Rekha and I went out to eat, last evening. It has been due for a while…
I was so tired (had come back from office only at 8.00 p.m.) that now I don`t even remember the restaurant we went to. A tired me am a monster to handle. Rekha has learnt it the hard way; she now keeps quite long enough for me to doze off. But the waiter serving our table didn`t know that I was tired and thus a monster.
After a ten-minute delay, he gave us our soup. Before he could leave our table, I spotted a twig in my soup. “I think I see a twig in my soup,” I said.
“Oops. Sorry sir, I will get you my branch manager,” he replied. I had a feeling he was making fun of me. As he moved…the shadow cleared and I realized it was not a twig but a housefly.
“Sir, it is not a twig…but a housefly,” I shouted so that the waiter could hear over the din.
He took a sharp about-turn, came to my desk, looked into my bowl of soup and said: “Ohh…that my dear sir, is not a housefly. He is our chef. You might be wondering what our chef is doing dressed like a house fly and that too inside your soup.”
“Yes, I am certainly interested,” I was curt. One has to be curt with the hospitality industry people.
“Sir, our previous customer was a magician. And he didn`t like the food.”
I tipped my hat as a mark of my respect for the magician, and went about dipping my spoon in the soup. It was around this time that I noticed the fly was alive. I might be a Hindu by birth but by faith I am a true-blue Buddhist…I can`t eat a live housefly.
“Sir, your chef is still alive in my soup,” I told the waiter.
He shot back: “Sir, If I kill him, I could be jailed for 14 years for murder.”
All this while Rekha was sitting opposite me and having her soup. She was all but finished. For a minute, I thought…I was just being schizophrenic…for she didn`t respond in any way to my conversation with the waiter.
I knew the waiter was making sense when he said it was murder. What we didn`t notice was that the chef-fly was actually drowning in the soup. Soon enough he was dead, and I was happy. But like I said, when I am tired, I am a monster…an irritated monster.
I called the waiter again: “Sir, I now have a dead housefly in my soup.”
“Suicide or homicide?” he asked. From the way he spoke to me, I had a feeling he had put down his papers at the restaurant.
“Sir, I don`t know if it is suicide or homicide but I know he is dead.”
“And if I may complain of this soup…it now has a dead housefly in it.”
“I am not surprised. Don`t tell me you expected our chef-housefly to be alive at 120 degree Celsius. And anyways he was complaining about the poor salaries here.”
Yours sincerely is an honest man. He recognizes an irritated man when he interacts with him for a minute. So, I decided to have the soup…and I did.
“Eeks!, this soup tastes funny!” I shouted after the first spoonful.
He was quick on his feet to chef-mate me: “If the soup tastes funny, why are you not laughing?”