A nice burger is always welcome on a moist, cold, windy day. Especially when you are travelling. We happened to discover one bravely titled Between Your Buns. It was located on Salunke Vihar road, in the Kondwa area of Pune. When I asked Michael how he chose the title he said he and his friends came up with it back in college. ‘Since college kids are usually thinking about these things, we felt they would connect with the name.’ When we told him we had breezed in from Goa he said his fiancé was from Cansaulim and he was getting married at Quinta de Valladares, Verna. Small world.
So we sat down and ordered a takeaway of a lamb burger and a fish burger. It set us back by about four hundred rupees. Pushing fifty, we seemed out of place in a space where teenagers hung out. At spare wooden tables they sat, hunched forward talking delicately with the occasional chuckle. An enormous king burger, almost a foot in height was carried past us as we waited. In the background, sounded the strains of Cold Play.
We were in Pune for a first holy communion in the family. As I watched little Maegan open her gifts, I felt like a child once more. I felt I was also privileged to receive the host for the first time. Medals, rosaries, Bible stories, prayer booklets, necklaces and key chains were offered to Maegan to accompany her on her spiritual journey. We picked up a card for her from St. Paul’s on East Street with the beautiful words, ‘I will instruct you and teach you the way you should go. I will counsel you with my eye upon you.’ (Psalm 32:8).
As we meandered along Pune’s famous Main Street (M.G. Road) in Camp I indulged myself with a teak-coloured low waist trouser and matching choco-checked shirt for an afterparty the day following the FHC. The Brooklyn fit styling of Indian Terrain suited me well as I emerged from the blues with a splash of rust. From Oceanic Sound and Vision just after St. Paul’s, we came away with a CDs of Amy Winehouse and Ray Coniff.
Lunch was an inspired mutton biryani at George Restaurant. This was a stone’s throw away from what used to be the bustling Irani eateries Naaz and Mahanaaz. We used to trot over for the delicious samosas in the early nineties. Marzorin, a strong contender, was always overcrowded with the swish set. The irony is that Naaz is history but Marzorin holds its ground till today. We were dismayed to learn that the iconic Kayani Bakery on East Street had been closed down due to issues with the Pune Cantonment Board. Where would we buy their famous shrewsbury biscuits now?
Let me chew on that while I munch on my grilled chicken burger with cheese. This one is from Fatwich, another burger joint I happened on, along the CHOGM road on the fringe of Porvorim.
Published in Gomantak Times Weekender, St. Inez, Goa on Sunday, 7th January 2018. Pix taken by Felix Mendonca at Salunke Vihar Road, Pune on 20th November 2017.