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  • Writer's pictureAdil Malia

Street Markets and personalised services

Mera turn kabb aayega, Chacha ..? The Mumbai 'Pani-Puri' is more famous than its other country cousins 'Gol-Gappas' of Delhi or 'Puchkas' of Calcutta . Though the ingredients are the same , somehow the overall ambiance of the street corner market and familiarity with 'Ramprasad' added the special emotional flavors to the masala water that made the difference. You have to wait in the line ( in Bombay it is not called a 'queue') till the guy who came before you , finished his 6 puris and you hoped in a silent prayer that he would not ask for round 2 ! Infact , much later whilst studying psychology did I realise that the mouth watering experience whilst you impatiently waited for the guy before to finish fast was akin to 'Pavlovian Salivation in Classical Conditioning'. Bombay boys called it the RamPrasad effect ! And if you were a kid , you always worried that you may not be seen because of your height. You therefore had to keep stretching on your toes periodically to reassert and keep asking..."mera turn kabb aayega, Chacha ?". Best part of the experience was personalising of services - RamPrasad always remembered your default setting which was a unique combination of Ragda ya Potatoes, quantity of how much khatta & how much meetha and Bisleri water ya saada pani !!!'

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