Yesterday as is the practice for the last twoindy years ( err one year actually, please excuse the Akkarakazhchakal overdose), we have been going to Jyoti Nivas College (JNC) to cheer for our college in the inter college Mad Ad competition. After screaming our self hoarse for our college and their spectacularly pathetic performance (so what duh!), we stumbled out hungry, hyper, hoarse and hot (not necessarily in that order) onto the road. Hungry because of the lusty screaming from 10 am onwards. Hoarse because of the hysterical screaming to drown out the rabid screaming of the Christ College and Joseph junta. Hyper because of the screaming competition over which nobody could hear anything and that included the judges. And hot because jumping up and down and screaming makes you really hot (hot as in thermal hot peoples…sigh)!!
As the junta poured out onto the road after the competition, we looked around for a place where we could sit down, compose our selves and stuff our faces. Most of the places were crowded. Cursing the JNC’ites because we were jealous that they had so many eateries around their college and because they gave a better performance than our wimps err I mean college, we trouped into a typical Bangalore Darshini. Now Darshinis have sentimental attachments for us Bangaloreans. Most collegians in Bangalore have derived 90% of their sustenance from Darshinis. It is not like our mothers did not cook in the house. But as soon as you got into college, as though by a genetic signal you start eating at least two meals a day in these Darshinis.
A typical Darshinis will have the word “Sagar” as an appendage after its name, for instance Jayanthi Sagar, Shanthi Sagar etc. These small self service restaurants will have only tables and no chairs. Some tables will be rectangular where more than six people can place their plates. Some will be circular where not more then two or three people could stand and eat. People grabbed their plates and placed it on any vacant space and ate. The tables will be occupied with strangers, eating comfortably oblivious to each other.
During college days we went en masse to these Darshinis for our breakfast, lunch, snacks etc. If we got separated into different tables then we performed an instinctive unconscious ritual called “edging”. Edging consisted of edging in as soon as a space next to your friend at her table got vacant till all group members were at one table! At this juncture the cashier can be seen beating his head against the cash counter and tearing his hair out in despair. This was not due to dandruff or head lice as you horrible people think. But due to the frustrating realization that he will have to kiss that table and the business it generates goodbye till every single girl in the group had finished eating, which could take a painful half an hour to 45 minutes or more. The maximum time a Darshini table in the self service zone is occupied is 10 minutes, No more! Oblivious to the howls and scowls and grumbles of the cashier cum manager, we would hang in there till the last girl had finished eating. A Darshini is a eating in a fast lane kinda zone. We did not care what zone it was! We had our own rules and regulations and due to the custom of a Darshini where minimal exchange of communication takes place between staff and patrons, no one ever asked us to get lost!!
Yesterday we fortunately got a table all to ourselves. Soon we all had our orders and were eating and yakking and giggling all at the same time. Well…there was more yakking than eating going on and the Cashier, an old man looked languidly on as it was almost 3 pm and close of the lunch rush hour. Now when our group eats, it looks like a sampling extravaganza. Everyone eats from everyone else’s plate. Somebody ate your vadai? Then you go and pick up another one. Zimble. While we were busy yakking and eating, we did not notice the place filling up and a young nondescript guy came and put his plate at our table and proceeded to eat his Naan and Peas curry timidly. Oblivious to his appearance we continued yakking and eating what we fancied from each others plate. Suddenly I realized that I had an onion ring in my hand and all of us had ordered south Indian food which doesn’t have onion rings as an accompaniment. With a sinking feeling I looked at the guy’s plate and realized to my horror and embarrassment that he had onion rings in his plate!!! I almost passed out with embarrassment! The poor guy continued eating timidly, oblivious to what had happened or perhaps a bit hurt by the insensitive girl at his table. I was mortified. I did not dare tell anyone or I would be butt of jokes for the next 150 years :( I did tell them after we were out of the place and my ears had stopped burning. And then I had to endure the ignominy of watching them rolling on the road laughing. Sigh!
About the competition folks…the biased, cruel, dishonest, improper, inequitable, iniquitous, oppressive, partial, prejudiced, and wrongful judges give the award to the Josephites grr. Agreed…our performance sucked, correction it sucked big time but that is no excuse for NOT giving us the award!!! We were by far the prettiest team!! So there!!
Have a nice week folks. I will be in a grouchy mood this week. Be nice to me please…like not mentioning the word “onion rings” while commenting ok?