What a Treat!

Those who know me, know I love books, I live for books, and I would kill for books. So imagine my happiness, when I got the chance to experience absolute heaven on my recent visit to Ranchi, Jharkhand. Yes, it was a book fair of course.
And imagine my happiness when I got to see stalls that were selling some of the best selling novels for not more than a fifty bucks, and some of them were generous enough to give another book for free. Unfortunately, we had arrived on the very last day of the fair, and at the time when they were packing up stuff.

So, off we scurried like rats in a cheese factory, and above is an image of what all I managed to pick up in merely 20 minutes. Quite an adventure, phew!

When we were packing our bags, me and husband got into quite an ugly fight for he wasn’t too keen on carrying all those books (logical), but I wasn’t going anywhere without my books (not too illogical either). And by the time we got home (36-hr train ride), I had already finished Roald Dahl’s Fantastic MrFox and Esio Trot, and Jaspar Utley’s Tales from the Puffugees.

I absolutely enjoyed Esio Trot. It took me back in time, I almost felt like I was a fifth grader again, sitting in the classroom with my friends on a hot summer day, and our English teacher, Mrs. Iyer, was giving us all the cool we needed by reading out this hilariously simple story. Roald, you charmer you!

And Tales from the Puffugees is not only gripping, it’s just as witty too. You know how there are some people who no matter what you say is going on in your life, WILL have a story for it. Same is the case with this General guy (narrator of this book). No matter what is happening at the club, be it Mrs. Chatterjee (wife of the Club’s President) banning smoking in the club, or be it about a fellow club member’s life problem, he somehow managed to enthrall his audience with a beautifully narrated story. Such a miracle worker this one.
Currently I am reading Andersens Fairy Tales (yes, all over again). But I know that this one is not a book you finish in one go, you save it, for when you want to feel like a child again, and get lost into the enchanting world of fantasies. And so, I have picked up Thomas Hardy’s A Pair of Blue Eyes to go with it.

I’ll be sure to keep you posted how I like it.

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Molgapodi Idlis – The reason to ditch Vaishali and head to Wadeshwar next time

What: Restaurant
Where: F C Road
Seating: Indoor, Outdoor
Cuisine: South Indian
Pricing: Reasonable
Parking: Not available

Why am I even writing this post? I am sure you would have thought the same. Who wouldn’t know Wadeshwar, right? But my dear Punekars, this one’s for those who don’t belong here – the ones visiting the city for the first time, those who moved in a few a years back and haven’t explored this heaven yet, and even the Vaishali-lovers who just don’t want to try South Indian delicacies anywhere else. Well, I can’t blame them, I was one of them myself until a few years back.

But once I explored this one, I knew how both of them had their own specialties to offer. While Vaishali offers the best Mysore Masala Dosas, Wadeshwar takes pride in serving the best Aappe and Kothimbir Vadi. My personal favorite, the Molgapodi Idli here is a must, something everyone needs to try.

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So far, I have tried almost everything on the menu here. To be honest, I am not a fan of the Mysore dosas here, I like the ones at Vaishali more. The Kothimbir Vadi, I fear has failed to impress me too. They are a bit too oily for my liking. But the Rasam Vada – yeah, the ghee idli – yeahh, and the sponge dosa – oh my god yes! They are just so good, so flavorful, so yum!

The outdoor seating here is perfect for an early morning breakfast and endless conversations. The service here is too good to be true. This last time we ordered multiple rasam vadas, dosas, idlis, and what not – and it was at our table within minutes.

Vaishali lovers, the chai is another reason you should come here. Needless to say, you also wouldn’t have to wait an hour to get a table here. So, if you are running out of patience this Sunday morning, do give Wadeshwar a try and let me know how you like it. And please bless me if you happen to like the Molgapodi idlis just a little too much.

Sukanta, Deccan

What: Restaurant
Where: Deccan
Seating: Indoor
Cuisine: Maharashtrian Thali
Pricing: Slightly Expensive
Parking: Available, Valet

It was high time for me to visit Sukanta; I had been hearing all about it from friends, old colleagues, and even from all the aajis and ajobas in the park. After an hour long discussion of where to have lunch, we decided to head to Sukanta this Sankrant.

Needless to say, we were greeted by huge crowds outside the restaurant. But given the popularity, I was already expecting that. What I was in fact amazed by was the public address system 😀 , that was pretty amusing.

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The Sankrant Naivedya

Like any other thali place that I have been to, this one too, was noisy and overcrowded, with too much going on. They always feel like someone has on a time-lapse mode. And the table right next to washing area made matters worse for us.

Nevertheless, I was still very excited to taste one of the most popular thalis in the city. It being Sankrant, we were all greeted with til-gul first. Once they started serving, I felt like it was never going to stop. There was farsaan, two types of salads, a variety of sabjis, chapati and bhakri and sweets and what not on our plates.

I did not like the way they served though, it was more like throwing food on our plates, than serving it. It’s the same at all thali places you would say, but no, Durvankur, which is just as crowded, still does a good job at serving the customers. I would also like to add that the staff had various issues going on, and they were not hesitant to make them public either, it was quite unpleasant.

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Anyway, so let me start clockwise,

Aaloo Bhaji- Okay
Paneer – Okay
Valachi Bhaji – Not Okay
Gatte ki sabzi – Not Okay
Kadhi – Yum
Dal – Okay
Sitaphal Rabdi – Delicious
Gajar ka Halwa – Delicious
Bhakri with Gud – Great
Palak Puris – Great
Khandvi – Great
Dahi Wada – Delicious

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All in all, I liked everything on the menu except the sabjis. The masala bhaat, served later, was good too. Sadly though, I felt I’d rather go through all the pain for Durvankur next time (I am sorry, but it’s hard not to mention the best). This one was not worth the wait.