Update for week ended 23 September 2011
John-Janmohammed-Janardhan (JJJ) was quite upset that the patrons at the hotel restaurant were dwindling. The local hotel he worked in was managed by an Indian tycoon who had initially built this empire based on Indian principles. It was an Indian hotel, with Indian décor, Indian restaurants, and even the front office staff were dressed in smart saris and sherwanis. But as the globalization wave caught on in the nineties and into the new millennium, the much travelled owners brought in international appeal and tastes; so the reception which till then had a faux jharokha façade (traditional wooden filigree work window – often found in Rajasthani mansions) gave way to a modern cubist table with bottom lit fluorescent orange and green – and the front office women also dressed in smart suits as did their male counterparts. The warm namaste was replaced with the business like, Good Morning or Evening – depending on the time of the day. JJJ worked as a waiter in the restaurant and his clothing changed a little, but that was the not the cause of his displeasure. He worked in the Indian restaurant that was famous for its silver service full course Indian Thali (plated and served at the table meal), as also the Indian desserts, especially the syrupy fried milk dumplings (gulab jamuns) and the golden crisp swirls (jalebis). But with the advent of the Caucasian visitors, who did not shun the Indian food, but asked JJJ to get a tempered down version of the “Jal frezie”, spicy curry or the half Portuguese half Goan Pork Vindaloo or just plain old naan with daal (flat bread and lentils) which they devoured, the hotel also opened speciality restaurants serving up exotic oriental fare and Italian pastas. JJJ was upset because of the happening during the week. The hotel did not even have a Greek dish, but the Health Department, sighting the problems with Grease, shut down the Italian restaurant (who cared if there was a spelling error in the word Grease and why the connect with Italy). In fact the next day, the officers wanted to shut down the coffee shop as they had heard of some Idlis dropping (again they did not care of small niceties that what they heard was a Malayali newsreader talking about the Italy downgrade). The fear that American beef and pork would contaminate the eaters forced the hotel to retract its burger and fries – even though it ensured it did not hurt Hindu and Muslim sentiments and only served an occasional mutton burger, though the veggie version was most popular. So with 2 restaurants closed, a menus in a third reduced, the patrons had thinned. JJJ was feeling hurt that the hotel that was famous for its Indian restaurant was actually losing its customers due to some unrelated reasons. He now had enough time on his hand to practice carrying frilly round trays with full beer glasses and performing some gymnastic tricks with his wrist, while also swigging his hips. Some solace for him as he now was learning to dance but where was the audience.
The D Street Boyz were an upset lot this week. Just when they had savoured the sweet and savoury treats of the Kantheshwar sisters and were looking forward to a nice day on D Street with Indian food, they were reminded of the Grease (or Greece) which caused a slide. Then the Golden Arch which normally served only Indian style burgers, no pork and definitely no beef, was also shuttered as some Mac shuttered in Sam’s country. And then it was the turn of the pastas turning red in their own Bolognese sauces……. As someone dropped the bowl of spaghetti with the SENSEX in it and splat it fell red and the mess was so tough to clean that even after 2 days, the mess is still there for all to see…. As the SENSEX lay sprawled amongst the grease, burgers, fries, red sauce and spaghetti at 16162 – a total of 705 points down…. Incidentally all this could be attributed to just the American fast food, and that also caused the once in 2 years fall of 704 points in a day….. and now if you add the Italian, Greek, American cuisine balanced by the Indian food, the net result is still there….. at 705 points down!!
Just as JJJ tried to do one more dance routine, someone shouted out – “where is this John Jani Janardhan?” Immediately, JJJ straightened up, held his head high, his chest out and walked up to the suited man in the ballroom and said, ”here sir!”. JJJ was asked to prepare the ballroom for the evening’s party as it was to be a celebratory event for a movie that had just celebrated its golden jubilee. And it would be graced by the who’s who of the film world. Note that the stars were from yester years, current heart throbs and the stars of the movie that was celebrating the event. JJJ was excited, as he was a movie buff, and rushed off to arrange the room and ensure that it was spiffy and ready for the evening’s event. He wanted to catch a glimpse of the first super-star, who would be there in his trademark dark glasses worn down the nose bridge; as well as pow-wow (in jest of course) with the he-man of the film world. He would feel honoured if he was allowed to showcase his accordion playing skill for the great showman. Oh, how excited was JJJ for the evening.
So relax, and don’t fret about the pastas and greasy American burgers. Just head for wholesome Indian food and entertainment. The perfect mood lifter.
Have a nice weekend….. Cheers….