Babu-da

Shiva Ji Marg

Shivathan (Babu-da) is an extremely jovial person and a conversationalist. There is always a smile on his face. He sells chopsvegetable, egg and fish and also fish cutlets that are famous across town. He relates—“We are from Bengal. My father had started working when he was barely 7-8 years old. Even so, we never had enough money for me to go to school. When he grew up a little, he found work as a cook in Kolkata. My sister’s husband was working as a goldsmith here in Lucknow. When I grew up a bit, he called me over to find work. It has been about 40 years since then. In Kolkata, we address everyone as ‘dada’—so I used to call men I met in Lucknow dada too. Soon, they started calling me Babu-da as well. I used to cook for 4-5 people during festivals and was praised a great deal for my skills. People who live here helped and encouraged me to go into business. It is because of them that I am so well-known in Lucknow. Many Bengali emigres are settled in this area, who like to sample food cooked in the Bengali way at my cart.

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