Saturday, October 31, 2009

Mithu tells the future

Indore, October 1, 2009

"Chalo Mithu Miya, apna kamaal dikhao, Vasudhaji ko unka bhavishya bataao" (Co'mon Mr. Mithu, show the wonders you can do, tell Vasudha her future too)...

Out popped the parrot from its cage and picked a card for me. Within 10 seconds it was back home. Faint letters predicted what my future holds. Since it is mostly good stuff, I believe it!

Mangaldas ni haveli- Ahemdabad

The car drove through old Ahmedabad; a cobweb of streets crammed with shops, kiosks, cows and people. I was headed to Mangaldas ni Haveli- a 200 year old heritage home turned into a restaurant. It was glittering with lights. I entered into a courtyard, complete with a tulsi plant in center. Many doors led to multiple rooms, now converted into kitchens.

The attendants showed me a well tucked into a corner. It is 40 feet deep and collects water from the terrace during rains. A narrow staircase led me to a room which now displays traditional clothes and artifacts for sale. I climb more and come to the eating area. There are both a/c and open seating options. I choose to sit outside-surrounded by grand pillars and painted ceilings. The lanterns and the pleasant breeze add to the charm. They serve Gujarati as well as North Indian food. I opted for the Gujarati platter- bajra roti, a number of vegetable servings, chutneys and kadi and of course srikhand. The food and the surroundings took me back in time. A time when people enjoyed their simple evening meals unhurried under a starlit skies and cool air.

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