So, we gracefully moved out of that beautiful black hole, which, if we had stayed any longer, would have sucked all the ‘gandhijis’ we had.
-----------rest of the story runs in flashback (just like a hindi movie) -----------------
We were a group of ten friends, meeting first time in Delhi after a hilarious and adventurous time in Dehradun, where we spent 5 unforgettable days of our life together, during the SSB interviews for selection in the Indian Air Force. And, one of our gang members, Ravi, did made the final cut notwithstanding the cutthroat competition. Therefore, it was our prerogative now, to have a party to celebrate his success. He agreed to it but he wanted to give it in delhi; only later we came to know that his birthday was impending too, smart chap!
So on his Birthday (I don't know the exact day though) we all gathered at his house in Lodhi Colony. We were all brainstorming about the various options we had in the nearby area to have a good lunch and spend the rest of the day doing bhag*****, when suddenly, one of my friend, Rahul, suggested that pandara road has some really cool restaurants. Most of us really had no idea of Pandara road and as far as the quality of the restaurants over there goes, we were as expert as Katrina Kaif in Acting! And therefore we blindly trusted what Rahul said and like a pack of wild dogs, we all started to march towards Pandara Road, probably sniffing the aroma emanating from the swanky restaurants of that road. In CP and the adjoining VVIP area, you happen to see so many big names engraved or embossed on silver or golden colored name plates that you really don't mind walking.
With tottering legs, we finally reached Pandara Road. We chose to give the honor of our auspicious presence to the restaurant with the name "Gulati's", again on rahul's ‘expert advice’. The Ambience of "Gulati's", I must say, was stupendous and very calming, perfect to have a late night dinner with your girlfriend but strictly not for a gang of 10 rowdy lads for whom finesse is something they least bother and would never-ever like to pay to enjoy. While absorbing the cool and refreshing atmosphere as much as we could by taking a 360 degree view of the plush and brightly lit restaurant, we grabbed a table, large enough for all of us to sit. We were smiling, giggling, laughing and twittering (we were not tweeting from our mobiles, in case you thought so!!). In fact we were the loudest in the gathering, even louder than the soft music which was making the ambience even more conducive to calmness before we barged in! But sadly, the waiters couldn't tolerate our happiness and so they slapped us with the menu cards with utmost courtesy. Well, actually they were not Menu cards, they were Pandora’s Box; the moment we opened them, all the miseries and evils flew out to afflict us. We were blown away. We couldn't have imagined those exorbitant prices in the wildest of our dreams; moreover we had the impression that “gulati’s” is reasonably priced, courtesy, Rahul. We were looking at each other with a weird smile and then looking back in the menu, hoping to stumble upon a preparation which would prove to be an island of hope in the ocean of despair. But, alas! All our efforts were to no avail. It was dead sure that if all the ‘hungry lions’ decide to feast over there in the same ravaging fashion as any real African lion would, the birthday boy would surely lament coming to pandara road and curse his own birthday.
But then a very strange thing happened. Ankit, one of the friends, got a call on his cell. He picked it in a hurry and moved out of the restaurant. What a smooth finisher! Oh, another call, this time it was ankur’s turn. Interestingly, their phones didn’t ring and I doubt that anyone would keep his phone in silent mode in a restaurant; we were not there for a corporate meet for god’s sake. Soon it was clear that it was just a trick to move out of the ‘dungeon’, never to return. The series of calls didn’t end there only; two more calls came in succession which inevitably culminated in the departure of the proud owner of the phone. I guess, even the mobile signals were shying from entering the “gulati’s”, which is why they had to move out! Through the transparent door we could see them smoking and laughing at us hysterically. We six were probably bitten by the ‘courtesy’ bug and just couldn’t stand up without ordering anything after sitting fro so long on their beautiful and cushy chairs and raising their expectations sky high. To save the blushes, we hesitantly called upon a waiter and ordered 5 soft drinks and 1 juice. This was the least priced item we could find in that richly decorated and glazed menu card. Even this meager order was above Rs 600, if I am not wrong. Ravi’s entire birthday budget would have been ransacked by ‘gulatiji’ (because lunch was still due, cold drinks don’t equate to shahi paneer and laccha parantha afterall), if rahul’s conscience wouldn’t have risen out of a deep slumber. He offered to pay for the order with his credit card because he was the only working guy among us. I guess his act was a sort of ‘pashchataap’ for bringing us in that 5 star restaurant (from our standards, it was) and putting the b’day boy in a tight spot. But in the end, we all shared the bill among us, 100 Rs each, fine. We enjoyed the drink till the last sip. That was the best coke or whatever I ever had. The satisfaction which I received from it trickled deep down my bones (although it’s said that cold drinks are harmful for bones!). I smirked and so did others. We nodded in unison, a sign that it was time to move out; after all, our four friends were eagerly waiting to lay ‘red carpets’ for us. They had simply gone crazy, laughing madly on us for keeping sitting inside and not doing something creative to get out. We countered them with how great the atmosphere was inside and how many beautiful faces we saw inside which, obviously, they missed. But whatever it was, we were all having the time of our life and a laugh of our lifetime. And ya, if you are thinking, what happened to the lunch, so lemme tell you, we had an amazing dinner at a desi hotel in CP which didn’t have very pleasing ambience but very tasty food. Yummy!!!
You see, embarrassing moments have two good things about them. You can always laugh about them later and ya, you can write a blog about it.