Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Things people notice

On the road. From Ludhiana to Chandigarh, and then on to Shimla, I amuse myself with a mental contest: "Most Creatively named Dhaba'.

But first, a word on the most uncreatively named dhaba. That khitaab goes to the 'Punjabi' dhaba, with 'New Punjabi' dhaba coming in a close second. After all, what can you get in a dhaba but Punjabi food. Chicken, black dal and the omnipresent alu gobhi!

The also rans list includes:
New Frontier dhaba
Taaran taran dhaba
Dimple dhaba
Fauji dhaba
Bunty Shunty dhaba (I kid you not!)
Din raat dhaba
Sunny full stop dhaba

The runners up prize goes to: Dhaba Non Stop dhaba. The name sounds all the more corny juxtaposed with the Airtel branding.

But the prize for 'Most Creative Dhaba Name' goes to: the one and only 'Indo German Vaishno Dhaba' near the Neelon bridge, on the outskirts of Ludhiana. I am sure they serve the same black dal, yellow gobhi and kadak brown chai as any other dhaba in Punjab. Still, I like their global attitude.

Why Indo German and not Indo Swiss? Next time around I shall definitely stop, seek out the owner and solve the mystery!

But the more interesting issue was raised by my daughter. The same highway landscape provoked this question:" Why are all the shops here named 'Amrit Lal and sons', 'Pyare mohan and sons', 'Tara Singh and sons'... Why not daughters?"

The signage on dhabas may change but society and convention will take much longer. Maybe a few more generations!

18 comments:

  1. The question indeed is a serious one and does not have an answer that you can put across to kid that easily.

    Well all the Amrit lals and Taran singhs were given hand by their sons when they wanted to grow in business. So it was always XYZ and sons.
    Its recently only when we see daughters joining their father's business and that too only in cities but then nobody any more names their shop or business like this so unfortunately now when the daughters have joined, the naming convention has changed.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Posts after quite a while!Nice observations made during the drive!
    Sathej

    ReplyDelete
  3. You got to be kidding ! Indo German !!! Whoa..!! LOL ! Had a good time.

    I remember looking at a store called Y2K Tandoori Chicken in Hyderabad. But the Indo-German variety makes Y2K look dated !!

    ReplyDelete
  4. We've another one called 'No Choice Dhaba' here in Whitefield, Bangalore. And the guy makes sure he hasn't named it so without a reason. He might've a lot of stuff printed on the menu but ultimately he decided what you eat. You place an order based on the menu and he replies I can't give you that instead I'll vive you this. No arguments, No choice

    ReplyDelete
  5. HI,

    NICE DRIVE TO THE ROAD AND MAKING THE COMMENT . THE DABAS ARE MORE BETTER THEN INDIAN HOTEL. THOUG THERE KITCHEN SIDE ARE IN THE FRONT OF THE CUSTOME AND NOT THE BACK LIKE INDIAN HOTEL.
    IF YOU HAVE A DRIVE FROM LUCKNOE TO FAIZABAD BY A CITY BUS OR BY JEEP OR BY OWN VEHICLE GO AND VISIT TO RAM LAL DABAS ITS VERY INTERESTING VERY FRESH FOOD TO EAT AND HOT SAMOSAS TO TASTE.
    THE OTHER THAT XYZ&SONS BELONG TO HOINT HINDU FAMILY BUSINESS WERE THE DOMINATE THER MALE AS BUSINESS OWNER IN FUTURE THOUGH THERE DAUGHTER ARE INVOLVED IN IT BUT AFTER MARRAIGE THEY HAVE TO GIVE AWAY FROM THERE BUSINESS. SO XYZ & SONS IS APPLICABLE & MOST COMFORTABLE TO THEM.

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  8. Any road in and outside hyderabad will have 'hitec dhabas' . . This Indo-German collaboration seems an innovative one.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I have seen that Indo-German Dhaba! but didnt had the pleasure of dining in there. But I do remember discussing the name with my friends when i saw it. The reasoning that I came up with is that maybe this guy has a brother who is staying illegaly in Germany, So they thought this might be a cool name.(I think in all likelihood this might be the real reason why the dhaba is so named! Every family in Punjab has some legal or illegal relative abroad)

    ReplyDelete
  10. carrying on with the topic of refreshingly new names for soem shops...there is a shop in Dharamshala..called ..Same Same but Different
    i kid thee not !!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Well,,ur post reminds me to my visit to shimla where i wondered y all dhabas are called "sherey punjab" so dere i wasnt struggling to find d most innovative name bt y actually all d dhabhas were named alike...n dats still a mystry to me.
    n d million dollar qn by ur daughter reminds me of my own childhood wen i wondered y dis strange name...

    ReplyDelete
  12. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hmmm. This is a nice post that touches on our very own Indian semi-rural quasi-graffiti culture - the way highway-side dhabas and ghat road-side hotels and the likes are named. Another quite unique art form is the quaint paint work done on lorries, with both curious and funny takes on contemporary culture and religious references.

    Sometimes they are heart warming, if you are in the mood, and then again, most of the times rib tickling.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hey Rashmi,
    I think I know where does the name Indo German comes from. There is an Institute around the place which was set up as an indo german collaboration (provides training on the Machine Tooling).
    So the guy really is creative, Identifying with the target audience :-)

    ReplyDelete
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