Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Those quirky Iranis and their Bakeries !!!

The Iranis I know are not particularly disciplinarian, mostly easy going i'd say ... but when it comes to running their Cafes and Bakeries in Mumbai they do an about turn. You cant miss a list of No-Nos which they invariably put up at the entrance ( often on slate written with chalk ... makes you wonder if they flicked it from a neighbourhood primary school ) and they abide by these written rules to the letter ... 

Nissim Ezekiel, the dark and somber poet ( remember "Night of the Scorpion" anyone ??? ), immortalised this strange Irani phenomenon in a quirky compilation of Irani No-No's : 

“No talking to cashier / No smoking / No fighting / No credit / No outside food/ No sitting long/ No talking loud / No spitting / No bargaining / No water to outsiders/ No change / No telephone/ No match sticks / No discussing gambling / No newspaper/ No combing / No beef / No leg on chair / No hard liquor allowed / No address enquiry ... by Order"

There is this tiny bakery down the road where I live, named impressively "Choice - The Irani Bakery" ... the Irani owner clearly influenced by recent Bollywood naming conventions eg. Daag - The Fire. Ok not a great example but top of mind right now ... by the way anyone on why the suffixed tagline is almost always in english ???

Yesterday on the way back from work I decided to stop by and pick up some "Shrewsbury" and "Cashew Walnut" cookies. Piya loves them ... "No Plastic bags / No Credit" was the abridged version of the No-No list, on a computer printout, which greeted me at the entrance.

This was clearly a Bollywood loving, Environmentally conscious, Tech savvy, Fiscally prudent Irani owner !!!

Purchases made, parcelled in paper bags and paid for with hard cash, I decided to take some snaps of the bakery, fished out my mobile phone and started clicking. Yes I upgraded to a mobile camera phone couple months back ... thanks to repeated snide remarks from friends ... specially one who works in Nokia and complained that I was clearly not the target audience for the Nokia 1100 with a B&W display ... I took the feedback but instead of a Nokia N series upgraded to a windows mobile Dopod ...

My Irani friend realised what I was upto and shouted "No Photography", an unwritten rule which I'm sure will be an addition to the revised No-No list when I visit next !!!


I'd taken a couple of shots of my favourite cookies by then though  !!!


  1. Rubaru : For now and forever.

    Thats the latest flick released last friday. Dont dare to go and see it though.

    Yes the suffix is usually in english appeals to the NRI junta I guess ?

  2. so did you like the cookies ?

  3. Wah Wah..... Wah Wah .... Wah Wah .... Cookies are yummy..

  4. shuklaji !!! long time ... lets meet up and I'll treat you to some cookies and more :-)