Alright, this post is inspired by the truly amazing ‘Red Velvet Cake’ , I have had in New Delhi.
Red Velvet Cake is a major weakness of the accidental sufi and no trip to London was complete, since 2004, had I not sunk my teeth into this awesomeness at the Humming Bird Bakery,in Notting Hill.When they opened up several branches, my favorite became the one at South Kensington. (https://hummingbirdbakery.com/our-bakeries/south-kensington/ ) Possibly, because of its proximity to the Imperial College, where my beloved nephew( the only guy who can twist me around his little finger 🙂 ) started studying in 2007. The branch opened round about that time, I think.
Back home,in South Delhi, there is this place called ‘Hauz Khas Village’, which is thronged by the hip crowd and foreign tourists.Kitschy and warm, some of my favorite hangouts in the Village were ‘Imperfecto’ ( for that uber romantic ambiance), ‘Downstairs at Zo” ( the beginning of underground music movement I feel), ‘Elma’s Bakery ( for those delicious scones and Earl Grey milk spread). Till I stumbled upon ‘ Maison Des Desserts” one late sunny afternoon. I fell in love with the delightful cafe. I fell in total lust with their ‘red velvet cake’.
‘Maison Des Desserts’ reminds me of the quaint cafes, bistros, etc of the Left Bank in Paris, specifically, of the Latin Quarter. There is a sort of Boho-chic about the cafe, which overlooks the Hauz Khan ruins. Many a times , I have sat in a corner , listening to Janis Joplin and watching the sunset. The staff is very friendly and just lets you be. The owner is the lovely and charming Shirani Mehta and let me tell you guys, she does have the Midas touch when it comes to the soul-uplifting pavlovas,the Banoffe pie, the New York cheese cake etc. The coffee is honest and strong.Just the way I like it. I always will remember the day I had the red velvet cake there, just as I will always remember the first time I had ice cream in Berthillion (29-31 rue St Louis en l’Ile,Paris). I had opted for the salted caramel ice cream and had followed it up with the pear.Time had sublimed then. It did so once again, far away from Paris, here in Delhi with the pulsating ,rapturous, red, sweet richness of the cake.
‘Maison Des Desserts’ takes me to Paris whenever I am there.Its like a magic carpet! While London remains my favorite city, Paris and the accidental sufi have deep connections. How can that not be ? Its where Jim Morrison rests. Its where I discovered that love is not about the dying of big things. But the little things. Like passing the flower seller without a thought. Like forgetting to charge my Glo-bug toy which soothes me in the darkness.And like not holding my hand while I wept at Morrison’s grave at the Pere Lachaise cemetery, early in the morning in July 2004;it was raining and we were running late for the flight to Zurich. The guy with me ( alright my ex ) was irritated at this madness of mine.I saw him and realized that my soul does not recognize him anymore.
Whoa! I believe love is when you have a really amazing piece of cake, like the red velvet cake at’ Maison Des Desserts’ and it’s the very last piece, but you let him/her have it. Try it out gals and guys.And do report back. Have you found your true love? 🙂 The accidental sufi hasn’t as yet mustered the courage to take the test 😀
A word I would like to leave you with. ‘Rapture’. Its a favorite word of the accidental sufi. Nabokov says “Let all of life be an unfettered howl. Like the crowd greeting the gladiator. Don’t stop to think, don’t interrupt the scream, exhale, release life’s rapture “.
(Address: Maison Des Desserts,T 49,BS,Hauz Khas Village, New Delhi. #