Possibly, they are the most secular place in India!
We all have seen it. Our dhabhas on the roadside are the colourful places. Whether it is food or smells or the people, it is a mini India out there. We have had best of the food in some of the nondescript road side dhabhas. We can recount best Alu Parotas we had on the way to Pandharpur from Sangli, tasty rice kheer in a dhabha in Chattisgarh, softest of phulkas in dhabhas of UP, crisp and khadak rotis with dal in Punjab………the list go on.
On our way from Jammu to Dharamshala, we stopped at Milan Dhabha, one of the oldest dhabha near Madhopur bridge as one cross Himachal Pradesh and enter Punjab. I remember this Dhabha which we used to frequent as bachelors when i was posted in Madhopur in eighties during my first posting in Army.
We stopped over there for a cup of tea. It was 7.30 in the morning and preparations were on for breakfast which is traditionally parotas with Curds and Pickle. We were in for surprise when we ordered. Surjit, the man asked whether we want have buttered toast along with chai. Why not and he gives us eight slices of toast – roasted in tandoor – with dollops of butter smeared. It was yummy and perfect combination with typical punjabi chai – the best we have had on this trip.
When we were looking around, we noticed the pictures on the wall. All gods were there and it is not unusual to see such pictures of gods of all religions in our dhabhas.