- NL Sena
A trip down memory lane.
Has the coronavirus pandemic disrupted your plan to take that long trip? Is the ongoing lockdown making you crave going off-road? Fret not. If you can’t go to the highway, Rocky, Mayur, Prashant, and Abhinandan — the team behind shows like Highway On My Plate, Vital Stats of India, Jai Hind, and Rocky and Mayur's Food Xpress — will bring the highway to you!
So, here goes the newest offering from Newslaundry: Highway On My Podcast. The creators of the much loved TV travel show revisit their travels across India, sharing stories, anecdotes, trivia, and — for when the roads are open and inviting again — recommendations on food, culture, people, and much more.
In this episode, Rocky, Mayur, Prashant and Abhinandan talk about their journey to God’s own country, Kerala. They kickstart their journey from Thiruvananthapuram where Rocky, Mayur and Abhinandan struggle to keep up with the historical facts regarding Laurie Baker, the architect who designed the Indian Coffee House building. While Abhinandan recollects the restaurant’s communist associations, Rocky and Mayur talk about its history. Thiruvananthapuram also brings back memories of Azad Hotel and the story behind its establishment.
The gang heads towards Aranmula where they witnessed the famous snake boat race which, as they recollect, involved toddy-fuelled participants who sang a particular chant that Mayur eventually sings for our listeners. Mayur also explains the mythological context behind the celebration of Onam. As Rocky, Mayur and Abhinandan reminisce about the large bulls and heavily ornate elephants that are a pivotal part of Onam, we find out that Onam is also Rocky’s favourite festival. Prashant describes a socio-cultural trait that he’s observed in Kerala, which makes it religious in its conduct but modern in its mindset.
Heading out of Aranmula, the group talks about a vegetarian crocodile they met on their journey, and Rocky and Mayur’s “post-modern” rendition of Kathakali while cooking a delicious “must-try fish fry”. Rocky reveals a challenge he accepted at one of the many toddy shops they visited, and how in the pre-pandemic days, they could eat out of random people’s plates without alarming them.
Rocky goes on to talk about the wide variety of seafood that Kottayam has to offer, and how a vegetarian Mayur survived on beetroot salad until they reached Grand Hotel in Kochi. The meal that followed at Grand Hotel ended with Rocky hugging the chief.
Kerala is one of the states that all four have spent the most time, leaving them wondering what to talk about and what to leave out. They discuss toddy shops on isolated islands, a place that offered 250 types of dosas, Onam sadhya, Moplah cuisine at Zain’s Hotel in Kozhikode, and Kerala’s peaceful chaos. All this and more, only on Highway On My Podcast.
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