Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The meeting at the restaurant

It was a well known restaurant in the city. It was crowded and buzzing with patrons. A group of half a dozen boisterous girls entered the restaurant and were assigned a corner table at the far end. The girls were seen giggling for no reason and often broke into a riot of laughter interspersed with loud shrieks and hearty banter. It seemed the presence of others hardly mattered to them. They had all assembled to meet their college mate Amrita who had come from US on a short vacation.
“Look at the handsome bearer by the table to the left. If he were to join films, he can give a scare to the aged heroes still doing the younger roles” said one girl
All eyes turned towards the young man taking orders from the adjacent table. His face was turned away but one could not miss his muscular well proportioned body, the long hair that was curly and a tiger like gait as he walked towards the kitchen. As the girls drooled, Amrita wondered, could it be her boy friend Rajan, her heart throb. The gait and hair style was unmistakable. It cannot be, as Rajan was a class topper destined to succeed in life. No, no this must be his clone. Both were initially corresponding but lost touch with after sometime. He went for management course and she got busy with her studies. It was on the top of her agenda to trace him in this visit and renew their relationship.
She lost her mood for partying. Citing severe headache, she wanted to be excused and told them that they could meet on another day. Luckily he had not seen her and if he were really Rajan what an embarrassment it would have been for her amidst her friends. She sincerely hoped that he was someone else and not Rajan.
The next day she went alone to the same restaurant just to make sure it was not Rajan.He had a large mole on his temple and that should clinch matters. When she went to sit near the same table, she saw him from a distance. She stood and looked at him to draw his attention. As expected he noticed her and rushed to her side
“Isn’t it Amrita? What a pleasant surprise to meet you after such a long time? How are you Amrita?” he asked animatedly
She looked at him with the order book and a pen in his hand and said with some irritation in her tone “Yes, I am Amrita indeed, Rajan. But for your mole I would have surmised it is your clone doing duty as a lowly waiter in a hotel”
“Why speak disparagingly of a waiter, is it that you consider a waiter’s job demeaning? All jobs are honorable, Amrita” he said.
“I don’t know but I am sure I would not be a friend with a waiter. He doesn’t belong to my circle. I am very much disappointed. I came here to make sure that the waiter whom I saw here yesterday is not you. Sadly you are a waiter. All my hopes of having a long term relationship with you are shattered. Why did you have to take this poor job when you were a topper and I think did a management course? I am sorry Rajan, I have to bid you a good bye” she spoke
It was then one bearer came to Rajan’s side and said in a deferential tone “Sir, some visitors have come and are waiting in your office”
Rajan turned to Amrita and said “.Please come with me. I will send them away in a few minutes.”
Amrita was surprised. Why would they address a waiter as Sir and request him to meet the visitors in his office. Does he have an office of his own? Then what is he? With such doubts assailing her mind, she went along with him.
They entered a large air conditioned richly carpeted room with large mahogany table, matching chairs, well upholstered sofa set. He sat in the chair and disposed of the visitors in a few minutes.
Looking at the bemused Amrita he asked “Are you surprised? I own this restaurant. We have a chain of such places in the city. To interact with my patrons and also see how the waiters are dealing with them, I mingle with them once a while. To me work is worship and nothing is below my dignity. Did you not notice that I was not in uniform unlike others?”
“Oh Rajan, I am extremely sorry for my hasty conclusions. Please forgive me. I came to the city only to meet you and carry forward our friendship to the next level. Lucky I could meet you. All is well that ends well. Here is my address. My parents would like to meet you. I can come and take you when convenient to you” Amrita spoke.
“Lucky that I could meet you here in the restaurant for it showed your values in true colour.I am greatly disappointed with you. You are not the kind of person whom I would like to have as my partner in life. Let us be just friends. Thanks for dropping in “he said and stood up extending his hands for a handshake and goodbye.

12 comments:

  1. Once again a beautifully written story @KP. I like the flow of your thoughts in a crisp and clear language. A skill to admire for sure.

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  2. good that he could see the real Amrita.......

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  3. Thought provoking! how short sighted people can be. Rajan was right in his attitude, but how many Rajans do we have in our society?
    Keep writing frequently.

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  4. Rajan took the right decision!

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  5. WELL done to the MAN. he did the right thing.
    Whats a job got ot do , I started my career here in UK as a security guard.. working 12 hours shift to meet ends meet..
    that doesnot mke it a menial job..

    Good decision by rajan..



    Bikram's

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  6. Some people always speak of the 'class'and 'circle' they move about, if only they could see, every person as equal ,things like this will not occur in minds of people like Amrita,

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  7. A really good story, enjoyed reading it.

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  8. interesting and thought provoking one...
    Appearance can be deceiving ha?

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  9. wow.. the ending was truly fitting the narration.. we do see such ppl who have a sudden change of heart.. and have very materialistic views of life..

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