1. A glass of Lassi is like a whole meal!
The Punjabis love their milk, and they really love their lassi! Go anywhere and a glass of lassi is not far at hand. And not just any lassi, it needs to be thick, cold lassi topped (and this part is critically important!) with a generous dollop of cream. The test of a good Punjabi lassi is whether you can eat anything for the next half an hour. If you can.. you need to go find yourself a better lassiwalla!
2. Parathas without butter is like dal without rice
If there is any place that rekindles your romance with butter it’s ‘the Punjab’. Banish those silly thoughts of weight gain and cholesterol, and make sure you have your parathas and kulcha with generous servings of white makhan. Each paratha must have a huge dollop of butter on it and each piece you break off the paratha must again be dabbed with the butter. There really is no other way.
PS: If for some reason you don’t have butter (oh the horror!) desi ghee will also do.
3. You see a 100 different types of Turbans
To the untrained eye all Sikhs and their turbans might look the same, but once you spend some time in the state, you will realise that there are many types of turbans. They differ in size, the occasion they are worn for and the style of tying it, based on which part of Punjab and what sub cast/sect the wearer may belong to. Either way they are always grand and colourful!
4. Restaurants request you to please not carry your guns and ammunition!
In must be something in the air of the north, the Nagas love their hunting, the Arunachalis, their swords and in the Punjabi hinterland every home will usually have a gun. So much so that there are signs in restaurants and malls, all over Punjab, urging their patrons to please leave their guns at home! We concur, nothing spoils a good meal of sarso da saag cooked in desi ghee than having bullets flying around the place, so please do leave your guns at home!
5. For miles around all you will see are fields of green and gold
Sting must have spent a week in Punjab, before writing his hit, fields of gold, because in any direction almost all over the state you can see beautiful fields of wheat, mustard and maize. There is something special about walking down a village road as the sun goes down gently over the horizon casting its warm glow over the fields of green and gold. It’s the perfect place to have your very own DDLJ moment!
6. Travelling on buses means a crash course in Punjabi pop
Most public bus journeys in India involve some kind of entertainment, usually in the form of a film or an interesting conversation with a local. In Punjab however, if you are travelling on the bus, you will most likely be assaulted by the TV continuously streaming Punjabi pop. Now we travel by buses a lot and by end of our three weeks in Punjab it would not be an exaggeration to say we recognised most of the Punjabi songs and pop stars. I dare say we may even have missed it a little when our Punjab journey was done!
7. There’s a free meal round every corner
Every Punjabi town has a Gurudwara (sometimes more) and every Gurudwara, keeping with tradition, serves free meals to visitors / worshipers regardless of religion, caste, gender, nationality or creed. Now whilst we aren’t saying that you should visit a Gurudwara just for a free meal, it is something that you must do, especially if you’re in a bigger one like the Golden Temple in Amritsar, just to appreciate the sheer scale of it. And trust us, the food, while simple, is always yummy and wholesome.