“Okay sir, one Mutton Whopper. With cheese or without cheese?” asked the man at the bill counter while punching in the figures vigorously. 

“With cheese,” I answered. 

“Extra patty?”


“With fries or without fries?”

“Without fries.”

“Anything to drink?”


“Sir if you add ₹50, aapko ek fries mil jaayenge.”

“Man, just give me my burger!”

No, that I said to myself. To him, I just said ‘No, thanks’.


As I waited for my order, my mind went to simpler times. Had it been a bun-tikki instead of this burger they were trying to sell like an elaborate work of art, things would have been way simpler.

It’d have been just one nicely done aloo tikki.

Some onions.

Some tomatoes. 

And bun. That’s it. No questions asked. What you see is what you get. 


I see people going gaga over the burger customization these burger joints keep rolling out every now and then.

To all such people I would strongly recommend a short trip to the nearby tikkiwaala.

 Believe you me, the permutation and combinations he offers you with an array of chutneys and sauces, are unparalleled.

And they’re cheap. They’re quick. And for all I know, they’re way fresher than any burger in town. Just look at the crowd around any tikki stall and you’ll know what I’m talking about.


What really grinds my gears is the fact that some people refer to bun-tikki as an ‘aloo tikki burger’.

Please don’t do that. It’s bun-tikki. Don’t demean this beautiful dish by adding burger to it. 

It has a simple identity of its own. Let it remain that way.


Yes, burgers are fine. But bun-tikki will always be bae.