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Friday, February 11, 2011

THE QUEST FOR BIRYANI



Dumka, Joy, chotu haathi and I were walking back home after meeting up some friends for lunch. It was Friday, sometime in October 2009; I remember this for a fact because we had our exams in a week. We took a shortcut to get home which involved crossing a railway track (which I strongly disapprove of) and at that point we decided to take a leak. As the 4 of us peed away to glory, one of us, I’m not sure who, said, “Yaar, feel like eating some good biryani”.

I just laughed and exclaimed casually, “Let’s go to Hyderabad. My parents are out on some desert safari. We could go home”.

I was admiring the trajectory I was making and as I looked up and turned to the side, I had 3 faces looking at me, well, at my face.

It was a very casual statement and I didn’t have the slightest inkling that these crazy friends of mine would take it seriously.

I looked at them in astonishment. “Are you freaking kidding me”, I exclaimed. It was 6:30 in the evening, we had no tickets and it being the start of the weekend, didn’t help either as getting tickets was next to impossible.

We went to our adda (hangout spot), a few minutes from where we stayed and had a serious discussion.

“The exams are in a week man”.

“So? We never study a day before the exams anyway”.

“But what about the tickets”?

The discussion went on for about 10 minutes.

“Screw it man! Let’s go to Hyderabad” was the final verdict.

We rushed to the apartment to tell the others.

First, went to chotu haathi’s apartment to tell his girlfriend. Ritu opened the door and we all screamed at once making no sense. Ritu was shocked to see us all shouting, smiling and excited like monkeys. She exclaimed, “WHAT”?

Chotu told her, “We are leaving to Hyderabad in 15 minutes. Get ready”

A shocked Ritu asks, “Are you serious?”

Chotu says, “Yes absolutely.”

A super excited Ritu dashed into her room to start packing. She comes back and asks, “You guys aren’t kidding right. Because if you are, I swear I am going to kill you all”.

We all laughed and assured her that we were dead serious. Now that we had convinced Ritu, it was time for the next hurdle, our flat mates. We get into our flat to see Bholu completing his record and Killa was in his own world, probably listening to the same song over and over again or just dreaming about money.

We told them the plan and unlike Ritu, convincing wasn’t going to be easy here. It took a while for them to believe we were serious. Bholu, sceptical as always said, “Bhai I have a pre-final practical exam on Tuesday. I don’t think I can make it” and Killa apparently was busy with the college fest.

Convincing didn't seem to work so we got down to packing as fast as we could. Bholu just kept staring at us. At one point Bholu said, “Chuck the exam man. I’m coming too”. Bear hugs and hi5s followed and by 7:35 PM we were all set to leave. Poor Killa was the only one left behind.

We kept exchanging smiles on the way to the bus stop and could feel the adrenaline pumping. We couldn’t believe that we were actually doing this and it all seemed unreal.

The bus journey.
On reaching, we were informed that because of heavy rains in Andhra Pradesh the usual route to Hyderabad was flooded. Nevertheless, we found a way out. There was an operator who was taking a longer route and was charging exorbitantly for a regular bus but despite all the odds, we just had to go. And we were going. This was the beginning of an adventure of a lifetime.

We had a great time in the bus, much to the dismay of the fellow passengers, with the exception of Joy, who was way too busy looking out of the window like a little kid.

Nagarjunsagar Dam


Nagarjunsagar dam with all the gates open.

We woke up to a beautiful morning and were lucky to see the Nagarjun Sagar dam in all its glory. A sight that draws visitors from all around the region.

A journey that shouldn’t have taken us more than 12-13 hours dragged on for 16 hours. We got off, tired and hungry. We reached home, ate and relaxed for a while. In the evening, the great Hyderabad adventure began.

I took over the mantle of the guide and got down to planning the places we should visit. Since none of my friends had seen Hyderabad, I decided to stick to some of the standard places of visit just to give them a feel of the city. In the process I ended up visiting new places and doing things I never did staying in Hyderabad for all these years. We roamed around the city, visited various places, got lost and returned only in the wee hours of the day. 


From Left to Right: Me, Joy, Bholu, Ritu, Chotu haathi, Dumka



Yeh duniya badi gol hai.

At the iconic Lumbini Park.


Watching on as the others tested their cricketing skills.

The Laser Show.
With Mr Buddha for company.

Joy explores his adventurous side.
At Hyderabad's first multiplex. Almost a tourist sight today.

Joy getting romantic

However, the best was left for the last, the inspiration of the trip, the biryani from Paradise (a highly appropriate name for the restaurant) made by the Gods itself, perhaps the best Biryani in the world. On reaching Paradise we were greeted by big burly bouncers. Hard to believe? When you are visiting a restaurant with an iconic status like the “Paradise”, there are bound to be threats, both by Biryani eaters and terrorists.
The wait for the Biryani. 

I have no idea what these guys are trying to do.

We got our table and waited in eager anticipation. Our conversation stopped as the most heavenly aroma drifted towards us and we looked at the magical bowl of biryani approaching. It came closer and closer and we felt our hearts beat faster and faster. We didn't realize that we were all smiling, which didn't last too long though, when we realized it wasn’t for us. However, it wasn’t long before a similar heavenly aroma came our way but this time we were sure, as we saw the largest bowl of Biryani come our way and land onto our table. Every trip has a purpose and the purpose of this trip was met. The quest for Biryani was a success.

This post is a part of the contest by "Cleartrip - Every trip has a purpose" in association with Indiblogger. Have you had an trip that you would like to share with the world then log onto http://mypurpose.cleartrip.com/ and share your story with the world and win assured prizes from cleartrip.
HEAVEN! The best biryani in the world.

Damn I’m hungry now. 


In hindsight, I wonder if this trip would have ever transpired had we not stopped to pee on that October evening. 

*ing (In order of appearance)
Dumka: Mohit Singh
Joy: Joy Deep Ghosh
I/Gogo: Ashish Kalsi
Chotu Haathi: Kautubh Chatterjee
Ritu: Rituparna Dasgupta
Bholu: Mohit Mathur
Killa: Mukund Killa


A special thanks to Bholu for being a pain in the ass and ensuring that I write a post on our trip without further procrastination. 

29 comments:

gayatri said...

he he he :D hilarious shit :D:) wndafully narrated :) njoyd readn it as alws :) :)

TinTo said...

well, ur Pee-Stop Travel Planning conspired to be one hell of a Trip after all.... u and ur adventurous bunch has proved that 'Great Ideas Transpire and take shape in the most compromising situations"!!!! :D

for the record... this is one hell of a 'spontaneous' trip that i have ever read about...

karthik iyer said...

i have a question.
we never have had exams in oct??
which exams are u talking abt?
did u get the month wrong by any chance?

Ashish Kalsi said...

@G -- thank you so much...really sweet of you :)

Ashish Kalsi said...

@TinTO -- ha ha ha absolutely agree with the saying...and it's super appropriate here :D

@Karthik -- Model exams...and it comes as no surprise that you of all people have this doubt :P

Dinesh Yegireddi said...

dude my mouth started watering as soon as i saw the plate full of biryani dude...!! I'm going to hyderabad next week... :D

Kaustav said...

Bhai awesome as ever.... the "Im hungry" guy.... was me brotha... ;) ...it was one hellova crazzy trip... cheers to all of us man... we rock!!!

Mohit Mathur said...

Gogi.. Awesome bhai!! Hoping for more such trips!! I just wish the first pic wasnt thr!!

samson said...

its really really good...and when are u writing a novel? :)

Punit Dubey said...

Wow! What a tempting expedition! :p

(P.S.-I guess you forgot to post your Cleartrip-My Purpose link)

Ashish Kalsi said...

@Din --- ha ha ha awesome...eat some for me too :P ;)

@Kaustubh --- Agreed :D and yeah, it sure was a trip to remember :D

Ashish Kalsi said...

@Bholu --- Thank you :) :) The first pic (including your tongue) captures the excitement ;)

@Samson --- thank you so much man....long long way to go before that happens :) :D

Ashish Kalsi said...

@Punit --- it sure was...thanks :D Oh and I've included the link...guess u missed it :)

Anonymous said...

hi...can you tell me how to place that "rate my blog"to the left/right of our posts?It's coming as post.My blog is "mevamsee.blogspot.com".

Dilip Sharma said...

Awesome..!!

Shanky said...

Great piece! Next time hyd for sure!

*still drooling over the Biryani photo*

Ashish Kalsi said...

@Anonymous --- Sorry abt not getting back to u...I just visited ur blog and saw that u managed to get it...so cheers!! :)

@Dilip --- thanks man :)

Ashish Kalsi said...

@Shanky --- Thanks :D Sure thing man...that's the impact of the Hyderabadi biryani man ;)

Deguide said...

Wonderful description of your quest for biryani, got to try out the same in Paradise Yummy

Ashish Kalsi said...

@Deguide --- You must. It has to be a part of your "things I do before I die" list.

neeraj said...

Nice post Ashish. Congratulations for being a 'cleartrip winner' but more than that congratulations for being crazy enough to undertake such an adventure. Cheers!

Ashish Kalsi said...

@Neeraj -- thank you so much...like they say, the best trips are the ones that aren't planned...cheers!

Ashish Kalsi said...

@Deguide --- You must. It has to be a part of your "things I do before I die" list.

Ashish Kalsi said...

@Shanky --- Thanks :D Sure thing man...that's the impact of the Hyderabadi biryani man ;)

Dilip Sharma said...

Awesome..!!

Ashish Kalsi said...

@Din --- ha ha ha awesome...eat some for me too :P ;)

@Kaustubh --- Agreed :D and yeah, it sure was a trip to remember :D

Mohit Mathur said...

Gogi.. Awesome bhai!! Hoping for more such trips!! I just wish the first pic wasnt thr!!

Ashish Kalsi said...

@TinTO -- ha ha ha absolutely agree with the saying...and it's super appropriate here :D

@Karthik -- Model exams...and it comes as no surprise that you of all people have this doubt :P

TinTo said...

well, ur Pee-Stop Travel Planning conspired to be one hell of a Trip after all.... u and ur adventurous bunch has proved that 'Great Ideas Transpire and take shape in the most compromising situations"!!!! :D

for the record... this is one hell of a 'spontaneous' trip that i have ever read about...