It was a brand new day and we decided to get out for breakfast. Aanchal told us about this street side Vada Pav stall in front of her college that was really good and post that we could have Chai at the Irani cafe.
Two things happened. First we didn’t get out early and Aanchal had to rush for a job interview in the morning. She had applied left, right and centre to companies in Bombay and Pune a couple of months ago and one of them called her last night to meet up.
Somehow we dragged ourselves out of the bed and went to the bandi- food stand, unfortunately he was not yet ready, the Vada pav would start only after 10.30 am. It was summer time and he started early morning once the colleges opened. So we came back to the hotel and had eggs again for breakfast. Aanchal left for her interview while Kajal went back to sleep.
Srini and I went to Irani Cafe for Chai. This was another place Aanchal took us to, the last time we were here. Over Chai and Shikanjee (A Parsi version summer cooler) we were chatting away and time just passed by. I got some biscuits for everyone back home.
One must buy Shrewsbury biscuits when you are in Pune. I used to hear about these famous biscuits right from the 90s. Though English in origin, the Parsis were known to be really good bakers and they came up with their own version. Kayani Bakery is very famous for this but any authentic Irani cafe in Pune is good enough. Carrying packets of biscuits we headed back to the hotel and waited for Aanchal.
After a couple of hours, she came to the hotel and apprised us about the interview. She was in the middle of an important decision she had to make. Being an account executive and managing client services for a year in an Ad agency she wanted to shift towards the creative production side but the move was tough and she had a lot of convincing to do to her current bosses.
She told her boss she was not happy in her current job, there was no learning curve so she put in her papers and gave her notice and that zapped me. We were not like that, we wouldn’t dare talk to our bosses when we were starting out so I was impressed she took a stand and did what she believed in.
I am not saying the millennials are perfect but today they had the guts to walk out, express their discomfort to their bosses and tell as it is. She did her job really well and knew her potential. She said I have to get what I deserve.This was another thing I learnt from them. To be straightforward and ask for what you deserve.
Kajal also woke up after some time, we all lazed around in the room and finally pulled ourselves out of the hotel and went straight for lunch. The place? ‘Arthur’s Theme’. Located in Koregaon Park, it was a tiny European restaurant. They named each category based on an English Character from the classics. I was like a kid in a candy shop!
I was shouting out character names Estella, Heathcliff, Catherine, Jane Eyre excitedly. If a place and menu like this was in Hyderabad, most of them would be clueless and ask one question, ‘Biryani Milega??( Do you have Biryani?) 😂
We ate Potato Garlic crisps(heaven), Onion rings(Sigh!) with beers and then went for Pastas. The owner was a stylish Sardarji with an interesting tattoo on his right arm and checking if everything was ok. And guess what, the guests were not calling him, complaining or name dropping saying we are this and that, or using his association. Now why am I saying this?
Experience folks, experience. Running a bar and cafe in Hyderabad showed me how name dropping, mooching for free food, wanting to meet the owners directly for every little thing, take their numbers, call and harass them, oh the list is endless, we faced them all and for almost a decade.
If anybody counteracts me on this, I will only say this, put your hard earned life savings into a restaurant, have no life, run it for n number of years, be there every single day and then talk to me. If you didn’t do the above I mentioned then only one word F… OFF!
Post lunch we went back to StreetMeat just for that Brunnut. Aanchal treated us. Kajal ate a chocolate one while we opted for the salted caramel one again. When the guy recognised us and said glad to have you back, I replied, we will be back again tonight 😊
Post dessert we had a quick beer at Murphies. We booked for foot massages and we had some time to kill until our appointment. I remember seeing a lady hanging out with her daughters having beers next to our table. Where will you get such a crowd in Hyderabad, chilling with their parents and drinking with them.
Post a good foot massage, we stopped at this cute cafe called London Dreams. An outdoor space filled with trees, it was peaceful. We were feeling a little melancholic as tonight would be the last night in Pune.
Then I decided to to do it. It was on my mind for a long time and I thought why not?
To be continued..