Thursday, February 3, 2011

LIVING IN WAKAD - Part 2 – Eating Out in Wakad

Part 2 – Eating Out in Wakad

Eating out in Wakad – that’s a real joke. There is nowhere to eat out in Wakad. Yes, you don’t even get a decent Vada Pav or Bhel or Pani Puri or Misal or Dosa or Idli or Utthapam or Chola Bhatura or Pav Bhaji or a pastry or ice cream or a quality hygienic affordable value-for-money meal in Wakad.

Last evening I felt hungry and a craving for a Dosa. Now there is no place you can get a Dosa or a decent affordable value for money food in Wakad. So I had to go all the way to Shivsagar in Aundh to have a dosa.

A few years ago, when I lived near Aundh, I regularly patronised Shivsagar, which used to be a reasonable eatery for vegetarian food and snacks, but sadly now, maybe owing to the monopoly situation as there is no other competition around, it is quite expensive and the quality of food and service has gone down. Maybe it is due to the proliferating IT Pros with loads of money at such a young age who don’t bother too much about the affordability or value-for-money aspects.

For a foodie like me, it’s really sad – you can’t eat out in Wakadfor eating you have to go out of Wakad.

There is my old favourite Sadanand, still going strong, down the Katraj bypass road at the corner of the diversion to Baner. And across the flyover towards Hinjewadi there are a few high falutin places which serve good but expensive food like Café MoMo at the Marriot, Mezzanine and Admiralty and on the road towards Mumbai there is Sayaji, strongly recommended by my son, which I am planning to visit soon, especially for a feast at Barbeque Nation, and I believe there is Ginger nearby too, and I have seen a few “Dhabas” and “Garden Restaurants” dotting the road, and Soul Curry quite a distance away, and the solitary Dominoes Pizza which is the only place which provides home delivery.

Here, in Wakad, there is not even a single decent clean and well-lighted place where you can sit down in comfort with your family to relish a simple snack or meal, like the ubiquitous Udipi restaurants you have all over Pune. There is no street food either, for there are no streets!

I was fortunate to have lived at the best of locations in the heart of the best of the cities – like Churchgate in Mumbai and near CP in New Delhi, which afforded an excellent quality of life, and sometimes I wish we should have chosen a smaller place in the heart of Pune. But then the main reason we came out here to Wakad is for the convenience of my darling wife who works in Hinjewadi just five minutes away. Maybe my wife knew about the food scene out here and wants me to reduce my weight so that’s why she chose Rohan Tarang in Wakad.

On a positive note, my apartment is real good – plenty of light, plenty of air, plenty of room, an excellent view, all of which generate cheerful vibes. The connectivity is good too – it takes less time to reach Navi Mumbai than to reach the other end of Pune. The air is relatively unpolluted and the  place is not congested (at least the place where I stay) unlike some other concrete jungles of Pune and, of course, I would any day prefer to stay towards the Mumbai side of Pune than towards the Ahmednagar, Solapur, Saswad, Satara, Sinhagad or Nasik sides of Pune.

It is early days yet and let’s hope things start looking up. The road is being widened, the public transportation may improve, and hopefully in case BRTS comes on the main road, there may be pedestrian pavements and cycle tracks too like on Satara Road which is delight for walkers and cyclists though it narrows down the road for cars and motorcycles, and of course the convenience of travel in BRTS buses.

Here, seeing the speed at which buildings are coming up all over, it looks like they have put the cart before the horse in the expectation that as the burgeoning townships in Wakad start getting occupied and the population multiplies, demand will create supply, and hopefully various amenities will come up – Malls, Multiplexes, Banks, Shopping Centres, Bookstores, Parks and Playgrounds, Joggers Tracks, places to hang out, the various things that enhance the quality of life, and most importantly good affordable value for money restaurants and eateries to enjoy good food.

We never plan, we hope, hope for the best, and sometimes hopes come true! Let’s hope for the best, be optimistic, pray with our hearts that the quality of life will improve, and maybe Wakad may soon become the best place in Pune to live in.

Before I end, let me tell you something you probably may not believe, incredible but true. Just before I relocated, I made a request via internet to BSNL for a landline and broadband connection at my new apartment in Rohan Tarang and promptly got an SMS that their staff would visit my place and give the connection immediately.  I waited for a few days and when no one from BSNL turned up, I enquired with BSNL. I was shocked when BSNL informed me that it was not possible to give me landline telephone or broadband internet connection as there was no optical fibre cable in that area. Well, I don’t live in an uninhabited desolate mofussil area in the back of beyond or deep within remote uncharted forests and jungles – I live in a most modern township just a stone’s throw away from the much hyped “state-of-the-art” Infotech Park at Hinjewadi in Pune, which is being flaunted as the IT Capital of India. And, by the way, most of the persons living out here are IT Pros. That’s “Cart before Horse” infrastructure development for you!

So I make do with my cell phone and Reliance USB Netconnect. It may surprise you but the very same BSNL did provide me with landline and broadband in the jungles of Girinagar! Yes, sometimes rural is better than urban!

Hey, I have digressed. We started off with “Eating Out in Wakad” and look where we have reached! Can’t help it – there is nowhere to eat out in Wakad. Like I said: You can’t eat out in Wakad – for eating, you have to go out of Wakad.

I am hungry. So off I go – where to – I will tell you tomorrow. And I’ll also tell you my long walks with my pet dog Sherry, her fun and frolic chasing early morning creatures defecating in the fields, the friendly souls I meet every day, the pure air and beautiful view from my balcony of refreshing sunrise, breathtaking sunsets, the alluring lights at nightand much more about living in Wakad.

Till then, Happy Eating!

Meanwhile, if you haven’t, do read Part 1 of Living In Wakad – Stay Inside Stay Cool.

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

VIKRAM KARVE educated at IIT Delhi, ITBHU Varanasi, The Lawrence School Lovedale, and Bishop's School Pune, is an Electronics and Communications Engineer by profession, a Human Resource Manager and Trainer by occupation, a Teacher by vocation, a Creative Writer by inclination and a Foodie by passion. An avid blogger, he has written a number of fiction short stories and creative non-fiction articles in magazines and journals for many years before the advent of blogging. He has written a foodie book Appetite For A Stroll and a book of fiction short stories which is being published soon and is busy writing his first novel. Vikram lives in Pune with his family and pet Doberman girl Sherry, with whom he takes long walks thinking creative thoughts.

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