Yes, I know Eid was almost three weeks ago, but better late than never right?
Before Arnab and I had even talked about moving to India, we had watched the Anthony Bourdain episode where he goes to Mumbai and Calcutta. In Mumbai, he goes to a road called Mohammed Ali Road. On this road, he eats all sorts of kebabs and curries—even brain curry. So, of course a visit was on our Mumbai to-do list.
The road is rather famous, and during the month of Ramadan, the small streets are jammed with people after dark. The biggest night, of course, is Eid. So, we made a plan to go, even though we got plenty of advice telling us not to. Groups of young Muslim men tend to get a little rowdy, and people were worried that I might attract some unwanted attention.
When I was in New Delhi, Arnab staked out the streets with a few friends and decided that we should go. I donned a salwar with dupatta—the long scarf that women drape over their shoulders—but opted for jeans. I was hoping this might deflect a little extra attention.
The streets were packed—walking involved pushing through crowds of people. My poor dupatta became a welcome mat for Md. Ali Road, and it’s currently at the cleaners hopefully being salvaged.
The crush of people and smells and sounds made me a little dizzy. My attention was constantly being pulled in different directions—checking out the giant, fried egg cakes, politely declining a man’s offer to sit and eat biryani and trying to watch what, or who, I was stepping on. But, being in the middle of an epicenter of culture on one of the biggest night’s of the year was really incredible, and something I’ll remember long after I leave Mumbai.
We ended up eating some kebabs (green and yellow from above), a fried lentil burger, a chicken roll, beef curry and to top off the night, kheer—Indian rice pudding. Unfortunately, we didn’t try the brain curry this time.
But, Md Ali Road, we’ll be back.