India Travelogue: Batta Trouble in the Alleys of New Delhi’s Patel Nagar

This post is probably more dramatic than it needs to be. But we did have batta trouble. And it did take place int he alleys of patel nagar. So, there’s nothing else I can say about it, except that we had “batta trouble in the alleys of New Delhi’s Patel Nagar.” Without further adieu:

After sleeping most of the day away, we decided to explore West Patel Nagar a bit. We made a pit stop at an internet cafe via cycle rickshaw. This turned out to be not such a great idea because landmarks whizzed by us. The only thing I remembered was a bar. Sona remembered Sharma Sweets. The internet connection wasn’t the greatest, but it was fast enough for us to check email. We wanted to go for a quick exploration around the area so we wrapped up our email-checking and randomly decided which direction to go in.

We walked by some very tempting food and juice stalls, but we didn’t wind up getting anything. The first couple stalls we went to selling juice had pomegranate juice which I am always down for, but only had mango shake (not juice as Sona would have liked). And then it started getting dark. Our stroll until that point had been for perhaps an hour or so. My big plan was to enjoy my anar juice on the walk back to Munna Mamaji’s flat and let Sona frown at the juice-wala for not having mango juice. This did not happen. My alternative plans of eating ice cream, having an ice-cold Limca and eating gol guppe also did not happen.

It was fairly dark, but the alleys were lit up pretty well, when I casually asked Sona what Munna Mamaji’s address was.
“Bees batta aat,” she replied.
“What?” I said.
“20/8.” Apparently, the “/” symbol is batta.

Nothing looked familliar. We’d passed by so many clothing shops and stalls selling anar juice (but not mango juice) that they all looked the same. The narrow alleys looked the same as did the people who were roaming about. I asked three Sikh shopkeepers in Punjabi where 20/8 would be and was answered in Hindi. Sona asked a couple Aunties which direction to go and finally navigated our way through the jungles of pitch black West Patel Nagar to the 20 block. Yep, there was 20 batta 6, 20 batta 7, and then it skipped to 20 batta 9. After almost 2 hours of walking in the dark, my hunny-bunny decided now would be an appropriate time to double check the address.

“Oops. Mamaji ka address is actually 8 batta 20.”

We briefly thought about getting a rickshaw, but were now determined to walk to 8/20. We trudged our way back to the correct batta aand Munna Mamaji had some very tasty Bheja Masala a.k.a. Brain Masala ready for me to nibble while Sona grimaced across from me.

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