Wish all my Fellow Parsi Zoroastrians a Prosperous and Happy New Year this Sunday!
As I get into the second installment of my pictorial journey of the sights and foods of my recent visit back to India, get ready to be awe-struck by Rajasthan; a historically relevant culture-filled state in the northwest of India.
We ‘oohed and aahed’ our way through Jaipur and Udaipur, both cities well-known for their grand palaces filled with beautiful ancient architecture dating back to the 16th -18th centuries, their collections of gems and jewels, miniature art and thriving textile industry.
We were fortunate to stay in two authentic palace hotels, each managing to impress us with their respectful discreet service and once-in-a-lifetime stay experience.
Rajasthani fare can best be described as a culinary mix of northern and western India, presenting the best of both worlds in its array of juicy Kebabs, batter-fried Pakoras & Gatte- chickpea flour dumplings, served alongside a must-taste special mutton curry Laal Maas and rice-n-meat Biryanis…all ending on a sweet note of milk-rice pudding Kheer and crispy Jalebis.
Saving the best for last, we finally get to Bombay (now Mumbai,) my native city which always brings on a familiar wave of nostalgia and feeling of coming home.
While most who land at the Mumbai airport are quick to spot the slums and crowds, I’m always greeted with the pulsing heartbeat of this vibrant cosmopolitan financial capital of India, a motherland that’s made me who I am today.
From my favorite Parsi foods to pan-Indian classics and an extensive mélange of Indian and international food flavors; Mumbai is forever giving life to the food scene of India…And familiar with its pulse, our family happily hopped from home-cooked delicacies laid out by relatives, to the latest specialty restaurants and trendy bars, sampling everything that came our way.
To my mind and many like me who hail from Mumbai, this city of 19 million which never sleeps, beats to its own tune, always carving its own unique path, and forever the forerunner of things to come in the future of India.
So, as we reached the end of our journey and the plane took off from Mumbai airport, I was left with the happy realization that India; an ancient civilization that was always ahead of its time & a 64-year old democracy, the largest one our world has seen, with all its quirky nuances and diverse ethnicities, is undoubtedly on the fast track to success…