Two Rotis!

As a regular guy in Mumbai, …tend to get lost in the activities of the minute.

I got down in Nerul and met a few doctors in the area. Was tired and looking for a good restaurant to have some food. I asked the sales representative to suggest some good place which serves palatable vegetarian food. I guess he saw that coming and suggested a place even before I had finished the sentence.

Now, stop for a moment and think about what we expect from food. We expect hygiene. We expect fast service. We expect the rates to be reasonable. We expect the food to be warm and palatable. After staying in bombay for over 8 months, my expectations were bare minimum and limited to decent taste.

I walked into the hotel which was decently clean with the non-ergonomic furniture so characteristic of eating joints in Bombay. The hotel was designed with a mezanine floor to make space for an air conditioned room. This seems to be the norm in most hotels in Bombay. I sauntered to a table towards the right of the hotel and took my place in a table for four. The table was clean and there were boys attending to other tables. A waiter dressed in a white shirt with green embroidery ( the emblem and name of the hotel on it) attended to me and asked for my order. I ordered a veg curry and 2 rotis. I was soon having my second roti.

The waiter looked at me and seemed to be making up his mind about something. I was half way through my second roti when he lloked at me expectantly. I took one more bite from the roti and looked at him to see if he was still lookin at me. He was.

I continued eating and then, I guess the waiter couldn’t control himself any longer, he asked me if the order was for two more rotis. I instinctively said that I was done. The waiter did something which I can remember clearly. He looked at me with an expression of surprise which slowly moved into an expression of genuine concern and selflessness. I have never seen this among any of the scores of waiters at the restaurants that I had been to in Mumbai. He then asked me, “bus do roti,…do aur le lijiye na”. I actually stopped eating for an instant and took one more second to react.

That one second took me away to my hometown in Tamilnadu. That one second reminded me of a word in tamil called ‘Virunthombal’. It might be derived from the tamil word’Virunthu’, meaning feast. It bsacially means hospitality and can be reasoned as offering nothing short of a feast to a guest. In small hotels in interior Tamilnadu, waiters literally wait on you and will ask you if you need some more of food and the delectable which go along with the regular fare. It is a pleasure eating piping hot idlis and sambhar at these places. Need a separate blog on this.

Back to the moment where I am responding to this waiter at the hotel in Nerul. I said this would do. The waiter shaked his head with an expression of ‘I don’t understand these people’ in his face and left for the cashier to get my bill.

I, meanwhile, was both happy that there are some people out there.

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2 Responses

  1. go to any gujju or rajasthani restaurant worth its salt!! its called “agrah” or “manuar”

  2. Living a vegetarian Lifestyle?
    Some great Vegie Recipes available to complement your tips here:
    http://vegatarian-lifestyle.blogspot.com/

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