The Mirchi-Bajji Affair

If your ‘native place’ is North Karnataka(I won’t bother mentioning the exact place.Most Bangaloreans know N.Kar as one humongous flat piece of rock, with no boundaries) and you live in Hyderabad,I will be damned if you haven’t had some aspect of your life influenced by this masterpiece food item : the Mirchi Bajji(MB). It will suffice to say we are as passionate about Bajji as a Bengali is about a Rasgulla or a Mallu is about Parotta Egg Curry, probably more because the hotness quotient is more in a Mirchi bajji than the other two. Take my family for instance,myself included.Roughly speaking,the count of the mirchi bajjis we consumed during the 90’s was greater the cumulative sum total of all varieties of fruits dad got home during that period .Not that we ever complained. In fact, dad is still famous in the larger family circle for his Bajji fetish. All my elder cousins still never miss an opportunity to pull dad’s leg when they meet him – “Dattu kaka, nim makklige mirchi bajji tandilla(You didn’t get MB for your kids)?:D”.The proud gentleman that my father is,he would vehemently go on denying all the allegations and declare that he hasn’t been tempted by them in a long time now.

The Mirchi Bajji affair resurfaced during our house warming ceremony last week. Apparently, dad had ordered the cook to add the ‘delicacy’ as part of the lunch menu :D. At the last minute,some one found this out and politely suggested dad to change it something else,because having MB again is too boring.BTW, have any of you tried asking for sambar with your dosa at MTR? If yes, have you noticed the startled and offended looks the oldies sitting around you kept giving you for asking sambar? I tell you,never ask for sambar with dosa at MTR(or any of the popular breakfast joints in South B’lore). Coming back,my father’s antagonized facial expression was the same when asked to cancel the MB.  So me and some relatives were reminiscing this with amusement while going to the new house (dad was not present with us), our hyper-talkative and mutliloquent driver who works at dad’s bank piped in without warning “Saar eats lots of bajjis at work”. He didn’t need much prodding to gain full dramatic flourish before continuing – ‘What do I tell? Saar keeps sending me to get MB for him. I tell him that he needs to stop now and I wont let him go down like this. But Saar says – “What can I do Narsimulu?(cough cough) I need these. I can’t carry on without the bajjis.(cough) Don’t argue too much.I’m doomed anyway. Just get me those damn things(cough cough cough)”.My heart bleeds for him. But I am helpless’ he concluded. When contacted, dad had this to say “Aa soolemaga hang andna (That fellow said this)? I’ll see him at the office”.

(Disclaimer: Everything below as narrated by my brother)                                                  Mom has her own mirchi bajji story. The other day as I was going out, she said she felt like having MB and asked me to get two of them. Just as she had the first bite and was going for second,she froze. Tears started rolling down from her eyes. I was puzzled “Mummy,enaytu”? Mom went full retro. “Beta,this incident happened 22 years ago. You were still a baby then.We were traveling somewhere and the train stopped at a station.Your dad got hot MB and passed them to me from the train window.(Maybe all this started on that historic day). Nothing has tasted the same since then. I’ve been looking for the same out-of-this-world taste for the last 22 years now, and without success.Today,finally, my quest has ended with these bajjis”.I think she stopped short of saying ,”This is why you were brought into this world,my son. This was the purpose of your life. To get me Mirchi bajjis”.Sigh.

Another unrelated but funny incident. My dad and I were looking for an address in some locality in Hyderabad. Dad spotted a man getting into a swanky car,went to him and casually inquired about the address we were looking for. The guy totally panicked,frantically mumbled something and tried to get away quickly. Meanwhile, I walked up to him and shook his hand.He smiled back pleasantly and sped off in his car. Puzzled,dad asked, “That guy didn’t even tell the address properly. Why did you shake his hand and why did he smile at you? Do you know him?” I was hysterical with laughter by then.Struggling to control my laughter, I told him “Pappa, that’s Shekhar Kammula,director of acclaimed movies like Anand, Happy Days and recently, Leader. You totally scared the poor guy”. Dad was surprised, “Oh Happy Days director-aa?” and then,”So why is he roaming on the roads like this? Is no one giving him work these days?”

P.S: I suddenly wonder what’ll happen if one day Dad somehow stumbles across my blog and goes through it? Have I written anything that he would be proud of? Proabaly not. I will be extra careful :D

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19 responses to “The Mirchi-Bajji Affair

  1. hehe even in Davangere this mensinkayi is a craze , they have this mandakki mensinkayi anytime of the day :D
    May be the last incident could have gone into some other post , some post just about your dad :)
    Nice post :)

  2. hey pavs..yummy post da…;)…y cant v order for sambar with dosa???…n u kno wat ur moms bajji fetish satisfying story is ditto of an episode in “How i met your mother”..where in Marshal. has this huge fetish for a burger he had eaten duirng his earlier days in NY n goes around searching for the same taste for yrs relentlessly…only to b satisfied accidently after a decade or so!;):D…

  3. Rash & Ash,
    Ur gravatars (those faces) r funny alva? :D

    @Rash,
    Ya ppl eat bajjis in the morning also :D

    @Ashu,
    Traditionally they don’t serve sambar with dosa. That’s how it is still in some breakfast joints in Bangalore. If you break the protocol, either you’ll get glares from regular customers or a chide from the waiter. Slightly exaggerating ;)
    ‘How I met your mother’ seems to be hugely popular these days. I’ll watch something else :D

  4. Huh? S****maga doesn’t translate to “fellow”. Stop using expletives. Here in Bangalore, we are nice people. :D

    Reading through the initial statements of your mom’s account, the mention of the train suddenly made me think that maybe u were selling mensinkhaayi bhajji (I refuse to use Hindi for I don’t understand it :P) at the platform and seeing as how delicious they were, she adopted u or smthng (U can’t blame me for this, almost every Indian movie with a train scene at the beginning more or less goes like this :D)

    Or maybe /that’s/ what really happened.
    This is why you were brought into this world,my son
    Maybe by world, she doesn’t mean the world as we know it, but rather into the family. :P

    • In NKar, that word is just a figure of speech-e. It does translate to “fellow” :P.
      As I mentioned there, mom was speaking to bro. She never mentioned me. I dunno where I was and what I was doing when this happened :-/

  5. Pavan, wonderful narration Bro, simBly Yenjoyed Itt .. Wonderful plot, subject and narration. I would love to point out some exceptionally superior statements here .. Sorry for spamming :)

    I quote – “BTW, have any of you tried asking for sambar with your dosa at MTR? If yes, have you noticed the startled and offended looks the oldies sitting around you kept giving you for asking sambar? I tell you,never ask for sambar with dosa at MTR(or any of the popular breakfast joints in South B’lore). ”
    Wow. What an amazing parallel that u have drawn here maga, only a true south bangalorean foodie can understand the depth of your statement here. Kudos maga… Bravo, bravo !!!

    I quote – “Aa soolemaga hang andna (That fellow said this)? I’ll see him at the office”.
    Aaha, super super. True NK spirit !!!

    I quote – “This is why you were brought into this world,my son. This was the purpose of your life. To get me Mirchi bajjis”.
    Touchy … Very very Touchy !!!!

    And yeah, the director Shekar, really !!!! No one is giving him work or wat ??? Ask him to come to 8.1 :P

  6. heheh Nice post :) My mouth is watering now :-P Every year when i goto Dasara exhibition in Mysore eating delhi papad and Mirchi bajji is a must for me! :)

    ya ya ur dad has to read ur blog ;) It will be a funny n nice story then :)

    Reading ur mom’s words reminded me the french fried now! French fries I ate in Paris near the Eiffel tower were the best! I’m waitin to eat them again :P dont know when hehe :D

  7. Chennagide maccha… :).. I guess S****maga pronounciation is little different from the usual in North Karnataka… Would love to hear u pronounce the word( BTW without laughing out loud) … :) ..

  8. Very funny pav ;)…Ur mother’s incident is too funny(no offence meant), felt like a real black and white movie story…. ur purpose for coming into this world is served :D

  9. hey funny post..:)
    you had awesome mirchi bajji recently at rajadhani right? isnt it a north indian restaurant..so mirchi bajji isnt north karnataka proprietary dish?? :D

    Anyways someday your kid also will also write a blog about how my dad hogged mirchi bajji starters at rajadhani :D :D

  10. Excellent post dude. Nice, funny, story like. I wish my dad had such food fetish but instead is highly focused on my career! Ammo, I could go on an on about it. Anyways one thing for sure, even if both our dads see this the results would never be different, it might increase for all you know!

    Coming to that Kommala, can someone please kill him. I will make a request for Shariyat or whatever that is that is let on by Pakistani’s nationals /muslim councils demanding lives of so called deviants, at least in their eyes. Here is this totally worthless guy taking the title of such great piece of work, an absolute gem of a movie that makes me breakdown everytime I see it – Life is Beautiful. A classic master piece.
    Kommala–please go hang yourself. you torture us first with stupid senseless scripts and now with utter lack of originality. This time for what? – a story of 4 friends? Let’s see 4 friends, 4 girlfriends, 1 really fat guy, good level of exposing all loving each other!

  11. @Div,
    Its not N.Kar proprietary dish per se, but you’ll find great bajjis everywhere there :) I hope vainly that my kid shows more respect to his dad than I do to mine :-/ :D

    @Karthik,
    All dads are same when it comes to career dude.As you said, lets not start the ranting here ;)
    About Kammula, hold it dude! I can understand your being emotional about the title of “Life Is Beautiful” but clearly you’re over-reacting :P.I think he’s the best guy we have in Telugu right now. Anand is one of all time favs; even Happy Days was highly entertaining for all its cheesiness. I haven’t seen Godavari or Leader. Why you have a problem with those movies, no idea. I am concerned coz u call urself a huge movie buff :P.We’ll discuss this sometime

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