I was in a’bad for a day… for some work. A lot has changed… but most of it is the same.
Here are places that you can/should visit if you are in A’bad:
- My My: This is my favourite store for lingerie. I remember the 1st time my mom took me here… I have been on my own many many times. They started off with lingerie… then added make up… and now have night wear (men and women) and women’s western wear. For the last 2 months, I have been looking for a full slip to wear under my dress.. preferably satin. I could not find it anywhere in Mumbai- Shoppers Stop, Marks and Spencer (found it but for 2k), Jockey, Lifestyle, 1-2 local shops. I don’t understand this… stores sell backless clothes, sheer dresses but don’t stock whats underneath. Frustrating!!! I found everything and more in My My. They have a huge range- in terms of price and variety. Their service is too good. The manager was standing right there and ensuring every customer was attended to. I love… love… love this store. I wouldn’t mind travelling specially to A’bad just to shop here.
- Asopalav: I have not been here in years. It is my mom’s favourite shop for Indian wear. For any wedding, we always shopped here. Earlier they had a store only on Ashram road but now it is at Satellite also. They have added western wear to their assortment as well.
- EC (European Catalogue): This is a go to for every college girl in A’bad. They had a store in University Area (don’t know if its still open) which stocked tops for as low as 200 bucks.. and good stuff. We would go crazy during the sale. My mom would specially come down so I could shop in sales (there was a time I could not shop without my mom). They have opened a new store in Vastrapur. Their business model is simple- buy clothes in bulk from Bangkok and sell at higher prices in A’bad. Their assortment is very funky and international. I came across a range of jumpsuits, dresses, sequin body dresses, printed pants, micro mini skirts etc. They have everything for everyone. Yesterday I realized that most of their clothes were not finished- there was a tear or stain etc. They have just bought from Bangkok and placed it on the racks. Despite these glitches, I did manage to find good stuff.
- La Femme: It is the most famous parlour in A’bad. It was started by Satish Christian. My mom would generally get a hair cut from the Ashram Road outlet (the only one then). On special occasions (like wedding), she would spend extra for a hair cut from Satish himself. They opened new outlets in Satellite and Vastrapur. If you are looking for a good parlour, this is the one.
- Sasuji: How can you come to A’bad and not try the Gujju thali? I do not like Gujju food specially since it is laced with gur. But, my parents love Gujju food. We would end up eating the thali at Sasuji on C G road. I have taken KC also here. You will be served with so many varieties- aam ras, chaas, roti, puri, bhakhri, 3-4 veggies, daal, kadhi, rice, khichdi, sweets, farsan etc etc etc.
- Tomato’s : Not very far from Sasuji is my favourite restaurant. They serve Italian, mexican, Punjabi, Chinese etc. The food is so damn good… and it serves non veg also. The décor is too cool. It is a must visit. I have not come across another restaurant even in Mumbai which is this good. They are open only for lunch and dinner and closed in between.
- Cafe Upper Crust: Places which serve non veg are so rare in A’bad that any good place becomes a must visit. This cafe has been around for years in the University Area. It is a little expensive for college students and was visited by us on special occasions- dates, b’days etc. They serve on the go food rather than a sit down lunch. Continental, chinese, sizzlers, punjabi. Must visit.
- Janta cocoa at Panjrapole: Go to Panjrapole and ask anyone for Janta cocoa. It is a small place with chairs outside. They serve the most amazing cocoa. I don’t know what is added to it but I have not had anything better in any branded/non branded outlet. Yum!!!
- Vada Pav at Vijay Char Rasta: Mumbai does not know how to treat a vada pav. They make these vadas and give it to you in the buns (if you are lucky… on the Mumbai Pune expressway they expect you to put it inside the bun). Vijay Char rasta’s vada pav can kick Maharshtra’s best vada pav’s ass. The buns are heated in butter/oil (always go for butter)… 2 chutneys- green and garlic are applied on the bun… the vada is placed inside and served hot hot. Yummy!!! I obviously had these quite frequently in college. Once my dad, mom, bro had come on Sunday. Mom had gone shopping… bro, dad and me were hungry and bored. I suggested a vada pav since the shop was near. My dad wanted one… bro refused. So, I bought 2 for each person. Guess what happened? My bro ate everyone’s share… he started with one and ended up eating 7. He was a convert. You will be too…. MUST VISIT!!! You don’t know what vada pav can actually taste like till you have eaten them here.
There are many more… but these make A’bad stand out.
I miss the city… it is so nice, clean, green, good roads, safe… It has a more cosmopolitan crowd compared to Mumbai anyday. And I am not comparing the creme… even the college going students are much more well dressed, well read, well travelled compared to people in Mumbai. I regularly come across people who have never been outside the city… they are born here, live here, die here. And it is obvious when you converse with them.
In every city I am an outsider… my native place is Himatnagar… schooling was in Mt Abu… mom’s side of the family is in Veraval… college was in A’bad… MBA in Manipal… job in Gurgaon/Mumbai and every region of the country. A’bad is the only city I feel part of… I know the language… the culture… I am used to loud Gujjus (they are loud)… the food.
I miss A’bad.