Before going to this beer place, we made a trip to Bhudwarpeth. Thanks to Bhim, he told me that the best Chudwa- mixture( they call it Chuda) was available there. So we took an auto and made our way. The moment we got there, it was a different world. Traditional, seeped in Maratha culture, we saw men with their crisp white dhotis,topis, women in sarees, small shops, narrow lanes and beautiful temples.
We got Chudwa for our near and dear ones and while waiting for the taxi, I asked the lady at the store where I could get local masalas(spices) so she promptly directed me to a kirana shop a furlong away. Kajal tagged along as I went searching for this shop.
Maharashtrian cuisine has unique spice masalas, one is Kanda Lasun masala and the other is Goda Masala. I made it a point to pick up local food stuff if I could afford to, wherever I travelled. The shopkeepers were kind and friendly and helped me out. Kajal also said that it was surprising to see how polite and respectful they were.
The cab arrived at just the right time and off we went to this beautiful space called The Mills. Filled with eclectic bars, cafes and restaurants, I could imagine how beautiful and elegant it would be in the evening fully lit up.
We walked into this bar called Millers. The indoor space was open for guests while the outdoor space was getting cleaned up diligently by the staff. We entered into a minimalist contemporary setting. Very understated, comfortable seating and a few tables were occupied.
Aanchal right on used her magical coupons and we got happy offers on beers. It amazed me how the youngsters of today used technology to their advantage. They knew the deals, the offers, places and put it to good use.
It was so good sipping that chilled beer! I looked around and noticed how aesthetically beautiful it was. Almost every space we visited had three things on priorities, Aesthetics,Acoustics, and practical sense of space. A place must look as beautiful in the daylight as in the night. Sadly, most of the Hyderabad spaces lack that aspect.
We spoke about family, joint family challenges and how the Indian mindset has a long way to go. Most Indian parents do not give the freedom to their kids to choose their own career. Stability, security and settled are the three terms used constantly.
I understood that in my generation, because our parents saw the emergency era, unemployment, naxalism, pseudo socialism, abject poverty, closed markets, obviously government jobs were considered the best bet. We really had no careers to speak of, it was Doc or an Engineer and anyone who took Arts was a ‘Dunce’, yes even in the late 90s.
Hell I remember growing up in the 90s and being told by many not to dab in ‘computers’ because it was unpredictable but now, even now?? Doctors, Engineers stubbornly stood in parents heads, yup even in my generation, folks who were now parents and wanted them to do well only in ‘studies’ and nothing else. No sports, no extra curricular activities just increasingly overweight/ obese kids being pushed by parents to ‘make it’.
Kajal wanted to pursue journalism and I was telling her to go for it. It’s ok to take risks and not everything has to be a job. We knew the hardships of getting stuck to something because of various factors so we were too scared but now wasn’t it time for the kids to take risks, let them fail, learn and move on? Why are we so hell bent on ‘protecting’ them from failure?
As we were chatting and enjoying the conversation, right on cue Kajal’s mum called checking on her and saying ‘Have you forgotten me’ The gal already had three people watching every move of hers grandmother,mother and aunt and the calls had to be done daily and it didn’t matter that all lived together. She got flustered and replied but I called Ammamma( Grandma) then sighed and gave in when the shouting got louder on the other end of the line. Is this caring or is this control?
Let me be clear here, am not pinpointing or blaming anyone, but this is generally the case in India, joint family or not. We have changed our clothes, wear western wear, drive cars, want the latest infrastructure but the thoughts and that mindset when it comes to kids.. control their career, control what they wear, control whom they can love and marry, in short control their life. When will they let go.
We had by now moved to the outdoor space, the sun was setting and it was beautiful. We moved onto Mojitos and some food thanks to Aanchal who mentioned some offers to the staff. We got some good appetisers.None of us were in a mood to go back to the hotel, change and get out again.
Aanchal was wisely carrying Himalaya’s Party Smart capsule. When you knew you were drinking more than required, you pop this and you wouldn’t get a hangover in the morning. So the smart gal gave it to me right before we started our Mojitos.I told ya, we have so much to learn from them!
I remember one awesome thing at Millers. In the ladies restroom there was a big sign saying that if any of us felt unsafe, all we had to do was say the code word based on the situation to the bartender and we would be taken care of. If you don’t believe me, it’s in one of the pics. They took it seriously and Aanchal told me a lot of places in Pune implemented this. How refreshing this was.
We were all in shorts and t shirts and let me tell you no showers yet, in short a vacation truly! It was also the eve of my birthday and this was getting to be exactly the way I wanted. No hoo haa about it and going with the flow. No selfies, no peace sign or thumbs up sign( I hate that btw) no side poses with hands on hips and no pouting.
By the time we walked out, it was night time and as I imagined, it was so beautiful.. The soft lighting, the space, the crowd. It was perfect.
From there we went to this really tiny joint called StreetMeat. Strictly for meat lovers! It was in Koregaon Park, the seating was outside and this one had 4 tables, that’s it.
We started first with a plate of Extra Crispy Bacon. Then came the gol gappas( sorry can’t translate that!) with Thai chicken curry, it was to die for. It was also TACO TUESDAY so we binged on Prawn and pulled pork tacos and satisfied our sweet tooth with a BRUNNUT. It was their own creation and it was a kind of donut with filling and we shared one that had salted caramel! Can I tell you how foodgasmic it was??😁
It was late at night so we went back to the hotel. I was sleepy but the girls kept me awake saying no way are you gonna sleep till midnight.
We chatted listening to music and when the clock struck, Aanchal opened a tub of Almond Praline ice cream to ring in my birthday and I got big tight hugs from them. We dug into that ice cream sitting on the bed.
When I reminisce about it now, Pune was about beer,food,conversations and the most important ingredient, LOVE..
Another year older, none the wiser..
To be continued 😊