The play itself was pretty decent, some of the lines were really funny, although the conversations sounded like they were set in Eton rather than Delhi. I must confess, I'm not a big fan of the kind of Indian theatre where the script sounds like an Englishman wrote it. Granted, the main characters were students of literature, but they sounded so very unreal. There was also a lot of slap-stick by supporting characters, and a final emotional scene with so much gawky hamming by the drunk wastrel that both my husband and I couldn't bear to watch it. Overall, though, not a bad effort, 6 out of 10 on the Deepa Scale!
The play finished at 5:30, so we decided to wander down past Marine Drive to Chowpatty Beach. Everyone wanted to eat pav-bhaji.
At Chowpatty, the stalls were already beginning to see the first customers of the evening (peak time at the stalls is from 6:00 to 8:00 pm). We went looking for pav-bhaji, but got sidetracked by the Badshah panipuri stall.
Badshah has absolutely delightful panipuris. They're served by a guy wearing a pair of gloves, so of course, they lack that extra tang of sweaty hands! But it's lip-smackingly good, and you can ask for a filling of your choice (potatoes, sprouted moong, chole, or boondi). I had hot chole filling, with ice cold pani and an absolutely heavenly meetha chutney. After you're done eating, there's a guy who comes around handing out paper napkins.
Piping hot and mouth-wateringly tasty! It was spicy as well, the kind of spice that sets you thinking about ice-creams and golas for the next course.
Kulfi seemed like a better option than golas. There were lots of flavours to choose from; including some names that seemed inspired by Playboy. (I'm not kidding. I found a Kulfi called SANGAM 3-IN-1, and another one called MILAN 4-IN-1.) There was also a whole sub-section called Punjabi Special Item (are you thinking what I'm thinking?) - which included Punjabi Rabdi Kulfi, Kaju Draaksh Kulfi, Anjeer Kulfi, Sitaphal Kulfi, and a very, very modern-sounding 2000 MILLINIUM KULFI. Pramod ordered a Punjabi Rabdi, and it was outstanding. Praveena and Rajeev had Sitaphal.
We hung around near the bar. Drinks were ordered, and pronounced satisfactory. After all the stuff we'd eaten, none of us could bear the idea of more food. It was a quiet night, since we were there early, so we had our pick of tables.
I didn't want to sit anywhere near the big TV screen, so every now and then Rajeev would pop around the corner to watch the Singapore Grand Prix. We were discussing Lehman Brothers and bonuses - or the lack of them - when Rajeev suddenly piped up: "That's the Spanish national anthem!"
"Huh?" I said
"Must be Alonso!"
"Alonso! He must've won!"
"Ah", I said, nodding like it all made sense.
At some point, we finally paid our tab (well, Praveena paid!) and left. Downstairs, the Victorias were doing their little pleasure rides on Marine Drive. I watched a young couple (honeymooners?) smiling and enjoying their ride on a jingling carriage.
By the time we got into our car, I had a beatific smile on my face. Good company, great food, good conversation...and great views of the Arabian Sea. I can't think of a better way to spend an evening on Marine Drive!