August 16, 2005

Gadbad Special

Restaurant in Aundh (Pune) has this little ditty on the back of its menu card:

    A Simple Recipe

    Take a lot of freshness,
    Sprinkle it with love,
    Combine it with unlimited joy,
    Spice it with sincerity,
    And stir it with some kindness.
    Now you get a fine blend,
    Ready to serve every day!

And this excellent recipe has produced these entries in the dessert section of the menu: Anamica, Gadbad Special, Rocco Borocco, Bloody Merry Icecream, Golden Cheery, Callison Special, Garfunkle Special, My Darling and Marry Window Special.

Excellent recipe notwithstanding, I didn't have the gumption to try any of these. I am a little wary of what a "Gadbad Special" might do to my insides.

But I want to find out, do tourists from Morocco eat the Rocco Borocco?

***

Pune has some blocks of truly spectacular flats. Yet you step out of these buildings and the road is a mess of potholes and rubble and mud. I saw this in Koregaon Park and Aundh, and I have no doubt it is similar in other parts of the city.

Now I know there has been plenty of rain in the last few weeks, leaving the roads damaged. But one of the buildings I mean, for example, is 15 years old. It is surrounded by several similar buildings. The roads that lead you to them are essentially rubble and mud, lined with great big piles of more mud. It's clear that they have never been any better than that much. Why?

***

Taking the highway back from Pune on India's 58th birthday, a car sped past. When it got some 200 yards ahead, four largish plastic bags of trash spilled from its windows onto the road. Caused the car immediately ahead of us to swerve alarmingly, besides leaving a short stretch of highway strewn with litter.

The offending car was caught in a toll booth traffic snarl about 15 minutes later. Before it sped on ahead again, we noticed that it contained two young men and seven (yes) Indian flags stuck patriotically on the dashboard.

For what it's worth: black Maruti Alto with a damaged front, MH-04-CD-3035.

If you were in it yesterday, thanks for littering. If you know who was in it yesterday, please pass on my thanks. Also my salutations to their patriotism.

***

Two other things about driving back from Pune along the highway in August 15.

One, we did the trip during the afternoon, when the film "Swades" was shown on Star Gold. Driving along, we passed what is clearly a promotion for the broadcast: first, the motorhome from Swades (the cream-coloured one that SRK drives into Charanpur), and just ahead of it, a van covered with large posters for Swades (the famous one of SRK in a white shirt against a blue background) on Star Gold.

This two-vehicle convoy, driving sedately on the highway. But what did they expect, people would immediately get off the highway and switch on their TVs?

Two, especially in the rain, and whether by train or road, the trip between these two cities -- or at least, the stretch through the hills -- has got to be one of the loveliest journeys around. The mist, the waterfalls, the carpets of green...

... but not the bozos who litter.

6 comments:

Anirudh said...

Hypocrisy Day. That's what it is. Unfortunately.

Charu said...

Marry a Window? That *is* special

Neela said...

Ah gadbads! Best place to eat a Gadbad is Ideal Ice cream Parlour in Mangalore. While you're there you might try a Parfait as well. (pronounced quite sensibly, in that part of the world, as "par-fet").

n!

@mit said...

Thanks for the post on my town :-)

and what you say about the drive between pune and bombay is perfect... nothing beats it in the rainy season...maybe the Konkan railway ride does

@mit

Anonymous said...

dilip, your comments, as usual, are a delight to read. remember the menu in keonjhar? - r

Dilip D'Souza said...

r, I do remember the menu in Keonjhar (Lemoterian soup zindabad)! And the other menu from Shivpuri, which I'm looking at as I write this. What a treasure.