I was in the fabulous Udaivilas in Udaipur, enjoying the morning breakfast feast, when my eyes lit up. No, it wasn’t some grand Rajput jewels which had so excited me, though these gems I speak of were a rich golden orange and came wrapped in a delicate outer covering of gossamer beige.
Posts Tagged ‘New Delhi’
For many Indians living in America, India is the talisman, the sacred thread around their wrists, which connects them to the past and their changing tomorrows. Visit any Indian American family and there are bound to be keepsakes which link them to their lost homeland.
For some it may be a frayed album of photographs frozen in time, for others it may be a much loved folk painting or a pair of tablas, percussion drums. For me it is my silver icons of Krishna and Radha, on their own carved throne, which sits is in my home in Long Island, NY.
I look at it and I am transported back to my home in New Delhi in the India of decades ago. My mother would bathe the many Gods in her home shrine and carefully put new clothing on these mini figurines, cutting holes in silken cloth with a small pair of scissors.
If someone had told me that by lunch time I’d be sitting in a houseboat on the backwaters of Kerala, eating from a banana leaf, I’d have been highly skeptical. After all, I was right in the middle of Delhi’s buzzing mall culture. Well, that’s where Zambar is located, landlocked in the middle of retail heaven. It is one of the fun and innovative eating spots in the burgeoning mall culture of Indian cities.
And if you thought that food from the South means just dosa, idli, and sambar, Zambar is a delicious eye-opener. This fine dining spot celebrates the Southern coastal cuisine of four states – Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka.
Inundated with new cuisines, new restaurants and new foods? Then you need an antidote to the craziness of the Delhi food scene where new eateries crop up all the time. You need to take a walk back into time. You need to visit Embassy, around since 1948.
Haven’t heard of it? Well, if you are a Delhite, you surely know it. It’s the ancient gastronomic heaven where you go to binge on food that is delicious, is reasonably priced – and also invokes memories with each spoonful. After all, the restaurant has been around for six decades with its curious blend of dishes. Where else would you get Bomb de Moscova, Amritsari Macchi, Chicken Strognoff and unmatchable chole bhature and chicken chaat – all on the same table?
In India you can see man and monkeys living together in an uneasy truce. A photograph that got away was of at least 20 monkeys all dangling from a traffic light pole in Agra! Before I got my camera out, the bus had moved on and the clambering monkeys remain a delightful snapshot in my memory. I’m sure the monkeys run rampant in places like Benares, Mathura and Haridwar.
In fact, I distinctly remember having my toast snatched from my hand by a greedy monkey at the Haridwar Railway Station many years ago. Now I caught glimpses of monkeys – and humans, outside a small wayside temple near the Ranthambhore National Park. Seen as a form of Hanuman, the venerated Monkey God, these monkeys are indulged and even fed by passers-by.
What makes India incredible? Is it the magnificent tigers, the palaces, the ancient temples, the unforgettable landscapes? A returning NRI discovers India’s true beauty lies somewhere else. Join Kriti Mukherjee on a ride through traffic clogged streets and uncaring mobs on a voyage of discovery. (Photo: Wili Hybrid)
An NRI discovers time is a very different commodity in New Delhi and New York
EST – Eastern Standard Time – Or I must Eat and Sleep so I am in Time for my meeting.
IST – Indian Standard Time – Or I will Sleep and take my own Time because my Time is only mine – no one else owns it…
No wonder IST is also known as Indian Stretchable Time!
Kriti Mukherjee in The Chatty Divas blog…