Ze small print: Bhery bhery long post. Read if you are very busy and want a really really bad performance appraisal and or pink slip. For better results, please read during your performance appraisal.
I hate to order food! Period. I admire people who can order a good meal. Period. My second bro M is one such people, though I rather be dead than be seen eating with him in a restaurant. Period. In case you are wondering why, it is not such a nice sight to see two grown up siblings throwing food and cutlery at each other in a restaurant no? Not a very polite thing to do to people who have come to the restaurant for a quite meal and quality time together duh!
That reminds me of the time we actually sat at a restaurant alone for 5 minutes. The occasion was bro’s usual Friday lunch out with pals and pals grumbling that they had not see me for a trillion years which in guy language means two and half days. So I went to this restaurant to join them for Friday lunch and found my brother who had come early from some meeting. The both of sat and looked at the menu and by the time the waiter came to take our order, I was lunging at my brother with a knife and he was defending himself with a plate, napkin and flower pot. To cut a very very very long story short, the arrival of his friends and quick assurance to the management that they will ensure that no blood will be spilt during the course of lunch were we allowed to eat, but with wary bouncers keeping a keen eye on the warring siblings. They need not have bothered cos very soon M ordered food and there was absolute silence at the table but for the delicate chink of cutlery and the brief but muffled exclamations of gastronomic ecstasy, from the rest of the folks.
Anyways we have digressed friends. Let me get to the main course. Among my colleagues, Foxy is a good orderer (if there is such a term, if there is not, I am copyrighting it hmmph!). For a guy whose head is stuck in some other realm, he sure knows how to order food! He is a vegetarian, but his "orders" are simply non vegetarian…I mean delicious! He has this uncanny knack of ferreting out (literally) non existing items on the menu, for our dining pleasure. The trick is in asking the waiter I guess. I have asked too...
Me: And what else do you have besides the items listed in the menu?
Waiter: Nothing else besides the items listed in the menu duh!
Now see Foxy in action
Foxy: This Paneer dish...can we have this dry and a little less spicy?
Waiter: Sure sir, I can give you Paneer Akbari, Paneer Lal Mirch, Shredded Paneer with Coriander, Paneer Chutneywallah...
Foxy: Great! Hmm I don't see much variety in Dal…
Waiter: We also have Khata Meeta Dal, Dal Kohlapuri, Kathiawadi Dal, Navratan dal…
I swear none of it was listed in the menu!!! Sigh. No wonder he gets invited out to every team meal in the company and from other companies in the campus too!! I guess I am just not into ordering food or I would also be like Foxy, eating out every week, one week with own company teams and the other week with competitor company teams. And pssst I don’t think the competitors are even bothered that Foxy is from a cut throat rival company.
Team lead: And now Foxy will order lunch for us. He is too good I tell you.
Team Member: And where do you work Foxy?
Foxy: XYZ Corporation!
Team Member: That makes us rabid rivals!! I should be strangling you heh heh!
Foxy: The feeling is mutual heh heh
Team Member (wagging his finger): Now remember young man, I am partial to Spinach.
Ordering food is an art I think and if ordering food is an art, then my bro is Vincent Van Gogh and I am a toddler with crayons. My policy is to flip to the rice section, then the chicken, then the veg and my order is complete! People like my brother and Foxy on the other hand, actually read the menu with a lot of chin scratching (too lazy to shave I guess) and hmmm's thrown in like they are reading a highly complex project specification. Which is perhaps what it is! Dining out is perhaps a very complex procedure which ordinary folks like me do not understand. I guess there are people who can order and those who cannot. I am happy not ordering. In fact I will be happy if someone serves me my food and feeds me too. I am a simple and uncomplicated person.
But people like my bro and many of you here are not the same. You "celebrate" food. Last Sunday, I keenly watched my brother in action as he went about ordering the family lunch. First it was a starter. My instinct was to protest. Starters spoil my appetite. But this time I kept quiet. I decided to watch and learn and not block my learning process with protests. M ordered two starters. And while the waiter went to arrange that, he carefully scanned the menu from top to bottom, page by page. I am sure he noticed the thickness of the paper the menu was printed in and the fonts too. Perhaps he noticed the color of the font and the design too which perhaps helps him in his awesome "ordering" capabilities. Then he called the head waiter for a chat. The chat went like this.
Bro: What do you recommend?
Waiter: Veg or Non Veg sir?
Waiter: In that case....
This became a long discussion on the days special, how it could be modified, and what accompaniments it complimented. After the discussion, while the rest of the family was busy with the starters (which I suspect is ordered to keep us bad orderers busy), he scanned the menu again and ordered what turned out to be a totally novel but perfect meal. None of it was what the Head Waiter recommended. Then why on earth did he have the conversation!! I have no idea. Perhaps, waiters and good "orderers" talk between the lines.
Bro: What can you give us in vegetarian?
Waiter: Bhindi Sunhari.
Bro: What bhindi do you use?
Waiter: Pure Bangalore bhindi Sir.
Bro: Which farm?
Waiter: Kempegowda’s farm.
Bro: He has two wives no?
Waiter: Yeah! This was from the land his second wife Yellamma tends to.
Bro: Ah! In that case tell me my man, what else you have in Vegetarian!
I am sure he follows the same procedure for non vegetarian too.
Waiter: And for the non vegetarian let me recommend, Lamb Tikka Lababdaar.
Bro: Lamb? How old?
Waiter: One year!
Bro: Good! And was it fed on cornmeal or natural grass?
Waiter: Natural Hosur grass Sir!!
Bro: And what lineage were his mother and father.
Waiter: Mother is a stock from Dharmapuri and father from Trichy.
Bro: One last question. What time was it born!
Waiter: IST or EST Sir?
Bro: IST my man!
Waiter: That would be precisely 19:40 hrs Sir!
Bro: In that case, we will have two plates my man!
And thus he ordered the perfect meal out of nowhere which I cannot, even if the Lamb was the Nawab of Lababdaar!
I so envy all you good “orderers”. Are you all members of the secret cult of “Great Meal Orderers”? In which case can I please snoop in on your meetings? I swear I will behave myself in the premises and not do unmemberly things like try and swat my brother. I also swear to listen to everything you discuss with great respect. I will even take notes!! Howzzat!!
Something tells me the answer is “No!!” Sigh.