Saturday, February 16, 2008

One Evening At The Chinese Gully...

Dekho, dhang se khilao! Sab gir rahaa hai! 1

“… heheheheAnd then she just turned around to him and said….” 2

“…market gayee thi, tu kahaan thi?....” 3

Pehli Nazar Mein… Catch Atif Aslam all this month on…” 4

“Good Evening sir. Table for how many?” suddenly the waiter asked me.

“For two, please. Good Evening” I mumbled, and smiled at him.

I looked around. The place was half-full. At one table was a family of 3, the Mom giving instructions to the Dad to feed the child properly. (1)

At another was a young woman, sitting alone, talking away into the cell-phone to her dearest friend (3), or so I suppose. She seemed quite uninterested and insensitive to the people around her. Well, the volume of her voice told me so… She WAS the loudest of the lot. Whatever the reason, it made me feel a little uncomfortable.

At yet another table was a group of 3 college-going boys. One of them, presumably the leader of the group, was busy narrating an incident to his “minion-type” friends (2), paying no attention to others at the joint. He was loud too, but his levels dipped whenever he had to discuss something of “that” nature. “Boys…” I thought to myself, n chuckled not-so-loud.

Such was the scene at this small yet comfortable Chinese joint. Located in the famous Chinese Gully in Kamla Nagar Market, in North Delhi, this place seemed to be a regular hangout joint for youngsters and young professionals. Yes, yes.. the family at table 1… they were also pretty young!

Anyway, I entered the place with a friend of mine, who has decided that she will show me all the good eating joints of this part of the city, if not the country! She is pretty much aware that I live to eat, hence it is now her self-inflicted responsibility that I get to eat at almost every place known to the average North Campus student. How can I say no to such a noble gesture!

The place seemed ok to me. Not very elaborate in the designs-n-decorations, but decent for a joint of that nature. 9 or 10 tables to seat about 40-50 people, fully occupied. One small counter for the manager. Two doors towards the end of the hall, one leading to the kitchen, and another multi-purpose door, leading to the store-room, the restrooms, the fire-exit, the back-door etc etc. I almost felt like Alice, staring into the rabbit hole, wondering how far it would go!

Thankfully. I didn’t have to do it t find out. The waiter came to the rescue, breaking my chain of weird thoughts. He handed both of us the menu. We decided what to have, after putting in quite a lot of thought… “This would be spicy, that wouldn’t be enough for two. This is too sweet, that has too much of corn!!!” Finally, it was decided that we will have Crispy Babycorn with Salt’n’Pepper and Honey Potato, with two fruit-beers.

Til’ now things were fine. Well, I know they seem a bit weird to you right now when ur READING about them, but come to think of it, such is the scene anywhere you go! Probably we don’t notice it like this, and don’t pay much attention!

Then suddenly, another group of people entered. One lady, with many young girls, about 5-6 of them, and an even younger boy. They took their places at the table, and started chitchatting right away. They were a bit loud as well! By now, I had become accustomed to the loud voices!

There was a TV set (4), installed on some kinda TV holding contraption of a weird shape, on the far corner of the hall. I would look at the TV quite a lot. My friend would make sure that I’d be aware of her boredom, whenever I would start gazing at the TV. Somewhere along the course of time, the waiter decided he wanted to surf some channels. He stopped at a certain entertainment channel, dedicated to music and a Reality Show.

That was it! That was the point when every pair of eye in the joint turned towards the TV set. Yes, u read it right! EVERYONE started watching the Reality Show. Somehow, of late, this reality show (how much of it is REAL in Reality Shows, is a different discussion altogether) has become a rage amongst the youth. It reeks of attitude. Tough guys, tough girls, tough bikes, tougher challenges, a tough lookin VJ anchoring it, and some tough lines being muttered by the participants. THAT’S a lotta toughness there!

Anyway, since I haven’t been in the TV-Viewing class for about 8 years now, I wasn’t as amused as everyone else. And then, I started thinking. The latest group of people who came in started discussing about the show. They did discuss about one guy in particular, who belongs to my hometown. (For more on the city, go here.) Seems he is the highlight of the show.

Moving on, something that one of the young women of the group said struck me. What that was, I shall discuss soon. It will require some thinking on my part before I post it. (Half-baked ideas do not seem too tempting or appealing to me, to be posted here.)

By now, we were almost through with our order. My friend did complain about the fruit-beer being not as good as it was the last time she was there, and that we hadn’t finished off everything we had ordered for. But I was feeling quite full by that time. Not coz I ate heartily. Full because of what that young woman had said, and the chain of thoughts that started off in my mind following her statement. I am almost tempted to write about it right now, but as I said, it shall wait.

We asked for the bill, paid and left. Back on to the street, on our way home.

Love, Peace n' Harmony

© Prateek Sharma Feb 2008


suni said...

hi thr, u really have an ability to make the reader travel places along with u, as m also keen to know wat train of thought developed....wud def. read the next post. I personally went back in time and saw myself sittin in d coffee house wid my friends in D.U, having coffee at coffee house, where practically all tables were jam packed, and all people busy debating,in their own world. I had often seen a loner sittin at a corner table i feel, as to why i never ventured to tok to him..........m rt now on a nostalgia trip......loved reading.

The Outlaw Torn said...

hey Sunita! glad that u liked the post! and I'm feelin happy that it took u down memory lane. thats one of the basic purposes of this blog... to make ppl think, remember, reminisce... shall write more abt what happened that day.... but as i hv mentioned in the post as well, half-baked ideas shudnt be written... it might kill the essence of the msg!

keep ur eyes comin' back!

Love, Peace n' Harmony.

Lokesh-ious RJ writes said...

created a nice pretty picture..felt so hugry too!! n i know what show and which guy u r talking about!! it's a rage- such a disturbing show but i find myself watching it ever fact the show reminds me of the book the catcher in the it?? both glorify (in a way) the evil side of life...! and hey who's thaaaaaaat gal...and what she said...aww...u got me hooked to ur blog now...will watch out..pen down sooooooooooon!


Rich-ter.scale said...

I dreamily walked into the restaurant with you, observed everybody through your eyes, sat through the fruity beers and honeyed potatoes; scene interrupted - only when your lady friend's comment was deliberately plugged out. Bring it out of the shadows boy !

The Outlaw Torn said...

Thanx a lot Lokesh n Rhicha! do not worry, the sequel to this post shall be open for one and all to read very very soon!

As they say in all the Hollywood promos... "This summer, Coming soon, on a Blog near you!"


bondgal_rulz said...

First of all I need to give you credit for placing a perfect order or maybe it should go to your friend. :).
Well the participants of the reality show that you've written about are more smart (conniving might be more appropriate) than tough in my opinion. And as for the "tough" language used by them, I can only imagine the kind of effect it has on the adolescents who are hooked to the show.
But at the end all I'm left wondering is what is it that that young woman could have said that even killed your appetite. :O Don't keep us waiting for too long. :)

Prash said...

Love the [1] [3] [2] [4]!
An attention-grabbing post, leaving the reader hungry for more. Very well-written, can see what you saw.