Magix 'n' Curses
..the argument continues

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Dud-heads and mock-tails

What do you get when you put a bunch of sprightly kids amidst lotsa food, a comfy ambience and a celebratory mood?
Trouble. What else

*Camera zooms into my eye... (Hasn't this become the standard flashback routine after Titanic? Afterall, mosquito coils are outdated)*

Kaushik, my old school-mate, had shifted to Bangalore, and had come over for the vacations. Wanting to make the most of it, our old school-gang got together and decided to eat out someplace. After some serious haggling, we decided on Hot Chips. That was the best bet, really. An Old-Friends-Meet surely deserved better than a kaiyendhi bhavan, and posh restaurants surely deserved better than us!

Everyone threw a strange look at us as we trooped in noisily. I could have sworn I saw the eyes of the guy at the counter dilate in trepidation. We bypassed the standing, self-service counter and went straight into the AC hall. The counter guy's worst fears were confirmed.

Chuckles, PJs, and a lotta leg-pulling followed as we took up 2 huge tables to ourselves. I wouldn't have been too surprised if the person who took our orders banged his head on the wall the minute he entered the kitchen. We gave him an awful time as one of us kept changing his mind for every two orders successfully taken. That done, we went back to our chuckles, PJs and leg-pulling. :)

The eating part of the episode passed off quite uneventfully by our standards. Of course, there were the occasional dares of trying to suck in the entire plate of noodles in one go, and flicking a big chunk of paneer off the neighbour's plate while the victim looked the other way. The fun started much later. Each of us ordered a particular drink. A fresh lime soda (sweet), Pepsi, Mirinda, Pineapple juice, Grape juice, a coupla 7 UPs, Slice, and a few more I'm unable to recollect (hehe, what were you thinking? Alcohol?). But you get the drift. The minute the orders arrived, Krishna had a brainwave. "Dei, how about a cocktail? Each of us has ordered something different. What say?", he asked with a devilish glint in his eye. We liked the idea. We asked for an extra glass and all of us dutifully poured in a bit of our drink.

It turned a funny yellow colour. We looked quite apprehensive. But Krishna boldly stepped up. He had a tiny sip and his face contorted into expressions, funny yet scary. He looked up with a grin and yelped, "super-a irukku da!". Egged on by his enthusiasm, each of us risked a sip. He wasn't kidding! It really did taste good!

The person at the next table was giving us a very weird stare. All of us turned and looked at him. He got back to his food. :)

Krishna had another brainwave. "This needs some salt", he announced as he picked up the salt shaker and almost emptied its contents before we could as much as let out a whimper of protest. And then.. he went bezerk! The pepper was next to go. The waiter kept the bill and hurried away. He didn't dare look, I guess! The saunf wasn't spared either! This time, our apprehension got the better of us. Most of us gave it a miss. Krishna and Bharath dared a sip each, and to our horror, loved it! The person at the next table lost his appetite.

*Zoom out*

This was the beginning of our traditional cocktail ritual. The tradition went outta control at Krishna's birthday treat.

*Zoom in again*

A different restaurant this time. But in the same league as Hot Chips. The cocktail mixing was done with the kinda reverence you'd tend to associate with surgery.

"Salt"... "indha da"
"Pepper"... "here ya go"
"Ketchup"... "Dei! Are you crazy?!"

But that didn't stop him from reaching for the ketchup squeezy bottle. Krishna even plopped in a dollop of some gravy that had unfortunately been left remaining. The only thing the scene lacked was a big board saying "Mad Genius at work - Keep Out"! We realised things were going a bit outta control. Fortunately, we were done eating.. quite a few of us turned a fine shade of green looking at the scene.

He poured in everything but the kitchen sink. A collective scraping was heard as most of us dragged our chairs a bit further back. Krishna looked up with an almost maniacal look in his eye. "So who's trying it da? This must be the best cocktail we've ever made!". He fixed his gaze on Bharath who weakly yielded. Namash stepped up too, with a rather determined look in his eyes.

Krishna went first. His face broke out into the usual ambiguous contortions. He didn't speak though. Namash took a sip, and almost spat it out immediately. Bharath, resigning to fate, took a sip too. He had the most
paavam look on his face I've ever seen.

We were grinning broadly now, as we asked, "So? What does it taste like?"
Bharath gave us a very piteous frown as he said, "Rasam! :( "

Last heard, the owner of the restaurant was still looking for the bunch of kids who'd completely ruined his glassware.