Hotel Light of Bharat

I turn the Menu over. 

Usually, I would have a feast at this Irani Joint around the corner of Shivaji Park but nowadays I have to watch out for health reasons. 

Again – I turn the menu over. 

So the Mutton Bheja Double Decker is out (along with everything mutton). Nope to the Arabic Chicken Kepsa Biryani. To the Bawa dishes — Chicken Farcha, Chicken Sali Boti — please move on.

The Sultani Chicken Burger and other burgers, sure-fire hits with the college crowd are a no-no. So are the wholesome special Irani Biryani’s that are shared 1 by 2 and 2 by 4. My Sulemani with mint and lemon arrives as I continue checking.

Around me, there is a feast of Chinese happening. Chicken Burnt Garlic Rice and Burnt Chilly Noodles are being shared by a family of four. The waiter gets my Bun-Maska. The Desi Chinese section is actually a no-go, but there is something that I can order. 

Soup.

Ek All Clear Chicken soup! “

The manager gives me that look – the one reserved for suspicious characters, uninvited cats and dogs that linger.

“All Clear kya?”

I point to the menu – All Clear Chicken Soup.

He gets up, turns to the kitchen. Inside is a guy wearing a bandana busy stirring food up ina big pot.
The Manager yells –

Yeh All Clear Chicken Soup hai?”

Bandana guy looks stumped.  Like he has been asked ‘Define life.’ 

Kya?” Bandana guy manages.

 

In his “Kya lies my redemption. A life lesson learnt – you want oranges and life give lemons,  you enjoy the juice. 

I understand. So I say –

“Chicken Manchow Souup hai?.”

The bandana guy smiles. The Manager too smiles. Releif all around.

I wait along with stray cat and dog – waiting for life and Light of Bharat to deliver our food, so I can begin the long walk home.

Published by appamprawns

soni writes about children and people in controlled spaces, in his quest for appam stew. homi writes in the hope of being able to buy prawns to make patiyo.

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