Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Panchgani - Episode III - With Lord Bhathena and Lady Batliwala (2007-08)

Our guests of 2006 - Mamu, the Queen, alongwith F&B madam Shirin - already had my vote as the best guests that we have ever had in our home in the hills. Because they are most accommodating, not demanding at all, willing to eat and drink whatever we give without any qualms and are very down-to-earth.

Quite unlike some of our greedy and shameless guests who expect to be served chicken and mutton extravagances day in and out. For instance, we’ve had some guests over at our house that treat our home as a hotel, have a hearty breakfast and set out for sightseeing leaving mom alone in the house to cook lunch and dinner for them. Then, there was this family who despite knowing the acute water shortage, used to bathe, each of them, twice a day, daily. Then, there was this person who took offence once just because mom did not offer her own Pond’s cream to her. Or so we heard from somewhere. Guess there are such types of guests also.

So having the Lord and the Queen (“I’m so sorry”), with us on the hills, is always a pleasure and besides they’re good company. We went to Mahableshwar on Sunday and took a stroll through their market. At the end of the market is a departmental store called ‘Imperial Stores’. It’s a tradition for us. Whenever we go to Mahableshwar and visit their market, we always visit the Imperial Stores – the last shop right at the edge of the market – and have our dinner or lunch (whatever the case may be) there. This time, we opted for their pizzas, chicken kebabs and roast chicken.

Their pizzas turned out to be quite useless considering they were around Rs 120. There were hardly any layers. The vegetable pizzas was woefully short of tomato sauce, had only capsicum and a few slices of onions. Even the pizzas at the Mapro garden that we visited the next day looked tastier. While the kebabs were good, the roast chicken was passable.

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