7 April 2014

Bombay reads: Street food in Bandra, street shopping everywhere else, AND who you should vote for, because.

I've been in Bombay, and the city is so delightfully insular, it seems like all the newspapers have only Bombay news, and all anyone cares about is Bombay stuff (except for the elections, everyone cares about the elections.)

As a result, my worldview has become of this reclaimed piece of land as well, and I've been reading with more attention, stuff that makes Bombay, Bombay.

I've always loved Mitali Parekh's blog Swasta Ani Masta, where she puts up pictures of her street internet advice, went for a long walk down Colaba Causeway, and bought two dresses. One is a hippie-ish thing, which I'm informed by the Good Thing, shows off my entire silhouette when I'm in the light ("Maybe you could wear it to the beach or something?" he offers, sweetly.) and another, which is actually quite nice, but not OMG, THE BEST DRESS EVER.
Image courtesy Google/ Gia Says That
shopping. She's like the street shopping whisperer or something, and manages to get pretty things from each of her trips. Meanwhile, I, following her

Mitali in Time Out Mumbai, talks about her street shopping experiences:

I've been through all stages of consumerism, OD, credit card debt, hoarding (four Mary Janes of the same make and colour; six pieces of Cotton World’s 2011 “le marinière” tees), trend reactions, purges through garage sales and outof- character buys, high-street fatigue and treating them as outward expression of my internal self (“this is so ME!” Shut up, Mitali. The only thing so you is your abnormally high level of testosterone). Now I crave to fall in love, to be taken by surprise, to find that perfect amalgamation of fabric, print, quality, detail, silhouette and craftsmanship all under R350.

Read for tips and the occasional laugh-out-loud sentence, but remember street shopping is a gift and it does not belong to all of us. (I only get lucky in my home city, where Sarojini Nagar is like a beacon, calling, calling.)

And my friend, Roshni Bajaj Sanghvi in Mumbai Boss, who I dare you to read without getting hungry, in fact, I'm quite peckish right now, even copying in her link. Roshni spent time in one of my favourite Bandra stops--Bazaar Road. It's not the glitzy glamour of Carter Road by night, it's not the twee coolness of one of the many Cafes-That-Are-Also-Other-Things-And-Charge-A-Lot-Of-Money-For-What-Is-Essentially-Food-Made-With-"Local"-Ingredients-From-The-Neighbouring-Kirana-Store. But it does house the place that makes the most exquisite  beef chilli fry, beef chilli fry that will make you weep from the spice, beef chilli fry that is not your friend the next day, but oh so good on a monsoon-y evening. Sigh. I miss Bandra.

Jim-me Hsuing, the owner of Jim-me’s Kitchen, moved to the city from Kolkata in 1973, operated Chinese Home in Kala Ghoda where Chetana restaurant is today, then conducted business at a restaurant called Rose Garden in Bandra where Salt Water Cafe is today and then moved to this spot on the fringe of Bazaar Road in 1991. The head cook has been working with him for the last 35 years. The food is mostly Hakka and Cantonese and the sort of affordable, familiar, intensely flavoured Indian Chinese and Chinese that tastes even better after a few drinks. Their speciality and bestseller are their stir fried preparations, and the spare ribs JK Style have something of a cult status in the neighbourhood.

Anyhow, read the two part pieces here for Roshni's delightful meanderings, such as:

The oily fish is sun dried for three to four days and then mixed with pickling spices and vinegar. When I visited their stall this time, the Nunes also opened a jar of sweet-spicy prawn balchao and stuck it under my nose. “It’s verrrry tasty!” they said.

And finally! Voting day! Don't know who you should vote for? Um, OBVS, there's a website for that. You move a sliding scale with a virtual budget of Rs 100 to see what your priorities are, and ta-dah--you see who you're most aligned to.

(It told me I should vote for the BJP, because Is Mass Genocide Okay: Yes or No? wasn't an option.)

Check it out here. 


  1. "because Is Mass Genocide Okay: Yes or No?"

    Yes, and you have proof that no court in this country has that they engaged in mass genocide right? The BJP is guilty of this because... well Arundhati Roy said so, and Arundhati is just so cute when she expounds on anything, so she must be right, right?

    One of the minor annoyances of this democracy thing is the judiciary - you know, courts, judges, lawyers and laws. And the reason it's there is to prevent Khap Panchayats, and authors who win a prize and then think they are the shit from deciding who is guilty and who is innocent, because you know, gathering witnesses, taking evidence, it all means something in the 21st century.

    So yea - your proof of mass genocide conducted by the BJP comes from where, exactly?

  2. Just going to leave this here:

  3. Why doesn't anyone talk about Operation Blue Star which was officially conducted by then P.M which led to a Mass Genocide of Sikhs? Its just that every party has flaws and we as voters need to take informed decision and not simply believe what media shows. Just going to leave you with this:

  4. Different Anon here:

    The UP government, which is part of the Congress, also has had riots. I have little sympathy for the BJP, but this charge can be and should be equally applied. That's all from me. This discussion is tiresome, the courts couldn't find anything, Gujarat has had peace while other states see consistent conflagrations, can me move on from this?

  5. That's my point too. Sure he has done great things for Gujarat, but is someone with a clear religious agenda the right choice for PM in a country of roughly 30% non-Hindus? Not to forget the 1000-odd people who died in the Godhra riots.. I say, we're screwed as a country !

  6. Anonymous. Regarding Modi, He got away because the SIT was manipulated. Enough news reports that have questioned their credibility. Then there is the testimony that comes from Raju Ramachandran, one of India's finest SC lawyers who has gone on the record in the SC and in public to argue evidence was both manipulated and suppressed. The law can only go with evidence that is presented before it. So yes, the SC gave a clean chit.

  7. So that's your defense? There were riots under Modi but that's okay because Congress also had?

  8. Gaah you people! Only saying it's not a good way to judge, because all one ever hears are allegations! Riot under anyone not okay, ffs. I am not a lawyer so cannot argue about tampered evidence. It is the responsibility of those who can to do so. I am also astonished at the sudden rise of Modi questioning by those who were until now living quite well, even though acc to them Gujarat was being ruled by Hitler 2. Please. Not to disregard those who have been in the fight the last decade - their convictions are at least more than superficial. Ab bas, vote karo . Use your power.

  9. Looks like I'd have to vote for the BJP too...however I allocate the Rs 100 - the and is BJP ! You think it's a savvy Marketing tactic?

  10. I just want to compliment you on generating a debate so volatile that for the first time a saffron voter wants to remain Anonymous. Normally, supporting a manifesto including the construction of a Ram Temple goes with a name, address and phone number. But you are goooooooood !


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