Sunday, October 26, 2014



I Spent the Six Best Years of My Life in Mumbai – 6 glorious years from the years 2000 to 2006

During these six best years of my life, I lived in EMPRESS COURT  my all time favourite home – the best house I have ever lived in during my entire life.

I wish I could have had my retirement home in that lovely neighbourhood, or nearby, but then, can an honest naval officer afford a house in South Mumbai?

Maybe a Merchant Navy Officer can afford a house in So Bo (South Bombay) – but if you have spent your life honestly serving the nation in the “Fauji Indian Navy, forget about Mumbai, you will not be able to afford a home in the heart of Pune, and you would probably have to settle down in some faraway suburb like Wakad or Baner, or in one of those military veteran “ghettos” like Mundhwa, Kondhwa or Mohammadwadi.

But in your mind’s eye, you can always hark back and relive your “good old days” with nostalgia. 

That is what I did on this lovely Sunday morning – I reminisced about my glorious Sunday Morning “Food Walks” in Mumbai.

Let me tell you about my memorable Sunday mornings in Mumbai.


Mouthwatering Memories of an Early Morning Food Walk followed by a Sumptuous Nourishing Breakfast

From my Foodie Archives:

I love good food.

I am a foodie – I am certainly not a snobbish high-falutin fine-dining foodie – but I would rather describe myself as a simple Trencherman.

As I said, I love good food.

And I love walking around searching for good food. 

So, whenever I get an opportunity, I set off on my frequent food walks searching for good food.

It was in maximum city Mumbai that I enjoyed my best food walks.

Let me tell about one of my favourite food walks – a fulfilling early morning food walks culminating in a nourishing breakfast.
This is probably my first piece of Foodie Writing. 

I wrote this in the year 2000, more than 14 years ago, after returning from one of my food walks.

So, Dear Reader, here are some mouthwatering memories of a glorious early morning food-walk in Mumbai culminating in a wholesome breakfast.

EARLY MORNING FOOD WALK IN MUMBAI  a mouthwatering memoir by Vikram Karve

I start early, at dawn, from my house near Churchgate.

I admire, in the early morning pre-sunrise light, the impressive silhouettes of the magnificent Gothic structures of the High Court and Mumbai University across the Oval.

I hear the clock on Rajabai Tower strike 6.

I walk briskly past Oxford Bookstore, KC College and CCI towards Marine Plaza Hotel.

Then I cross the Marine Drive, turn right and start off towards Chowpatty.

I greet with a smile the morning joggers and walkers and rinse my lungs with the fresh invigorating sea breeze.

I walk briskly on Marine Drive. 

Soon I am past Marine Lines, Taraporewala Aquarium, Charni Road, Chowpatty, Wilson College and after the brisk vigorous walk of about 30 minutes I break out into a slight sweat as I reach the northern end of Marine Drive.
Here I ponder for a moment. 
Should I turn left up the Walkeshwar Road to Teen Batti and Banganga? 
Or should I turn right towards Babulnath?
Or should I turn back towards Nariman Point? 
I experience a sense of true freedom. 
I can make whatever choice I want and go wherever I desire. 
That's freedom!
I choose to cross the road, and walk fast, straight up the steep path towards Hanging Gardens on Malabar Hill, trying to exercise my heart and lungs. 
I take a round of garden atop the water tank near Kamala Nehru Park (is it called Phirozeshah Mehta Udyan?). 
Then I canter down to Kemp’s Corner where I turn right, a U-turn really, past Crossword Bookstore, down Hughes Road.

I turn left past Gamdevi towards Nana Chowk and cross the railway over-bridge and keep going onto Grant Road past Novelty Cinema.

Then I turn right at Delhi Durbar on Falkland Road, reach VP Road, walk past Gol Deval, Alankar cinema and soon I am at Bhendi Bazar.

My destination Noor Mohammadi Hotel is right in front of me across Mohamedali Road.
Almost two hours of brisk walking has built up in me a voracious appetite and I am ready to devour a sumptuous breakfast. 
I am hungry. 

And I eat only when I am hungry.
I enter Noor Mohammadi Hotel, a Spartan no-nonsense eatery, and order a Nalli Nihari and Roti. 
Within a minute a bowl of piping hot gravy, with a generous chunk of succulent meat floating in it, and a fluffy khaboosh roti is placed in front of me. 
I dip a piece of the soft roti in the spicy rich gravy, let it soak for a while, put it in my mouth and close my eyes to luxuriate in and relish the gastronomic experience in its entirety.
I can feel the juicy gravy soaked roti melting on my tongue, releasing its delicious flavours and spicy aroma which permeate into my soul. 
I am in seventh heaven and keep on attaining higher states of sheer heavenly bliss with every succulent bite of the mouth watering concoction.

They say it’s a bone marrow and wheat gravy, but I don’t delve too much on the contents of a dish.

It’s the taste, delicacy, eating experience and ultimate divine feeling of satiation that matters.
It is a delectable beginning to a delightful day as the luscious taste of the delicious Nalli Nihari lingers on my tongue indefinitely. 
Yes, it is epicurean satiation of the highest order  a blissful experience I can never forget.
Dear Reader, if you happen to be in Mumbai and are ready for a sumptuous non-vegetarian breakfast, take a brisk stimulating food walk early in the morning and begin your day with Nalli Nihari at Noor Mohammadi in Bhendi Bazar. 
I assure you it will be a fortifying and stimulating experience.
Don’t forget to tell us how you enjoyed the food-walking experience.
But remember one thing. 

If you want to truly appreciate this splendid Heritage Gourmet Trencherman’s Breakfast Dish to its fullest, you must build up an appetite for it.

Happy Walking. 

Happy Eating. 

Happy Food-Walking.

Remember, in order to enjoy your food first build up an appetite and then satiate it.

Yes, remember the FOOD-WALK DICTUM:

First build up an appetite and then satiate it



Once more, let me wish you Happy Food-Walking

Copyright © Vikram Karve 
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All stories in this blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the story are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

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