GM and I go a long way. We have a lot of stories to tell. But the evergreen story of all these(as agreed unanimously by all the grandchildren of Late Shri G.Lakshmipataiah) is the RT Nagar ShantiSagar story. So, when I was a little girl, RT Nagar had opened one of the then new "New Shanti Sagar". And my Ananthu Doddappa took all of us cousins there for dinner. I ordered a Pav Bhaji and mid-way I said started complaining, " Oh, I can't finish this. This is too much!! ". Where I come from, wasting food is an unthinkable and hence I was given the stern voices and the sweet cajoling. Nothing worked. And then arrived a plate of hot, beautiful Gobi Manchurian. Forgetting my full stomach, sub-consciously, like how a sunflower turns to the Sun, I turned to the GM and picked up one and ate. And to this day, trust me on this, I am teased about it. Every time we go out for dinner and order the GM, it is pushed towards me with a teasing - Go on finish it and after all the pieces are finished, again the plate with the masala is pushed towards me with a - finish this also!! :|
Another folklore in my family is that, if you want Ashwini to come and stay in your house, offer to treat her to GM and she will come. You know this age when uncles and aunts invite you to stay with them for a few days during the summer holidays, when your cousins are too young and your uncle and aunt are too old for you to hang out with? Yes, that dreaded age is when you just want to stay at home watching TV, reading novels and hanging out with the other neighbour kids your age. So, to lure me to come stay with them, my uncles would say "I will get you GM. You should come eat GM from this place where I live, really!!" And well, now who can resist that! And off I would go stay with my relatives. The best part about this: I now can relate to my cousins and talk to my uncles and aunts but I still get my GM whenever I visit ;)
On the same note, one of these times that I was in my uncle's house, as promised, one evening me, my aunt and my cousin went to the much-talked-about GM shop. It was a small shop like a chaat shop, and my aunt ordered 3 plates GM. I was like, "3?? One for each??". My joy knew no bounds! The GMs soon arrived and I started eating slowly, devouring each piece, visibly lost in my own GM world! And all of a sudden, I was rudely brought back to the present, when I saw a hand from somewhere behind me reach into my plate and grab a handful of GMs. And when I say handful, I really mean handful. It was a man's hand and for a second I thought it was my uncle and for another second I wondered when did he come here, was I that lost? And then I turned around to see some stranger walking away with my GMs!!! I was momentarily shocked, I have to admit, by seeing some random walk away with my GM, but what overtook the shock was the anger. The anger that someone else ate my GM and that I couldn't eat the rest of the GM on my plate and that I could do nothing :|
Be it the GM in Shanti sagar or the road side Gobi Manchurian near my school, or the yummy plate full at IISc canteen, or the crispy ones at Suchi-Ruchi, the rest of my GM eating experiences have been extremely satisfactory with happy endings, unlike the previous one! There are fond memories associated with each eating experience - like the time the Udbhav group went all the way from college to malleswaram to eat the road side GM, or the time we ordered full plates of GMs for each of us, or just sitting at home, alone, watching a movie and eating GMs - and that will continue to be so for me.
Although one often tries the new variants - Veg Manchurian, Paneer Manchurian or even the Baby-corn Manchurian, one never forgets the king of all Manchurians - the Gobi Manchurian. Respect!