It’s close to 5 pm at the Tech Park and everyone’s digested their lunch. I feel a familiar space clearing up in my stomach, hoping for some savoury nothings. But I have had enough of those fancy snacks that my ‘wine and dine’ sort of colleagues order online. That stuff is never as good as it looks in the pictures.
Also I’m a sucker for being served morsels of pani puri one by one, a half plate of this and a sample of that, and then taking a few steps to find more. Muah! That’s how snacks are most enjoyed. I gesture to my manager for a break, and allow one of my snobby colleagues to tag along (snobby because she never gives in to my subtle advances). Beyond the parking lot, we walk through a ‘hole in the wall’ gate that opens into a street. Driving to this spot would mean circumnavigating the entire locality. If you are coming from elsewhere, don’t worry, it is quite accessible. Also, dear reader, we are getting to the food part.
The first of the five carts is run by a north Indian ‘bhaiya’. Starting off with some pani puri, I ask for the raw chopped onions to be removed (can do without bad breath). Unfortunately, the aalo tikki is sold out by now “Not again,” I growl. “That sweet and tangy sauce goes too well with it I think.” But he keeps velvety smooth curds, so a plate of dahi samosa is shared with the colleague. As I sense she is starting to enjoy herself, the smell of freshly steamed momos whiffs by. Those beautiful crescent-shaped things look like pieces of the moon and that eclipse of chilli garlic sauce. What a sight! With the vendor using gloves and tongs to serve, the colleague is happy too. All this still serves only as waiting time for the crowd to reduce at the two competing bujji stalls. I explain to her that bujji is the staple street corner snack in Bangalore. Sliced potatoes, chilly, onion or plantain are dabbed with dough and deep fried and then served with the spicy chutney of the day.
The popular pick is the crunchy masala vada and I educate her, “No it is not that thing that looks like a doughnut or that bonda Mumbaikars put in their vadapav. Here, try some with the chutney”. It’s too spicy for her, and she turns red, but I continue to enjoy my favourite assortment of bujjis. She tries not to make a scene. I sense an opportunity and ask, “Can I buy you an ice cream stick to make up?” Smartly sensing one more of my “subtle” advances, she adds, “I can pay for the ice cream, but you can pay for the dinner and drinks this evening, you cheapskate!” Need for snacks – check! Long overdue date with someone out of my league – check! Compulsion to eat expensive snacks – neutralised! I hope dinner won’t burn a hole in my pocket. Maybe I’ll just ask her if we can Dutch it.
How to Get There:
Where: Byrasandra Road, C.V Raman Nagar (Kaggadasapura, near Hathway office)
Timings: Monday-Friday, 17:00 – 20:00
Cost: Rs. 70-100 for two or three people