In one of the remaining quiet corners of Jayanagar, I entered my adulthood, all on my own, terrified at the prospect of deciding on which brand of toothpaste I must purchase in which of the sprawling markets.
I have been to Jayangara every day for the perfunctory tuition and CET coaching classes, before I started to stay there. So I remember when there was an Iyengar Bakery in place of the Mishra pedha place. I also remember the old BDA complex, before the fire devoured its dust. The spiciest Pani Puri (at request) can be found in front of the Westside store.
I know it’s older than India itself, and the parks in the area were a careful labour of love by horticulturists from around the world and the farmers from surrounding villages.
There was a time when the only Hari Super Sandwich was the one diagonally behind the South End Circle junction, which had no great clock then.
I know the best Vada Pav. (Mumbai Vada Pav, frequented more often than the Burger King that looms over it.) I know the best place for chaats and parathas. (Kedia’s Fun Foods!) I know where you get delectable green chutney for the ribbon pakoda. (Mishra pedha!)
As the number of trees on the road dwindled, I slowly learnt Meswak toothpaste is cheapest at D-Mart. I found the only healthy wholesome quick meal to have is at a North Karnataka food joint. I learnt that sprinkling a little salt in a pan of frying onions makes the process of sautéing, faster. I discovered my preference for North Indian Masala Tea and South Indian “decoction kappi”. I know Jayanagar like the misshapen lines in the spine of my seventh grade copy of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. I know it’s older than India itself, and the parks in the area were a careful labour of love by horticulturists from around the world and the farmers from surrounding villages.
Pattis and Ajjis could be heard muttering and murmuring mantras, shlokas and chants from afar, like sweet witches of a by gone era, narrow eyed at the hapless girl wearing a short or a skirt, perhaps. Hummm.