For my farewell snack, KK organized a trip to a nearby snack joint, Manmeet Chaat. Since it was not within walking distance, I had the good fortune to once again ride on a motorcycle hours before leaving Pune. I originally thought that I would have plenty of time but my driver insisted on leaving Pune at 19:00 due to the unpredictable Friday evening traffice from Pune to Bombay. Plus, I was caught in a meeting with JB and couldn't make my escape. Anyway, the point is, our group of ten was driving at breakneck speed to beat the clock.
Needless to say, the chaat was one of my best eating experience in this trip. We ordered a selection of different things to share. There was a basket chaat (basket made of fried noodles filled with dahi, fried potato cubes, pomegranate seeds, and lots of other things that I couldn't identify), aloo tiki with dahi (potato croquette drenched in yogurt), puri with dahi, lumps of lentil dumpling with chickpea topping (my memory on this was fuzzy), and of course a very milky foamy cup of coffee. That's not all. Just before we got back on the bikes, SB bought a few tickets for some more puri. This was a lot of fun. The vendor gave me a little bowl made with leaves. KK told me to hold out the bowl and the vendor put a puri (a deep-fried hallowed pastry, a little like choux puff theoretically) filled with spicy sauce and a very watery sour sauce. I sloshed out some of the sauce before eating the whole thing in one bite as per KK's advice. The minute that I bite into the puri, my mouth was filled with the refreshinly cold sauce. It was unlike anything I tasted before. Gosh, I wish I came here sooner!
Looking at my watch, I had only 10 minutes before the driver would come to pick me up at the hotel. KK assured me that I would make it back okay, he said that we would have a brief stop before returning to the hotel. What?! A stop?! I was absolutely worry at this point but he wouldn't hear a word of it. Turned out the surprise was Fabindia. As a souvenir of my visit to the Pune, the guys wanted to get me a kurta. So there I was, aware of the ticking time, shopping for clothes with the help of a big group of guys. Let me tell you, this was one of my most surreal experience ever but yet, it was such a sweet gesture. After much discussion, I picked a mustard yellow long sleeve kurta. I think it will be very comfortable to wear on humid summer days.
The ride back to the hotel was fast, thanks to KK's driving skills. Everyone at the office showed such generosity in including me as part of the team. I'm really glad to make some friends in the last five weeks.