Dinesh and I had a delightful trip to Delhi. Avinash, Sandeep, Mahika, Jitesh and a host of others organized some Art of Living events for us – courses, follow ups, refreshers. All were really great and quite intense!
We stayed at Prama bhabhi and Ranji bhai’s beautiful home, which is even prettier now because their kitchen has had a full on renovation. Rupal engineered the entire project and it’s become a dream kitchen to cook in. I had to tear myself away from it, to do all the other fun stuff we did.
This time we wanted to eat something different when we went out to have food. We decided to have parsi food. I have always been suspicious of dhansakh and dhan dar patio that I myself have not cooked, because time and again, various restaurants that claim to serve parsi food have let me down quite dramatically.
We stumbled upon an absolute gem of a restaurant. It’s called Rustom’s and they serve authentic parsi cuisine. Their zomato score is not so good, but I just had a good feel about the place. So we went there and what a great decision that was!
We had the most amazingly tasty parsi food ever! Parsi food is traditionally non vegetarian, but they had quite an extensive set of choices for us vegetarians. Their dhansakh was perfect. Their patra nu paneer (a thin slice of paneer coated in spicy and sweet coriander mint chutney, wrapped in a banana leaf and steamed) was made in heaven. The dhan dar patio was outstanding. Even the fizzy drinks were reminiscent of the times I used to go for weddings. It was a meal of pure nostalgia and great delight for me, and a gastronomical adventure for those who had not had parsi food before. Their desserts for vegetarians are limited to kulfi and a sweet semolina pudding called Sagan no Ravo.
It was so good, that we went once more taking the whole gang with us and everyone was bowled over by the attention to detail and the fabulous taste that this little place had to offer. If you go there, and you must, tell Kainaz the owner that we sent you. She must remember the 2 guys in long hair and flowing kurtas and their hungry, noisy little group!
While driving around, I saw a billboard advertising Disney’s stage musical Beauty and the Beast in India with a full Indian cast. I wanted to see it and so Shavina, Aadya (her daughter), Dinesh and me went to see it… with very little expectations to tell you the truth.
It was better than anything I could have imagined! The sets are humungous and ooze with charm. They are state of the art. Better than anything I have seen in New York or London. Meher Mistry as Belle was absolutely enchanting. Singing perfectly and acting superbly. Gaston and the Beast were a little let down, but that was ok. Lumiere, cogsworth and Mrs. Potts were brilliantly cast and a pleasure to watch and listen to. The rest of the 100+ cast were excellent dancers… I am running out of superlatives here. Bottom line – go see it!
Delhi was very cold and that’s exactly how I like it. Ranji bhai has himself made a quaint fireplace and when it is lit up and warming the room, everything Christmassy and New Yearsy wells up in my mind and heart.
We are back in Bangalore now, waiting for the New Year, which we will welcome the way we have done for the past two decades. With a Guru Pooja and some silence.
This year (well, technically next year) the Winter Break, which is the adv course Dinesh and I teach at this wonderful time of the year is from 5th to 9th of January 2016.
Have a Blessed, Merry Christmas and a Fantabulous New Year!!
Bawa n Dinesh
PS Our flights are booked to Delhi on the 10th of March. We will be there for the World Culture Festival 11th, 12th and 13th. Everyone come… It will be fantastic to see all of you there!