Saturday, December 30, 2006

BAZZAR DAY
























Occasion – Anand Bazaar or one can say Bazaar Day. Venue DSK Vishwa, Pune. Date 24-25 Dec 2005. My wife had put up food stall. Menu was just Mini Pizza and Regular size Pizza. We sold altogether almost more than 150 Pizzas in a day. Total profit was in solid minus figure. Next day she prepared Undhiyu, perfect season for Undhiyu, we had carried Surti Papdi, Konfal, Ratale and all other ingrediants required, all the way from Mumbai. Entire stock sold out within an hour.
Time moves further in 2006. Same dates, same occasion, same venue. This year we unanimously decided not to put up any food stall and appreciate food prepared by others.
Let me clarify one thing. I am not to be mistaken for Bakasur. No doubt, when I see quality food I just go crazy over and I cannot resist temptation. All the dishes mentioned below were shared by me with others. After all I can say that I am still a sensible personAs it was a right time for High Tea Snacks, first step towards our long culinary journey begun with Chatpata Chana, Dhokala and Gajar Halava. I wanted to add Vanila Icecream to Gajar Halva, but my wife put a break. Then I thought I will experiment Pohe Vade but somehow I did not like the dish. Then I moved further to taste Tomato Soup along with piping hot Corn Bhaji suitable for the chilled weather. Mini Pizza and Kharwas were on the next list.
By the time it was almost 7.00 p.m and I was tempted to eat a Rice dish, Tamarind Rice with Potato Stew recipe from Kerala, never heard before. I must admit the dish was too good, simply superb. The aroma drove me crazy. Actually this particular dish I had planned to eat in the end, but the convincing sales tactics made me to change my plan and made me to move ahead of my schedule. Of course I am glad for that. I was told Tamarind Rice does not get spoiled for 2/3 days and its ideal during journey.

Then I allowed my big tummy to take a rest for a little while. But not for a long. The resistance level was at all time low. The choice available in another stall was between Zhunka Bhakar and Pav Bhaji and as guessed right I opted for Zhunka Bhakar and Mirchicha Thecha and generously left another choice to my wife, who was at that point of time very busy enjoying Katchi Dabeli.The things I did not bothered to taste were Pani Puri, Bhel, Katchi Dabeli, Mung Dal Bhaji, and Undhiu paneer bread roll . You see, it was really difficult to do the justice to all food stalls. Out of those10-15 food stalls, two were serving NonVeg.food Though being vegetarian, nothing stopped me from admiring the look of Tirangi Chicken Kolhapuri Biryani.

Then it was closing time and finally I settled for Sabudana Vada from Frying Pan to my Stomach.I must say that Pune is another City where the person really loves to eat food outside and they truly appreciate the food. I feel Anand Bazaar, once in a year, is not enough,. Any way thanks Organizers for all your efforts and thanks to those who shared wonderful preparations with me.

SUVIDHA SNACKS CENTRE








“Annapurna”, that’s the correct term or the only word to describe Mrs. Mahajan, who runs a small eatery joint single handily in the society where we stay in Pune on weekends.We had so far heard in Mahabharta about Draupadi’s thali, but are experiencing the Akshaya Patra in this Kaliyug. Ever smiling, never tiring personality is the only hope of ours of survival during the weekends; especially when my wife, my beloved wife, refuses to even enter the kitchen. She also wants to enjoy weekends and escape from day to day tiring activities.


I wonder if Mrs.Mahajan can ever think of luxury of weekly offs with “Always Hungry” lot like ours around and even if she decides, which restaurant she is visiting and whether she will like the food over there as she, herself is excellent cook with generous hand while serving food. (I know we often take disadvantage of her generosity, and end up eating much more than the normal servings).I also wonder why she never says no to anyone including us ofcource. People turn up at last moment, late in the night, without proper advance notice, no matter how tired she is , she will cook the food once again and serve them but she will never send anyone back hungry on empty stomach.

Remember the “Two Minutes” advertisement of Maggie Noodles? I am quite sure they must have stolen it from the mouth of Mrs.Mahajan. “Dada, basaha dooncha minete, aatya vaadhate.” are the patent words, Two minutes may be ultimately turn out to be twenty minutes, so what? How does it matter? Waiting is still worth. As after the waiting is over, what you get is simply delicious, hot and tasty, homely fresh cooked food along with piping hot polies. Chapattis she doesn’t like to prepare in advance as she loves to serve while eating.And on the top of that shameless people like us, even before washing hand start enquiring about next day’s menu for breakfast, with exhaustive menu including Set Dosa, Appe, Sada Dosa, Idli, Misal, Pohe, Sabudana Khickdi etc, for which the poor lady has to make preparations after the shutter is down. The same scenario repeats after breakfast as we start asking “what are the vegetables you cooking today for lunch?” and starts interfering in the preplanned menu with our likings and dislikings and again after lunch start enquiring about high tea snacks and so on.


Then it's evening time, time for dipping into Pani Puri, BhelPuri, SPDP, Katchi Dabeli, Batata Vada. Hey, Hey, wait ! How could I forget Thalipit, crunchy munchy Thalipit with lonyacha gola on top. If I forgot to mention Thalipit, It will be injustice to her and nevertheless to say that sometimes we make special request to her to prepare Ukadiche Modak, Puranpoli, Pithale Bhakari and she never refuses.

No, No, No. please does not misunderstand us, we are not from Ethiopia or from some where in Sahara desert, it’s the love and affection we receive from Mahajan Family pulls us like magnet to Suvidha Snacks Centre.I must appreciate Mr. Mahajan, who comes to her rescue, after coming back home from the office. Also I must appreciate her two children who in spite of their hectic schedule for studies for C.A and articleship ,finds in-between time to reduce the work load and pressure from the shoulder of their mother, their lucky mother who has brought up such lovely children.
It’s the personal touch that matters, that’s why after mind, soul and stomach are satisfied we say from the bottom of the heart “ANNADATTA SUKHI BHAV”

DO DIWANE SHAHER ME, AASHIYANA DHUNDATE, AABUDANA DHUNDTE




When a person cries? Person cries in the saddest moment or at the happiest moment in their life.

Gruhapravesh was the happiest moment in our life. It was my life time wish and ambition to buy home in Pune, the city which we love very much. Unfortunately it was not materializing for many years. One of the reasons was lack of courage and also as I was in neck deep debt. Thanks to the Banks and their Credit Cards and my life style. Let me tell you there is not much difference between Quick Sand and Credit Card traps, if you use cards foolishly, and I am the most foolish person around. One fine day I reveived arrears and after getting it, first thing we decided to clear balances of all the Credit cards I was holding and to cancel the cards and we just did it. It was really courageous act to get release from the clutches of Credit Cards. After all the debts were cleared slowly, slowly, we started thinking with relaxed mind in line of fulfilling our dream. Thanks to the moral support from my colleague received.

During that period my brother and his family were staying in Indore. During Diwali Vacation as usual we made plans to go and stay in Indore for all three weeks. My wife was insisting on going to Haridwar, Rishikesh, Mussourri and I was damned scared with the thought of expenses involved. I casually mentioned her that I am thinking of buying flat in Pune for which we need money. Her reply was “we will go to Haridwar, Rishikesh, Mussourri and buy flat also“. What does she think about her husband? Is he Rockefellers or what? Doesn’t she know that financial position of her husband? To cut down the story short, we went for the trip and after coming back she started nagging for the Flat. Again budget was the main hurdleas usual.

We visited DSK’s office at Dadar where we received good information and good treatment.(Chalo Shurvat to bahaut acchi ho gayi maine kaha). Then I mentioned the idea to my parents and to my Godfather and to my Brother in Law and surprisingly they liked it. We all agreed that all of us should go for flat hunting together on next Sunday. However one by one, dropouts started. We, with sheer frustration and upset mind cancelled the plan for the day decided.
But It was our destiny to have home in DSK Vishwa.
Sunday early in the morning at 4.00 am, I do not know how, I waked up and told my wife that come on get up, two of us will go to Pune right now and she agreed (for a change. Wife and agree?). Then we proceeded to Pune. Mohimechi Survat tar ekdanchi zhali.

My wife was deadly against of buying flat at DSK Vishwa because of the distance from Deccan Gymkhana. She was not even open to reasoning and ready to go to Dhayari to look at the project. On the other hand I was keen in buying flat ay DSK Vishwa. The good advertisements by DSK about the project had deep impact on my mind. Kya kare chakraview me khoya hai Abhumanyu. Well I am not Abhumanyu. I knew what to do. I played a little trick. After getting down at Shivaji Nagar Railway Station, we hired an Auto Rickshaw and took her to Pashan Sush Road, Baner, and Aundh and so on. I was very quite sure that she is not going to approve the idea of staying in another Urban Jungle with one eye on auto rickshaw meter and the trick worked. She agreed to have a look , just look at DSK Vishwa, After lunch I called up DSK’s office in Pune and told them that I have come from Mumbai with a intention of buying a flat. They arranged a vehicle to take us to DSK Vishwa. That was the turning point

And let me tell you that it was the love at first sight. The Ganapati Temple near the entrance at the bottom of the hill, the ghat, Pu La Deshpande Katta, the nature, the trees, the greenery , the Lotus Ponds, the surroundings, the garden ,the jogging track , the open space, the air, the wind, the climate and of couce the salesperson.. It was the instant decision to buy home, the only small problem was which flat to select. We visited 3 / 4 flats but nothing was clicking in the mind. The Fifth flat we entered and that it. Intuitional decision was made on the spot. No second thought. It was the inner feeling. I called up my parents, my sister, my sister in law for their approvals and join us in Pune next day for the final approval along with the Cheque book. We spend sleepless night in my wife’s cousin’s place. Next day the Cheque for the booking amount of Rs.11, 000.00 was handed over to DSK’s office. The best part was I was penniless. After coming back to Mumbai I arranged to deposit amount in my bank a/c and in the meanwhile started knocking banks doors for Home Loan.
We had bitter experience at HDFC. The Lady on the counter wanted to know my monthly savings in the saving bank account. What a joke? She was not able to understand that deposits in Voluntary PF Account and LIC premiums and Deposits in Employee Credit society are part of the savings and they reduce your take home salary. We were much nervous. We were so close still far away from the fulfilling the dream. I called up DSK’s office and received assurance that they will help me in availing Housing Loan and which they did. We availed Housing loan from ICICI Bank without much hassle. The waiting period was hardly 10 /15 days. However we were very impatience during that period. During those two weeks we jumped at every opportunity to visit DSK Vishwa to just have a look at out future home. In the meanwhile when we discovered about our great,friendly, neighborhood the joy was doubled. It's called Dugdhasharkara (milk +sugar ) yog.
Finally the D-Day of Agreement and the hand over of the keys arrived. I must say that the major role in this sequence was played by ever smiling, ever helpful DSK Staff members, without their help and support, our dream would have remained dream only.

And then we cried on the day of Gruhapravesh.
We are grateful to all DSK Staff members, Shri Lele, Ms. Ashwini ( Mumbai), Ms. Sidhaye, Ms.Pratibha Kulkarni and Shri Shudhodan Naik in particular, for helping us to fulfil our dream.
Thanks Shri Shudodhan Naik. You played the instrumental role in selection of home.

Friday, December 29, 2006

IN SEARCH OF PEACE

FROM HELL IN MUMBAI



TO HEAVEN IN DSK VISHWA










FOG AND SMOG DURING WINTER

How green was my valley

Fog during winter


Chapha bole na


Semi Deluxe Bus Service







Dear MSRTC,
Thanks a million for providing Semi Deluxe bus service on Sunday evening and Monday morning from DSK Vishwa, Pune to Dadar, Mumbai. You have really cared for us and helped us, Mumbaikar’s with the good gesture.Now we can reach from our second home or you may call as weekend home, in DSK Vishwa, conveniently without much hassle, untiring with advantage of saving time, energy and money, and with refreshed memories of weekends, back to Mumbai for the day tiring work, only to be returned to DSK Vishwa on Friday evening or latest by Saturday morning.
We all are grateful to the DSK Vishwa’s family members, MSRTC’s staff members and Advocate Kulkarni in particular who have taken great efforts in starting the bus service.I wish more and more commuters, must take advantage of the bus service and must ensured that MSRTC is at any cost should not suffer loss because of the out of way service provided to us.Isn’t it a real luxury?
Dear DSK,
Small request to you. Could you please give wide publicity to the Bus Service from DSK Vishwa to Dadar, as many of us are not aware of, and it's adventitious to your project also.

Thursday, December 28, 2006