Rashmi Shankar

Author's details

Name: Rashmi Shankar
Date registered: January 15, 2013

Biography

Rashmi Shankar, is currently in the 2nd year, doing her Bachelor’s degree in Fashion Communication at National Institute of Fashion Technology, Mumbai. She is thoroughly enjoying the hard work. She believes in ‘less is more’, and enjoys introspecting and analyzing her own conversations, trying to figure herself out. An ‘artist at heart’ Tam Brahm who aspires to be a writer, she loves reading, spending time with her family, watching Star World, and is a die hard foodie.

Latest posts

  1. That Forgotten Chaatwala — March 15, 2013
  2. On Mumbai — January 15, 2013

Most commented posts

  1. On Mumbai — 1 comment

Author's posts listings

Mar 15

That Forgotten Chaatwala

 

Childhood fantasies were made of this stuff. The magical aroma of Aloo tikki wafting through the lane, the sound of hit Bollywood numbers blaring from the speakers as if expecting the whole world to sit up and take note of their existence, the cacophony of numerous people chatting, shouting, ordering and giving instructions all at the same time; and the incredulous way in which the gifted man handles them all, while serving you the fastest, and most amazingly made Bhel puri ever.

Do you remember the last time you had chaat? Where was it? Most of us would say, in a restaurant. Sitting in a large air conditioned room, with family and friends for company, amongst people of the same ‘Standard’ as us, no other distractions to your conversation except soothing instrumental music, and an eager waiter to serve you Pani Puri (which you have to make yourself).

In this age, where extravagance has the upper hand, the humble chaatwala has been pushed to the corner; of the streets, and our minds. While some may argue that such stalls are breeding grounds for deadly germs which cause diseases, truth is that there exist a large number of stall-owners, who are legally licensed and maintain sufficient standards of hygiene. However, it’s still not a cool thing to upload a picture or put up a status which says, ‘Having Dahi puri at Divya Chaat Bhandar’.

Another thing that we seem to enjoy is standardization. After all, we can’t go into a restaurant and say, “Bhaiyya mere wale me pyaaz zyada daalna!” Such personalization makes sense only when somebody makes the dish you ordered right in front of you, which is not possible in hotels. And they say the world is moving towards customization.

I’m not taking sides here; neither am I trying to change perceptions. I’m just lamenting the loss of a world, where going out was a spontaneous decision; one that did not require looking through our diary to fix a time for the family, considerably burdening us with the hope of making this ‘once-in-a-blue-moon-family-trip’ a memorable one. Something that mere stalls might not be able to do.

Why should going out be such a job? After all, it’s meant for relaxation! Changing priorities have left us with less time for the family, leading to marketers coming up with ways of ‘Enhancing’ our time with the family; all of which continue making it an even more complicated, and thought- provoking cumbersome process.

While we have that to dwell upon, I still think Pani Puri tastes the best when I can relish it without having to make it, and say, “Bhaiyya teekha kam banana!”

 

How do you like your chaat? Comment below!

 

Photo sources:

anthony-samson.blogspot.com

www.secretkitchen.in

www.latimes.com

 

Permanent link to this article: http://www.thatssogloss.com/that-forgotten-chaatwala/

Jan 15

On Mumbai

Mumbai.

The city of dreams. Where thousands set foot every day, with hopes of making it big; to carve out a niche of their own, only to be lost in the crowd again. Where people come, to become stars, but end up driving auto-rickshaws and opening up chaat stalls at the Juhu beach. Where people, are treated as objects; and objects, are worshipped. Where reckless BEST drivers knock down children, drunk celebrities mercilessly drive over pavement dwellers, and cowards loot and murder senior citizens. Where friends turn enemies, and enemies, well, are enemies. Where meeting friends implies justifying who is better than whom, partying refers to drunkenness and protesting refers to putting up facebook statuses. Where everyday, is a struggle to fit in; be it travelling by the local trains, or going to a mall. Where lives are spent trying to prove our supremacy to people who hardly matter, and forgetting those who really do. Where terrorists destroy its oldest babies, the Taj and the CST station, kill its people, and get away with mere death. Where hundreds of childhoods are unknowingly lost, in the black hole of reality shows and movies. And, ironically, where most people die, not knowing what living life is all about.

Mumbai.

The city that never sleeps; and unfalteringly looks after its people day in and day out. Where, a bhel puri is preferred over a Thai green curry. Where, the sight of a dabbawala is synonymous to a mother cooking for her child. Where the locals are our supermarkets- everything from clothes to vegetables can be bought at the cheapest of rates. Where even a humble constable, has the courage to not only confront, but also single-handedly detain a deadly terrorist.

Where a Maruti Suzuki owner is as happy as a BMW one. Where the fisherwomen are as entrepreneurial as the diamond merchants. Where even a bomb blast does not succeed in bringing the city to a halt.

Where festivals, are an excuse to drop down all barriers of caste and class, and selflessly spread more happiness than one has ever got. Where school kids spend their diwali vacations, painting the walls of police stations and adding colour to their lives. Where even slum dwellers display rare determination, when their shacks bounce back an hour after being razed; mirroring the steadfastness of the city. Where women protest in sweltering heat, for the victim in Delhi. Where everybody celebrates Diwali with the same fanfare and fervour, as they celebrate Id, and Christmas.

Where the journey, is the destination.

People don’t live in Mumbai; Mumbai lives in its people.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.thatssogloss.com/on-mumbai/