Despite Countless Challenges, Delhi’s Janak Place has Not Lost its Charm

Well, a feeling of nostalgia seems to be overpowering me. I have some really fond memories of this shopping complex name Janak Place. It has always occupied a special place in my heart. I remember going to the complex with my mother when I was an 8-year old chap. It was a time when shopping malls hadn’t made their presence felt. Life used to be quite uncomplicated back then. Access to fast food wasn’t much and having burgers and pizzas used to be a once-in-a-month affair.

A Stroll Down the Memory Lane

At a time when West Delhi wasn’t brimming with malls and high-end shopping complexes, the Janak Place shopping complex used to serve as the perfect weekend getaway. The McDonald’s outlet used to be my preferred destination ( you can imagine why). Back in those days, a McDonald’s burger used to be a luxury. I say luxury not because it was hard to afford, but because American fast food chains hadn’t swept over the minds of the Indian masses back then. A burger used to be something that was meant to be eaten only during celebrations and get-togethers.

Having lived in West Delhi for more than 20 years now, I can tell you that Janak Place hasn’t changed one bit. The shopping outlets available have changed for the better. There are new and better food outlets for people to choose from as well, but the overall essence of the place has remained intact. An alag si ” Delhi waali feeling” seems to engulf me whenever I get a chance to visit the place.

During the days of graduation, a lot of my time was spent at the complex. That is because I used to commute through the Metro rapid transit and get down at the Janak Puri West Metro Station.

A Foodie’s Paradise

Also, for those of you who haven’t visited the place yet. I must bring to your knowledge that Janak Place shopping complex is a foodie’s ultimate destination. Forget the KFC’s and the TGI’s for a minute and you’d be able to find pocket-friendly eateries scattered throughout the complex. I don’t know about anybody else, but my excitement knows no bounds when I get a chance to get my hands on a smoking hot plate of momos. Many of you might disagree with me, but I strongly feel that a steaming-hot bag of momos is the perfect companion on a cold Saturday evening.

Over the years, my liking for the place has soared beyond limits. This liking was born out of my longing for companionship. I was an introvert and didn’t have many friends. This place provided me with an ideal refuge from the ups and downs of everyday life. A place where hours can be spent doing nothing. A place where you get a steaming-hot plate of momos or chilly potatoes to appease an empty stomach.  It wasn’t about the money and neither was it about the quality of food. It was about finding a transient refuge from the worries and woes of everyday life. For me, the place has always been way more than just a physical entity. It has been an experience like no other.

You Shouldn’t Miss Out on the Shopping Experience

District Centre, as some of us call it,  is a shopping enthusiast’s paradise. Forget the outlets selling branded clothes, There’s a specific area where you’d find countless stalls selling fashion accessories, kurtas, mobile covers, bridal clutches, artificial jewelry, etc. If you get a chance to visit the District Centre, do spend some time and treat yourself to some economical and durable fashion accessories. You’d get everything from Punjabi Jhuttis to designer kurtas at pocket-friendly prices. This place in West Delhi is a budget-oriented shopper’s paradise.

And, It is Still popular

Even with a multitude of shopping malls coming into the picture, Janak Puri’s good old District Centre has maintained its charm. Some might argue that the place is not at all posh and high-end, but that is exactly what makes the place worth visiting. The beauty of the Janak Place shopping complex lies in its rawness.

A leisurely stroll down memory lane

The latest list of top-ranked colleges in India is out. The Ministry of Human Resource and Development (HRD) has unveiled the 4th edition of the NIRF rankings. As far as the colleges are concerned, the Miranda House (University of Delhi) )has occupied the top spot for the third time in a row. The Hindu College, one of the University of Delhi’s finest colleges, has jumped two places to occupy the second spot.

Now come the universities. The Indian Institute of Science Bengaluru has been rated as the best university. The 2nd spot has been occupied by the Jawahar Lal University (Delhi). Continue reading “A leisurely stroll down memory lane”

Of Maggi, Top Ramen, and Everything in Between…

A pot of boiling water, a packet of Maggi, and a magical tastemaker is all you need in order to bring a smile on anybody’s face. It certainly would be no overstatement to say that Maggi, the instant noodles brand from Nestle, a Swiss multinational, occupies a special space in the hearts of the Indians.

 

I too, just like anybody and everybody else, have some sepia-tinted memories of the product. Back in the early 2000s when burgers and pizzas used to be a luxury, Maggi noodles used to appease my growling tummy every single time I used to crave for an evening snack. Mum used to bring around 10 packets of Maggi whenever we went out to buy groceries. For countless Indian households, Maggi is the ‘ultimate comfort food’. Back in 2003-04, when I was a child, Maggi noodles used to cost just five rupees. It was cheap, it was convenient, and above all, it was fulfilling.

 

Having been a big Maggi fan myself, I can tell you that cold winter evenings are never complete without Maggi.  Also, a consumer’s emotional connect with Maggi cannot be ignored. I remember an avalanche of Tweets had completely overpowered the social media space when Maggi was banned by the Food Safety Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) back in 2015. Reports claimed had Maggi contained lead. Consequently, the product was taken off the shelves and a lot of people were left heartbroken. (Yes, you heard that right). Here are a few hilarious Tweets that I had saved in Google Drive back then. Have a look:

The company was forced to destroy the stocks and the consumers were forced to find solace in the likes of pasta, Wai Wai, and Top Ramen. But what exactly was it that made the noodle brand so popular?

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What Makes us Obsessed With Noodles?

One can say time constraints and the urban Indian youth’s inability to devote time to cooking led to a significant surge in Maggi’s popularity. The fact that it is cheap and can be prepared with the utmost ease is no brainer.

 

Also, India’s proximity

For the love of Momos

The moment you exit the Janak Puri West Metro Station, a myriad of aromas will greet you. The first being that of the mouth-watering Chicken Rolls and the second one would be of this humble delicacy called momos. The metro station at Janak Puri (West) is just one of the countless spots where momo-wallas operate. All it takes for a momo walla to set up his stall is a rickety stool and a steamer. Ah, I forgot to mention the countless hungry faces that surround the stall in utter desperation.

Continue reading “For the love of Momos”

Fat and furious…..

A true story to begin with:

I’d like to quote a real life incident before I start bombarding you with those silly views and opinions of mine. Once, a very good friend of mine, who is fond of eating burgers and pizzas, barged into a KFC outlet near the MG Road Metro Station. He ordered an eight piece chicken bucket worth INR 495. He ate as many as 6 gigantic pieces of chicken. I gave up after eating a couple of them. I happen to be a simple eater, with a craving for  ‘Ghar ka khaana’, homemade food that is. So, this friend of mine ate 6 pieces of chicken all by himself. This incident, in particular, happened a couple of years ago and today, my dear friend weighs somewhere closer to 85 Kgs. He’s  a chubby guy with a tummy that tends to bulge out every time he walks or runs. Continue reading “Fat and furious…..”

Two minutes of sheer mayhem….

Well, I guess every one of us has a memory related to Maggi, the 2 minute noodles. Frankly speaking, I too have some sepia tinted memories of the product. A plateful of maida ornamented with some peas and chopped carrots. I believe all of us are connected to the brand in some or the other manner.  Our association and love for Maggi presents a rather nostalgic and a largely youthful side of our lives.  Maggi was something which connected the youngsters. As teenagers, a pot full of boiling water and a magical tastemaker were enough to get even the clumsiest of us into our kitchen in our boxers. Continue reading “Two minutes of sheer mayhem….”