Monday, October 17, 2005

Thought for food

I face a very intriguing situation whenever my friends decide to go out and eat.I have a very laid back,boring and middle class approach towards everything,and this is highlighted when it comes to food.So people start talking about exotic names of restaurants and I sit there clueless.The only places I know of serve Samosas and cutting tea and aren't usually considered.

The thing that gives me a complex is the variety of complicated names that they utter with such confidence.They discuss the pros and cons of various places and then after an hour long debate finally decide to try someplace new.I try and convince them to let go all this trouble and eat Mysore Masala or Samosa and they think I'm kidding.So I tag along.

The restaurant itself isn't much help either.A dark place with music no one hears to and not to mention the wait outside.Why should we wait for food? I just don't like the concept.Things get from bad to worse when the waiter comes with the menu once we finally get the table.

The menu looks like a hardbound story book,a fairly tale maybe .I half expect the first page to read like-
"Once upon a time there were hungry people.They remained hungry because they couldn't see what food was served on the menu which looked like a story book"

My friends on the other hand are well versed with the ways of such places.They run through pages with such purpose and elan that often it makes me wonder if they are my friends or some corporate seniors who have spent their lifetime running around hotels.But I guess they have one lesson less to learn in life.

I take a look at the menu and it reminds me of the days when I would flip at the back pages of the World Atlas and look at the names of far away islands in the Pacific,enchanted by their exotic names.Still lost in these memories I hear one of my friends order-
"One Tristan-Da-Cunha with Galapagos toppings please!"
Not exactly but they sound like this anyway.I crave for a Vada Paw but they don't serve it at such places.

After eating some three syallable hard to pronounce food item,it's time for dessert.The only dessert I'm comfortable with is a chewing gum or chocolate and a soft drink if pocket permits.My friends on the other hand know every dessert they serve everywhere else in the world.Sometimes they come up with names not even there in the menu.I try and utter a random term,just like we mimic Chinese and amazingly find it in the menu.Maybe that's how they name such stuff.

Having lived on junk food off thelas most of my life,I don't think I'll be comfortable anywhere else.So while people spend centimeters of currency notes on three syallabled exotic food,I'll be happy handing out a coin and feeling content.Golgappas,Samosas,Chaat,Vada Paw et al are the sort of food for me.If I'm too hungry then the same old chicken dishes that I've eaten all my life.

Will always remain a small town boy.Damn! I miss my small town :(


rahul said...

Taking of weird names popping up at such places you have the "Veg with Egg" and the "Balls in garlic sauce" . And the best part is when you have those lattice boards with today's best(which never seems to change).Once while waiting outside one such place me and a dear friend of mine glanced at serving called "Veg Handi", with nothing better to do,on an impulse we took out the 'i' so it now became the "veg hand"(almost an oxymoron).Now everytime we go back to the place the same we see the same veg hand and cant help laughing.
Coming back to point,could not agree more about road-side food.Brought back childhood memories especially during the jatras.

Nikhil said...


Excellent idea,I'll try it sometime too :D

Abhishek said...

Ha ha!! Loved this article (and read every article before it!!)... Took me back in memories (I am 26 years old... hope that doesn't make me an Uncle!!) I like the way you write... it has flair, style, intelligence and a disarming honesty making it impossible to judge! I often visit those dark places (which surprisingly in some time might appear a tad sophisticated or even romantic - but trust me, it's just hype) often and order from those fat, fairy tale menu's - there are uncomfortable moments... the pronounciation of a dish-name, for instance... there is nothing better than being served Masala Dosa or Chicken Biriyani by Jafar Bhai who will come and ask you "Ghar kab jaa rahe saab" and then turn and scream "Eaayyy!! Ek Chicken Biryani Laao re saab ke liye!!".... Beautiful!! Companies spend millions of dollars to create a bonding between their servicing staff and customers that exists between Jaffar Bhai and me!!!

Great article Nikhil!! Thanks!

Small Towns Zindabaad!!

Nikhil said...

{abhishek] Thank you,never had these many superlatives to describe what I do :D
And nice to know someone can connect to what I write :)
And 26 years old,that's like big bro age,not an uncle yet :))