Sunday, March 21, 2010


Thought for the day:Experience is not what happens to a man;it is what he does with what happens to him...Aldous Huxley

There's this extremely cozy place, Canara Coffee House, in Dandiya Bazaar, in the heart of our city. I've spoken about it earlier also. It's been around since decades, and, still continues to be popular amongst those who savour good food, albeit, at even better prices. Prices which seem to be from the eighties, sometimes. I often go to this place, whenever I venture towards the city side(Normally the traffic is too scary to venture during peak hours). 

Today, I observed that they were playing FM.(Radio Mirchi..what a nice station name for playing in a restaurant, na?) I looked all around for a music system, and couldn't find it. Then, I saw this radio- a National Ekco radio- ages old, with valves and all, not our modern chip system. And, in perfect running condition. Wow- it would be worth a pretty penny, I'm sure, if they decide to sell it. But then, that radio, the pics/paintings from the past, the wooden beams in the ceiling, et al, are what give an ambience to the place.:)

And, OMG, can you imagine these prices: A healthy Poona Misal(Sprouts with lightly sprinkled sev, curd, etc) for 17/-, Idli for 10/-, Poha/Upma for 5/-, Tea for 7/-(Now,even the larriwallas charge 10 bucks), and, the rest of the South Indian dishes for below 25 bucks. Amazing. Save me from the hi-fi places- they're good once in a while, but, the real taste of good food is in such quaint places, provided they maintain a neat and clean zone, like Canara Coffee House does.

Their most popular dish is Poona Misal. If I go there, that's what even I would usually have, and a tea-again,tea of the type I like- it's tea-flavoured milk, rather than 'kadak chai'. Probably the best tea I can think of, in Baroda. (Austy, try it next time u're here).

LOL- I googled(images) 'Poona Misal', to see if I could get a good pic, and, I see my own pic in one of the images- I click that and I'm directed to an ole post I did,last year, where I mentioned this place-try it!:)..:)

Coming back to the radio, it reminded me of Granddad's old radio in our ancestral home. Probably one of my oldest memories from childhood. Granddad was a homeopath, and had his dispensary on the ground floor of our building. In the evening, he would come by 7 PM or so, and have his dinner.(He was a stickler for time- 10 minutes late and he wouldn't have dinner..hehe.) This would be followed by listening to the radio, which was a Bush one..let me see if I can google a pic.

Yes, I found it-that's more or less what it was like.:) And, quite a prized possession, because, in the seventies, even audio cassettes had not really made their entry into India. After Granddad passed away, this radio continued to be in our home. In the Eighties, when it stopped working and the repair guy also said that there were no hopes of repairing it,I got him to connect the speaker wires to a pin, so that I could use it with a tape recorder.(Even tape recorders then were pretty different from the ones we see today- haha)...specially since we couldn't really afford to buy speakers. And, it worked. 

And that is what I mean when I say 'simple pleasures of life'- would I feel the same thrill today, by connecting a pair of sophisticated speakers to a music system? I doubt very much! And,that's why I want to go back to a simple life!:)
Joke for the day:

That reminds me so nicely of people trying to worm out of a 'trapped' situation...hahaha!:)


Lazy Pineapple said...

I remember such a radio which my grandfather had...he was so protective about it and yes that was our only source of entertainment till television entered our lives.

Simple joys of life from an era long forgotten by most of us. Thanks Amit...this was a very sweet post :)

I loved the Phrase by Aldous Huxley....

austere said...

Fabulous post... have NEVER been there, but on my next trip home, for sure even if I have to specially go to Dandiya bazar.

Great sound from these old time radios... why were things much more meaningful back then?

Or it only seems so?

shooting star said...

heya amit, i totally relate to such nostalgic things, its just not the stuff , its the whole nostalgia..i remember this transistor i had during my childhood, used to listen to voice of america at night on it.....
and yeah quaint little places, they are priceless, in my earlier post on JNU's PSR rockk, i ahd forgotten to mention this dhaba where we always ahd dinner before embarking on our night outs...quanit little place, open air and food amazing!!!

AmitL said...

Hi,LP-thanks..and,nice to see u've a radio memory too..(I thought u were from the cassette player era,at least?haha)
Austy,yes-you must..u won't regret it.:)
As for things from that time being more meaningful,well,we weren't surrounded by materialistic things then,na?So,anything 'different'was an attraction..not to speak,of course,of the value due to low incomes in those days.
Heyy,Sush-that's so nice-were you an avid VOA/BBC/Radio Netherlands listener?I was- it used to be a pet hobby for me-am going to do a post on that.Maybe you can 'guest-write' with me?haha..and,ohh..a dhaba-during college days,those used to be sheer bliss-ask a teen of today to go there,and see their face..:)

Arunima said...

in the hostel, we had tansistors those small ones and we would play songs in that. :-) we used to call it "2worldwar model" :-)oh, but it was our priced possession. teh hostel was bang in the heart of the city with all malls close by, but we did not get enough plug points in our rooms and had to resort to transistors.