Come Ramazan, and everyone in Bombay knows the place to hit after sunset is Mohammad Ali Rd.
For years I’d been meaning to go check out the scene for myself. Then one Ramzan, it so happened that my best friend and I were at Crawford market shopping for her wedding favours. Both of us jumped at the opportunity to go sample some of the famed wares.
Being a vegetarian, the draw for me were the malpuas. For her, it was the malpuas AND the phirnis, and ofcourse everything else.
I distinctly remember the festive air, the light dip in temperature that we call winter in Bombay, and the warm smell of food being cooked on the streets. People bustled around in the narrow streets. The vendors advertised their fare loudly to passing folks. The way families crowded at foodstalls, there was no real need for hawkers to call out. It was a wonder that the sellers managed to keep track of the orders and payments.
A few years later, I went back there on Eid, because my cousins and the Husband wanted to get some murg musallam. That day the street wore a deserted look. Much like the grounds after the fair has cleared out. There were a few stranglers, but most of the street, sellers and buyers alike were home celebrating with family.
Sensing the disappointment, Sam suggested we try out a local icecream hotspot – Taj Icecreams. We trudged through the dark desolate lanes of Bhidi Bazaar, following directions from locals to what looked like a half constructed building.
Double checking the board outside, we entered the little shop. Let me tell you, we did not for a second regret it.The icecreams you get here are faaaaaaar better than the in-house dark chocolate signature icecream served at the Taj – President.
We tried the highly recommended sitaphal icecream, and then because we just can’t stop at one, tried out a few more like the choco-almond.
Suddenly, the streets didn’t seem so desolate anymore. Having got our Eid sweets, we left with big smiles on our faces.
Eid Mubarak to everyone. May all have a blessed Eid!!