Lifestyle Awards 2013
Wellness & Relationship
'Every day is a windin road'
Paradise on Earth
Fat is where its at
Boy in the Bubble
JAI HIND, in the real sense
It's Tough Being Tough
What if God was One of Us…
There's something about the air in Punjab that is different. The fields seem greener, the skies seem bluer and the people smile so much more than they do anywhere else.
In fact if you want to compete at anything anytime you will find any number of people to do it with in the land of the five rivers.
Whether you win or lose, remember a smile at the end will get you far and scowling will probably earn you a black eye. At least that’s my experience and I had the black eye to prove it!
We took another trip to Punjab for HOMP (
Highway on My Plate
) as we had left out a couple of places.
No Punjabi experience would be complete without Patiala.
The home of the royal family of ..ahem ..Patiala. The home of the gorgeous Phulkari. And of course, the home of the Patiala Peg.
Patiala is a regular hustling bustling town during the day and people go about their work as they do anywhere else, but as the sun begins to set a slow change comes over the city.
Hawkers open up their stalls, restaurants hang out the chickens and display their marinated meats.
Every where in the old quarters of the city is the delicate whiff of the tandoor doing the ‘Tandoori’ thing.
It is time for ‘Kebab shebab’ and a ‘peg sheg’. Music takes over. No one enjoys their drink and some snacks more than the Punjabis do.
The feeling is infectious and even I, who rarely drink unless its great single malt or it’s been a really stressful day, found myself joining in.
Did I mention that most hosts in Punjab will not take a ‘NO’ for an answer?
Well, I should have. Despite my strongest protests every host we had in Patiala made sure that we had a few ‘Patiala pegs’ in the evening.
In fact, we were at a mutton tikka shop when the people in the locality got together and bought us a bottle of some good old Indian whisky – and of course they wouldn’t take ‘NO’ for an answer.
After 4 Patiala pegs and about 8 plates of mutton Tikka, I was with them and totally understood why the ritual is such a well ingrained one.
All I can say when I think of that evening is, ‘There is no place like Punjab’.
We made it through 3 very drunk evenings in Patiala and thankfully for my aching liver headed off to the small town of Maler Kotla.
On the way we stopped at some flower fields where acres and acres of a variety of flowers in full bloom greeted us.
It was a sort of a ‘Silsila’ moment, sadly the company wasn’t as romantic as it could have been.
Needless to say no songs were sung. Me and my hangover
(aksar ye baatein karte hain .. tum hoti to
….) moved along soon though the fresh air with the smell of the sweet nectar of the flowers did help.
Check out the picture of this blog, I thought it was a great one. Just reinforces what I said. The people of Punjab are robust. They work hard and do the best they can.
They are proud, jovial, happy go lucky and always willing to break out into a song or a fistfight.
In many ways they remind me of Asterix and Obelix and the village of indomitable Gauls. Give them an open sky a few wild boars and an excuse to party and that’s good enough.
Thankfully for their own sakes, the Romans, didn't get as far as Punjab or we could have had some real good stories there.
Well, its time for my evening ‘Patiala Peg’, a habit I seem to have brought back. I have to try and put a lid on it but for now all I want to say is, there’s no place like Punjab. Pass the
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