Helmets, Onion Samosa and MTR Sweets

We wanted to buy a helmet for the kid. A week went by in making sure that no helmet shop in and around my place has one. Then we spied a kid with a helmet. While I was quietly trying to get the helmet off him, missus quickly asked the mother where they bought it. The lady said that there is a large helmet market in JC road. And the missus promptly despatched me on the mission today morning.

The first shop I went to had a helmet in white. I closed my eyes, tried to imagine my kid in a white helmet and was not entirely satisfied with the result. I said I wanted one in red or black. The salesman said they did not have one. End of story. I was walking out when the shop owner, for some reason, looked up and saw me walking out without a helmet in hand. I guess he wanted to do his good deed for the day. He caught hold of me and said he would get the helmet for me, in ten minutes. I decided to wait. Yeah, and spent an hour waiting.

I got the helmet finally but this post is about the hour I spent in the helmet market on JC road. What did I do for such a long time without a book in hand? How did I stop myself from going mad or driving everyone else mad? Why did I even wait an hour there? One day I shall get it to the silver screen but for now, I will simply write it out for you.

Once I figured that the “ten minutes” the shop owner wanted was actually a (much longer) period of time scaled down to fit the estimated breadth of my patience; and that I was not going to have any luck in figuring out the scale conversion chart, I promptly stepped out and saw this scene. Here, you tell me what you see in it.

This is what I saw outside

Road? Autos? Shops? And do you notice that red circle filled in red that I have so cleverly placed on a shop? I doubt you would have noticed the shop even if you were with me, but my well-trained eye did not miss the heap of onion samosas in the shop. I darted across and when I asked for two samosas, he gave me two pieces wrapped in separate pieces of paper. That’s when I realised that the standard portion there is one samosa and one tea. The samosas were awesome and he had a real heap of them and was still making more. It is apparantly a favorite place with autowallahs. I took some photos to put here like the good guy I am.

The ingredients are rather simple

The frying process

The final products are tempting!

I thoroughly enjoyed myself and when I looked up, across the streeet, there was an old fashioned white-on-dark-blue board (do you remember the erstwhile higginbothams boards in railway stations?) that proclaimed in kannada “Nandeeshwara lunch home”. It is apparantly a ‘Brahmana’ lunch home run by a ‘Krishna Madhyastha’. I was already feeling bad that it was neither snack time nor lunch time and that I would not be able to sample anything in that place, when I spied the world-famous-in-Bangalore MTR outlet across the street.

It is such an unassuming place that I would have missed it completely despite having heard so much about it. The place apparantly opens after 12.30 pm for lunch and so was closed at the time I was there. I noticed a sweets counter and walked in. Since I was not very sure of getting the helmet, I thought I would hedge my chances by buying some sweets for the missus. There was jalebi, which is a favorite with the missus. In my eagerness to get it correct, I asked the helpful looking person behind the counter – “Is this made in oil or ghee?”. The answer- “ghee” – came packed in a blood curdling chillness. A moments’ thought and realisation dawned. It’s a very very serious mistake to make in an established sweet shop in South India. Proud shop owners and shop assistants can not even stand the thought of the existence of such a doubt. I promptly set about buying five different varieties, which led to a little warming up all around.

By the time I went back to the shop, a helmet in shining gray color was ready and I even got a thirty rupee discount since I waited for an hour.

The sweets are nice, I now know where the MTR eatery is, and my kid likes the helmet. And my urge to learn something everyday was satisfied when I figured that MTR stands for Mavalli Tiffin Rooms. Bet you didn’t know that!!


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