Sunday, July 21, 2002

WRFG, a pleasant culinary surprise and hot sun beating down

I was back with Mrs. Pandit on the radio show {last post: two weeks ago} today and things were much better. The new section was, as always, nothing to sing home about (read all the puns you want) but the old section finally included a couple of good RD Burman songs: one from me Yeh Vaada Raha from the film of the same name (a song that has gained notoriety thanks to a remix accompanied by a very explicit video to match it!) and one from Mrs. Pandit, as a surprise for me, in the ghazal/bhajan section, Ae Sakhi Raadhikey from Jurmana. We also aired Chalo Ek Baar Phir Se from Gumraah, a Sahir/Ravi composition rendered by Mahendra Kapoor. This song was a favourite of Dad's and in fact the only thing I remember from this film is Sunil Dutt sitting at the piano (with Ashok Kumar and Mala Sinha looking on), as Dad tuned in to oldies shows on different cable channels. Interestingly, we got yet another RD Burman request: the ethereal Kya Yahi Pyaar Hai from Rocky. What makes it more interesting is that the new section included a song from the unbearable Na Tum Jaano Na Hum, which has the story revolving around this very song.

This was followed by an ambitious drive to a restaurant in Alpharetta called Ruchi. Why ambitious? Well the drive was about 45 minutes long, coupled with the fact that complete directions were not at our disposal. We got there sans mishap and just in time too (Sunday brunch buffets, as they called them, ended at 3pm and we got there at 2:30pm). The place was worth every mile of road we drove (not to mention the aggravating heat!). The owner of the place greeted us cordially. His countenance, the ambient music (which comprised songs from A. R. Rahman's Pudhiya Mugham) and Thiruda Thiruda and the buffet (which we opted for) confirmed the restaurant's claim to be a provider of South Indian cuisine. From memory here's what we had: sambhar, rasam, pakoras, rice, biryani rice, crisp fresh parathas, mixed vegetables, chana masala (cooked South-Indian-style), cabbage kootu, chicken 65 (this brings back memories of eating places back home that had numerical suffixes to dishes:), chicken curry, lamb curry. The accoutrements included pickle and pappadam (this alone got the buffet and the place bonus points. I have never seen a more authentic homely buffet). The salad section comprised the usual greens but there was also my favourite kind of salad: onions, tomatoes and green chillies in curd. Fruit salad and ice cream made up the dessert section. What more can one say but BURP. The service continued to be nice, polite and unobtrusive. We followed lunch with a little chat with the owner and got some more information about the place. It's just 3 months old (or young if you may) and although it could be a drive for a lot of people living in Atlanta, I'd strongly recommend this place. It's worth the drive.

An evening of sudden thunder claps and light rain brought down the temperature a bit, but it's still very much a Georgia summer.

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