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SMAAASHING MONSOONS

Last Friday evening, the city was soaked in a Monsoon drizzle. Ignoring the rain, I and my 10 year old headed to SMAAASH at 1MG, Bangalore to try their 'Monsoon Season' menu and experience their many virtual reality games. 
Here's a photo and video tour of what turned out to be a fun experience...

We started with the fingercoaster, which is a Virtual Reality Roller Coaster where you can design your own ride path...


Although Virtual Reality made the ride almost like an actual roller coaster ride, boy was happy it was less dizzying...


Here's a video of the games he enjoyed the most...


Pangs of hunger after these few games took us to the restaurant. We hastily ordered a Chicken Basket. The Panko fried chicken were served with Jalapeno Mayo. This remained the boy's favorite...


The racks that once held the choicest liquors are now empty, thanks to a ruling by Supreme Court of India that bans sale of liquor within 500m of highways...


That doesn't stop us from having mocktails. I ordered a virgin mojito...


And a virgin pina colada for the boy...



Chicken Pakora is a deep fried monsoon specialty. There's nothing that gives more joy during rain than pakoras...


The cheese cucumber boat salad were cucumber boats loaded with cheese and fruits. It was absolutely amazing...


Hot Basil Fish was fresh and moist. The smoked chili sauce and Thai basil gave it the right flavors...



Minestrone Soup made with a variety of vegetables can never go wrong...



For the main course, I ordered Tandoori Roti's, which were soft and fluffy and Lasooni Saag, a curry where garlic and greens were stars...



Dessert was a Nutella, Banana, Peanut Butter & crispy Pretzel milkshake. Need I say more?


The boy was not yet done with the games. We went for another round of games.
Virtual Reality Hang gliding is the best activity after a heavy meal. It is just amazing to soar over scenic vistas...


Biking...



Drive Batman's car...


Cricket...








Formula 1...



Dirt biking...


Hunting down some terrorists...


And fight in a Virtual Reality battle...


SMAAASH has some amazing and thrilling Virtual Reality games suitable for all age groups. The place is well maintained and the staff is very attentive. I found the food interesting too. 


My first trip to Hoskote lake

Last Sunday morning, I visited Hoskote lake in Bangalore for the first time. I found a startling variety of birds at this scenic place located just 17 Kms from my home. 
Here's a photo tour of a place where I found many new birds...

A female Eurasian Marsh Harrier was the first beauty I saw...


The green spread around the lake forms an ideal habitat for the birds...


A Grey Heron was standing motionless waiting for prey to come within striking distance...


A White-throated Kingfisher was restless...


An Ashy Wren Warbler was at its chirpy best...


A Pond Heron was flying around in search of prey...


Eurasian Coots were in large numbers...


I walked towards the farmland near the lake from where many interesting bird calls were emanating...


I could see a black bird which looked like an Oriental Magpie Robin...


An Ashy Prinia was feasting on the farm produce...


So was a pretty female Baya Weaver...


I walked further looking for a male Baya Weaver. I found their retort-shaped nest hanging from a tree...


A tiny Common Kingfisher...


I returned to the farmland to see if I could spot a male Baya Weaver...


There he was, a male Baya Weaver swinging joyfully on a leaf blade... 


Another male Baya Weaver...


I walked towards the lake to see the water birds in action. On the way I spotted this White-browed Wagtail sitting on a wire...


An Indian Silverbill was also sitting on a wire...



At the lake, a Grey Heron seemed to have caught something...


Looks like it caught an eel...


The motionless wait of both of us was finally rewarded...


It flew away after that small meal...


I walked towards the farmland to see if I can spot another Baya Weaver. I found an Oriental Magpie Robin (I am not sure if I've identified it correctly)...


Sitting on the wire this time was a Red-whiskerd Bulbul making its loud and evocative 'pleased to meet you' call...



I saw the Common Kingfisher again...



And also a White-throated Kingfisher...


A fruit on a vine...


At the farmland, a Rose-ringed Parakeet was munching the produce...






I found another male Baya Weaver...


I dream about my next visit to Hoskote lake where the contrast between the water birds and land birds is very beautiful. 
My fabulous photo walk ended with the sighting of a Brahminy Kite...


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