Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Devon's 'desi' delights

A delicious slice of the subcontinent, this microcosm of humanity packs in itself all that Chandini Chowk of Delhi, Nakhas of Lucknow, Lad Bazaar of Hyderabad, steamy T Nagar of Chennai and Anarkali of Lahore can offer.

Come evenings, Devon’s air gets filled with the irresistible aroma of tandoori chicken, seekh kabab and Hyderabadi haleem. Its grocery stores exude the familiar smell of hing, ginger, jaggery and other Indian spices and mannequins stand draped in lehenga, churdiars and sequined salwar-kameez. Once a habitat of Jewish diaspora, Devon has gradually metamorphosed into a desi bazaar with Indians, Pakistanis and Bangladeshis rubbing shoulders with each other and conveniently feigning amnesia of the fractious past that is well nigh unforgettable. However, under competing claims from the desis, the nearly 5 km of the avenue has been trifurcated into stretches named after Mahatma Gandhi, Mohammad Ali Jinnah and Sheikh Mujeeb.

Businessmen from India today eye Devon as prime real estate, investing in each conceivable patch enticing the growing fat-wallet desi clientele. Four decades ago, India Sari Palace was the first to set up business introducing in the American market the most known piece of Indian attire. Then came eateries with their finger-licking fare. More textile shops joined them soon. Following them were bangle sellers with the elaborate inventory of knick-knacks.

Maqbool Ahmed Siraj in Deccan Herald. More Here

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