Monday, February 18, 2013


We have virtually grown up and lived most of our lives in Doon - from the age of three to 24 and then have gone back several times a year because the parental house is in Clement Town. The plural WE denotes contributions by yours truly and my not-so-little-anymore niece Karuna Dayal -

1. You have something or the other to do with Ruskin Bond, Victor Banerjee, Nayantara Sahgal et. al.

2. In spite of making a career killing elsewhere, you have still done your B.Ed in those decisive years when you didn't know what to get into. Plus you must have also sat for those CPMT exams..........

3. Number One and Count Down are places where you first started going out to, as a young teenager, and enjoyed your first espresso, pizza, burgers, Chinese food etc.

4. Stick jaws and plum cakes are your favourite sweet things and gift ideas to bring back to people.

5. You are so proud of the fact that 45 minutes out of Doon in ANY direction gets you to a scenic spot.

6. You have often trekked to Muss. or gone on day visits on many a weekend.

7. Walking on the Mall in Muss., leafing through new arrivals at the Book stores next to Chic Chocolate and enjoying chocolate softie and cheese buns at Chic Chocolate were your idea of up market fun.

8. You have gone to Tibetan Market again and again to beef up your wardrobe with the replicas of stuff popular on the international fashion scene - scarves, jackets, hep T-shirts with pictures of Rock stars, belts, socks, shoes.............

9. You hated the Welhamites because you were from CJM and they seemed more elitist or had an ongoing tussle with you on YOUR brother school - St. Joseph's.

10. A family dinner outside meant at places like Kwality, Madhuban and Moti Mahal...........

11. YETI was the hallmark for Chinese food in the Valley for decades.

12. If it is Chaat and Aloo tikkis you craved for then the place to go to, ALWAYS, was Chaat wali gali, diagonally opposite Gaylord's.

13. You always caught the nicest of Hollywood flicks in CAPRI or the morning shows in Prabhat - Tootsie, Rambo, Against All Odds, Lonely Lady (yes that Harold Robbins semi-porn too), Omen series, Nightmare on Elm Street, Heavenly Bodies (which the local louts thought was a blue film and sadly for them turned out to be a dance flick)............

14. Doon is famous for a lot of its localities' names ending with the famous 'walla' word like Dalanwala, Doiwala, Bharuwala, Beriwala, Lachiwala, Bullanwala, Harrawala, Teliwala, Banjarawala, Jogiwala, Mohabbewalla, Morrawalla and the list goes on and on...

15. Visits to FRI, IMA, Wildlife Institute of India was a moment of honour for school children though most of it was for fun and it is only now that we realise that we have these premier institutions in Doon.

16. You have always been proud of all the ranges of Rajaji National Park and have gone there often for excursion, picnics, safaris etc.

17. Having moved out of Doon and into flats for professional reasons, you have always been slightly snooty of the fact that you have a sprawling bungalow you can boast of, back in Doon.

18. Having a mini orchard of guava, papaya, litchi, plum, chakotra, mangoes and pear trees, in your backyard, is commonplace for you.

19. You MUST have witnessed the POP - Passing out Parade at IMA at some point or the other.

20. Your idea of fun and sports has included Horse Riding, Swimming, Lawn Tennis and Table Tennis.

21. In certain years, you have enjoyed snowfall in Muss and the surrounding hills and heard from the older generation of the time when it used to snow in Doon.

22. You have cycled to school and bicycle has been your mode of transport for several of your growing up years.

23. You've been taken to Sahastradhara by your family either for family picnics or sulphur cleansing rituals.

24. Willy nilly and regardless of your religious non-inclinations you have been on spiritual treks up the various hill peaks to all the Devi Dhams - Surkhanda, Santala et. al.

25. On purchase of any new vehicle - Luna, Scooter, Bike, Car, you absolutely have gone to Daat Kali for the mandatory puja and breaking of the coconut in front of your vehicle.

26. Your idea of pure fun and dare devillery has stemmed out of bike rides through the Daat Kali tunnel.

27. You've taken part in several Dance Competitions held at St. Thomas, Hotel Aketa and that Hotel near MKP whose name escapes me at the moment.

28. Having done your schooling from Doon, you've most often than not graduated from MKP, DAV, DBS before moving onto greener pastures.

29. You thought that the Bun Samosa at the chai-ki-dukaan on DBS Chowk was unbeatable and it WAS.

30. You knew that the place to go to for keema samosas was NANNY's and no other.

31. If you studied in MKP then you detested its real name that MKP expanded into and you never ever referred to it by the full name.

32. The place to get good English music was always Pratap's on Rajpur Road.

33. Dance parties at your home or your friends' places was your idea of weekend fun and New Year's Eve always meant party hopping.

34. As girls, you always gazed at in fascination and then jeered at the Gentleman Cadets (GCs).

35. As a true Doonite, you have taken part in some kind of Environment Awareness / Conservation Drive and sat at protests at Mohund.

36. You have been excited about sharing a cup of milk tea made with goat's milk while sitting in the clusters of those friendly Gujjars.

37. You have shed copious tears at the loss of Kumar Sweets Landmark at Clock Tower. The new location just doesn't cut the same deal.

38. You have bought some neat antiques from Dewan's at Rajpur Road or those two shops on Rajpur Road close to the Rajpur / Muss Crossroad.

39. You began going on adventure drives on the Bypass between Clement Town and the City only to find it now even busier than the main road.

40. If you are an old Doon loyalist like me then you still detest the upcoming mall, cineplex culture in Doon and pine for the good old times.

41. Picking up and snacking on those rich cheesy buns and local, spicy wafers at Ellora's is an absolute must. Yep, also the rusks (round ones) and toffees.

42. Even today, you have a sense of supercilious air about yourself when impressing upon the Spouse and friends that you are from Doon.

43. You are so proud of the fact that you can cover five banks, one office and shopping all in half a day and still have time and energy for an evening stroll.

44. You run to Dhanaulti every time the weatherman forecasts a snowfall in the area and make do with frost on the grass on most occasions.

45. You love exchanging pleasantries with the Tibetans settled so well and comfortably in the Tibetan colonies off Clement Town and Rajpur.

46. You cry over the loss of space on the Rajpur Road, those long drives, those quiet times with hardly any crowd and wonder aloud as to where that large, seemingly unending length of road has disappeared.

47. You exchange notes with friends and their parents about what's growing in their garden, check out their flower beds and pick up cuttings of those that can be transplanted.

48. You hate the fact that you can no longer see the Muss and Chamba hills from your front lawns and many mornings are spent ruing about the loss of atmosphere and the ugly gain of uglier buildings in the vicinity.

49. There are still some shopkeepers you address as Uncle and who remember the time when you trooped into their shops as a child.

50. There is a sense of immediate affinity you feel with anyone who tells you they have lived or studied in Doon.

51. You are so proud of that Beatle classic ' Dehradun.' -

While the above are our own, here follow some other interesting ones posted on the Facebook Group - You know you're from Dehra Dun if..., created by Kamayani Sharma (Fergusson College) and managed by Nakul Saxena (India). Their list is -

1. You and your gang from the city refer to it as Doon

2. You're still unsure of the spelling of the damn place after having spent almost all your life it Dehradun? Dehradoon? Dehra Dun or Dehra Doon????

3. Telling people where you're from elicits heavy sighs and an expression of envy, usually followed by them saying, "It must be very green and beautiful na?"

4. After the aforementioned question, you struggle inwardly about whether to keep up the illusion of Dehradun as a cosy, idyllic hill station that has been perpetuated since 1923 or disabuse them of the notion and tell them exactly how populated, polluted and criminal it has become.

5. You're always asked whether you went to Doon School or Welhams (even though you haven't)

6. People squint their eyes and mumble a sentence with the word Mussoorie in it right after you tell them you're from Dehradun

7. You have gone to Saluja's or Universal's right after report card day and the blokes at the counter handed you a pre-packed set of textbooks, notebooks and a plastic box of crayons

8. You and your friends have seen English films dubbed in Hindi at Prabhat, Krishna Palace or Natraj (Makdimaanav, Loha, Sitara Jung: Humshaklon ka Hamla etc. etc.) and have heard horror stories about what seedy places Chhayadeep and Payal are.

9. You have defended your school's honour to the death at tuitions when people from other schools ganged up against you.

10. You know what BTM (Behenji Turned Mod) means

11. Momo has to be had every week from whichever street stall you can find
12. You've been illegally manouvering a two-wheeler around town since you hit double digits

13. You don the helmet only when kindly autowalahs warn you that 'aage polees hai'

14. Flapping your hand for vikrams and then clambering onto them, squeezing into the tiny space next to an obese woman or a lecherous oik, has been done ad nauseum by you

15. You do the following at least 3 times a week: flag down an auto, tell him where you wanna go, have him quote an exorbitant price (coz naturally, there's no meter), try and negotiate, have him shake his head sullenly, pretend to walk away and have him call you back frantically as he agrees to meet your price halfway. Rinse, repeat.
16. Rajpur Road and Astley Hall were the cool hangouts for you

17. You've seen Gandhi Park smack in the middle of the city for years but have never bothered to go
18. You were sad when Kwality Restaurant closed down in 2008

19. In the pre-Pizza Hut/McDonald's days, you had birthday treats at Bossa Nova or Countdown or Udipi

20. You get your household sweets from Gupta's, Kumar's or Bengali Sweet Shop

21. You have been hit on by RIMC cadets

22. When references to the IMA, Ordnance Factory, Survey of India, Wadia Institute, Wildlife Institute and the FRI invariably crop up in textbooks, everyone in the class gives each other retarded smiles.

23. You have sat next to/shopped with/eaten alongside/leched at Tibetan Buddhist monks (or perhaps are one, although the chances of that are quite low,what with all the 'abstinence from worldly matters' thingy) and sneaked a peek at their shiny sneakers peeping out from beneath their maroon robes.

24. You manage to keep tab on what everyone else from Doon is up to and can be counted on to tell anyone about anyone else (specifically city/college/current lover) at any given point of time
25. All said and done, you LOVE GOING HOME AND BEING THERE, flaws and all!

And some more by popular demand :-
1. If you have gobbled down bun tikkis from the stall at Dwarka Store

2.You have passed weirdass billboards advertising DJ Melodica
3. From Pulkit Sharma -You have passed Digvijay Cinema next to Ghanta Ghar and pretended not to notice it if you were with adults (coz it's X-rated) and cackled at the classics being shown there if you were with friends. Pour exemple: 'Maalish Waali', 'Chulbuli Babie', 'Maut Ka Nanga Naach', 'Din Mein Sister, Raat Mein Bistar', 'Din Mein Bhaiya, Raat Mein Sainya' etc. etc.
Submitted by Nakul Saxena :-

1. Your school organised an annual trip to Lachchiwala,called it a picnic........And on reaching there you found out that four other schools had the same recipe for fun

2. You proceeded into the Paltan Bazaar only after religiously tasting the Gaylord softy....and a few more steps led you to the aroma of sambhar emanating from the Laxmi Restaurant

3. Your guests and visitors (from outta town) waited eagerly for it to get dark so that they could see the twinkling lights of Mussoorie from your terrace

4. You have spent half of your lifetime in a traffic jam on Chakrata Road.

5. Despite being one of the most important landmarks,you never cared what the clock atop Ghanta Ghar read.

6. You believe the most torturous place on the planet is the 50 odd meter stretch through Machchi Bazaar and you became capable of holding your breath in for record-breaking stretches of time as you wound your way through it

7.You have seen stuff like 'Sirf Tum', 'Dekho Magar Pyaar Se', 'Buri Nazar Waale Tera Muh Kaala' (replete with black faced, red tongued matka thing painted on) behind vikrams along with Nirvick Chhajta's worthy additions:'Rab ne likhi saddi kismat, kachi pencil naal';
'Main bade hoke truck banuga' (that one's behind autos);
'Zakhmi Parinda';
'Malik di gaddi, driver da pasina, chalti hai road pe , banke HASEENA'

8.The local ice creams of choice were Rita, Jolly, Joy, Tivoli and Mebrose...and you'd see their carts being wheeled around all the time
Courtesy Lakaki Pant:

1. While coming from Delhi or Lacchiwala, you always spot hundreds of monkey sitting alongside the road

2. Before the opening of all the major brands in Doon, shopping meant going to Paltan Bazaar

3. You have often had hawkers coming to your doorstep to sell flower pots

4.You have often done a 'tripling' or even a foursome on a two wheeler and no one seems to think it's something out of the ordinary
Rakesh Bhatia's insight:

1.You have scrolled down on your scooter/bike/Hero Puch from Rajpur to atleast Astley hall hundreds of time

2. You like Kumar ki Kulfi and Kotwali ke saamne ke Gulab jamun

3.Have spent lot of time at Capri shopping center surfing internet during the initial days of cyber cafes.
4.Guchupani was one of the favorite hangouts

5.You like Orient ka paan

6. If you remember some of the best hotels as Hotel Nidhi and Shahenshah (Now Great Value)