It is good fortune to chance upon an old but thriving place, especially when it is tucked away in a hyperactive metropolis where everyone is so obsessed with the new that it becomes tough for establishments to survive for too long.
Bihari Bhujiya Wala is a landmark shop in Gurugram’s Sadar Bazaar that makes several salty and sweet savouries. These namkeens, bhujiyas, mathris and biscuits are available in various permutations and combinations of fried fritters, nuts, pulses and spices. The shop is like a huge warehouse crammed with snacks piled up into soaring mounds, like heaps of gold coins that you would imagine in the treasure cave in Ali Baba’s story. BBW, as the shop is referred to by locals, is one of the oldest surviving shops in the Millennium City. It was founded in 1932. “My grandfather Lala Bihari Lal established it,” says Raju Goyal, perched in a little air-conditioned glass-walled alcove tucked away in one corner of the store. Although it has only one outlet, the shop has the air of a professionally run retail chain. Expect no muggy claustrophobia of a typical bazaar store.
No flies, no filth; and the staff are looking smart in red shirts.
A clerk behind the counter talks of having more than 100 types of products. The claim seems believable.
There are two kinds of namak pare (plain, masala), two versions of tosha (cheeni, gur) three types of aloo bhujiya (pudina, mirchi, plain)… the list can fill up the entire page. Between us, you can have a filling breakfast just by tasting all the finger-food on sale. And don’t forget to take a sneak peek at the owner’s small cabin. It has the black-andwhite portrait of the late Lala Bihari Lal, BBW’s founder.
The shop is open daily from 9am to 9pm.