Little bit of everything

The second edition of Jashn-e-Rekhta had man firsts, and one of them was food bazaar that played host to different cuisines like Kashmiri, Awadhi, Mughlai and Deccani. The idea, according to Sanjiv Saraf, founder of Rekhta foundation which organises the festival, was to focus on regional flavours associated with the language.

“Food is an essential component and we thought why not bring all these cuisines together under one roof so that people can enjoy and also understand how their preparations are different,” Saraf told Metrolife.

“The aim of the festival is not only to promote the language but also introduce the audience to everything that is closely or remotely associated with Urdu,” he added.

This year the festival, which concluded Sunday, took place at the Indira Gandhi Centre National for the Arts and food definitely was a big attraction for visitors.

Representing different cuisines were popular food joints like Lahori Gate, Rumi’s Kitchen, Al-Jawahar, Kashmiri Kitchen and Indo Traditional Kulfi.

“They are not offering anything new, but it is the environment and the setting that uplifts the mood. Having so many options under one roof is good because no one leaves unhappy,” said Monica Sharma, a housewife who was attending the festival for the second time.

“Last year we had to go out for eating and then come back for sessions. So we lost out on a lot of time. This time there was no need to go out,” she added.

Two rows of wooden tables were placed in between the open space that was surrounded by food stalls from three sides. Many were eating on tables and many were carrying ‘kulfis’ and rolls in their hands and hoping between venues to listen and attend.

But the only impediment to the idea of indulgence was standing in the long queues to get coupons. The organisers had set up a separate counter for tokens and this did discourage some from buying and left a few irritated.

“Paying facility should have been at the food stall only, one has to unnecessarily stand first in the queue to get tokens and then to get food,” said Varun Gupta, a visitor.

“No doubt the food is very good, but I hope next time they either increase the number of token counters or get rid of this system completely,” he added.

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