A stall is born
The large counter is stacked with very many egg cartons. A steel tray is serried with green chili and onion pakoris. Another tray is packed with bread pakoras. The adjacent platter is crammed with pooris. The plastic packets of fen and toasty rusks are plopped upon each other into a hill. The chipped pan for chai is atop an unlit burner. The pan is cold on touch.
This is a new destination by the roadside. Name—Shyam Nashta Corner. Owner—Radhe Shyam Saini.
In a time when the coronavirus pandemic is disrupting lives and professions, Mr Saini is adjusting to the odds by launching a fresh start. “I began about a month back,” he says. The stall is perched on the side of a road snaking up to Gurugram railway station, a short jog away. At this moment in the afternoon, it is the only such establishment to be seen on this portion of the pave. In the pre-pandemic era, and also in some of the easy-going months sandwiched between the second and the third wave, the lane was choc-a-bloc with food carts, selling meals from plain parathas to elaborate biryanis. In fact, the cart stands on the spot where a very friendly elderly man operated a coffee stall—his unique selling point was his instant coffee (so rare for a street) served in kulhar (doubly rare). That stall became history with the first lockdown.
Mr Saini has no inkling of that landmark of the past. In a way, he too is a landmark of the past, but of another place. He earlier carried on with his street food living in Daulatabad, “but I was no longer doing well there, so I moved out.” Glancing towards the rail station’s direction, he draws hope from those would-be regulars who might restart commuting by train daily from Gurugram to adjacent towns once the pandemic eases. “I hope they will become my customers.” Mr Saini himself is a native of nearby Rewari but have been in the Millennium City for some years.
The wider area is not absolutely deserted of street entrepreneurs. A chhole bhathure cart is standing across the road, along with a tikki stall in the distance. One cart is decked with handkerchiefs, masks, belts and soaps. A couple more wheeled stalls can be sighted, in addition to a watch repairer’s kiosk (sheltering a dog).
The scene at Mr Saini’s is not looking promising. There are no customers, and the cart is loaded with just too much food. But he is not nervous. He explains that he prepares fresh snacks immediately after his “routine” midday break, and that the day’s earlier stock finishes by noon. “Somebody or the other will arrive sooner or later… people have been coming to me.” He turns to look at both sides, and freezes his gaze towards the bread pakoras. Soon, a masked man approaches.
The Karnataka High Court in an interim order has issued several guidelines for the speedy disposal of criminal cases against politicians and influential persons, including a deadline of 90 days for serious offences. Justice S Sunil Dutt Yadav fixed a deadline of 60 days for probing petty offences and 90 days for serious and heinous offences. The complaint sought investigation into disproportionate assets of a two-time MLA from Belgaum South constituency, Abhay Kumar Patil.
Gurugram: Rao Inderjit Singh, Union minister and Gurugram MP, on Saturday inaugurated and laid foundation stone of several developmental projects including construction of roads and drains, laying water and sewage pipelines, and making water supply available across three municipal wards in the city at a cost of ₹33 crore, said the officials.
Gurugram: A team of officials from Gurugram Metropolitan Development Authority on Saturday visited Westend Heights in DLF 5 and collected samples of drinking water being supplied in the condominium, a day after more than 200 residents complained of health issues due to the consumption of “contaminated drinking water” supplied by the authority there. Abhinav Verma, executive engineer (infra II division), GMDA, said that they are examining the situation.
Gurugram: Residents of Mehrauli-Gurgaon Road on Saturday wrote a letter to Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar, seeking his intervention in revoking liquor licences for pubs, bars and liquor vends on a stretch popularly known as the 'Mall Mile'. Resident welfare association of eight colonies along MG Road are likely to meet the chief minister on Sunday to apprise him of the alleged illegal activities being carried out inside the malls in the area, said officials.
Crude bombs were hurled and at least 12 houses were vandalised on Saturday as two factions of the ruling Trinamool Congress in West Bengal's Malda district clashed over an old feud. A large number of police personnel was deployed in the area as the situation turned tense. Last month, at least six crude bombs were receovered from Malda.