I am not a foodie and I am no expert on Indian street food but I know enough to know that if you’re going to live (or visit) Mumbai you must know what Panipuri is and you must try it at least once. My first Panipuri experience of note occurred this past weekend thanks to our fellow Fellow Sriya Srikrishnan – Sriya is in town visiting her family and as a local knew right where to take us. As an aside having a local around is sort of like magic – she’s also shown us where to find bangles, Diwali decorations, and brought us home to meet her folks. Back to the Panipuri – We went to Elco Market on Hill Road in Bandra. Which I learned started as one man and a food cart and has now grown to be three stories of yumminess. Now here’s how it works: You buy ticket (Rs. 50 for a plate of 6 – which according to locals is a total rip off but I truly enjoyed it and didn’t get sick which is worth way more than Rs. 50!). You take your ticket and que up. When you get to the front of the line the madness begins. The Panipuri making man starts with your first one – You’re given a small dish which holds one (now keep in mind 6 are coming) what this means is you need to eat the one on your plate (in one bite) before the next one arrives. I had to tag out after four but fortunately for me one of my fellow Fellows is a 21 year old man so when it comes to eating extra food he can always step in. So what is Panipuri – aside from answering “yummy” I wasn’t entirely sure ether so in comes Wikipedia to save the day. Moral of the story is this – when you come to Mumbai be sure to sample the Panipuri – be safe and be careful about where you choose to eat it but I can tell you in advance you’re going to enjoy it!
Gayatri Eassey is committed to making an impact and a difference in her community both in the United States and in India, both personally and professionally. She is passionate about education, democracy and women's empowerment. She enjoys traveling, taking pictures and spending time with friends and family. She is a dedicated advocate for educational equity and has worked for The College Success Foundation and as Associate Director for External Affairs for Seattle University's Career Services Office. She is the former Interim Executive Director for Career Services at Seattle University. Prior to working at Seattle University she served as Executive Director of City Year Seattle, and as special assistant for boards and commissions in the Office of Washington State Governor Christine Gregoire. She spent three years on the Seattle Community College Board of Trustees. She was the co-founder of the YWCA's Gen-Rising Committee, committed to engaging more young people in the critical work of the YWCA. Her additional experience includes work as a trainer for the National Democratic Institute in Amman, Jordan, preparing women to run for elective office. She has also served as political director for the Washington State Democrats. She recently completed a fellowship with the National Urban Fellows, America's Leaders of Change. She is a former board member for the Center for Women and Democracy, the Institute for a Democratic Future, and the Seattle Chamber of Commerce Young Professional Network. She was the Statewide President of the Young Democrats of Washington and a Fellow with the World Affairs Council of Seattle. She earned her MBA in 2012 and hopes to align her government and nonprofit background with her business education to support public private partnerships which provide mutual benefit and strengthen communities.