Thursday, June 23, 2005

Zombie Dhaba


Posted by Hello stereotyped!

Delhi has more dhabas than there are Maruti 800s. They fall into a very monotonous group of institutions where you are almost sure to find a 15 yr old north east Indian, a poor replacement for a ‘Sardarji’ in a Punjabi speaking 6 footer and an antique piece of a tandoori stove. All these elements in place, you have a sweet, old, Delhi dhaba.

Those were the days when I used to go to any extent to tell my family back home that I am having three square meals in 24 hours. What did my every meal consist of; I left to their optimistic imaginations.

It stood there, a few hundreds meters before the first 'Golchakkar' as you travel from the Nehru Place fly-over towards Govindpuri. It blended beautifully into its surroundings, neatly camouflaged, which included a few lanes, a grocery shop, a very prominent ‘Aggarwals’ and dozens of indistinguishable brethren.

Every single person in the Dhaba, including the customers, would fit into any of those Hollywood horror flicks without much effort. I went there once, probably twice, or you can rather say that my pocket persuaded me to go there. Once inside, a one eyed waiter and the cook with six fingers on his right hand( the one with which he mercilessly slapped the roti on the inner walls of the tandoori stove) intimidated me into having food in the shortest span of time ever recorded and get the hell out of the place. Every time I asked for a roti, he would come to me with an expression so menacing as if I had asked him whether I could sleep with his sister. I finished the entire meal without taking a sip of water. I was almost certain that he would chop me off and shove me into the stove if I had asked him to get me a bottle of Bisleri from across the street. I paid the bill, and not waiting for the change, rushed home to live happily ever after.

Had to end this abruptly. Even the narration is scaring the shit out of me. Speaking of which, I am a courageous man.