Monday, October 27, 2008

Roadside Dhaba: A Taste of India

I stopped at the roadside dhaba just beside the National Highway.
The night is cold, the wind blowing with disguised teeth, sky clear with shining stars. The lights of the bikes are cutting sharply all edges of the darkness. The silence of the night, the faint cry of a night bird , the emergence of any distant sound..all merging with busy sounds of the Dhaba.
While traveling from Agra, a nice spot to stop.
A nice place to relax your body and eyes. You can remain quite but you can see a lot of colours, flavours and spices of life.
Trucks are coming in large numbers….the drivers getting out and ordering lassi , tea and then talking in regional accent with other truck drivers. Hindi, Punjabi are the most frequent in this Agra-Delhi highway, still Gujrati is also heard….the radio is on ….both in the Dhaba and the parked Trucks….tunes of Himesh Reshamiya….Kajre Re….Tere bina jiya jai na….all going in random thanks to Channels of FM…. The passing on of running Trucks, cars in lightning speed….the flashes of their headlights cutting the darkness into pieces….suddenly someone shouting, ‘Arey Raju, kahan mar gaya?’….the coming of the answer from inside the Dhaba….the smell of Tarka,( a preparation of pulses), the clinging sound of spoon and glass mixing sugar in lassi ….the smoke of tea rising from the aluminum teapot kept over the furnace….the 80 power yellow bulb hanging from the bamboo wall….some birds sitting on the thatched roof , flapping their wings ….preparing to fly for the day….the small boy in this darkness also running swiftly to serve the food…. The Dhaba is alive….these Dhabas hardly sleeps ..
And then came the food.
Chappati and Mutton Roganjosh!
With piece of onion, lemon kept on the dish.
I can bet even food of afive starrer hotel would think to compete with this flavour.
After food again ride and move.
Don’t worry when you need to stop you will definitely find another Dhaba.
A place where you can taste and share real India!

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