INA Meena Dikha!

(or, Fishing for Mallu Food at I. N. A. Market)

Vinayan and I have come a long way. About a decade ago, when our department acquired its first few computers and pretended to call the room they were dumped in a “lab”, I was an eager little graduate student there. I would go to him for assistance, entering his room with a hesitant “Sir?”. A friendly smile would instantly wreath Vinayan’s face, and soon I was saying the “Sir” without really meaning it. Now I teach students in the same computer lab, and Vinayan always meets me with a “Good Morning, Sir!”. But I’m happy in the knowledge that he too, never means the “Sir”.

Over the years, we’ve acquired many grey hairs, been through much sadness and joy, but with one thing or another, we’d never ended up going out together for a meal. That lacuna had been bothering me lately, so last week I used the pretext of this blog to ask Vinayan if he’d take me to a good mallu place in town.

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Sona Sweets at Nehru Place

“Nehru Place?!” you ask. I know, i know. Hardly the most obvious place to look for fine dining.

But heck, if all of puraani dilli‘s food has evolved from lashkari khana (food for army encampments), we should probably not ignore the battalions of office-goers whose collective lunch appetites keep a multitude of eateries in Delhi in business.
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