August 19, 2010

The grand experience

The intoxicating smell of ghee wafts in the air as girls dressed in matching yellow saris attend to crisping jangiris on one pan and browning bondas on another. Surely, surely this is how heaven must smell. Yes, I was at one of the sites responsible for Adyar's fame - The Grand Sweets and Snacks. The sheer sight of all the mamas and mamis bustling around the counters trying to yell out their orders to the overworked, hypertensed staff is a sure indication of the popularity of the place. And nothing that was sold there tasted bad, like, at all.

Indians are foodies... and there's no better example to illustrate this point than to stand at one corner of this iconic sweets and savories shop and observe for a few minutes as people yell out orders for everything from badam halwa to the legendary puliogare mix sold here. My father has vanished even as I took a backseat to observe an everyday 20 minutes and he returns with a plate fashioned from some dried leaves. But what's most important is whats on it - 3 piping hot, insanely delicious bondas with chutney. Unable to resist the aroma, I pop a steaming hot bit of it right into my mouth only for it to smoulder within and bring tears to my eyes. But while I glance around, it is patently obvious that I am not the only one who's impatient. At least 4 other stuffed mouths unable to swallow look around guiltily. A wry smile later, I am back in observation mode and Appa has vanished once more to order some stuff we need for a function at home. Every sweet conceivable to the Indian mind lurks behind the counters, most of which to I have no clue to their names. But I am quite sure that this small hurdle won't take away anything from its taste.

After a while it strikes me that though the staff is slaving away, their system isn't very efficient. Appa, however assures me that it runs as well as a well-oiled machine. I am skeptical as I see a long line of impatient token holders waiting for news of their order. And after what seems like forever even in nasal nirvana Appa is back, finally having placed the order. He hands me the receipt to keep inside and I glance it. Even living in Europe doesn't prepare you for price inflation in India. Well, heaven ain't cheap but then I suppose that's rhetorical.


Sangeetha said...

Oh Jaya!!! I'm pregnant and your post has made me crave for the lovely snacks and sweets sold at Grand sweets - Chennai. Not a single trip to Chennai has ended without visiting either Krishna sweets / Grand Sweets / Adyar ananda bhavan.

Shwetha said...

wrong timing jalls :-( I just polished off the entire bakshanam parents bought from madras and now I am craving more!!

Jaya said...

Shwetha->Time to make new bakshanams yourself then! But with kutti Dhwani around I guess you won't have the time huh? :) Thanks for the comment n keep visiting!

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