Today is Mahastami, and Guwahati is transformed into a bride-like figure, all bejeweled and glowing with beauty and spirit. But Guwahatians are gorging Rs 25 crores a day in restaurants of the city these days.
Guwahati has about 6000 restaurants and in each of them serpentine queues are seen. From five stars to the street foods, Guwahatians are gorging at everything and till midnight there are traffics jams near the well known take aways of GS Road.
“We did good business in the last two days. Average is around Rs 1,26,000 per day” said a well known restaurant of Rajgarh, area of the city, the epientre of the food business having the maximum concentration in the entire North East India.
Rajgarh, GS road, Ganeshguri, Highway, Panbazar you name it, there are not one seat available and majority of them are having special Puja menus, which are less varieties but at last 15% higher prices. The Swiggy and Uber East are also doing good business but they are comparatively less as Guwahatians are coming out these days.
So a rough conservative estimate clearly shows that each day Guwahati is devouring Rs 25 crores of food , a good business by any standard.
Guwahatians are in a mood to enjoy. The day-to-day constraints of life are forgotten in an effort to put on a fantastic show for its millions. From rutted roads to broken pavements, spring the most fabulous, shimmering pandals, made from every conceivable (often recycled) material. The clay images of goddess Durga and her family, made by a community of sublime craftsmen .
However, besides the twinkling streets and larger-than-life pandals, another reason why Puja lovers from far and wide flock to the marvel that is Guwahati at puja time is its sumptuous food.
During Durga Puja, the city is buzzing with street food vendors offering piping hot food and the sound of customers crunching on them. Flanking the pavements are dinky street side stalls selling everything from, tangy, spicy and crispy Jhalmuri to mouth-watering puchka, savoury bombs of crispy semolina filled with mashed potato, chickpeas, tamarind paste and a dusting of chaat masala.
These days, Guwahati’s 6000 odd restaurants are spreading out their menus and turned the streets into, the undisputed street food capital. There is an abundance of street food available.
With no rain in sight and puja hoppers going around merrily, the restaurants of Guwahati are expected to cross even Rs 120 crores as there is an extended weekend after Puja and till Sunday evening this festivity would on.