At exactly 1 o’clock on any given Wednesday, Nimish Gupta, 49, a techie, could be discovered at a restaurant, joined by his longstanding lunch companions — the Koramangala Lunch Group. Whereas their title suggests Koramangala as their assembly place, the group has shifted to an Andhra restaurant in HSR Format as a result of some members’ relocation. Nimish clarifies, “Since a couple of members moved out, we determined that each first Wednesday of the month we’ll attempt a restaurant in HSR Format.”
Nimish and Devesh Agarwal, 59, co-founded the group seven years in the past. Reflecting on their preliminary bond, Devesh shares, “Nimish and I grew to become mates by our shared ardour for aviation. He used to regale me with tales of his culinary exploits, so I recommended we attempt these dishes collectively a minimum of as soon as per week.”
Recognising the constraints of their busy schedules, Nimish acknowledges, “Mondays and Tuesdays are at all times chaotic, and weekends are reserved for household and different commitments. We realised Wednesday was the right compromise, permitting us to assemble for lunch.” Initially comprising simply two members, the Koramangala Lunch Group has expanded to incorporate 11 energetic members on WhatsApp.
The group convenes each Wednesday at a restaurant, with the chosen venue decided by a majority vote among the many members. Firstly of every month, members can submit their suggestions, shaping upcoming culinary adventures. The primary week of each month sees the group venturing to an institution in HSR Format, whereas the remaining weeks stay devoted to Koramangala.
“We discuss with our HSR go to as our ‘outstation’ expertise,” chuckles Vivek Vaid, a member for the previous 5 years. “If I have been eating alone, I’d miss out on the big selection of starters, essential programs, and desserts. Nonetheless, with a big group, we are able to pattern a lot of the menu, guaranteeing nothing goes to waste,” he explains.
To take care of the group’s vitality and dedication, a coverage is in place for constant absenteeism from Wednesday lunches. People lacking greater than two consecutive weeks are faraway from the group. Whereas members are inspired to deliver alongside mates, aspiring new members should display their dedication by attending three consecutive meals earlier than changing into official lunch group members.
Priyanka Jagathy, a gaggle member and residential chef, clarifies, “Attending a minimum of three meals permits us to evaluate compatibility, gauge their vibe, and guarantee their dedication as common members.”
All through the years, the group has grown nearer. “The key sauce is unquestionably the chums we’ve made alongside the best way. I wouldn’t miss my Wednesday lunches for something. It’s my weekly rendezvous with mates,” reveals Jaideep Gandhi.
For as they collect every week, they display that true success lies not simply in devouring good meals, but additionally in savouring the connections they’ve cast — a feast that feeds each the stomach and the soul.
Becoming a member of Jaideep for Wednesday lunches, Eeshita Desai, his spouse, displays on her transition from Gujarat to Bengaluru in 2020. “Arriving with none mates, this group holds a particular place in my coronary heart. I really treasure the friendships I’ve fashioned right here. Even within the darkest hours, I do know I can depend on them for help,” she says.
Amidst the lunch gathering, an animated dialogue unfolds, led by Paul Abraham, a 44-year-old multilinguist fluent in seven languages. Partaking along with his fellow members, they delve deep into charming topics encompassing the origins of the fish, the varied culinary traditions, and the putting resemblances discovered within the flavours of Andhra delicacies. This convivial ritual has turn into a cherished a part of his life.
With an unwavering ardour for gastronomy, Paul discovers on this group a harmonious convergence of kindred spirits who share his profound appreciation for the artwork of meals. “Right here, we collect as fellow fans, participating in stimulating discussions round cuisines and palates,” he shares.
But, the connections fashioned transcend the confines of culinary discourse. “We’ve got seamlessly built-in into each other’s lives, marking our presence in household gatherings and vital milestones. Via life’s highs and lows, we stand collectively as a steadfast help system,” he shares.
When the pandemic struck and the lockdown was imposed, bodily conferences grew to become unattainable for the group. Nonetheless, they tailored by gathering just about. Nadir Aslam, 42, who owns a retailer in Brigade Street, discovered himself craving for the companionship of his mates when the lockdown commenced. “ I proposed why don’t we do the lunch on video name and that’s how we by no means broke our streak of assembly for Wednesday lunch,” he says. Regardless of the space from Koramangala to his retailer, Nadir diligently takes a break each Wednesday to be there with the lunch group.
Punctual members of the group, arriving exactly at 1 pm, waste no time in ordering their desired starters and diving proper in. “In terms of meals, we begin on time. Others could be part of us later, however we base our orders on one of the best suggestions from the restaurant workers or widespread dishes,” explains Nimish.
At Andhra Vilas in HSR Format, a cornucopia of flavours awaits because the group indulges of their chosen dishes: two egg velluli karam, chilli rooster Andhra type, Nellore Mutton Biriyani, ullavachari paneer biriyani, two fish roast Andhra particular, two prawns fry, ullavachari rooster biriyani, mutton keema fry, three rooster dry, three mutton fry, seven Andhra meals, and 10 lime sodas. Round ₹7,470 later, a snapshot captures the culinary conquest, becoming a member of the visible feast of their lunchtime chronicles in a Google drive.
Nimish eagerly recommends the ullavachari dish to those that arrived later, insisting, “The Ullavachari is really distinctive, so make sure to attempt it.” Some members patiently wait, sampling the dishes ordered by their fellow diners earlier than deciding on their very own. Quickly, the lunch desk reaches full capability as eight people collect round, merging two separate eating tables.
“Three members couldn’t make it this time, however that’s alright. We’ll meet up with them subsequent week,” remarks Devesh. “That’s the great thing about our group — our selections are democratic, and we genuinely take pleasure in one another’s firm. We eagerly anticipate our Wednesday lunches, which is probably why we’ve remained energetic for seven years,” he provides.
Because the lunch attracts to a detailed, and the conversations step by step calm down, there’s a lingering sense of success among the many members. Within the midst of their gastronomic adventures and shared laughter, one thing deeper has been woven into the material of their friendship.
Inside their Wednesday rendezvous, they not solely savour the flavours of various cuisines but additionally the zestful discourse on meals, kinship, passion, and existence itself. In a bustling metropolis that usually leaves one adrift within the whirlpool of monotonous routines, this group has uncloaked the efficiency of collective sustenance — the place breaking bread turns into the very architect of bridging souls, leaving no crumb of doubt of their hearts.
With the invoice settled, Nimish springs up, prompting the group to huddle and enterprise exterior for his or her customary photograph session. It has turn into a ritual, etched into their seven-year custom.
And so, plates emptied and hearts brimming, they bid farewell till their subsequent flavourful encounter. On this culinary story, they’ve really found the recipe for a wealthy life—a beneficiant portion of laughter, a contact of friendship, and a hearty dollop of togetherness. Bon appétit, certainly!