Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Dhaba... Dhaba

With evenings occupied by video conferences with California and Euro 2008 football matches, I've recently found that I don't remember dinner until late-night. Last night, under the buzzing lights of a nearby office building, I frequented a 24-hour Dhaba in Gurgaon with my Chennai friend. Dhabas are road-side restaurants. Steam and smoke mix under the glow of street lamps. Behind a tattered billboard, and on an uneven dirt patch, plastic chairs and tables are packed for midnight snacks. The waiter accosts us, and shouts our orders over 100 others to the kitchen. There are no menus. Men and women hunch over flat aluminum plates, their fingers drip with dal and ghee from their hot parathas. I order a chai, dal makhani and two parathas.

The experience costs me Hindi embarrassment and 60 rupees.

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