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Oct 2, 2006 11:48 AM

a starting point for all you mumbai visitors

busybee was a parsi journalist who taught all of us about the incredible variety of eating out to be had in bombay. please understand that most of us bombayites - even to this day - are very ignorant of food outside our own community. all this is inevitably changing, but to give you an idea of how bad things were, here's a popular joke from the '90's:

"so there's this sikh truck driver who decides that after all those years of dhabha eating, he may as well branch out and experiment a little. so he goes to this gujju thali place. sure enough, the waiter comes over with the thali and empty katoris, which some other waiter proceeds to fill. with increasing bewilderment, our sikh watches all this. he then summons the head waiter over and growls: listen pal, i said i was hungry, not thirsty."

to read busybee is to take a step backwards from globalization and enter a world where it was relatively rare to see a maharastrian brahmin scarfing down payas in mohammed ali road. but even today busybee remains an excellent source for understanding how other communities go about their eating.


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  1. This busybee stuff is terrific!- do you know of other people like this writing on the food in other parts of India??

    1 Reply
    1. re: jen kalb

      sadly, busybee - or behram contractor, to give him his real name - was unique. there hasn't even been anyone even in bombay who took up his mantle since he died (2001). he had an encyclopaedic knowledge of the best places to eat in mumbai - and as these were often in red light areas, they weren't the common provenance of good college going boys.

    2. Awesome site! Definately one to bookmark.


      1. Sadly this page has now been taken down. Maybe because of copyright enforcement by the Afternoon Despatch and Courier. In fact, this site had some better content than the so-called official site :

        1. that is a bummer, but thanks for putting up an alternative.

          yours in rajneesh (grin)


          1 Reply
          1. re: howler

            Ah, you caught the Rajneesh connection !

            Went for some courses to their Ashram, many moons ago ....