Saturday, December 13, 2008

Out for Dinner
Category: Food Mood: Exploratory
Last week I had a chance of going out for dinner with a friend of mine. The moment I say the word dinner what are the thoughts that instantly come to your mind ? I'm sure itwould be "Pizza Hut" or some hep shops in one of the few thousand malls that have "engulfed" your city! The ones that have exotic names for their dishes and by the time you are through with your starters you have already burnt a couple of hundred bucks.

The place I visited was neither in some "happening mall" in Pune nor was it a place to "chill out" and "check out" babes. It was a small non-descript place in Sadashiv Peth called Baadshahi(As you walk across the street you need to keep your eyes open else you might just miss it). There were no "glass doors" no one at the entrace to wish me good evening as I walked in. There was no light music playing or chandliers and curtains to setup the ambience. Infact there was nothing that you would associate with the "modern" world.

Yet it was an absolutely brilliant place. The moment I entered the place, it transported me back a few decades. Traditional notice boards (all written in Marathi) welcomed me. I got my prepaid coupons and waited in the queue. As the demand far exceeded the supply (no of people > no of seating places) a guy took our names and wrote it neatly with a chalk on a small slate that he had (again in marathi). After about 5 minutes he called us in and we were seated on a bench (arrangement similar lunch @a South Indian wedding).

The food was nice..The food was hot....Plain and simple roti & sabji along with "unlimited" buttermilk. No paneer shanner, garam masala and everything one associates with north indian cooking. (Not that Im against it, its just that I have had enough of it). All for 40 bucks! Infact the food and the ambience was so simple that the Crossword bag that I had in my hand seemed a bit out of place !!!!

The dinner was followed by a walk in along the area to soak in the tradition and culture of the place known as 'Pune gaon'. Rich in tradition and history. Again no high rises, no fancy apartments....More about it later......Who needs malls ????? Atleast I don't

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Saas-Bahu serials, reality shows and T-20 cricket competing for TRPs might be a thing of the past. If you check the statistics for the last one week, Im sure the top 10 "most-watched" programmes would be televison channels; bringing to our drawing rooms "ball by ball" account of the terror attacks in Mumbai. Now after 60 odd hours of gun battle its time for analysis, more analysis and even more analysis.....Corporate India's leading businessmen, who till yesterday were discussing about the interest rate cuts that they badly needed to give a boost to the economy are today discussing ways and means to handle terror! Not to mention socialities, Page 3 celebrities...everone has their own solution............While all of this was going on, there was one anchor who stood out for me. Always presenting his stories in a crisp, concise manner, no hype, hooplah, no raising of his voice..Someone who keeps it simple and yet makes it very receptable - Srinivasan Jain (Vasu) of NDTV. His style of journalism and news broadcasting is definitely a lesson for the others.