I stay in Kilpauk (notorious for the “World renowned” Mental Hospital present there). One day during my vacations, when I was engrossed into the world of Shantaram, I received a call from MP, my school friend. He invited me to have Samosas in a place somewhere near Mount Road.
Anyone who knows Chennai geography would think travelling from Kilpauk to Mount Road is a little too much for having Samosas. But having little else to do, I accompanied MP in his Activa, first to a Hard Disk Service Centre in Greams Road and then to the Samosa shop he was talking about. Thanks to the Chennai Metro work which was going on, we had to travel through the entire stretch of Mount Road and then through some gullies and small lanes that I had never been to before, to finally arrive at the shop beside the parking entrance of Devi Paradise Cinemas.
The shop was a humble 10×10 size and was run by 3-4 North Indians. The lane was too narrow for even a Tata Nano to pass through comfortably. There was a slum settlement just metres away and slum dwellers’ children were playing with each other, oblivious to the happenings around them. One elderly bearded man was frying hot samosas in a big “Anda” just outside the shop. The crowd was pretty huge considering the size of the shop. MP ordered a Samosa initially for me to taste. The piping hot samosa was easily one of the best I’d ever had. The semi solid paste inside the Samosa comprising mashed potatoes and green peas had a taste that was irresistible.
With the little Hindi I knew, I told the guy in the shop, “Bhaiya, aur ek de deejiye!” (Brother, give me one more!). Even with the bearded man frying 30-40 samosas at a time, the demand far exceeded the supply. Hesitant to stop with 2 Samosas, I heard myself say, “Aur ek, bhaiya!”, and again, and again.
I could have gone on to have a few more but decided against it.
In a few years from now, I am sure Bombay Lassi will have a number of branches across Chennai, like a Murugan Idli Shop or a HSB. That day, I’ll take credit for writing about Bomaby Lassi first.