Balkrishna Gokhale aka our Anna (Deven Bhojani) from the popular comedy series Bhakharwadi on Sony SAB is known to have a strict set of rules and principles around his life and specially his store and customers. The show, which is supposed to be based in the sprawling metropolis of Pune, presents a slice of life look at how two families, who own their separate Bhakarwadi shops, compete with each other. The Maharashtrian Gokhale family and the Gujarati Thakkar family are at it, always trying to one up each other in their quest to be known as the best shop selling Bhakharwadis in the city.
Anna owns the most popular and a traditional Bhakharwadi shop whose recipe still remains a mystery for everyone including his own family. He is steadfast on his principles of shutting the shop for an extended lunch (1pm – 4pm), lights off by 10.30 pm along with plenty of signs about the dos and don’ts for his customers. If you think that’s all, here’s what you HAVE to keep in mind when you visit “Gokhale Bandhu”; you call it ‘Bakarwadi’, not ‘Bhakharwadi’.
In India, there are still places, although very few, that have maintained their old world charm and customs. Let us take a look at some of the rules and customs that are followed in old traditional eateries in India, just like Anna’s:
1. One of the most popular and oldest traditional Irani cafes in Mumbai, which dates back to the year 1923, till date pulls down their shutter at 4pm every day (ironic for the city that never sleeps)!
2. In Bangalore, an eatery that dates back to 1920’s and is still flocked by the locals is known for its ‘Benne Dosas’. A lot has changed around and in the world except the seating capacity in there. The owner believes in keeping the few tables the same way to respect its heritage.
3. A gem of a place in Kolkata which has stayed at its original spot for over 130 years even though a number of eateries have cropped up all around the place. The restaurant has stayed in the family of the original owners and is currently being run by the fourth generation and they believe to keep it going that way. This popular joint is open only between 4 pm and 9 pm.
4. The lengendary Kesar da Dhaba in Amritsar, had famous personalities like Lala Lajpatrai, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi dine at the place back in their times and left a legacy here. The dhaba recently celebrated 100 years of its existence and is famous for its ‘Dal Makhni’ that is cooked for more than 12 hours overnight in a brass utensil. They believe in keeping the 100 year old recipe intact and swear by the use of desi ghee and mud pots. The menu is not elaborate but every dish is a beautiful legacy in itself.