Down The Sweet Alley

While walking down the streets of Shimla, you see two types of thoroughfares. One comprises the paved lanes of Mall Road, lined by branded stores and restaurants, leading up to the Church. Walking through this area takes us back decades and across continents, being sprinkled with European historical features. Secondly, there are the lower markets of Shimla. They are crowded chiefly with locals, as steep paths from Mall Road stretch a long way down, and usually, tourists are too tired to retrace their steps all the way back up. These narrow alleys are cluttered with shops selling a wide variety of stuff ranging from cheap jackets to delectable local snacks.

We made frequent trips down these attractive lanes. Our love of trekking was what motivated us to make little hikes. Well, something was better than nothing, we thought. So this was how we soon discovered a sweet shop among many others. It lay on the way from the Ridge down to the Old Bus Stand. ‘Siri Ram Deepak Kumar’ was written in bold letters on the board above. 

Our eyes browsed through the sweets, but it didn’t take long to get affixed to a big tray of sweets lying right on top. These rectangular, finger-length sweets were fried to a light brown tone and seduced our watering mouths quickly. The amiable but glum-faced uncle introduced us to the attractive little thing- it was locally called ‘Tosha’. He offered us two pieces each to taste. The perfectly balanced sugar in Tosha instantly gave us a high. The crispy layers melted in our mouths and rapidly boosted our serotonin levels. But our taste buds weren’t satiated, they demanded more of this ridiculously heartwarming yet simple taste.

Tosha, looking fine as ever

It lingered in our mouths after the first time. It left us drooling for more. So after every day’s hectic activity, our feet were quite naturally geared toward the lower markets. We hiked a little, grabbed a bite, packed some for later, and hiked back again. We took some of the sugary treats for our friend, and he gave a favorable verdict after Tosha dominated his mouth.

By our third visit, the glum uncle was used to our faces appearing to lust after his sweets. It took a few meetings for him to get curious about us. He suggested packing an entire kilogram of Tosha to relish later. When we told him that we were coming all the way down from Jakhu Hill, ‘Oh, that’s pretty far’, he admitted in Hindi and withdrew his suggestion. Every time he saw us descending the road towards his shop, he scratched his partially bald head and glanced at Tosha which was the magnet pulling us customers every day. It felt like maybe he would get irritated by us clowns showing up for only one type of sweet, yet his poker face never betrayed any emotion.

But ours and Tosha’s romantic encounters were coming to a close. Shimla and its charms had enthralled us for a whole week, and it was time to go back to the plains. So on our final evening stroll down that familiar alley, we packed around 250 grams of Tosha. We carried it up to our friend’s flat and devoured all the little angels with piping-hot tumblers of tea. The next day we had to take another route to catch a bus, hence we parted from Tosha with heavy hearts until the next time.


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Published by alientrekker

An alien cherishing her best moments on some mountains of the earth.

2 thoughts on “Down The Sweet Alley

    1. Thank you for reading! ☺️
      Yes it was very tasty, I wonder if I did enough justice to it😅
      And yup hidden gems are why I try keeping my eyes glued to every street corner whenever I travel


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