I’m growing to like the “ones pertaining to vegetables” or sabjiwalas as they’re known here. They are to be found, or rather heard, roaming through quiet residential streets every morning pulling a cart loaded with fresh fruit and veg or simply with a little basket on the front of their bycicle. It is their peculiar calls though, each unique, which are so intriguing. Some simply choose to make known the produce they have on offer by shouting out their respective contents, but most have adopted some strange combination of sounds which gives no hint whatsoever as to what’s being sold. One shouts something which to me sounds like “Tally Hally hoooo!”, in a high rolling voice. The best in our area however is a guy who groans “Muaaaa… chhhiiiiiii” which sounds just like its come from a street fighter video game where the guy dramatically gets K.O’d and then resurrects himself to give a devastating high kick to his opponent. It really is impressive, so much so that I’ve vowed to get up early and buy vegetables from that guy.

Speaking of fruit and vegetables, i’m loving the fruit over here. The papayas are something else I tell you (despite having no seeds inside which makes me worry on the GM front). I’ve also got time and a kitchen to experiment with new recipes and ingredients. Countless varieties of gourd… bottle, bitter, ridged and sponge to make south Indian kootus, gujarati shaaks and Punjabi sabjis galore; hot Rotis direct from the griddle, bhakris laden with ghee and jaggery; and fresh cooked breakfasts everyday! Not the full English sort pf course but things like poha, sabudana khichdi and rava uppma. One can get seriously excited about food here and with good reason. Even plain boiled basmati rice tastes special!

Still eating out on occasion… Here’s an impressive thali which I didn’t come close to finishing.

 

Amongst other news I finally managed to pick up a local sim after 2 weeks, 5 visits to different phone shops and just as many visits to police stations for an ultimately unnecessary document… Classic Indian beurocracy!

And i’m off to Calcutta for the first time this coming weekend for a musical intensive study at the ITC SRA for a few weeks which I look forward to with skeptical excitement…

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