It is a pride of honor to say ‘I am made in Pune’.Pune the Punya nagari is a culture in itself. Being a historical city it contributes a lot in its cultural aspect. Have been born and brought in Pune I am quite aware about what culture we are talking on, but this was the first time traveling back to Pune after such a long time. I was hungry. This hunger is not just for food but home food, my native food. Away from home for such a long time and no ‘Maa ke haath ka swadh’, I wanted to reach home as fast as I could.
India is a world in itself with so many ,different people,languages,religions and of course food.From North Indian Chaat, Samosas,Dokhlas, Jalebi- phapdas to Southern Dosas, Idli-Wadas many other delicacies from the eastern and western parts of the country. Each having a peculiar taste of theirs, and being known as uniquely of that part.
Having reached home,was very happy I had traveled just for food -home food ,native food. Dashera, festival of flowers-colorful everywhere. Ending of Durga Puja contributing to the essence of culture.This meant last time to enjoy the pleasure and all enthusiasm coming together, which has been there through these days. Culture basically means a traditional sense regarding customs and practices what I am talking about. Having reached in period of festival,the atmosphere was all traditional.Of course the food too was traditional -Puranpoli ,kheer,curries and all kind of sweets. This mirthful atmosphere brought a sense of being back. There was a notion created on how hostel food is different from the one at home,It was not for a comparison of good or bad it was just a collation of flavor and the contrast in ingredients used which brings taste difference.
Having a two days great time at home of celebration I wanted to travel around Pune to see ongoing of the city specially to visit. Before traveling back it was planned that I would travel with my Dad around, but unfortunately he didn’t get leave from work, so I decided to travel with my Mom as she had to do some shopping around the place I was traveling to. It was around 8 in the morning and we set out to travel by bus. Bus travel that too in Pune, brought back nostalgia!
I was traveling to Khau Galli or- Eat Street one of my favorite places cause of many of my favorite dishes which people call junk food , no I will never say so. It is situated in Somwar Peth, near K.E.M hospital. Khau galli is a place with hawker carts lined in rows famous for Breakfasts. Hawking carts people may think it as an unhygienic place but no , the carts arranged has now become a culture. There are some
arranged linear to each other. The food varies from south Indian to north Indian breakfasts and many juices too. This cart culture makes this place an interesting place to go to. It being known for breakfasts I like to travel here always when I am around the place. Even if recognized for breakfasts the carts are available throughout the day except from 1 to 4 in the afternoon which is known as the resting time of the Punekars. Many snacks tempt us to be eaten over and over again because the taste is as such.
Even though I travelled back from the south of India, I prefer puneri idli and dosa rather than having it from its native place. So the first cart I visited was of A1 Dosa Idli center , I love the fried Idlies here,very crunchy and having a twisted flavor of its own. The owner Sunil has become a friend of mine, even though he was busy he gave me some time to talk to me. He comes from a middle class family , his father was runner of the cart and now he and his brother run it, they are happy with the work which they do. My Mom loves pakodas so we headed towards the pakoda carts- The VadaPav and Bhaji(pakoda) stall I ordered VadaPav and Mom pakodas. ‘The taste has been same through years the stall is about 15 years old now’ ,Mom said . Mom knew the person who owned the stall , but he was too busy in making pakodas and Vadas, to talk to us and also there was a lot of crowds around so we went to a helper of him-Ganesh he has been working there for last five years , he said he enjoys the crowd that gathers there every morning, he likes working there as he said.
The stall is a cart of olden structure and is the same from 10 years. Having pakodas and Idlies is o k now it was time for some special dish what we call as uniquely of Pune -the Puneri Misal. Misal is a spicy dish made of pulses such as mat beans with curry of different ingredients served with pav(bread), cut pieces of onion -tomatoes-lime for taste,different sev and chiwda for crunchiness. Punekars ,that are people living in Pune are often correlated with misal – spicy as the curry and soft as pav, resembling the dual nature. People travel here cause of the prolonged taste and the preserved relationship by the
After having idlies, pakodas and misal ,I wanted to cool my throat so I took Mom to the famous Apple juice cart . The juice there is just Yum!! I am simply in love with it . A glass filled to the brim ,milky foam floating on top and very small sliced apple pieces inside. It is a heavenly feel. It is about 5-6 years old but the crowd attending here is not less than any other cart. Here too the owner was busy , but I could ask him about his work , he is happy doing his work there and has 2 helpers working under him, at start he and his brother used to run the cart together now , a year ago they opened a Coffee shop just behind the cart. The cart system becoming a culture has also become advantageous for the runners of the cart as they gain profit with increasing number of customers and formation of bonds with regular customers. Most of the owners I spoke to ,are very happy about their flourishing business and they say ‘There is no effect of development taking place around the street,i.e even if there are numerous cafes and restros built around nothing affects the increasing number of crowd gathering around the stalls.’ They also said that they are most sure that they have more number of customers than any nearby cafes.
It was around 12 in the afternoon, having had our stomach filled Mom decided to go for her shopping and I didn’t want to,so I decided to call my cousin, He lived nearby so was early to come . From there he took me to Sujata Mastani house-a place favourite of both of us.Mastani is a drink cum ice-cream beverage. It is milky juice of a flavor filled and the ice-cream of same flavor on top . It becomes a confusion to have the Ice-cream or to drink the milky part. I enjoy melting the ice-cream and then drinking it altogether.Mastani is a name which it got from the Peshwa ruler Bajirao’s half Muslim wife Mastani. It is served as symbol of love of Bajirao Mastani. I like to hear stories behind things and their names ,that too this happened to be my favorite drink! I ordered Mango Mastani my favorite always and my cousin ordered Bajirao Mastani which is the specialty of the place which has secret ingredients in it.
After having our delicious sips of the drink we headed back home for lunch. This day was like a coming true, before coming back I decided the same thing which I did through the time having fun indulging in my most favorite hobby – doing nothing but to eating to my hearts and stomach’s content! Not everything was successful but most of it was and I was happy about the way the day was spent and taking back experiences and memories. I will call the travel a delightful experience.
We can literally feel the difference of taste from hostel to that of my native place ,also that how much affection I have developed towards my home food and missing it,the time I am in hostel. The experience through out the day was amazing and I have got more attached to my place , my Pune. I’ll now be wating for my next journey back to Pune. Proudly Punekar.
- in.pinterest.com (misal)
- online instagram.com (mastani)