Sunday, November 24, 2013

Snapshots from Delhi: Wanderlust


It had been a lazy Sunday. For the entire day we had been saddled in our couch catching up on activities we do not have time for on a weekday. My wife picked up one of her books which she would finish in a matter of days while I struggled to get through a few pages of the one I was trying to finish since a month. I also caught up with my career in FIFA 13, where I am on a losing streak as a manager .It will not be a Sunday if there is no cleaning and putting my stuff where they are supposed to be, so some time went into that .Throw in a few TV breaks in between and it was a perfect leisurely day. The evening brought a craving to go out and enjoy the outdoors which had become slightly cold with the onset of winter. For such an evening Galleria market has become a favourite with us where you can take a stroll around or take your cup of coffee and sit by the fountain in the center of the market. That is what we intended to do.
Galleria was lively as usual. The winter clothing was off the shelves again, necessitated by the slight chill in the air. As we were strolling around we spotted a poster which boasted about offering the best ginger tea outside home. It was from Café Wanderlust. We followed somewhat loose directions given in the poster and managed to find it. The place looked as interesting as the poster was. So we walked in. It was small in size but high on imagination. I was intrigued by the travel photography on the walls and got to know that the owner herself was an avid traveller.Thus it was not surprising that free spirit of a traveler had spilled over to the décor of the place. Not very often do you find a hammock and a cane swing in a café. Instead of the regular chairs you had bean bags, couches and rocking chairs to choose from. On one side there were stacks of travel books which further added to its character. This quaint little cafe did justice to its name by inspiring you to go on a wanderlust of your own.
Exploring places and people is what comes to mind when you talk about being on a wanderlust. As we navigated through the menu (which was on a tablet) we were led to a section called Wanderer’s Special. This section had some iconic snacks from different cities of our country like Mumbai, Patna, and Banaras etc. I decided to try the special Allahabadi samosa something which I grew up with, to go along with my Ginger Tea. I must say that the real taste oozing out of the small samosas which the likes of Netram dish out every day in the sleepy city of Allahabad is as big a trade secret as the Coke’s formula is. The samosas were served and they did a good job in recreating the trademark taste .The one with the potato filling was near perfect in size and taste. However as I had thought the ones with the dry masala filling were a little off from the authentic taste ,but full marks to them for letting people know that there are samosas without “aaloo”. Ginger tea served in the typical “chaiwala a” glass was “kadak” and true to the promise the poster had made. As I sipped my tea I wondered why these quintessential Indian snacks do not make it to urban menus and when will they come out of their stereotype of something to be had from our local sweet shop. Perhaps someday having a samosa will be as hip as a croissant in our cafes. Letting that thought rest I picked up a copy of Maximum City which was in the shelf behind me and started flipping through it.
We sat for a while once we had finished our snacks wondering if we could spend an entire day with our books the next time we were at the Café Wanderlust.



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