A halal toast to the Haji

The afternoon sun wasn't terribly unpleasant. Maybe because I was stepping out after days. Maybe because I could feel the sea breeze.

When we took a turn, the road was half dug up on one side and there was a traffic jam. Some aspiring candidate was campaigning and everything had come to a standstill. There were sleek cars, police jeeps and SUVs. How can anyone think of SUVs in a city like Mumbai?

The candidate is a Haji something or the other. I craned my neck and I saw the gentleman directing traffic. This was supposed to mean that he was like a grassroots man. I put on a suitably impressed smile for man in blue shades behind the wheel of the monster vehicle inching near me.

Craning my neck some more, I wished I were a nubile chick doing the cheerleader pom-pom - the halal version, of course. I saw Haji saab moving his hands frantically. Then a head peered out of a Toyota. Ah, THIS was Haji something or the other. After doing a headcount, I realised they all looked pretty much the same.

The cars were bumper-to-bumper. The photograph of their national leader was towering over all the demonic cars. I couldn't figure out why anyone would campaign at that hour near a seaside promenade.

Even if Haji saab wanted to convey that he had nothing against couples canoodling on the rocks or the low wall, the curve of their butts visible when they bent slightly in their low-slung jeans, it made no sense because except for one fellow frying pakoras on a cane stand and a bhelwalla the road was pretty deserted.

I guess he achieved his target by stopping the traffic. It also meant there were more of his people than the real electorate.

Anyway, I resisted the urge to take a picture and decided that I shall toast Haji saab with a creme brule.


I believe the favourite campaign food of politicians is biryani and there are protests when batata vadas are served, which North indians refer to as aloo tikkis, which makes me angry because the batata vada is just so BV.

This reminds me. Why do these nice places one goes to occasionally not understand that if you are likely to eat something and the tables are low, the least they can do is make the crockery less heavy and humongous? It takes special talent to manage to use cutlery and see that the stuff makes its way safely from table to mouth.

Also, when one orders a fancy sandwich stuffed with onion marmalade, among other things, you expect a sandwich. I got two tiny pieces - 1"x3" each - with some artistic brown squiggle that was the sauce. Then, to make the thing look even better, they had another rectangle of watermelon with a mint leaf on top and half a fig, which looked like, well...whatever.

The creme brule was an afterthought.

You cannot toast a good Haji with a half fig that looks like well...whatever.


  1. So you're up and about. Good.

    About food...the fancier the name, the yuckier it is. In my opinion :]

  2. FV
    Sooo,anyone can've halal etoh as for as he/she could add haji as his/her last name or first name.........

    BTW? I still am unable to understand concept ,"Halal?"


  3. Mask:

    Hmm...yes, first 'baby' steps!

    As for the food, I was complaining about the portions:)


    Halal in this context was anything acceptable to those who think something isn't, and that applies to all of us in different contexts.


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