We went out for dinner tonight. To the kind of restaurant which has a forest theme, and consequently many stuffed animals about. On the rooftop of a building close to where we live, the restaurant was wonderfully open to the sky and a maze of fake greenery and taxiderm heaven. Naturally, I loved it. Anything fake and pretentious is just so dear to my heart and so very me.
“Will you be going in for the buffet?” asked the man as he led us to our table, just next to an awning where a stuffed fake tiger watched sullenly as the child inched his chair away to behind mine for added security.
When it comes to a toss up between a la carte and a buffet, the decision always swings in favour of the buffet. For reasons that have a lot to do with why I always wear them 80 per cent lycra trousers when I go to dinner.
The tables here had a nice little arrangement by which the waiters poured in some live coal and kept the skewers of the barbeque right on the table itself, so one kept stuffing face with them as they got brown and succulent.
And then one lifted one’s carcass and headed towards the buffet, with the tables groaning under the weight of so much food. Biryani, gravies, paneer, koftas, dals, puris, jeera rice, pulao, palak paneer, I lost count after 20 items and anyway, I was too busy making space on the plate for every damn thing so I wouldnt have to make too many trips back to the buffet table and risk looking greedy in the eyes of all the size minus call center type girls who were smoking them sheeshas at other tables and laughing hysterically at jokes being cracked by minus size men, with long sullen pallid complexions and faces to match.
Having asked for a serving trolley to get my plate back to the table I sat and ate. Rather, I sat and shovelled the food into my stomach with a speed that is normally reserved for contestants at speed eating contests, and managed to finish in record time. The husband stared at me speechless. And am sure it was not my resplendent beauty that had got his tongue. And then came the time for dessert. Ice cream, cake, fruit salad, malpua, phirni, seviyaan, custard. I asked for the trolley again to help carry the plate back to the table. Only this time I sat on the trolley too…so laden was I with the food I had ingested.
I finished with the sheer determination that the one scaling Mount Everest might have had to climb the peak against all odds and sat back sated, and content, and burping gently and inelegantly into the night.
Absolutely unable to move. Like that picture of that python which had swallowed and entire goat and was unable to move an inch and had blocked up traffic on a national highway. Only my traffic had paid the bill and was ready to go home.
Come on, said the man. Lets go.
Wait a while, I said. Whats the hurry?
We’ve eaten and its damn hot here.
No, he didnt have to do the heave ho to pull me out of my chair, but it was touch and go. Am proud to state I managed to stagger down by my own, regardless of the fact that I felt like a blimp gone AWOL.
Remind me never to go for dinner again, especially these Get the behind me Satan buffet type ones, on a day when I have had nothing but a sada paratha for breakfast and endless cups of tea through the day.
I need to walk to Kanyakumari tomorrow to rid myself of todays lard.