Saturday, June 26, 2010

Man Vs Food Vs Me

        I woke up from a short nap this afternoon, to heavy rains lashing against the windows. I had half the mind to go back to sleep, but a hot coffee sounded like a better idea. It WAS a better idea! After an hour or so of doing nothing but sitting by the window and watching the rain, I decided to catch up on some TV. That was about an hour ago. I am now in front of my PC, craving for something to bite into.You know, a giant burger, a sinfully roasted chicken leg or a plateful of onion pakodas. Arrggh..It’s the rain and then the shows on Travel and Living! I mean seriously, these guys have to be sued. Almost all their shows are about food, more food and then some more food. Anthony Bourdain walks around like James Bond, making the whole deal of digging into delicious food look like some major spy game. Then there is this Bobby Chinn ( Oh btw, I love that guy ;)) who actually flirts with food, making his episodes look like some weird dating show. Then there is Anthony Zimmern, whose binge episodes keep playing in a loop all day ! And each time I watch any of these shows, I start craving for good, glorious food ! Even Samantha Brown walks into eating joints on her “Passport to Great Weekends”. Not helping !
        Then there is Man Vs Food. The portly Mr.Adam Richman plops himself around the United States, eating his way into a food coma and jumping into food challenges. I have seen him down a giant steak, a pizza that looked as big as a football stadium and a burger that looked like a 100 pillows piled up together. I find him capable of eating up a human being. And the noises he makes ( Tee hee hee ). I mean, the food on the table looks delicious alright , and yeah, I would happily take his job without thinking twice, but frankly, the way this guy pushes food down his throat, I wonder how painful his mornings are, if you know what I mean :P Wherever he goes, he has people nudging him on to finish his food challenges right upto the last morsel. He finishes the chicken to the bone,even when it’s coated with the hottest chilli in the world, the only thing left from his giant burgers are onion rings that fell off while he ate and sometimes he even licks his fingers off, just to make sure he has finished EVERYTHING on the table. Wonder what his digestive tract is lined with, to be able to resist such abuse! The mayo and mustard stream dripping down from his mouth apart, this guy is good fun, though I wish he would go easy on the expressions :P Makes him look like he is having a bad case of constipation( which is a possibility, considering the fact that our man is an eating machine :D) Check out his expressions! 

        Now thanks to all this food on TV, I am always craving for good food. Not good ! Not good at all!! And oh, I was hoping to continue this post to write about Nigella Lawson as well, but then, that woman is good enough to deserve a separate post. Plus, my coffee is getting cold. And the aroma from the steaming hot plate of pakodas is driving me crazy. Freshly delivered at my desk by Mommy the Great. Eat your way into happiness people! :) Happy Weekend!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The One-Upper Syndrome

     The moon rotates around the Earth and the Earth rotates around the Sun. That is the natural course of the Universe. If you have paid attention in your 6th grade geography class, the name Copernicus will ring a bell. This guy suggested a model of the Universe that was centred around the Sun. I kind of bought his story, until recently.
     Yeah. Nature has thrown me away from the natural course and put me in an orbit that runs around a certain person who is so full of herself, that 5 minutes with her and you will find yourself forcefully drawn into her world, which again, is full of herself. If you have had the good fortune ( use a pinch of sarcasm here) of bumping into someone who thinks the world about themselves and expects you to think so too, you will understand my plight by the time I end this post.
     Let us call her The Queen. Not because she is one, but because, if she ever stumbles across this mean blog, she will at least give me credit for giving her a fancy name :P Now Miss Queen is someone I HAVE to stumble into everyday. A typical conversation with her, as expected, begins with her and ends (if it ever does) with her.
    Even when we are stuck in a large group, she has what it takes to divert the conversation towards her. Sample this
Person 1: “ Bush kept talking about Osama bin Laden. And now all of a sudden, the guy is forgotten. No one talks about him anymore.Wonder what happened to that guy.”
     Before Person 2 can respond, Miss Queen almost gets hysterical trying to figure out what she can say to talk next without giving the other people a chance.There she goes!
Miss Queen : “ Oh Bin Laden. “I” hate that guy. “I” think he must have shaved his beard by now and wandered into the US again. Btw, you know what, “I” hate men with beards. Does’nt it itch ? Wonder how girls can stand them. “I” would dump a guy if he ever grew a beard.”
      And just like that Bin Laden vanishes into thin air and the conversation is lost in an overdose of HER opinion. Not that I would care. Because I generally turn a deaf ear to all that she says.But it does get to me sometimes. Especially when she gets into “one-upper” mode. If “one-upper” sounds new to you, here is how the urban dictionary describes it.
One-upper : An annoying person who responds to hearing someone else’s experience or problem by immediately telling a similar story about themselves with a much more fantastic (or terrible) outcome.
Picture this :
Girl 1 ( talking about her weekend getaway) : My husband and I drove down to County Resorts for the weekend. It’s such an amazing place. We had a great time there.
Miss Queen :  Oh County Resorts? My grand dad has a membership there. We get a free vacation there every 6 months. But we choose not to go. Such a cheap place.
      How mean is that? I have half the mind to punch her nasty nose and break it into two. If only I could get away with it!
     One week with that woman and I knew there was no stopping her. I did try to be politely tolerant of her antics. When that dint work, I resorted to plainly ignoring her. That’s the worst way to treat a person. Ignoring them. But such people just ask for it. And I give them what they ask for.
     Miss Queen is only a recent example. There are many such glowing examples of interesting one-upper personalities from the past who are freakshows of the first order ! The worst kind of one-uppers are the negative one-uppers. The ones who want to stand first. Even if it means standing first on the loser scale :p I mean seriously, what do you do with such people?
      If you tell them you got a cavity filled, they will jump and say that they got a root canal operation done. If you say your neighbour got a nose job, their neighbour would have got a nose job AND a boob job . If your friend downed 3 tequila shots at the party, their friend would have downed 6. And if you broke your ankle on your biking trip, they would have broken their ankle, their hip and their neck :-| There is simply no end to their bragging!
       How do you handle such jerks? Some of my friends try reverse-snobbing, which is aimed at making the one-upper feel guilty. If she brags about an expensive dinner, you talk about the hunger in Uganda. So basically you just burst her bubble right into her face. But again, that would mean stooping down to her level. And I am not too keen on doing that.
       But I must admit, it is quite challenging to just sit there and tolerate such freakshows. So on the most recent onset of her bragging session, I put a brake to her enthusiastic onslaught and told her I was having a bad headache. “Uh-ho” she said and stopped for a few seconds. I thought my trick had worked. Only until she blurted out “ I had a bad headache in the bus today. I felt like I would faint if it continued”. Inspite of it’s inappropriateness , I could not hide my grin. I simply picked my coffee up and walked away as I guffawed like a crazy cow. She is just beyond repair! So now instead of banging my head into the wall each time she does that, I simply try and find humour in her situation. I can choose to either get peeved or I can simply choose to chuckle over her mental illness. I choose to do the latter. And I see that I can stand her better now :P
       I am sure you would have come across one-uppers too. Trying to mend them or trying to beat them in their own game is an absolute waste of precious energy. It’s like rolling in the mud with a pig. Not only will you get dirty, the pig will actually enjoy doing it. Why give them the pleasure ;)
      Here’s a chuckle for you. And I take leave with that :)
There were three women sitting around the table, talking and bragging.
The first beautiful, dressed lady said "My husband bought me a new mink coat and a trip to Europe. "
“Oh !Thats nice!”.The second lady replied.
Trying to out do her and one up her , the third lady said "my husband bought me a 5 carat diamond AND that mansion up on the hill, Oh, and a Rolls".
" Oh !Thats nice!”. The second lady said again.
Noticing that the second lady was so quiet, the other two prodded her.
Finally she said, " My husband sent me to etiquette school" .
“Oh really? “ The other two women said. "What did they teach you there?"
"Well, instead of saying “f--- you”, they taught me to say “ Oh! That’s nice"
 The other two shut up :-D
Have a great week ahead ! :)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Dear Shampoo Girl

Dear Shampoo Girl,
       You are an enigma! In the true sense of the word. Ever since I was old enough to understand what you were doing on TV, I have been trying my best to understand what the hell is the secret of your happiness. For years now, I have seen you grinning from ear to ear, happily rubbing the lather into your scalp and I have begin to believe that you have just cracked the mystery of everlasting joy. You have the key to heaven’s door. And I think you are not human. You are definitely an angel with supernatural powers. How else can you explain keeping your eyes open while shampooing your hair? You don’t even squint ! And your face...Its perfect ! The lips are shiny alright and the makeup is intact. In fact your face is barely wet. How do you manage it? I swear, for us normal mortals, there is a lot of lather-flowing-down-your-face, eyes-burining-like-hell,face-wound-up-in-an-ugly-grimace when we shampoo. Yes, inspired by you, I did grin into the bathroom mirror. And yes, I did look very happy. But that was only until a stream of lather found it’s way into my open mouth. And it did not taste good at all. Not that I thought shampoo tastes good, but you know, with all the strawberry and grapefruit extract....I thought...err....never mind.
       Your boyfriend wore sunglasses to ward off the glare from your shining hair. And as you walked down the street, your hair swung from end to end, like a garden swing. And when the wind blew right into your face, you flashed your million dollar smile again and pushed a strand of your luxurious hair away from your face (without squinting). Why is it that when I walk down the street and the wind blows into my face, my hair blows out in all directions and I end up looking like I just got out of bed? Is it because I don’t smile enough in the shower? I surely do think so.
Thank you for enlightening me about the “extra bounce”,“deep moisturizing”,“intense conditioning”,“damage repair”,“hairfall control”, “anti-dandruff” variety of shampoos. I tried all of them one bottle after the other. The extra bounce shampoo bounced away from the bathroom shelf and ended up in the loo. The deep moisturizing shampoo leaked from the bottom and moisturized the bathroom towel. The damage repair shampoo damaged my hair and sent it out for repair. My neighbour used the hairfall control shampoo and his hair does not fall anymore (Let us forget the fact that he is bald now). He is now using the anti-dandruff shampoo to rub his pate into shining perfection. He has nothing to lose you see. Your shampoos sure do live up to their names ! And yes we are all happy people now. Thanks to the extended usage of your various varieties of shampoo, we have now learnt one of life’s most important lessons. That not matter what name you call a shampoo by, at the end of the day, all it does is to wash your hair! As good as a soap solution. Period.
        Being your loyal fan, I do wish that you continue to smile as you always do and may God bless you with many such happy moments under the shower. May your life be filled with sachets, tubes and bottles of the wondrous liquid. And may your boyfriend continue to wear his sunglasses.
        So yeah, the shampoo did not quite work out for me like it did for the Shampoo Girl.Sad and sullen by the anti-climax, I had almost given up, when I saw the detergent lady on TV,grinning ear to ear as she emptied a heaped spoon of detergent into her washing machine. Time for me to do the laundry! Maybe that is where I will find my nirvana. Amen.
       Detergent girl, here I come! Let’s wash away baby! :-|

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Shantaram - My Review

      Being an obsessive, compulsive reader, I have spent a sizeable chunk of my life and a good part of my income buying books, reading and re-reading them. I hate buying books off second hand stores and I hate buying pirated versions. It has been my principle to buy original books. A book is more than just a product to be sold in the market. A lot of toil and soul goes into writing a book and I find it almost inhuman to even entertain the thought of depriving the writer a monetary gain that he/she so rightly deserves.
       I never pick my book based on popular opinion. I prefer taking my chance. If the book turns out to be boring, ah well, big deal. But on the other hand, if a book turns out to be a delightful read, it’s worth the investment of money and time. Right now, I have quite an impressive collection of books. I intend to hand them down as an heirloom :) In an age where even weddings happen online, I am not sure how much the future generation would appreciate a truckload of yellowed books, but I sure do intend to give it a try.
      I have been reading up English Classics of late and I am loving it. Today, having just read a very impressive page from one of the English Classics, I felt that the book actually struck a chord somewhere. Feeling weirdly emotional, I went back in time to dig out the last time when I felt so absolutely taken over by a book. And just then, a line crossed my mind.
               “Luck is what happens to you when fate gets tired of waiting.”
       That line, that simple yet profound line has stayed with me, even years after I read it in one of the books that has influenced my life in such a big way, that I cannot even begin to explain. I cannot point out a trait and say “ Look, this is what I learnt from that book”. But, many a decision and many a bitter moment in my life have been passed through just from the sheer strength that I derived from reading this masterpiece. This line is but one of the many treasures that lay hidden in one of best written books of the century, “Shantaram”.
       Shantaram is almost an epic. If you are the kind who looks for popcorn entertainment, twists and turns and happy endings and sugary romance, Shantaram is not for you. Shantaram is a journey, a timeless travel into life, full of learning , pain, love and a myriad other emotions. After having completed reading the book, I remember clutching it to my heart and kissing it. That is how much I love that book. I cannot assure that you will go through the same emotions after having read it. Experiences vary from person to person. But what I can assure you is that the book will not disappoint you. At any level !
      The title may lead you into thinking that the book is about an Indian man. Yes, the novel is set in India. But the main protagonist of the story is an Australian prisoner who escapes from his 19 years of sentence in an Australian prison and ends up in India on a fake passport. Destiny brings him to Bombay ( Mumbai) and he meets Prabhakar, his humble Indian taxi driver friend who gives him shelter in a filthy slum in Bombay, away from the eyes of the law. Lindsay the Australian, goes on to be Linbaba in the slum and later in life, he becomes “Shantaram” when Prabhakar’s mother calls him that during his stay at the tiny village tuck away in rural Maharashtra. “ Shantaram” transalates to mean “ The Peaceful man”. But the entire book revolves around pain, crime, disease, death, drugs and a very poignant, profound and alluring definition of love.
      I do not intend to dissect and explain the story. But just believe me when I say it, time will just flow by while you read the book. It makes you wonder, it makes you cry, it makes you smile with tears flowing down your cheeks, it makes you want to go hold Lindsay’s hand and live his wretched life in the slum, it makes you say prayers for him and it makes you want to take the next flight to Bombay. Inspite of being written quite some time back, the book is relevant to this day and each night I went to sleep after having read a part of Shantaram, in a very strange way, I felt as if the events in the book were happening during my lifetime, right now in Bombay. That is how livid and tangible the events are. You know a book is good when you begin to be a part of it.
       Lin is a struggler, trying to make through life by peddling drugs and getting involved in counterfeit and crime. And yet, you will love him. He is no hero. He is a normal human who succumbs to pressure, cries out in pain, yearns to be loved and has his own failures to deal with. He is an anti-hero. In spite of his unromantic, drab, glamour-deprived life, as he ploughs through his days in Bombay, finding himself involving with thugs and murderers, you will push aside all the negativity and turn the pages to move with him. Twined into the narration, is a wealth of wisdom, surreptitiously intertwined with the story that just hits you the first time you read it. There have been many moments in the book when I turned the pages backward and re-read sections that I absolutely loved.
      Linbaba, Prabhakar, Didier,Karla,Abdullah,Abdel Khader Khan and the other characters of the book will take you through a sojourn that is almost spiritually enlightening. And yet there is nothing religious or spiritual about the story. There are no Godmen who will tell you about life, but there are marvellous moments in the story that will simply explain life to you in terms that you will immediately grasp. And terms that will stay with you for a lifetime.
      Being an Indian, I know my country well. So when Linbaba stays at Prabhakar’s village, or when he talks about the slums in Bombay, the construction sites, the poverty, the foreigners who give up their lives in their own countries and settle down in Bombay, peddling drugs and becoming a part of the local crime gang, I can totally relate to what he says. Being used to viewing my country through my own eyes, when Shantaram, a foreigner describes it for me, the picture of my country in general and Bombay in particular comes out as clear as a painting. The streets and gullies of Bombay, The Haji Ali Mosque, the beaches of Bombay and the Leopold Cafe are all real life landmarks in the wonderful city. And as Shantaram brings them into his story, the Bombay I have known, was shown to me in newer light. There is a certain romantic inclination for ths city and its filth. Such is the essential involvement of Bombay in Shantaram that even after all these years, I still remember Bombay as the place where Lindsay the Australian became Shantaram.
       Through his epic book, Gregory David Roberts brings to life, many moments from his own life. After having googled him out and read about him, Shantaram almost sounded like Roberts’ own autobiography. Read about his life and you will know what I mean. I could not help but draw parallels between Roberts’ life and his alter-ego Shantaram’s. For one, Roberts’ was a prisoner in an Australian jail before he began writing Shantaram :)
       If you are in the mood for aching hands and sleepless nights, Shantaram is just the thing for you! The book runs into 900 + pages and all the ”flipping back to re-read” moments will further add to the time that you will take to finish it :) Nevertleless, it is worth every hour of sleep that you will lose over it. I highly recommend this book as a must read. Take my word. You will love it !
       I will leave you with some of my favourite lines from the book. This should do enough to get you into buying an original copy of the book. :) Read on...

“Men reveal what they think when they look away, and what they feel when they hesitate. With women, it’s the other way around.”
“Every virtuous act has some dark secret in its heart; every risk we take contains a mystery that can’t be solved.”

“At first, when we truly love someone, our greatest fear is that the loved one will stop loving us. What we should fear and dread instead is that we won’t stop loving them, even after they are dead and gone.”

“A dream is a place where a wish and a fear meet. When the wish and fear are exactly the same, we call the dream a nightmare.”

“The past reflects eternally between two mirrors -the bright mirror of words and deeds, and the dark one, full of things we didn't do or say.”

“It took me a long time and most of the world to learn what I know about love and fate and the choices we make, but the heart of it came to be in an instant, while I was chained to a wall and being tortured.”

“The tendency towards complexity has carried the universe from almost perfect simplicity to the kind of complexity that we see around us, everywhere we look. The universe is always doing this. It is always moving from the simple to the complex. “

“I dont know what frightens me more, the power that crushes us, or our endless ability to endure it”.

“Truth is a bully that we all pretend to like”.

If this review translates into 2 more Shantarams getting sold, my job is done :) Thanks for reading!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

I dream, therefore I am...

      There is never a day that goes by without me thinking about how it would be to do absolutely nothing in life, but just sit back and watch each day go by, sipping on a tender coconut, reading a forgotten novel and whiling away the afternoons under a cool banyan tree. I am a dreamer. And I have a mad life.”Mad” in a nice way sometimes and “mad” in a not-so-nice-way sometimes. But all it takes for me to escape this madness is to just shut my eyes, sit back and dream. I have read like a billion quotes till now that keep reiterating the importance of building dreams. But never did it’s importance really occur to me until I actually grew up and tasted life!
     As a kid, I did make my dreams. But life has been kind enough to refuse to fulfil them but in turn gifted me with a reality that is far more pleasant than any dream I could ever come up with. There were confusing phases when nothing made sense, when everything seemed to go the wrong way and I thought I simply had to give up and stop being a dreamer. But eventually, I have come to realize that though not many dreams translated into reality, my ability to dream has more than made up for any loss that reality might have made me feel :)
     I have passed through a phase in life when “dreaming big” was the mantra. Somehow, for me, this “dream big” mantra has a very materialistic ring to it. At least, honestly, when I was a true believer of dreaming big, it was always about a super-successful career, a rich life, full of fun-filled moments, extended overseas holidays, a Jacuzzi in the backyard and a personal indoor spa . I may have been naive in believing that “ big dreams” had to be only about success,name and fame in life, but for me, that’s the connotation of “big dreams” I had as a growing teenager.
      Later in life(that is now), when the life-map has begin to make sense and when all the materialistic dreams are not very far away from being fulfilled( a decade is not very far, I believe :) ), I am at crossroads. With a little planning and smart execution of plans, I can get all I want. But no, just when I have everything at hand’s reach, I want to go back and grab all those times when I wished I would be what I am today. As a kid, I could not wait to grow up! And now, as a grown up, I want to go back and be the kid that I was! Why would I want to do that? One reason of course, is the clich├ęd attraction for childhood memories. Life has it’s way of making the past look more cheerful than it actually was. So yes, maybe that is why I would want to go back. But no, there is more to it than just that. It is the rare gift that only children possess. The gift to dream endlessly. The gift to dream fearlessly.
       For a child, everything is possible. Right from morphing into Batman to sprouting wings when you wake up in the morning, every fantasy is a possibility. Even the wildest of dreams of a child, have a ring of reality and a hope of possibility attached to it. But for an adult, the innocence is gone. Having seen life and it’s various turns, every dream is plagued by the unavoidable evaluation of pros and cons. The urge to be realistically fantasized is really strong. You are aware of the hurdles, the hardships, the turmoil, the testing times and the absolute surrender to the fact that “maybe” this dream will never come true.The “fearless” quality of dreams is gone! And the urge to be real rules over everything else..
      I want to go back to those times when I checked the scrapped pencil shavings inside my book to see if they had morphed into a peacock feather, when I used to put coins into a piggy bank and wished that I could buy the neighbourhood park with that money, days when I prayed to God to give me the ability to read the time from a clock that had no numbers on it (yes I was petrified of clocks that had no numbers on them ) and days when I swallowed a hailstone that had fallen into our frontyard because I truly believed that it made humans immortal :) There is something strangely alluring about the innocence of those times. When they said “Ignorance is bliss” , I baulked. But now I understand that in one sense, ignorance truly is bliss.
      Having come to a turn in life where “dreaming big” is not the mantra anymore, I am now a follower of small dreams. I do not yearn for a Jacuzzi anymore, nor do I want a personal spa. The life that I look forward to in my older days now, is simple,uncomplicated and highly unmaterialistic. Now, when I sit by the open window, watching the rain, I dream of the place where I want to be in very soon.
      It is a small cottage, with a well in the backyard, a banyan tree in the frontyard, a small garden swing, a wooden bench by the wall, picket fence on all four sides, a jasmine creeper by the front door, an armchair, an old grandfather clock inside the house, a well stocked kitchen ( the foodie in me ) and one room full of bookshelves along the wall, filled from the ceiling to the floor, with all the books that I have managed to collect in my life. :)
      Now, the biggest “small” dream of my life, is to get to a point in time when I can afford to spend my days in that humble cottage, sitting on the garden swing, reading a book, watching the bullock carts go by, listening to the crows caw aloud in the afternoons, feeding the stray dog , building up a bonfire in the garden on cold evenings and spending long nights in my library, writing my book :) And just like that, I want to be able to live each day away and pray for a long life to live through more such days of blissful existence!
      And until that day actually comes by, I will continue to sit by my window, close my eyes and dream...And I will do all that it takes to get there :) Even if it means finding my way through my “mad” life right now ! :) And no, that is not my retirement plan...I would very much love to be there right now! :)
         Dream as if you'll live forever. Live as if you'll die today.”

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Eat Street Bangalore !

     Being the foodie that I am, I have covered pretty much all the well known restaurants in Bangalore. Indian, Thai, Chinese, Mexican, Continental, Italian, Afghani, you name it! While some places were nothing less than paradise, there are quite a few restaurants that did not quite tingle my tastebuds. I have been meaning to write a review about some of my favourite eateries for some time now. But reviewing food is no easy task. I am someone who literally worships food. My plate is always clean after a meal, I don’t waste a single grain of food. I always say no to materialistic gift items and always insist that anyone who wants to give me a gift could treat me to a nice dinner instead. While I do not promote gluttony, I do indulge in it once in a while ;)
     When was the last time you felt so hungry that you thought you could eat a horse? What exactly did you do then? Did you indulge in gluttony or did you just console yourself with a snack? It was on one such “dying out of hunger” occasions that two of my friends and I decided to hit the best street in Bangalore. The EAT Street. We were coming back home in the office bus when we our stomachs started grumbling aloud. Two minutes later, stuck in a mighty traffic jam, we decided enough was enough and got out of the bus. A half a mile walk and two auto rides later, we were at VV Puram, which is one of the oldest areas in Bangalore and also house to the “world famous in Bangalore” Eat Street :)
Bangalore’s Eat Street is nothing like the fancy Eat Street in Hyderabad. Our Eat Street is basically a line of humble shacks that churn out some of the best street food that I have EVER eaten. At the fag end of the street is VB Bakery, one of Bangalore’s oldest and best bakeries. It is the oldest landmark in that area and any old Bangalorean worth his salt will easily locate the quaint little bakery where the items get sold out in a matter of an hour! The place makes steady business and remains crowded until late hours in the evening. You can choose to begin your culinary journey at Eat Street either from the VB Bakery end or from the other end of the street where the line of shacks begin!
       We chose to begin from the other end . Our first stop was at the Idly stall. Served on a leaf with a splatter of coconut chutney and sambar, the idlies here just melt in your mouth ! The guy who makes them pulls the tray straight from the steaming vessel, scoops out the fluffy idlis into a leaf and hands it over. Being a South Indian, I know my Idly well ! And I am quite a critique when it comes to rating idlis. But trust me, the idlis at this place simply blew me away ! Being the gluttons that we are, my friends and I decided that instead of ordering 3 plates of idlis, we could just order one plate and share it. That way we could savour ALL the items on Eat Street :P. The idlies vanished in less than a minute. Half my mind wanted to order another plate while the other half wanted to scoot to the next stall and gulp down the Onion dosa!
    To say that the onion dosa was divine would be an understatement! The dosa was actually a piece of art! Half the fun at Eat Street lies in standing by the stall and watching the men cook your food right in front of you. After skilfully spreading out the dosa batter on the hot plate, the guy punched a hole in a packet of Nandini ghee and simply poured a torrent of ghee all over the dosa. Pure, unadulterated ghee! After topping the dosa with chopped onions and cooking it over the flame for a minute, our onion dosa, dripping with ghee, smelling like heaven ended up on our single plate. Without even waiting to chew the dosa in the mouth, we dug into the next piece like hungry dogs. Ashamed of being so ravenous, I looked around to make sure no one was watching us. My fears met with a happy end. EVERY single person around that stall was eating as if he/she hadn’t seen food for months together! Gluttony is all the more sweet when you have a large group indulging in it. But seriously, the dosa was so good that we just couldn’t stop with one. Two more dosas later, we moved on to the next stall.
      The next stall was a Sino-Indian venture, if you know what I mean. Yeah, a gobi Manchurian and fried rice counter. NOPE. I had seen enough of this Chinese-Indian combo and decided to give it a skip. Just then the guy passing by us from the other side of the road burped so loud, that we HAD to find out where he was coming from ! :P The packet in his hand gave away the secret. The hot jalebi and rabri counter!
      This shop was so crowded, that we had to literally push and pull to make it to the counter and place our order. Some ten minutes later, we were happily digging into hot Jalebis dipped into a tiny pot of Radbi. For the uninitiated, rabri is like a sweet yogurt kind of thing, made out of milk and God knows what ! Whatever it was, it was delicious! It was so good that I ordered a quarter kilo of jalebis to carry home. It is almost cruel to eat good food alone ;) And those hot jalebis definitely deserved to be carried home for the family :)
       By the time our jalebis could find their way down our throats, we were digging into a huge masala papad. A simple combination of a roasted papad, topped with tomatoes, onions ,salt chilli powder, green chillies and chaat masala, the masala papad was a light and tasty break from all the high calorie food. Following our healthy trend, we ended up at the “Congress” stall. “Congress” is essentially a a mixture of healthy carrot scraps and a variety of lentils , crisp and crunchy like a salad. The “Congress” makes for a very good snack when you want your tummy to take some time to settle down and take a break :P
      After lingering over the Congress bowl for about twenty minutes, we have made enough space in our tummies for a generous bowl of dessert. Our next obvious stop had to definitely be at the Gulkhand store. The Gulkhand is a sweet, sticky dessert made out of rose petals drowned in sugar syrup with a variety of additions to enhance the flavour. You can choose to top the Gulkhand with either a dollop of vanilla ice cream or with a generous helping of home-made, unsalted butter. Both the combinations are great. However, we chose to top it with a mixture of chopped dry fruits and it tasted marvellous with a capital M ! :-D
   It was 8 PM when we started our gastromonical extravaganza. By the time we reached the end of the street, we were in front of VB Bakery and the time was 10:15 PM. We did not have the courage to venture into the bakery to eat something. So we quickly ran in, packed some spiced biscuits, some chow-chow mixture and ran out in less than 15 minutes, just in time to catch the ONLY auto waiting on the street. We paid the driver thrice more than what we normally would and reached home weighing atleast a couple of kilos more than what we were before.
      As I trudged into the gate, waddling like a duck, I was trying my best to stop burping out aloud. I held up the packet of jalebis with a placid expression on my face to explain my condition. When I finally settled down into the couch, I let out a groan and I swear I sounded like a content pig :P After I had regained enough strength to get out of the lethargy induced by the binge, I sang praises about Eat Street for about half an hour and then slipped into a food coma for the rest of the night and half of the next morning :D
       It next morning being Saturday, the conditions were extremely favourable for my food induced coma to continue. With a blissful recollection of the gastronomical extravaganza, I highly recommend Eat Street or Thindi Beedi as it is otherwise known. It is a MUST-VISIT. If you are a total foodie, you will definitely come back content ! If you are a poor eater, it is sure gonna prove to be one of those sunny days when even you cannot stop eating ;)
      For my Blog Frog friends : Do drop in a comment if you are curious to know more about the alien food names..I will be glad to share the details with you : )

**pics from the internet

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