiasm all over the world.

A day of love, friendship, goodness and compassion.

Flowers are the symbol, cupid the passion and gaiety the celebrations.

It’s the day when St. Valentine wrote a letter to a fellow prisoner’s daughter before he was executed.

“To-morrow is Saint Valentine’s day,
All in the morning betime,
And I a maid at your window,
To be your Valentine.
Then up he rose, and donn’d his clothes,
And dupp’d the chamber-door;
Let in the maid, that out a maid
Never departed more.”
— William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act IV, Scene 5”

That’s Shakespeare! If it’s easy, then Shakespeare would have been read and not taught.

“The rose is red, the violet’s blue,
The honey’s sweet, and so are you.
Thou art my love and I am thine;
I drew thee to my Valentine:
The lot was cast and then I drew,
And Fortune said it shou’d be you.”

That’s Nursery Rhyme for us lesser mortals, and it says it all.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Valentine’s Day

Price Is Not Premium Always.

Sweet Tamarind of Thai origin is such a delight, almost addictive.

On the left I have the box of 250 grams sold at the big supermarket in Kerala at a price of ₹150. And on the right is the same stuff of 250 grams bought here in Bangalore from Namdhari. For a price of ₹90.

Both are the same product, probably imported in bulk and packaged differently and priced differently.

Both taste the same! And paying 67% more for one doesn’t give me any satisfaction, even the false sense of consuming a high priced product.

Price is not premium, always.

Price Is Not Premium Always.

To Be Well With Wellness.

Wellness is the desire for all of us. We can have different measures for it. It’s important that we have a plan for our desires.

Wellness coaching is a tricky thing. There are numerous methods and recommendations towards a healthy life. Then how to choose a good one poses a challenge

The best way to do that is to set our own goals and try out what suits and works best for us.

That means, we need to be researchers. Look at recommendations and statistics, but test and evolve what’s good for us.

If I share my experience, I have found intermittent fasting as something really working. I consider Gin Stephens book ‘Delay, Don’t Deny’ as a good guide for it. She narrates based on own experiences, tests and trials.

Goals differ from people to people. I have set what could be considered as a very tough goal of acquiring six packs. That’s to look good.

Looking good is perhaps equally important like being healthy. Weight loss for many of us is looking good.

Personally, I don’t want to sacrifice much while going for the looking good and younger goal. One such sacrifice sought to be avoided is eating my favourite sweets.

Technically, internet fasting is okay when anything is eaten but confined only to the eating window. That perhaps take care of the sweet tooth. But there’s more to be done.

Losing fat, weight and toning up muscles need some extra bit of efforts. What if avoiding sugar and processed food help the task better. Well, worth giving a try.

So it’s worthwhile to look at diet, workout, and fasting to gain the best results.

For me they will be intermittent fasting as a lifestyle, some sensible eating during the window, exercises for weight loss and muscle building and swimming.

What we have to do is to select what work for realising the goal and make it the lifestyle.

To Be Well With Wellness.

What the Winter Has Done to the City of Dreams.

On the left is the terrace view in Bangalore in November 2020 and on right the same view now in February 2021.

That’s the winter effect in Bangalore. Mercifully, not all leaves have gone and it’s still green on the whole.

In spite of turning into the Indian Silicon Valley with resultant concrete jungles and unmanageable traffic, Bangalore has the greenery.

And there are always some lacing of colours with exquisite flowers.

It’s a city of dreams.

What the Winter Has Done to the City of Dreams.

Making Of a Chef! The Role Of Ingredients.

You have to do it when you’re just an amateur in cooking, but have a great passion for it, derive satisfaction in making food and follow some great recipes. You have to have the right ingredients at arms length.

We have the usual salt, pepper, chillies, coriander etc etc available, as they are for daily use.

But there are ingredients used once in a while, sometimes just a pinch of it but which would make all the difference between a great dish and something just to satisfy hunger.

Many of them are rare, not always available in the corner shop and one has to turn to Amazon.

But then, you decide to split the living in Kochi and Bangalore! There’s a way to avoid looking for ‘buy one, get one free’. Just buy one and carry with you.

Here’s some of them, brought from Kochi, which will go back with us from Bangalore when we return.

Saffron, for example is pricier than gold, but biriyani has no ‘dum’ without it.

Then there’s shrimp paste for that exclusive taste for the Thai green curry, Bamboo shoot for the shrimp dim sum and lemon grass powdered for that oriental taste.

Because, the right ingredients can make you a chef.

Making Of a Chef! The Role Of Ingredients.

Babloos or കബിളി നാരങ്ങ for us. Pomelo for Others

It’s probably the second largest fruit (jackfruit is biggest and Durian is that family). And it’s a citrus fruit. More like the grape fruit.

The sacs inside, looking like frozen coloured dew drops are quite juicy, are a bit sweet with a citrus tinge.

The best way to consume is to take out all the juicy sacs, spread some sugar over them and just eat them.

This is from our place in our hometown. And it’s bringing back childhood memories.

Babloos or കബിളി നാരങ്ങ for us. Pomelo for Others

How and Why I Am Cooking.

The best I could do was a fried eggs other than the typical Kerala special Poott.

But I used to hang around the kitchen in my childhood assisting my mother and watching her helpers, orotha chedathy and parre chedathy going about some of the most skilful acts in making those delicacies.

Of late I have started on trying out a few of those exotic and traditional dishes, some of which are practically extinct.

I find satisfaction, sense of achievement and quite a relaxation after making something which I never thought I could make.

Here are some of them, which I had blogged earlier.









How and Why I Am Cooking.

Why Do We Exercise!

Sometime back I was attracted to the saying that we exercise to impress the neighbor.

Now I look at it as need based also. Weight loss is a universally accepted reason. Better health, keeping fit etc are others.

Walking perhaps is most common with gym visits, weight training and others in the list.

There are quite a few who exercise for the company of fellow athletes.

But then, after a time we want to see some results. Some adjustments are required for it to happen.

Research says that slower walking helps losing weight better than jogging or running. So there’s some science behind all these.

This is what I do now:

I have adopted intermittent fasting as a lifestyle. To compliment the weight loss. I do some slow walking.

I want to walk on stones barefoot, like I used to do in childhood days when chasing fish in the river. So my walking for fat burning is barefoot on the cobbled ground with enough pebbles to toughen the barefoot.

I have a dream to acquire six packs. So I want to lift weight, do push-ups, pull-ups and crunches.

I want to get rid of my lower belly and love handles. For this I do anabolic and HIIT workout.

I am looking at some medals in Masters Swimming competitions. So I swim like a trained swimmer.

I want to acquire some yogic benefits. So I do yoga.

That’s hell of a lot.

Why Do We Exercise!

Chakka Undas Lasts Longer.

These jackfruit balls were made in April 2018 and I just took a few for eating with coconut. This is the best way to enjoy chakka undas.

It’s intact, probably tastes better after about 3 years. It was kept in glass jars and in refrigerator general compartment.

I must make new stock in the coming season.

Link to my April 2018 post is here.


Chakka Undas Lasts Longer.