Childhood Memories: Going for an Indian in Lewisham

A post dedicated to my family and my friends who grew up in Lee and all those with fond memories of The Curry Garden:

When I was a child in London one of my family’s weekend rituals was to go out for curry at our local Indian restaurant (which, like most Indian restaurants in London, was actually Bangladeshi). We feasted on bright red chicken tikka masala, naan and kulfi amid the plastic flowers, flock wallpaper and lurid photo prints of waterfalls and beaches. I can safely say that the food was absolutely nothing like what you would find in the Subcontinent and my Indian/Pakistani/Nepali friends would be utterly horrified if I ever took them to eat there. The restaurant played the same cassette of instrumental versions of  bollywood songs  for the whole ten-year time period in which we used to eat there, including this one from the 1990’s movie ‘Main Anari Tu Kiladi’:

I was in a hotel in the Tarai recently, which incidentally very much resembled my local Indian restaurant in Lewisham (looking something like your gran’s-living-room-circa-1970-meets-the set of Mughal-e-Azaam) when I turned on the tv, and what should I hear but ‘Chura ke Dil Mera’ which I must have heard dozens of times as a kid. It took me right back those childhood curry outings in Southeast London. By the way, the videoclip is a must-watch for Shilpa Shetty’s kitsch outfits and truly horrible dance moves.

I think I will have to make an outing to the Curry Garden when I’m back in London.


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