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MCG - SCG Yatra, Day 51

Updated: Jan 4, 2023

Canterbury - Entertainment Quarter


After a sound sleep, I woke up just before the alarm went off, had a shower and woke up Shekhar. The hosts were well awake and had already placed tea and snacks on the table. They had also packed generous lunch for us. We got ready, had a cuppa and left for Canterbury. We both knew it was going to be a long drive because of the sheer distance of 50-55 Kms from Glenmore Park. We didn’t take the motorway but drove via A9 and then via Camden Valley Hwy through Liverpool and A34. On arrival on Wonga Road, I touched my forehead to the concrete footpath and started walking towards our destination.



This two-and-a-half-hour walk took us though a number of suburbs including Newtown that in contrast to its name is home to beautiful old buildings. I thought Newtown would be a new town living up to its name. No, not at all. Going by the old structures visible from the main road (A34), I thought, it ought to be called “Old Town”. Getting close to the city, we walked past the prestigious University of Sydney and turned right into Cleveland Street. After almost three hours, we crossed the ANZAC Parade and finally arrived at the Entertainment Quarter. Shekhar had parked the van in a 4-hour free parking section. We walked around the Entertainment Quarter and had coffee at one of the cafés that was full of people. Either it was a good café or there was nothing else open. I wasn’t sure which of the two reasons could apply in this case.



I texted my friend Sukhi that we would reach his place 12:30ish. Before leaving the city area, we wanted to check with the Meriton Suites, where we would be staying tomorrow night, the possibility of parking the van. There was a possibility of parking a high van but the space could not be booked in advance. “You have to ring up before coming here and we will let you know if space is available or not,” we were told.



Sukhi extended a warm welcome when we got there. We met his wife Sharan and the two sons Sameer the elder one and Sunil the younger one. We had a cup of Indian tea. I had already advised Sukhi of the packed food we were carrying. We all had mixed lunch that of Sukhi’s cooking and Raman’s. Everyone enjoyed the variety of food and the yummy taste. Subsequently, Shekhar and I went upstairs for a quick power nap.



I had a shower and came to the kitchen area. Sukhi told me that they had invited some friends over for dinner tonight. We had some coffee in the afternoon with some snacks. Both Sameer and Sunil as well as their parents were well informed of global political affairs and the current issues the world was facing. I was pleasantly surprised to note the level of awareness of these two young men had. With the versatility of knowledge and an open mind, these youngsters would go a long way in life. We asked Sukhi and his family to come outside to take photos with the van that was parked on the street. They were happy to oblige. We took some photos with the family. We were pleased to learn that Sunil, the younger of the two boys was training to become a professional photographer.



The guests arrived around 7:00 PM. Ashok and his wife Padmini (Mini to close friends) are in their early 70s. Originally from India, they have lived in Australia for a long time. They have lived through many social, economic and legal changes over the years. Ashok ji spoke fluent Hindi and Punjabi. He had a wealth of knowledge and was kind enough to share this treasure with everyone. The dinner was a real feast. It was a maharaja style dinner. Everyone enjoyed the last grain of the urd daal mixed with kidney beans. It was cooked to perfection using the traditional way on a slow cooker. The jeera rice, the chickpeas, the spinach-paneer mix, the yoghurt dish and the variety of rotis, all were so yummy. The stories of his first-hand experiences shared by Ashok ji was a real bonus. The dessert of sevian (vermicelli cooked in milk) was the icing on the cake. It was well cooked perhaps again on a slow cooker and not overly sweet as usually the case is with Indian sweets being full of sugar. We would like to acknowledge the generous hospitality of Sukhi and his family. Thanks very much Sukhi, Sharan, Sameer and Sunil. You guys are really amazing. A big Thank You!






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