I have written on the food in the Army earlier. I have to write about the second highpoint of every Armored Corps officer/ Cavalry officer in India. The first of course is Nagar, like every artist thinks of Paris, the same reverence is accorded to Nagar (Ahmednagar) in the Armored Corps in India.
As a Young officer, you are told about Nagar and its nightlife and its promiscuous ladies. You almost feel like a Jihadi who is promised Jannat, Hoors (Damsels) and sweet wines (almost all things otherwise forbidden in Islam) at becoming a martyr. I have often wondered, prompted, by brother dear Sanjiv, how can one half of a population be promised to the other half (men being promised promiscuous women) in heaven on becoming a martyr.
In peace loving India, there are a few opportunities of martyrdom hence you are promised Jannat, in Nagar anyways, with hoors, sweet wine (unlimited wine , smarter guys hitting on Officers daughters and the lesser mortals acquainting women in white uniforms and other commercial interactions). Its almost like pent up escapism , the late nights, drives to Poona, eating at Subhash Dhaba, Drinking at all the Whisky bars (various Officers Mess and Clubs and Institutes in town). Whoosh Heady feeling.
The Other big promise is at the other Mecca The Cavalry Week, culminates with the Cavalry Dinner also called the Cav Dinner. The promise is, officially being allowed to go to Delhi attend the Cav Dinner while you are in the Army. If one is from Delhi even better, get to take a lady friend and expose her to the glamour of the Army life especially as a tank man. Usually held at The Oberoi in the yesteryears, has tried The Imperial, The Shangri La and the deepest dregs of Hotels The Crowne Plaza at Friends Colony. Hope it makes TheImperial its home it goes with its regal image. With Cavaliers and Lancemen in the Lobby, the bar by Sea grams. The old generals, the gracious Turkish Mrs Zorawar Singh. The stylish eyepatch on a gent almost like Clark Gable in a Tuxedo.
Amidst all this, the promise of the shortest skirts on this side of the Yamuna. Well that’s what it used to be. Even the the head of the most powerful nation takes a look at the skirted being, let alone lesser mortals like the Army officers. Men in Cross belts and silver with tights in blue patrols, with a lots of silver and brass and boots with spurs and ladies in a chit of chiffon Whooo !
Hang on this a a food blog so what did we eat, Dearest wife Praveen and I arrived early ate the celery and leek tarts, followed by a chilly chicken and a grilled fish, we drank Grovers wine got the best and kickass service by the Senior Captain himself (from the Hotel and not the Indian Army). I switched to some serious drinking and lost count of time and the drinks to really enumerate a treatise on the food. It was nice, it always is like a good Army Buffet it has fish , Chicken and Mutton. Lots of Hot Food like the last man last bullet, hot food for the last man standing in this case, literally. The Imperial does a stupendous job for the price that the Army pays them. I think they do it because of the Photo opportunity the event brings to all Gora guests at the hotel and the British Raj glamour it brings with it at the appropriate setting of The Imperial.
All this on a very pleasant November evening in the Lawns Of The Imperial with nothing less than the Velvet Fog the Armored Corps band in attendance. Really takes you to another time and place to a simpler life in simpler times all for Rs 2000/- for a couple. Its risen from a Rs 1000/- years ago. Very very affordable, Definitely a part of a Guide to Eating out for a salesman, provided the salesman has been an Officer in the Cavalry like the author.
Well about the short skirts they were in short supply or the migraton of the Siberian Crane is late or is not going to happen.
Cheers and Bash on Regardless !