Sunday, December 03, 2006

Just a messy mess !!

Ever since my induction into bachelorhood (not that i was married ever :P) its been more of a necessity than a regualrity to eat at hotels. Initially one can get away with "decent" hotels that provide you s-class food, but as time progresses your purse begins to feel the pinch and quite automatically one begins to let loose his 'decent' funda. And when you get stuck to a place like Hyderabad, the decision come a bit sooner than expected. Believe me guys, it took me only a week to come to that!

Once that wisdom dawns, those hotels which never existed before magically seem to spring up before your eyes. Like fire-flies you move into one of these for 'trying' out the food there. Along the expected lines you tend to 'like' one of these options you have ventured so far. And there begins this blog, with my selection called as the 'KKTA' mess. Every time I think of this one, the more mysterious it becomes.

This mess is very similar to any mess that you would have in your imagination. A medium sixed hall with an amazing number of tables fitted into its small perimeter. It is like a black hole which can accomodate any number of people in it. Given its spatial orientation, you cannot expect it to be very comfortable. But hunger dominates over preferences and this epithet is used to its maxim in this mess. The profile of the mess is far from aesthetic. The entrance contains a rudimentary blackboard etched with the standard phrase 'Meals ready'.., as if people came there with purposes other than to satiate their hunger. The decoration is limited to the solitary portrait of the owner's dad who despite his overwhelming moustache tries to showcase his tobacco-stained tooth. The poor old man would have never smiled, had he lived long enough to see his photo lying in its dilapidated condition with a flower garland round its rusted frame which was to probably lie there until his next anniversary. The only article which looked gleaming was the 'galla' or the money box which captivates the utmost attention of its owner.

Despite its rustic ambience, the mess attracts quite a number of people inclusive of me. The operation of the mess is very unique with its visitors following a steady pattern. For crowd managability, a token system is followed where one has to stand in a queue that perfectly disobeys *all* queing theories known. But with expertise or patience you can manage to get a lunch coupon for yourself after paying a price rounded off to its nearest ten. And next comes the toughest part where you have to literally "catch" a place to sit down. Within a couple of visits you gradually learn the tricks of the trade. One can actually book a table by pinning down their coupons on the table and with a little more experience under your belt, you would want to stick your coupons with a drop of water beneath it so as not let it fly away. With a little more experience and speculative risk analysis you might even abandon your watch on the coupon and sit on a bench for the sake of a fan over-head.

Once your turns arrives, you get a prefilled platter(actually i would have ventured to call it a plate if it were a tad smaller :P) with a solitary banana bonanza and some fired rice (not a typo guys !!). Within an alarmingly short time, a server comes to you and fills your plate with a big lump of rice and another fills up the small pot-holes with a couple of curries and a fry(some inexpensive veggie fry). The refuelling (filling) of the plates happen with amazing response time and you are never with an empty plate. The waiters here are at the pinnacle of optimism. They prompt you for rice once your are at your upper limit as if your hunger can reappear within minitues. The profitability of the mess is ensured with it maximising its clientele within the epoch. A variety of pickles accompany your lunch with a small cup of curd. Customer service is enhanced at this point by proving you an optional extra spoon with which you can rustle up a mini lassi out of your curd cup.

Oh and you must be expecting a couple of probing hands which pin up coupons at quite alarming places. Alertness is the mandate !! Once you are done with your lunch, you are expected to extend the courtesy to your fellowbeing by vacating the chair at the earliest and any delay in doing so might be the causal action for a uncalled bickering. And whats more..., to top the food, you even have fennel seeds to nibble :D. Coming out of the mess, you are filled with contentious emotions, with all thoughts metling into the same trough, getting lost in the oblivion.......

BottomLine Recommendation : Enter at your own risk !!