8 things you get to eat only in Mumbai

Okay, first, the title is misleading - when I say ONLY in Mumbai, I mean the good stuff is in Mumbai. Like - in my Bschool at Gurgaon, they served a mis-mash of potatoes and oversized buns (which for some reason had a sweet aftertaste) which the mess would lovingly call - bhaji pao! First, it is not bhaji pao - it is Pav Bhaji and Second - just because you overbought potatoes last week and mashed them with whatever was left in the kitchen, doesnt make it pav bhaji! But what pissed me off was that my north Indian colleagues, perfectly sane 99 percentilers, loved this mixed vegetable masquerading as pav bhaji.

So you see, you can get bhaji pav etc in Delhi too, but it cant be counted as pav bhaji. The real pav bhaji, you get only in Mumbai. Based on this and many other such experiences, here is a list of 8 things you get to eat only in Mumbai


1. Pav Bhaji.

Delicious, melt in your mouth pav, and right amount of cauliflower, peas and potatoes, made to cook on a flat tava consistently mashing the ingredients together makes the bhaji. Amul butter makes 17% of its revenues from the pav bhaji stalls in Mumbai. (Fun trivia - Sanjay dutt played a pav bhaji wala in Vastav in the first 20 mins of the film after which he played himself)


2. Medu Vada Sambhaar

The first Shetty sailed from Udipi to Mumbai, then Bombay, in 1890. He then brought in 100 other shettys (or is it Shetties?) with him to serve the Parsi/Irani population with real breakfast, something that did not involve just maida and butter (80% of Parsi person is made of these ingredients.). Then he came up with an idea- a Vada with the hole - Medu Vada (which Maharastrians wrongly refer to as  Mendu Vada. Mendu is brain in marathi, which makes no sense)

Thanks to Shetty population in Mumbai, the bachelors have learnt to have breakfast. This dish alone is responsible for mass migration of Shettys from Udipi to Mumbai. This also includes Suniel Shetty and Shilpa Shetty.
Today, you find better Medu Vada in Mumbai than what you find in Udipi. (Tasted and compared on multiple occasions)


3.Vada Pav
It is a shame that I have mentioned it 3rd. It should be mentioned first on every list. Even the list of who should be the next PM candidate of India. It should be this dish. Enough has been said about it and I dont intend to say anything more. It is the king of the world. Bas. Khup said.


4.Peppy cheese ball

This is not available north of the Tropic of Cancer. The frequency of their availabilty is what I am referring to when I say you can get it only in Mumbai.
It can make you free of your worries for those blissful 20 mins when you are tossing, light cheese ball after cheese ball in your mouth.(That line sounded much better in my head).
If you are in India and are wondering what is this Peppy cheese balls I talk about - search for it and buy it online (obviously it has a fan club)


5. Misal Pav

Punekars take huge pride in their Misal Pavs but the best misal pav place here would find it difficult to find takers in Mumbai. Here is the Misal pav formula -
Misal pav = Fluffy pav + Farsan (100% besan) + Sprouted peas (and not moong as Punekars use)
If you can follow this formula, you make the best misal pav in Mumbai, ipso facto, the world. Mumbaikars around the world would remind each other of the goodness of your Misal pav, and want to come back - It would be their Swades and you would be their Ashutosh. Your kids would proudly tell their friends - Mera baap misal pav banata hai. All that.


6. Pani puri
What you get in other parts of India is not Pani puri - it is either gol-gappe, or gupchup or some other acoustic name, but it is not Pani-puri. You get Pani puri only here. Its not the taste that I am a fan of - It is the pseudo safety feeling these guys give me when they say "Pani puri made with bisleri water". Some of them have gone ahead and even got the ice that is used to cool the pani too, made with bisleri water.


7. Sugar cane juice
By now you must have realised where this list is going. You get Sugar cane juice almost throughout India's sugar belt, but not in Plastic glasses with a dash of lemon and pepper. Have a glass when you are down. It is India's answer to red bull.


8. Butta

No, not corn but butta. The roasting system is the same across India but what differs is the spicing. Down south, a wet mix of chilli and what might be nuclear waste is used to spice the corn. Up north, they have the hardest corn of all world. Your jaw gives up after three bites. The spicing doesnt matter when you are eating steel bearings.
In Mumbai however, the right spicing and roasting technique is used. Also, now this American corn has swept the market which is just as shitty as other American products, Cheverlot, I am looking at you. It is sweet and soft, like too soft. I want a option between soft as a Katrina Kaif and hard as Rahul Gandhi's luck.

I am sure I have missed a few things, feel free to add stuff to the list.

I am so hungry now. Peace.
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The weight of the soul and sand....

I thought of this today. I think of so many amazxing things but since I have a job that takes up much of my time and creativity I don’t get to share the gems with you guys.



Everytime I get some brainwave, I want it to be like a story – you know start, middle and end – something that would enthrall you. But very recently, I have decided that I am going to share my half baked ideas with you and share the real gems with the guys who buy my books – the paying customers, you know! :P

I know what you be thinking – he writes once in abluemoon and acts like a turd, I am going to ctrl+w his shit. But wait – The wait has been worth it for this idea will change the way you look at life, well, not quite, but it’s a good idea, hold on –
So, you know how kids ask what happens when we die and what is a soul and what is its nature? I think I know.

I think every man has a soul – wait – let me scientify it. A soul is not a single entity. Think of it like a pouch of grey sand (found on the bank of Yamuna). There is say 100 gms of such sand dissolved in you. These 100gms is unique to you. Not everybody has 100gms and not everybody has the same shade of grey.
I already have a feeling I should stop here and share this with my paying customers, but anywho –

So, all living things have souls, right? That includes trees, and dogs and cockroaches, sure the cockroach might have only 3 gms of red coloured sand, but it has a soul alright.

Now as a rule, soul can neither be created nor be destroyed, it can be only moved from one living being to another. You know how they say at the beginning there was God – well, that might be true, he had a million gazillion gms of sand type soul which he later dispersed in living beings – also known as the big bang – into small bacteria like life forms, gazillion of them probably, each having 0.0001 gms of sand as the soul.

Oh, we have gotten the deep end of the pool. Let us go now to the much more enjoyable shallow end – How do babies get their soul and when?

I think as soon as the sperm and the egg mate, the baby gets a soul – a teeny tiny 0.001 gms of soul maybe, but a soul nevertheless. As it grows in the womb, the growth of the soul remains stagnant. Let me clarify at this point that just because something is growing doesn’t mean its soul is growing too, also the weightage of the soul isn’t directly proportional to its weight. For eg – an elephant might have less of a soul than a man or a dog for that matter. Also the soul grammage differs from elephant to elephant.

Once the baby is born, when it starts crying, it is for a few seconds just surviving on the 0.001 gms of soul that it had for the 9 months of its inception, its only when it gains awareness does it get its entire soul. For babies that are stillborn, there is only 0.001 gm of soul that nature has to recycle which I am assuming is easier. Sorry for being so morbid and insensitive at the same time, but bear with me.

When a human dies, their soul is no longer of use to them and is recycled by nature. It need not be immediately recycled though. The babies yet to be born in the particular humans’ family, I think, have first dib’s, to get a part of that soul. That is why, so many kids have the peculiar habits that their great grandparents had.

Some characterstics are pre-coded into your soul, just like some people have blue eyes, some have a dark soul, they don’t wanna help others, are jealous, cranky.. while others might be more helpful, polite, loyal…

Nature vs Nurture

I strongly believe Nature wins over nurture big time. The fact that most souls remain in a family getting passed from great grandpa/ma to great grandson/daughter, a bad souled grandpa would lead to a bad family. I might be over simplifying but what I basically wanna say is this – If the parents didn’t do a good job of nurturing a kid, maybe the kid wasn’t worth it. Do I hear the knives being drawn?

I have no way to justify it, but I think, a good kid would do well, irrespective of what the parents’ report card says. Also, I am saying that parents do less for the kids who they know aren’t good seed.

Hmm…Maybe is this is why I don’t publish half baked ideas. But this one has taken quite a bit of time to write and it would be a shame to hide it in my documents folder – So here I click the publish button – Swish!

The weight of the soul and sand....SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend
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