The definitive guide to South Asian lingo
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Noun. November 14, 2011, Word of the Day


Iconic chain of fast food restaurants in Delhi, much loved in the 80's and 90's before Indians had ever seen the likes of KFC's, McD's, Dominoes or Pizza Hut. This was the only place that a middle class family could come and enjoy a good, reasonably priced pizza or as it was known then, pijja. Their burgers were pretty good too, all juicy and big and with fat tomato slices. Though it has gone downhill in terms of popualrity and affordability in the last ten years or so, people still remember it's heyday with fondness.

Their signature items included many crowd favourites such as the spicy keema pizza, breaded mutton chops with slices of french loaf, banana split sundae, milkshakes and hot chocolate fudge served in a glass beer mug with a loooooong, thin spoon to scoop out the hot sauce. Nirula's was also popular for their custom made children's birthday cakes, and many a little tyke felt proud to have a one of a kind cake on his/her budday (I had cat shape cake on my 5th budday and train shape cake on my 7th budday from Nirula's. Very nice it was, and my friends were full J)

Unlike some other fast food places today, Nirula's was authentically kid friendly. No clowns in yellow clothes chased you and made you cry back then. Once a year in April, at the end of the academic school year in Delhi, all outlets would offer a free 3-scoop sundae (full choice of flavours was given) to all children who got A's in every subject in the final exams. There was nothing better than getting a glowing report card full of A's at the end-of year PTA, and having your happy parents take you to Nirula's where all children looked with great respect at the one who got the free ice-cream. The waiters also used to stamp the report card with the Nirula's stamp so you could go meet your friends and make them even more J with stories of how good the sundae was. (I still have my stamped report cards, carefully preserved. Such was the joy and pride I tell you) Of course, they also did it because they didn't want the same kid getting free stuff more than once.

Nirula's also printed out brightly coloured flyers of all it's ice cream flavours on a monthly basis, for each month heralded the introduction of yet another flavour. That is why kids who grew up on such fare were hardly impressed when Baskin Robbins came along. They don't even change flavours every month, they all thought, then what's so great.

What was smart about the Nirula's outlets was that a few were opened close to leading movie theatres in the day, ensuring some serious business for the brand. eg, the one next to Priya cinema, and the one underneath Chanakyapuri theatre. Sunday evenings saw families thronging to the theatres, and after the movie the entire multitude would descend onto Nirula's, stuff their faces and then roll home.

All in all, Nirula's was the place where many happy memories were made. *senti music in background*


*Bratty kid has just been spanked for breaking mother's favourite crystal bowl. Mother-fother are feeling bad seeing his sorrowful face. They do some khus-puss with each other, and then ... *

Mother, kindly : Beta, you want to go to Nirula's? We'll have your favourite mutton chops.

Bratty kid, overcome with happiness, forgets spanking and says : " Haaaaaaaaaaaan!!! Chalo chalo"

Added 2011-10-14 by Surdie Birdie





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