Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Two More Eateries and a Third on the Way

It has ceased to surprise me any more to read about the opening of newer eateries in Hyderabad, especially in the Jubilee Hills areas. So it isn’t with any particular alarm that I write here about the two new eateries I read about recently somewhere. While the two new restaurants are not exactly located in Jubilee Hills, they are close enough. However, while these two new restaurants have actually opened their door to patrons there’s indication of another new restaurant coming up right in the middle of Jubilee Hills where all the foodie action is. The first eatery called ‘Big Dosa’ opened its doors in the Hitec City at Madhapur which is more or less the backyard of Jubilee Hills where incidentally the original Big Dosa is located at Road No 45. The second eatert, another branch of ‘Kholanis,’ opened within sneezing distance of Jubilee Hills, at Toli Chowki.

It isn’t also surprising to learn that there’s a certain class of people in the city who don’t put anything into their mouths unless one of the ingredients is cheese or such exotic stuff. These folks simply cannot bring themselves to eat stuff the way it is eaten by everyone else. They seem to want dishes more suited to their status/pay/style than to their tastes. While everyone in the country likes to have their dosas with nothing other than the potato-onion-peas filling with coconut chutney and sambar these folks seem to prefer their dosas with fillings of Cheddar Cheese and Feta Cheese. It is to cater to the tastes of this kind of crowd that places like Big Dosa come up. It is one thing to eat food according to one’s hunger and quite another thing to eat food according to one’s earnings. So, the honest-to- goodness humble dosa priced at twenty or thirty rupees isn’t classy enough for this crowd. They want a dosa that has something more than the plain filling never mind that it costs a couple of hundreds. So here we are, the ordinary crowd, going through life eating dosas with potato-onion fillings while there’s this hip crowd going in for dosas with cheese fillings. I wonder what this crowd is trying to tell us- that the calories from the potatoes in the usual filling aren’t enough for them or that their tastes are exotic and more evolved than anyone.

The second new eatery in Hyderabad is, according to Serish Nanisetty who reviewed the place in MP last Monday, is ‘another branch of Kholani’s’ at Toli Chowki. Toli Chowki, for those not familiar with Hyderabad is not far from Jubilee Hills. Jubilee Hills, I imagine, must have more than three fourths of the classy restaurants of Hyderabad though not more than .00000001% of Hyderabad’s population lives there. The other news is that Big Dosa has plans to open four more new outlets in the city and I only hope they open at least one of the branches in this part of the city. On my way to Landmark on Sunday I saw a board announcing that Hotel Sitara is set to open very soon at the place where once a store existed on Road No 12 close to Ohri’s and other joints. I don’t know how soon is soon but I am prepared to wait. What else can I do?

Friday, May 27, 2011

A Bookless Week

The other Sunday after I picked up China Mieville’s ‘Perdido Station Street’ which was a 900-plus page tome I decided against buying any more books for a while, at least until I finished reading about a dozen books. Though that was the decision, not to buy books, it did not mean that I could not go to Abids because no matter what, that is one thing I cannot stop myself from doing. Quite ironically, it so happened that I could not go to Abids last Sunday. The kid was down with fever and so I had to take him to the doctor who gave us a noon appointment which was neither here nor there. It was too hot to go in the afternoon and so I altogether dropped the idea of going to Abids last Sunday and stayed at home.

Without the usual visit to Abids it did not feel to me like a Sunday at all. I felt that something was missing. I tried to fill the gap by reading as many Sunday papers as possible which only sharpened the feeling of deprivation after I read the book reviews. I realized it would have been enough if I had merely driven to Abids and come back after a glance at all the books. It also did not help that on NDTV Profit the one program I look forward to- Just Book- was not telecast. I wonder why they decide to do such a thing that damages their credibility. In place of Just Books was a program on the latest gadgets as if they are somehow superior to books.

All through the week I went around feeling oddly empty in some corner of the heart. There was an imbalance that somehow upset the whole week and one that I did not try to correct by visiting an used book store which I normally do. But the only silver lining was coming across the mention of a book that I feel I must buy. I do not now remember where I read about Ryan Van Meter’s ‘If You Knew Then What I Know Now’ but it is one title I want to buy even if it costs me a bomb. I don’t know how I intend to lay my hands on this book but right now all I want is the next few days to fly by so I can wake up to a Sunday filled with books.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Parking Pareshaani

If you thought there can’t be anything worse than the way Hyderabadis drive on the roads then obviously you haven’t seen how they park their vehicles. No one can beat Hyderabadis when it comes to parking. It is an incontrovertible fact that Hyderabadis do not know how (and where) to park, which isn’t surprising considering the way they drive.

Unlike the rest of the country we Hyderabadis have our own unique style of doing anything. There’s the Hyderabadi style of talking, of coming late, and of course, the inimitable style of driving that we all know very well, rather too well I should say. Then there’s the Hyderabadi style of gawking, of spitting. To this list, I must add the Hyderabad style of parking, which is, come to think of it, very, very simple. So simple that only four words are needed to describe it- ‘Park Wherever You Stop.’ This, by the way, is the same principle behind another favorite Hyderabadi activity- spit wherever you are/want.

So, that’s the principle behind all the cars parked bang in front of stores, shops, hotels etc in Hyderabad. A Hyderabadi goes out to shop or eat, he simply stops his (or her) car in front of said store/hotel, opens the door and gets out. That’s it. It doesn’t matter if the car is blocking the entrance, or is in the middle of the road. For all purposes and as far as the car owner is concerned, the car is considered as parked. But it doesn’t mean that the car owner isn’t bothered about his car. He doesn’t simply leave his car just like that. Every ten minutes or so he darts out to check if his car is still there and has not been stolen. If the guard happens to protest, the car owner tells him ‘just two minutes’ and disappears inside only to come out after two hours or longer depending on what he has gone inside for. But when he hears the hooting of the Traffic Police van he runs out like the store has caught fire. When he sees traffic cops he puts on a stupid grin (another Hyderabadi specialty) and lies to them that he had got in just then. The traffic cops who are after all Hyderabadis and hence generous and considerate let him off. Which is why the Hyderabadi guys keep parking that way.

Of late, I’ve noticed the evolution of another parking style. Hyderabadis, rich and poor, love to buy fruits, especially bananas, from pushcart vendors parked on the roadside. The true Hyderabadi simply stops his car near the cart and bargains with the vendor through the car window. He does it without out stepping out of the car like it isn’t worth the effort. He won’t get down from the car even if the vendor is on the passenger side of the car. He simply calls the vendor to his side or leans across the seat and bargains with the vendor through the window on the passenger side.

This is one reason why I said no one can beat Hyderabadis at parking. More on Hyderabad Parking style on another future post.

Friday, May 20, 2011

A Mini Super Haul

Another Mini Super Haul

An interesting observation I made regarding something common between some of the books in my recent hauls is that they are not only super finds they are also supersized. Some of them like Naipaul’s ‘A House for Mr. Biswas’ and Jo Nesbo’s ‘The Leopard’ seem to be thicker than the common brick running into more than six hundred pages. I thought that there wouldn’t be any such hauls for some time to come but I was wrong. Last Sunday one of the books in the haul was a brick and half sized with more than nine hundred pages. The book in question is China Miéville’s ‘Perdido Street Station’ that I got for only twenty rupees. Since the past two Sundays I had been seeing this book lying on the pavement but hesitated to buy it considering its size though I knew it could turn out to be a good find. I had read about China Miéville on Sridala Swami’s blog sometime ago and got the impression that the author’s books might be worth reading. When I checked the reviews of PSS online I decided to pick it up and last Sunday I bought it I have no idea how I’ll find PSS but since China Miéville is a new name. I haven’t read any SF titles since a long time and I’m also not much into SF. PSS is going to be a completely new experience for me but my biggest worry is not where to keep the book but when I will find the time to read it.

The second find of the day was a book I thought I had missed buying a couple of months ago. The first time I spotted Penelope Lively’s ‘Beyond the Blue Mountains’ in a heap of books selling for twenty rupees I did not buy it. But the next Sunday when I looked for it again I couldn’t find it. I thought it was gone. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find the hardcover book in the heap at the same place. ‘Beyond the Blue Mountains’ is a short story collection with fourteen stories. The book begins with first story Beyond the Blue Mountains and the rest are The Children of Grupp, The Slovenian Giantess, In Olden Times, Season of Goodwill, The Clarinetist and the Bride’s Aunt, Marriage Lines, The Cat’s Meat Man, A Christmas Card to One and All, The Five Thousand and One Nights, The First Wife, The Butterfly and the Tin of Paint, Crumbs of Wisdom, Loved Ones: A Christmas Fairy Tale. The book appears to be a discard from Newport Borough Libraries judging from the stamp on the front page.

After all these Super Hauls I guess it is time I put a stop to this buying spree temporarily or at least until I finish reading about two dozen books. It makes no sense to go on adding more books to a collection that is increasing at an alarming rate and also taking up every available corner of the house. So, next Sunday I might return empty handed from Abids though I cannot help going there out of sheer habit. Instead of the posts on the haul I will attempt to write reviews of some of the books I finished reading recently. I am currently reading Atul Gawande’s ‘Complications’ and have just begun Gordon Ramsay’s ‘Playing with Fire.

Just when I was wondering what Paul Theroux next title will be I read on ‘The Atlantic’ about his latest book ‘The Tao of Travel’. TOT, as Paul Theroux describes it, ‘his personal anthology of the books he likes and why’ and elsewhere is mentioned as ‘intended as a guidebook, a how to, a miscellany, a vade mecum, a reading list, a reminiscence.’ It sounds like a book that I have to read as soon as I can lay my hands on it. In the interview in ‘The Atlantic’ here’s what Paul Theroux says about blogging: ‘I loathe blogs when I look at them. Blogs look to me illiterate, they look hasty, like someone babbling. To me writing is a considered act. It's something which is a great labor of thought and consideration. A blog doesn't seem to have any literary merit at all. It's a chatty account of things that have happened to that particular person.’

Very true indeed.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Tamasha Stores

While eating remains the number one obsession of us Hyderabadis, shopping comes a close second. So when Hyderabadis aren’t doing anything particularly useful they are found to be either in hotels eating like the world is going to run out of food or in stores shopping like there’s no tomorrow. In fact I tend to think that these two activities do take up a lot of the Hyderabadi’s day leaving him little time for anything else which is why so little work gets done here. Naturally it isn’t only the restaurant scene in Hyderabad that I’m very interested in but also shopping and stores where it all happens that makes for equally fascinating study.

Of late in Hyderabad newer stores are popping up with a regularity that almost matches the rate at which restaurants are opening their doors in Jubilee Hills. Last Friday the papers were full of ads about the opening of another new store called ‘Kalyanakanchi’ that was being inaugurated by the actress Genelia. Surprisingly, the model for 'Kalyanakanchi' turns out to be Sonali Bendre. Here I have to make a confession. Sonali, at a certain stage of my life, was someone I could have done anything for. Here again I digress a bit. Sonali, by the way, also finds place in my novel. While everyone else was crazy about the oleaginous ‘dhak, dhak’ dame, it was the svelte Sonali I was enamored of until she went and married that Behl chap, a producer who unfortunately doesn’t have a single hit to his name till date . It makes me wonder how he is able to look after poor Sonali. No wonder she is forced to anchor shows like Indian Idol on television and do some modeling here and there for the kind of stores with names like ‘Kalyanakanchi.’ Sigh.

Anyway, ‘Kalyanakanchi’ happens to be yet another of those mega stores from Tamil Nadu that have now completely taken over Hyderabad. There was a time when women folk from loaded families used to travel all the way to places like Kanchi and Madurai to buy silk saris by the dozen whenever there was a marriage in the family. This must have prompted the owners of the stores to open their branches in Hyderabad. Hence the profusion of stores like the recently opened ‘South India Mall’, ‘Kalanikethan,’ ‘Chennai Shopping Mall’ and so on, all from Rajni land. A side effect is that these new stores have edged out the RS Brothers, JC Brothers, the Bommana Brothers, and Chandana Brothers crowd much to their consternation. I’m glad though because no day seemed to pass without finding a dozen glossy, colorful pamphlets in one’s newspaper which though irritating is a change from the drab pamphlets of schools, summer camps, yoga courses etc that one finds in the papers these days.

Looking at these stores from Chennai fills me with awe. It appears to me that the women folk in Chennai don’t seem to shop in mega stores unless surrounded by a million lights and chandeliers which is how all these stores are. At some of these stores (which for some reason invariably have branches in Kukatpalli and Patny) I have even spotted a couple in traditional attire greeting the customers at the entrance. I haven’t yet gone to one but sometime soon I will as soon as I muster up enough courage to enter because these stores give the impression that they won’t let you out of the door unless you buy something more than socks or hankies.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Another Sunday Super Haul

Nothing like it happened before in the two and half decades of my book buying experience. Friday last I read somewhere online about a new Scandinavian crime writer called Jo Nesbo tipped to be the next Stieg Larrson. The writer of the article was fulsome in his (or her, I don’t remember) praise of Nesbo’s writing especially his character, Inspector Harry Hole. Only the name Jo Nesbo had registered in my mind and that was it. To be honest I never expected even in my dreams about finding any Jo Nesbo title anywhere in Hyderabad much less at Abids. But on Sunday I got one of the most pleasant shocks of my book hunting life when I spotted Jo Nesbo’s absolutely latest title. More about that later.

But before I got to Abids I had stopped at Chikkadpally to check if Atul Gawande’s ‘Complications’ that I had not picked up the Sunday before was still lying around. It was, and I snapped it up for eighty rupees. I stopped at another seller on the other side of the road and saw another book I simply couldn’t resist buying. Standing out starkly among the faded covers of other old books was an absolutely new copy of VS Naipaul’s ‘A House for Mr. Biswas.’ I haven’t read it so far because I did not possess a copy of the book. Since I was actually waiting for ages to find a good copy I bought it though I had to pay quite a bit for it. It is more than six hundred pages long and I plan to read it on a long holiday if I ever get lucky enough to afford one.

Two hundred rupees on just two books, (eighty for Atul Gawande’s ‘Complications’ and a hundred and twenty rupees for ‘A House for Mr Biswas’) was too high for my second hand book buying persona. I did not want to spend any more on books or anything for that matter till the next Sunday. I thought I was pretty firm about that decision but when I saw Jo Nesbo’s ‘The Leopard’ I forgot all about my resolve. It took a while for the fact to sink in that an absolutely bestselling and latest title by an exciting new writer I had read about only two days back would be on the pavements of Abids less than a year after publication. I don’t know how the book got here but there’s something scribbled on the cover in ink that might offer a clue. Whatever, finding the book made me feel very, very good.

I am absolutely certain that the guy who was selling the book would have had the faintest idea about the author or the title. Maybe it was the number of pages in the book (611) that must have made him think that the book was worth two hundred and fifty bucks that he quoted to me. But since I was already desperate to buy it I bargained just a wee bit out of habit and got the book for two hundred rupees. I am sure the price I paid for it isn’t more than a fraction of the real price of the book. And that’s called luck.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


The feeling of calm and peace that spending a couple of hours alone watching the sunrise over the lake at the Necklace Road is something not many people in Hydeerabad get to do often. It is enough to make me get up earlier than usual and that too on a Sunday morning once a month to take a twenty-minute ride to Necklace Road to experience some badly needed solitude. So last Sunday was one such day when it was time for me to cleanse the mind of all tension, needless worries and such mental clutter.

When I reached Necklace Road it was already daylight but the sun had not yet come up. I settled on my usual spot and waited for the sun to rise, enveloped in the silence of the morning. A breeze, gentle but strong enough to ripple the surface of the lake, blew continuously adding to the pleasant experience. When the sun finally appeared it wasn’t the usual crimson disc but as a pale white orb that soon turned orange. I got up to take a couple pictures of the sun rise standing near the edge of the path and returned to my bench only to find it occupied. My old friend, the one who exercises while listening to the morning news on radio had taken possession of the bench. He was one of those middle aged gentlemen who have disapproving expressions on their faces even on such pleasant mornings like they are unhappy with something. I had no choice but to move on since the look he gave me conveyed the impression that he felt I was wasting my time sitting idly instead of performing energetic calisthenics like him. I moved away to another bench before I received an unwanted lecture on the benefits of physical exercise, which I was sure he had on his mind to do when he first saw me sitting immobile.

I found another empty bench and sat trying to think of at least one thing that was going right in my life at the moment. I had begun yet another round of revision of the manuscript of the novel I’ve been working on since ages. It might be a long time before it sees the light of the day if the progress of the revision is any indication. I planned a tentative deadline to have it ready and into the hands of a publisher sometime in November which is normally a lucky month for me. In November good things happen in my life though I cannot recollect any at the moment. Anyway, November is too far away and in any case I will be posting here about further progress on the book.

When it became too warm to sit in the open I decided to leave Necklace road and go to Adarsh for the next pleasant part of my monthly Necklace Road routine. I bought two newspapers and settled down at a table in Adarsh with the idea of spending at least an hour reading the Sunday papers from end to end. The hotel was filled with the usual early morning crowd of groups of friends chatting excitedly and lonely men sipping their teas in silence. I couldn’t my friend, the smoker anywhere which was a good thing or I would have to contend with cigarette smoke. The tea that the waiter put before me was very good, light and tasty which further enhanced my pleasant moods.

Though in Irani hotels the taste of the tea doesn’t change the same cannot be said of the waiters. They keep changing and one always finds new faces on each visit. The one who brought my tea asked to read the paper which was a bit of a surprise because finding waiters who read English papers in Hyderabad is something of a rarity. So while I was engrossed in the main papers he went through the Sunday supplements. In between he put aside the papers to serve tea but returned to my table and resumed his perusal of the papers.

Afterwards, feeling good about the morning’s experiences I got back home to get ready for my next Sunday routine- the visit to Abids. Call it coincidence or what I had an unusual spell of luck finding two rather good books. The next post (on Friday) will be one on the Sunday’s Super Haul.

Next post on Friday; Another Super Haul

Monday, May 09, 2011

On The Literary Review in The Hindu

(This is the first post of this week's three posts. Next post will appear Wednesday evening, and the third on Friday.)

The previous Sunday (1/5/2011) being the first Sunday of the month was one I was eagerly waiting for. India’s one-of- a- kind literary supplement in a Sunday newspaper is brought out by The Hindu on the first Sunday of each month. What’s reviewed and what’s written in TLR is something I take seriously though not seriously enough to dash out and buy all the good books mentioned in it. The TLR has intelligent reviews of some of the latest titles in the bookstores, interviews with writers, and regular columns by Pradeep Sebastian (on collecting books), Vikram Kapur (on creative writing), important articles on Indian literature, writers (past and present) and other insightful articles which makes TLR not only a treasure trove of information but also a pleasure to read.

In this month’s (May 2011) The Literary Review supplement I read reviews of four books that I might have thought of buying right away if I were in some other job that paid me well. One book that I would like to buy nevertheless is Anuradha Roy’s ‘the folded earth’ that got a good review by Arunava Sinha. An interesting detail in the book about one of the main character Maya being from Hyderabad is one reason that I want to read the book apart from the high praise that the book is getting in just about every review I’ve read so far. I also want to read Anuradha Roy’s first book ‘The Atlas of Impossible Longing’ if I can find it at Abids.

Another book that’s been praised in the review in TLR and elsewhere is Jamil Ahmad’s ‘The Wandering Falcon’ which is set in the tribal regions bordering Pakistan and Afghanistan. What is interesting about the book is that its author, Jamil Ahmad, is seventy eight year old and a bureaucrat which is one reason why I (also a bureaucrat) want to read ‘The Wandering Falcon’ as soon as I can. Rakhshanda Jalil, the reviewer, pointed out that one of the high points of the book was Jamil Ahmad’s writing which she described as ‘simple, spare, stark…the finest writing one has read in a very long time in English by a South Asian writer’ which is another reason for me to want to read the book.

Other interesting articles in TLR included Jai Arjun Singh’s review of Orhan Pamuk’s ‘The Naïve and Sentimental Novelist’, and a review of his own book ‘The Popcorn Essayists’ that I plan to buy. There was Navtej Sarna on John Steinbeck’s ‘Travel’s With Charley.’ Though I have not read Aditya Sudarshan’s first novel I have read some of his interesting and well written articles in TLR and am convinced that like Chandrahas Choudhury he is another promising writer to watch out for. Therefore, I was surprised to read Tulsi Badrinath’s panning Aditya Sudarshan’s second book ‘Show Me a Hero’ in his review. There was yet another review of Jonathan Franzen’s ‘Freedom’ which made me wonder when I am going to begin reading it and find out if it is as good as the reviews say it is. Geoff Dyer’s ‘Otherwise Known as the Human Condition’ which Pradeep Sebastian wrote in his column, is one I want to read if I can lay my hands on a free copy.

Next Post: Morning Calm at the Necklace Road

Friday, May 06, 2011

The Sunday Haul

It cannot be anything but a lucky coincidence when something like what took place on Sunday happens frequently. One of the books in the Super Haul on the previous Sunday was Atul Gawande’s ‘Better: A Surgeon’s Notes on Performance’ and I had posted that I would be on the lookout for his earlier book ‘Complications: A Surgeon’s Notes on an Imperfect Science’ and would be glad to find it. Well, I did find the book last Sunday but did not buy it for reasons that will be obvious by the end of this post.

It was one of my brothers who introduced Walter Mosley’s books to me and since then I have read quite a few of his Easy Rawlins titles. I do come across his books at Abids but have not felt the inclination to buy other books. But when I saw this title ‘The Man in My Basement’ I couldn’t help feeling that this was an unusual book. My hunch turned out to be correct for TMMB was indeed a different kind of book. I only hope somebody tells me it is a good find because I am not sure though I paid thirty rupees for it. The blurbs and reviews also say it is a good book and I hope it turns out to be one though I have no reason to believe otherwise since Mosley is one good writer.

One title that is on my list of must buy books is a title by Cormac McCarthy ‘Blood Meridian’ that I am still looking for. On Sunday I somehow couldn’t recollect the title and thought ‘All the Pretty Horses’ was the one I was looking for so I picked it up though I had to shell out fifty rupees for it. When I looked up my ‘Must Buy and Read’ list I realized I had picked up the wrong Cormac McCarthy title but I did not feel any regret. One of the blurbs on the back cover was Saul Bellow’s line about McCarthy’s writing which said ‘absolutely overpowering use of language…life giving and death-dealing sentence’ which is making me want to begin the book right away.

After spending eighty rupees on the haul and not exactly in the mood to add more books to the haul I stopped at Chikkadpally to look at the titles on display at one of the taciturn sellers there. It was with this guy that I spotted Atul Gawande’s book which he said would not offer for anything less than a hundred rupees. I hesitated and then finally decided to buy it next Sunday if it happens to be lying around which is certain to be the case. I guess it will be the smart thing to buy Atul Gawande’s first books since I can read both his titles one after the other. I hope next Sunday it will be mine.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011


At any given time, more than three fourths of the motorists clogging the roads of Hyderabad seem to be either going to a hotel to fill up on food or returning from a hotel after getting filled up (to the gills) with food. It is quite easy to tell. Those speeding on the roads without heed to traffic rules going through red lights, going in the wrong direction with the sort of expression on their faces as if the world is coming to an end are those on their way to a hotel. Then those who are drive leisurely with a dreamy, satiated expression on their faces and are those who have had their fodder. Of course, this statistic doesn’t apply to all places in Hyderabad, especially places like Jubilee Hills where almost everyone on the road is either going to a hotel or coming from one. Knowing the JH crowd, they might actually be on their way from one hotel to another. This leads to the conclusion that the number one preoccupation of Hyderabadis of all kinds seem to be Food with a capital F.

There is no better evidence to buttress the above opinion that Hyderabadis are to be found eating all the time than the sheer number of eating joints in Hyderabad. It might be the most lucrative enterprise in the city-providing food. One can get a nice breakfast of idli, dosa etc off a vendor on a bicycle, pushcarts, lunch at corner shops like curry points, Irani hotels etc. Of course, there’s the number of hotels since almost everywhere new hotels are coming up. In Jubilee Hills especially, new eating joints seem to be opening with astonishing regularity, maybe at the rate of one every week. Only last week I read about the inauguration of yet another joint somewhere in Madhapur, which is, by the way, almost conjoined with Jubilee Hills. I read that the ‘Greens Veg Coffee Shop’ opened its doors in Madhapur recently. The only thing I know is that the film star Balakrishna was at the inauguration. I have no idea of what he had there since the papers did not report it but he seemed happy which is what counts.

Being a Hyderabadi myself I am not totally immune to the lure of the best that some of the famous joints in the city have to offer in terms of food. Sometime last week I dropped in at ‘Bawarchi’ Restaurant at the RTC Crossroads with a friend. This joint seems to be more interested in reminding its patrons that it has no branch anywhere in the city. There are notices to that effect everywhere- inside, outside and wherever there is space for a notice. I saw one such notice while waiting for our turn to be called into the dining hall. I haven’t been to many places in Hyderabad where one has to actually wait to be let in. When we reached the hotel there were about five or six people waiting and our turn came after a short wait. But afterwards while we were eating I saw through the glass doors that there was virtually a crowd peering at us hungrily and impatient to get in. Since we had ordered a biryani it did not take us long to finish. As usual, the biryani was good, oil free, aromatic and light on the stomach. I was satisfied with it though I cannot say the same about the dessert. The only dessert Bawarchi seems to offer is ‘Qubani ka Meetha’ so there was no choice for us but to order it. The QKM is supposed to be sweet and sticky but what we got was a liquid version like someone had added water to the syrup in which the pieces of the fruit float. It was a huge let down after the tasty biryani.