Valentine’s Day, Or As Some Call It – Thursday

valentines_day_comment_graphic_13With feral disregard to Valentine’s Day propriety that prohibited them from being seen in public, five comprehensively single people, including moi, decided to meet up for dinner. And not just dinner at any place, we boldly decided to hit Ego’s, the Italian restaurant in South Delhi that is immensely popular among those of a romantic persuasion out to enjoy good food and great music with their match chosen by The One Himself. It was perhaps a symbolic choice for us considering that we had enough of it of our own (I mean Ego or Pride or Shamelessness, call it what you may) to not want to hide under our beds on a day when Non-Singles so heartlessly paraded their Facebook status.

One look at the abject appearance of our fivesome and the nimble-footed usher hurriedly chose for us a table situated in the remotest boondocks of the restaurant. Clearly, where we thought fashionably torn jeans, hawaii chappals, black t-shirt with haldi stains, customized unkempt hair, a two-day stubble etc. etc. were all motifs of cool hipsterishness, our man saw them no more than signs of date-less reality. Yes, we were confined to the ‘table on the far side’ – the one by the popcorn machine, and so close to the kitchen that one could smell the artificial pink color being used to make the cake frosting inside. When my friend Sanjiv twirled his finger at the host of untaken tables strewn all over more desirable real estate, his quizzical gesture was shot down with a firm ‘They are all reserved, Sir’. No doubt reserved for happier faces that would oh so seamlessly blend in amidst red ribbons and roses pockmarking every nook and cranny of the place today.

Chris de Burg’s “Lady In Red” spat out of the Bose sound system. Typical, I thought.

“It’s not so bad,” I said half-heartedly, as we were all seated at our outpost.

“Well, at least it’s a good view of the whole place,” Asha consoled herself.

“And no one can see us. I need some JD,” muttered Ravi.

Drinks were ordered at warp speed and were served just as promptly. Vodka, mojito, whisky and such like.

A young couple entered the restaurant and was quickly accorded prime seating. They seemed to have barely cracked puberty.

“How can Chintu and Munni even afford a place like this with their pocket money?” asked Goldie as she pointed at the newcomers with her eyes and used her hands instead to pick up the vodka glass.

“Maybe he saved all year to give his girlfriend a special VD present,” I offered intelligently.

“Must you call it VD?” said Goldie, making a face.

All of us sniggered at the VD joke, hardly justifying our chronological ages.

“But seriously, how? I bet you, Munni put her Barbie to bed before coming here,” Goldie pestered with her pertinent financial cross-examination.

“Parents are only too happy to see their kids go out and have a good time. Maybe this treat was a reward for them passing their Social Studies exam,” said Sanjiv trying to read the menu card by holding it three feet from his face. “Hey, why have they reduced the font size on this bloody thing? And why are the lights so dim?”

Arrey, give it to Ravi, let him order. You just make sure that you check-in all of us on Facebook!” I said, thus ending Sanjiv’s unsuccessful tryst to hold the menu right side up sans reading glasses. (Ravi, incidentally, is 28 dog-years younger than all of us)

“Should I order ribs?” Ravi suggested. The three vegetarians at the table looked at him glumly.

“Don’t tell me they are going to serve them drinks! They are what, twelve? Fourteen, tops!” wailed Goldie observing from her vantage point.

“Let them be happy. Chocolates, roses and tea are the new combination on Valentine’s Day,” Asha said authoritatively. “And by tea, I mean the one from Long Island that comes in a tall glass!”

“Amen, Sister!” said Goldie, and the ladies sipped copiously from their glasses.

Food was ultimately sorted. It was decided to “just order lots of appetizers”, which is infinitesimally easy to manage, though it also ensures that only microscopic portions of the “awesome” stuff eventually end up getting passed around.

A young couple walked in with their small kid. The kid was five, perhaps ten – we were unlettered in matters of kid’s ages. Or kids, generally speaking.

“Who brings kids to their romantic dinner? Fools!” said I categorically.

“My friend just moved to Bangalore. He is having trouble getting his kid admitted to school,” Ravi said.

“Terrible,” said Sanjiv munching his jacket potato with oodles of butter, cheese and chives.

“Why? I think it is great!” said Asha as she looked at Sanjiv suspiciously. Ravi looked up from his buffalo wings quizzically.

“Oh, I meant the whole school thing – terrible. The potatoes – YUM!”

“My colleague at work has invited me to his daughter’s happy budday this Saturday”, I said. “What should I take as a gift?”

That set off a cackle of laughter at the table. Despite choked food pipes, loud coughing and misty eyes, the other four still managed to mock at my predicament.

“Do get us all return gifts. UNCLE!” managed Sanjiv through more hysterical laughter.

“Bastards!” I said.

The food and drink ravage-fest continued. Presently, the unfriendly usher came by our table again. He enquired pointlessly if we were enjoying our evening, to which we nodded politely.

“I have a request,” he added, this time a trifle sheepishly.

“What is it?” asked Ravi.

“We start our Valentine’s Day Special in an hour. This will become a couples-only restaurant after that. Couples Only. No single people. Not even in groups.”

“Yes, yes, we know,” said Sanjiv gruffly.

“I just thought I should remind you all. Thanks for understanding,” the usher added as he flashed a creepy smile and begged our leave.

“Asshole,” I said once we were safely out of his hearing range. Everyone concurred.

“I am not coming out on Valentine’s Day. Ever again,” said Goldie, as she gulped the last of her vodka.

Asha looked at her and smiled.

“Let it be, dear. One last round? Happy Hour doesn’t end until 6.30. We can still be out of here by 7 before the crowds come in.”

 

To be clear, I shall remain tightlipped on which parts of this story are true and which not! But, do know that all the characters in this story are absolutely real – these are my close friends, who also happen to be happily single. Also typical are their reactions!

And please don’t get angry at the management of Ego’s! It’s an awesome restaurant in New Friends Colony in Delhi…fun, lively, good food – you should definitely visit!

 

Comments

comments

56 thoughts on “Valentine’s Day, Or As Some Call It – Thursday

  1. Corinne Rodrigues

    Sounds like me and a gang of single friends a few years ago, Ricky – minus the JD! Honestly, I always wonder where kids get those copious amounts of money that they’re quite happy to spend at restaurants, etc! In the ‘old’ days, we either went out with our parents or ate at the cheapest dosa joint….No moral comparisons, just curiosity! ;)

    Reply
    1. Rickie Khosla Post author

      Don’t they say that everything becomes alright with a JD? :D
      You’re right… Even I can’t fathom the bottomless wallets young people seem to carry these days. In my time, all we could afford were samosas. And those too were shared!

      Reply
  2. Rachna

    It is that time of the year again. I almost dreaded reading your post seeing the title. I find the hoopla and madness quite amusing. If you got it flaunt it buddy. If you don’t show the middle finger :).

    Reply
    1. Rickie Khosla Post author

      Great philosophy! I seem to be showing my middle finger too often, though! Maybe I should be working on getting some of the good stuff that other folks have!
      But why dread reading my post on VD? I am practically Cupid when I walk around in my underwear carrying my bow and arrow!

      Reply
      1. Rachna

        Not sure I can take in any more lovey dovey posts that’s why though I knew yours will be quirky ;-). I love being in love. Sound corny! But what can be bad about having someone that truly loves you. Yet, I hate this shove it in the face of others approach and the gaudy displays. And these commercializations are best stayed away from. BTW what do you think of New Year’s parties and other such crappy events? I heard that there are karwa chauth parties too now!
        BTW Happy Valentine’s Day *ducks and hides* :)

        Reply
        1. Rickie Khosla Post author

          I love Karwa Chauth parties! Where else can one get to see women of ALL SHAPES, SIZES AND BACKGROUNDS go absofuckinglutely christmastree! It is a miracle of enormous proportions!
          Hey, nothing corny about being in love – roses, pink ribbons, vodka, whatever tickles one’s fancy!
          Happy Valentine’s Day to you too! Hope you are gorging on chocolates right now :)

          Reply
  3. Susan Deborah

    I would have been mad if someone tried telling me to leave just because it’s couples only evening. All said and done, love makes the world go around whether mushy couples or goofy friends.

    Have a great day, tomorrow, Ricky ;)

    Reply
  4. Shuchi

    Somehow, the hype is so much more in India. I cannot imagine that restaurants would turn away “non-couples” here in the US, as long as you were paying for a meal.

    Reply
    1. Rickie Khosla Post author

      I think hype toh udhar bhi bohot hai! Anyway, don’t believe half the things I wrote! I’m sure you know Ego’s in Friends Colony… They are hardly likely to behave like jerks. Thought I’d have some fun at our and their expense!

      Reply
  5. Amit

    But what stopped you from telling the waiter that you guys are couples? There are enough same sex couples and threesome couples in the world. He would have understood. :P

    Reply
    1. Rickie Khosla Post author

      Yes, it’s an awesome restaurant in Friends Colony. I was just having fun in this post at their expense. The observations of the group (my friends and I) are quite typical but the whole part about the usher etc was made up. It’s a lovely place- you should visit.

      Reply
  6. mamta khanna

    rickie if this is true then i must say it was u’ll who n-joyed d valentine day more- observing nd n-joying watching people with their valentines..

    Reply
  7. Ruchira

    Hilarious .. actually its your fault Rickie .. who told you to go out to Dinner on valentines :) But honestly I get a kick out of observing these couples go all mushy :)

    Reply
  8. Saurabh Hirani

    Clearly, fashionably torn jeans, hawaii chappals, black t-shirt with haldi stains, customized unkempt hair etc. were as much a sign of date-less reality as they were of cool hipsterishness. :) effortless flow. Although I was hoping for a fictional touch where in the end one of the gang members, with a raised left eyelid targets another posh joint to crash, and the others stare up at the ceiling and laugh like mad scientists :)

    Reply
    1. Rickie Khosla Post author

      Well, these are real people I was talking about…and their very real and typical reactions if they were to find themselves in a setting like the one I described! I think it would have been totally against character if they did the things you’ve described. And then these friends would be after my life, threatening me with defamation lawsuits, if I were to portray them as such! :D
      So you see, my hands were tied to not make them look any more colourful!

      Reply
  9. Dagny

    They say opium is a lot more potent when mixed with pickle oil. You don’t need anything added to your posts.

    What more can I say?

    Reply
  10. vishalbheeroo

    Love the post. Cmon! There should be some real from the na-real VD conversation. The kids story is hilarious, Rickie it’s a fun thing to do on VD and would love dressing in white kurta and chappal. Me too! Would love to have such a crazy conversation:)

    Reply
  11. Sakshi Nanda

    Tomorrow I will wish you the happiest VD day. Oh wait that doesn’t sound right! My mind must be Diseased after all the food I ate sitting on that “youngster” table next to yours. :D
    Good one, Reeky!

    Reply
  12. Afshan Shaik

    Valentines’ day celebrations – I still never felt motivated enough to be a part of it or go on a romantic dinner the same night . Looks like U guys had more fun than many other couples there :) Good one

    Reply

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