02 January 2021

Shande's experience on HOMP

Highway on my podcast (HOMP) was one of the by-product of COVID-19 lockdown in 2020, an initiative by pioneers of travel show - Rocky and Mayur along with show's director Abhinandan and cameraman Prashant. The podcast was go to channel for me during lockdown period. One of the interesting aspect of the podcast was encouraging listeners to share their personal experiences over email and which were read out in various episodes. 

Below is the email which I had shared with the team and which was read out in Diu/Daman episode.

Hi Abhinandan, Rocky, Mayur & Prashant,

This is Sandeep (nickname Shande). Basically a Kannadiga, born in Uttar Pradesh and now very much in Bengaluru !

Thanks a ton for the lovely stories and also behind the scene anecdotes. You have been my friends during this tough lockdown period esp. while doing mundane household chores and lonely strolls around my home.

I used to miss most of your HOMP episodes when it was aired around 2010  - mainly due to 2 hours one-way commute from office and on weekends, I used to be busy with activities related to my photography club (Bangalore Photowalk). 

I have been an avid traveler for the last 15 years. Apart from covering many places in my home state Karnataka, I have traveled across other states - Ladakh, Himachal, Sikkim, Orissa, Rajasthan, Uttrakhand, Maharashtra, M.P., Punjab etc. and most recent was one to Gujarat with my family in Dec 2019. Your podcast has helped me to cherish all my personal moments and many things which I have missed out. Farali Kachori at Jamnagar looks to be a big miss for me ! wish I had your guidebooks/podcasts handy during my Gujarat trip :)

I am a vegetarian and not a very serious foodie. However, I would like to recall following moments
  • Pav Bhaji at Supreme Corner, JM Road, Pune - it was during the demonetisation period and I had 3 hundred rupee notes in my pocket. One of which was utilized at this hotel :)
  • Kotte Kadabu at Cafe Mysore, Mathunga, Mumbai
  • Karela Pyaz + Butter Chapathi at Bhagat Tarachand, Vashi, Navi Mumbai
  • Aloo Paratha+Chai at a roadside restaurant at Orchha.
  • Veg Thukpa at a canteen next to Rumtek Monastery, Sikkim
  • Gujarati Thali with Bajra roti at low-brow restaurant at Bachou (on the way to Bhuj, photograph below)
  • A cup of cardamom tea at Singhik - North Sikkim with a magnificent view of Teestha River Valley
  • Kachori - Chai at a tela in central Jaipur during early morning winters
  • Jigarthanda at Besantnagar beach Chennai
  • Gudbud at Diana Hotel, Udupi
  • and Hot Idly, Dosas with chutney at any darshani in Bengaluru :) 
Gujarati Thali at Bachau, Gujarat

I have listed down multiple places mentioned during your podcast and wish I cover these places once the lock down period is over.
  • Sadarji's hotel near Assembly house, Lucknow
  • Sharma Dhabha, Jaipur
  • Rajma Chawal at Pahalgam  
  • Radha Paratha House, Porbandar
  • Seva Cafe, Ahmedabad
  • Lee's Kitchen, Uttarakhand
  • Durga Mantap, Bhuvaneshwar
  • Sharma Vaishno Dhaba - near Chel, Himachal 
  • <many more>
And please let me know the coordinates of the Ghee Dosa place which you mentioned in the Karnataka podcast :) 

More than food, photography has been the primary motivation for me and below are a few photographs I would like to share with you all. You can see more at my blog (www.naanushande.com). I have not been active for the last 2 years. But your podcasts have given me a lot of kick to get back to writing. 

And finally thanks for adding me to your mailing list. I have been receiving updates from Episode 12 and not sure  how to access the previous ones ? Is it archived somewhere ? Also, similarly please see if there's a way to archive the lovely emails from fellow HOMPers which you read out during your episodes.

I am very much excited to see you guys back on the road and would be happy to contribute to HOMP initiatives in whatever possible way from my side.

Please buzz me when you are here in Bengaluru, I stay < 1 km from Vidyarthi Bhavan  :)


A few photographs from my trips across India

Nubra Valley, Ladakh

Mt. Kanchenjunga as seen from Pelling, West Sikkim

Valley of Flowers, Uttarakhand

Cenotaphs at Orchha, MP

Adinath Temple, Khajaraho, MP

Khuri Sand Dunes, Jaisalmer

Puri Beach, Orissa

Gokarna Beach, Karnataka

Ibrahim Rouza, Bijapur, Karnataka

Landscape at Chikmagalur, Karnataka

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