Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Raks Bhavan in Mylapore

I happened to eat at a restaurant newly opened in Mylapore. There are no waiters here, no cleaning boys nor manager. It is a one-man show or rather a one girl show.

"Please come and sit" she said pulling my hand. If you were not inclined to sit, she might just push you on the chair, so you better sit.

"What will you have madam?" she asks placing my latest telephone bill on the hand. I almost berated her for raiding my mail from the handbag. But held on when she looked at me with  her eyes are swimming with ready-to-shed tears. So with much difficulty I swallowed the question and pretended to read the menu/bill (which is quite high) with interest.

"We have garlic bread, sambar rice, maggi noodles, bread with peanut butter, chocolate, kissan jam, kissan tomato sauce, sugar, kalkandu, crispy dosa, rosagolla, only cream from cream biscuit, gems and ice cream." she says rattling off all her favourite items.

And mind it, you can't say 'no' now that you are at the hotel or else you will be force fed. So might as well order something.

"I will have garlic bread." I said, folding up the bill but she deftly plucks it from my hand and heads out to the kitchen.

Within two seconds a big plastic plate was full of items that were meant to be eaten; a plastic bread that looks almost real, a white coloured sharpener that would serve as cheese, and two smart plastic boxes that held sauce and pepper (that I had to imagine).

Now you will have to eat. "Ok I have eaten."

"No. No. You will need to eat before my eyes otherwise you will put everything in your bag."

Copycat! That was my line. But I dare not say it aloud, as her steely eyes are watched me. After miming the eating process, she asked me to open my mouth and checked. After she was satisfied, she took away the plate.

Next came lunch, this time with more dishes. Three cups with water and some curry leaves that were definitely borrowed from the refrigerator, an eraser that floated on some red coloured water. (Secret ingredient of this soup was a red sketch pen dipped in water for precisely five minutes) and a bowl full of puffed rice which she had charmed out of my mother-in-law.

"No. I am not hungry."

"When are you ever hungry? Nothing doing. You are going to finish this lunch or else I will tell bone acharya"

'Bone acharya' is a corrupted version of 'Bhuvana acharya', latest bogeyman or rather woman to enforce discipline. Now 'bone acharya' will punish anyone who doesn't eat breakfast, lunch or dinner so literally forced to eat my words or rather the eraser, I mimed chewing when she commented, "I thought I was putting rice in your mouth but how come it all turns into chewing gum. You keep chewing and chewing and chewing for hours but no swallowing."

That again was one of my daily dialogues. 

After breakfast and lunch in immediate succession, I was feeling very full. But no Raks Bhavan does not allow you to pay up and leave until you have had three square meals in immediate succession.

And for dinner, I got some more curry leaves, 10 bowls of different coloured water all dipped with sketch pens, a few pieces of leftover roti (from her own lunch at school) and a large rubber ladybug and a scorpion that were supposed to be ice creams.

I rather lost my appetite by the time I came to the dessert.

After a hearty breakfast, lunch and dinner within a span of half hour, I was quite full.

"I am full."

"You haven't had water yet. You will get dehydrated." she took the mini water jug and tried to tip it in my mouth while I screamed 'no, no please'.

With her face screwing up in anger, she took her toy mobile and complained, 'Bone acharya, I am sumeetha's mother speaking. She is being a brat again. She won't drink water or milk. Please kandukongo!"

I hope that she doesn't find out I fake calls to 'Bone Acharya' all the time.

So if you happen to be in Mylapore, do check out 'Raks Bhavan'. She says that she is going to revise the menu to include cupcakes and puddings too!