Monday, May 2, 2016

'Hotel Samjhana at Dirang, Arunachal Pradesh, India' - by K.J.S.Chatrath

I have just completed an 11 day road trip Guwahati-Bomdila-Tawang-Kaziranga-Shillong-Guwahati. The trip was organised by Isha Tours of Mumbai ( The group consisted of 41 participants and two tour leaders- Ms. Geetanjali Mane and Mr. Amit Thot. The present write up is not about this trip in general but about a lunch we had on 20th April at at Dirang, neear bommdilla in Arunachal Pradesh.

We reached this roadside restaurant at past 3 pm and were surprised to find its 50 odd seats full and people waiting. After a short wait we were adjusted on different tables. The first dish to arrive was salad +chutney. Both were good looking and tasty.

And then came the 'Thali' meal. It had a small serving of kabuli chana, an equally small serving of one of the most watery 'daals' I have had in my life. Besides there was a smattering of cabbage, karela and boiled and mashed potato sabzi (?). The roti was white and perhaps of maida if not a mixture of atta and maida. Every item was tasty- yes, even the watery daal!
That is me with some fellow participants from the Group. What really impressed every one was that the place seemed to be owned and run by ladies. There were half a dozen or so young ladies flying from one table tyo another to the kitchen and back. Their speed and alertness would put any McDonald's restaurant anywhere in the world to shame. Bravo young ladies!

It was only when  I came out of the restaurant  after finishing my meal that I took the above photo. I did not notice then the sign 'Hindu Hotel' painted on the front.

I used to hear that prior to the 1947 partition there used to be restaurants labelled 'Hindu Hotels' and 'Muslim Hotels' and on railway stations there used to be two types of water- 'Hindu water' and 'Muslim water'.

But seeing such a sign in 2016 really distressed me.

कोई 'होटल समझाना' वालों को समझाए !


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