Delhiwale: Lunch with auto wallas

At Ram Hazoor’s stall you can grab a plate of dal-rice for Rs 35 and step into the world of auto drivers on a break

delhi Updated: Dec 21, 2017 13:40 IST
Mayank Austen Soofi
Mayank Austen Soofi
Hindustan Times
Delhiwale,Dilliwale,Ram Hazoor’s dal-chawal stall
Auto rickshaw drivers at Ram Hazoor’s dal-chawal stall on Kasturba Gandhi Marg. (Mayank Austen Soofi / HT Photo)

Have you ever seen an auto rickshaw driver on a lunch break?

We have at times spotted them sitting on the passenger’s seat with their homemade tiffin meals but such sightings are rare.

Today, we’ll tell you of an eatery wildly popular among auto drivers. Many who operate autos in the central parts of the city plan their itinerary in such a way that they pass by Ram Hazoor’s dal-chawal stall on Kasturba Gandhi Marg during the afternoon — just around the time hunger pangs begin to distract them on the city’s dangerous roads.

Here, they quickly gobble down a plate of mixed dal, plain rice and eggplant fritters before moving off into the rest of the working day.

Although Mr Hazoor serves his customers all day long, his place is particularly busy around 2pm.

The drivers, in their grey uniforms, crowd around, waiting to be served.

Some stand and eat while others sit on the pavement. Some constantly chat — talking of politics and cracking jokes. Others eat silently.

Mr Hazoor sits on a plastic sheet spread out on the ground, surrounded by plastic buckets filled with food. One meal costs just Rs35.

“It is not like the food of my home but it’s close to it and it is sasta (cheap),” says Mukesh Kumar, a driver whose village is in Bihar.

Mr Hazoor’s stall used to be near Andhra Bhawan but he moved here in 2013. He is more popularly known as Raghu.

The best reason to come here is, of course, for the affordable khana. But we also often come here to hang out with the drivers and be a part of their small world.

In this way, we get to know them more than just as the “bhyayyas” who take us from one destination to another.

First Published: Dec 21, 2017 10:51 IST