Back during my college days it was an adventure by itself to foray for exotic foods outside the confines of our hostel “mess”. With our limited monthly allowances those outings were considered a luxury, depending upon the diners one visited. Though we had to travel far to really give our taste-buds the respect it deserved; many a times we had to satisfy ourselves with the local Indian-Chinese-Tandoori outlets. They weren’t bad either, considering the situation we were in.
Ichu’s blog just brought in a wave of nostalgia. Though I may not be quite in touch with the places he has mentioned (It has been more than 5 years since I left Chennai!!), I can confidently say that his feelings and passions can be felt to a very large extent. The numerous bus rides, lorry rides (yeah :-)), late night hitch-hikes, etc. all come flooding back to me. Sure, those were the days!
I still vividly remember the excitement opening of “Sea Shells” on Graems Road brought about in us. If I remember correctly, that was one of the first few Arabic restaurants to be launched we students could afford to dine in. They sure made a lot of money from our gang and our juniors. I hope that they’re still flooded with students keeping up the tradition alive.
Then there are the numerous “Thattukadas” he mentions. The tea and snacks, the “kotth” paratha, chicken rice, chicken noodles, “dhum” biriyani (I still remember Noor’s biriyani that was closest to our campus), bhajjis and many other exotic items for the paisa-starved-pockets of a student. As a working professional, your horizons tend to widen up with the increase in your purchasing capacity. Sadly, during this stage people usually end up hitting the suave coffee pubs, posh restaurants that serve nothing exotic than their bills.
What gets lost during this phase mostly is that thrill in tasting the ground-to-earth tastes of our country. For that, I am truly grateful to God for having blessed me with a wife who shares the joy of hitting the road side “dhabbas”, with equal or more enthusiasm, during our trips.