Friday, February 18, 2005

a v-day dinner

Valentine’s evening, as we waited for a table at the 5th restaurant we tried, I was faint with hunger. It had been a long day without food. And the whole world seems to be cuddling long and late at the city’s eating places.

I didn’t have time to eat the whole day. Breakfast time in office was taken up by a grave meeting in a dark cold room. At lunch time, I ran to look for the book I wanted to buy the hubby. He had, of course, done his usual surprise number at midnight with flower delivery and gifts. All I had was a guilty conscience and my sweetest smile.

After trying all the bookshops, (slipping out of office at every conceivable opportunity) I couldn’t find the book I so wanted and settled for miserable substitutes. For a change, the hubby beat me at mush too by writing lovely dovey messages. I was mortified! Couldn’t I have taken a little time to shop for him, to write a personal card for him, a day before?

I felt fairly atoned as I stayed hungry. On the way to dinner, he stopped at this big store and I almost sank into the ground as he picked a packet (an exorbitant gift of a perfume, for me!). Oh god, I couldn’t have got a better man! Made a mental note not to be mean to him. I keep making these notes and forgetting about them. That reminds me, I am losing my memory. Yesterday I forgot my maid’s name as I looked at her blankly. I had to ask the hubby later what it was.

Back to V-day night, by the time we were ready to eat, the whole world and their wives, girlfriends and mistresses were too. Except they all seemed to have booked their tables, well in advance.

So there we were, at a place where the waiters were kind and the manager was actually apologetic. Complimentary drinks and anything we wanted were offered. Time and again. All we wanted was a table to eat on.

Ah finally! As we sank into comfortable seats, we had indulgent waiters hovering all around. Young boys, looking happy to serve as if they were to the job born. Working so hard on valentine’s night. I hoped they were at least pocketing hefty tips. We were glad we finally landed up at this place.

Suddenly, a man barged in and announced loudly, “I left my cell phone behind.� I recognized him from the jovial group who had just left the place a few minutes back. And so the search for the phone began. Left, right, under, behind, over. Every place and position.

“Are you sure, sir?� the staff asked hesitantly.

“I am. I just got a call while I was sitting here.�

10 minutes passed. It was getting difficult to eat with all the excitement around. Everybody was fairly distracted. The young waiters were visibly panicking. I wanted to ask the guy to stop accusing them without proof. But I kept quiet.

15 minutes passed. The owner was called too. “You guys better give it up or I am getting the cops.�

The brute! I wanted to kick him out of the restaurant. He needs to learn to take care of his expensive phone!

25 minutes passed. A waiter comes with a phone in hand. It was in the restroom, he says. “I never went there. So how did it reach there?� Saying that, the brute started hitting the 2 young waiters who had served his table. He dragged them out and kept slapping them. And the poor boys were both crying out, “I didn’t steal it!�

We lost our appetite. Packing the rest of our food, we left. Maybe one of them stole it, maybe none of them did. But the once smiling, enthusiastic faces of the waiters, suddenly terrified and screaming with fear, haunts me till today.

10 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh shit.

I HATE people who push around the people who can't push back. HATE them.

Want to put a supari on this creep.

Anita

PS: You got the right Anita in the previous post, I'll be back in March.

7:49 PM  
Blogger Ad astra per aspera said...

SICK !! Is the only word that comes to my mind :-( PPl are sick.

10:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Boy! Anumita, you must be making so many single and married women in Bombay very jealous. You may put a caution note. Caution: Jealous women, you may aggravate your condition by reading this blog :). That guy should spend few rupees and buy "Miss Manners guide for good manners". Not uncommon in india, that type of vulgar behavior though. Rahul

8:27 AM  
Blogger Pallavi said...

Wierd.. but this is not surprising.. SHeesh !!

11:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shame, and what was the restaurant manager/owner doing in the meantime? Doesn't he have a duty to protect his staff!
Uma

12:54 PM  
Blogger anumita said...

Anita: I wish I had given the guy a piece of my mind myself...
Will be good to have you back in Bombay. Maybe we can catch up?

ad aspera per aspera, pallavi: Sick yeah. Makes me cringe to see these types and also hear them talk.

Rahul: There's nothing to be jealous of. Am sure everyone has their own stories to relate. I hate to agree with you on this, but yes, I guess, this is pretty common behaviour in India.

Uma: Welcome. The manager, a small man, was shaking with fear himself and was probably glad he wasn't the one getting beaten.
Do leave your url if you have a blog.

1:25 PM  
Anonymous Atticus said...

Nice post!

At times I wonder how low it would be to go through life like that crass cynic suspecting everyone and hurting weaklings! Hope the hotel manager wasn't cruel enough to sack the boys for stealing! Dignified poverty is indeed a tough act to pull off :(

Haven't been to your blog in a long long time... Will be more regular henceforth :)

7:15 PM  
Blogger Chakra Sampath said...

ohh thats a shame anumita.. a spoiler of what wd hav been a great evening..

8:54 PM  
Blogger anumita said...

atticus: Good to see you in such a long time.

chakra sampath: My evening doesn't matter but I feel miserable about the poor guys'.

6:31 PM  
Blogger tom naka said...

Keep it up. I enjoy your nice blog. check out my italian restaurant seattle site. It pretty much covers italian restaurant seattle related stuff.

4:50 PM  

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