Friday, June 27, 2008

a customer's plea

A recent event at a restaurant coerced me to react to it at the best way possible. And what could I managed to do was to get the mail id of the VP of the hotel chain, and mail her. Here it goes, the snippet served from my mail..

Respected madam,

Being a true connoisseur of food, it is not less than a dozen times that I have visited the Indijoe restaurant on Airport Road here in Bangalore, in the last one to two year span of time. The food, ambience, service and just about everything: the whole experience, I felt, was no less than excellent. And, it was a happy news for me to know that a new Indijoe has opened up on the Old Madras Rd, at a walk-able distance from my home. And last week I decided to give it a try.

At the first look the ambience was at par with the other Indijoe. And the man in charge there, came and asked if he can help me. I said I wanted a table for a person. He pointed me over to the bar table counter, and when I said I was there to have food also, not just drinks, he said they don't have tables for individuals. Pardon me, but I just wondered if I had walked into a road side dhaba! If he had told me that there is no two-seater table available, and I'd have to wait for a while, I would have understood. But this was way too much for me.

I have traveled across a lot of places, dined right from the road side restaurants to the five and seven star hotels like Taj and Leela. This was the first time I had come across an experience of this sort- literally, getting thrown out of a restaurant, for being single. I have seen hotels saying 'dogs not allowed', but, 'singles not allowed'- this has to be a new trend! If it had been a discotheque or a place like that, allowing no stag entry, I could have understood. All this man wanted was, me to have one more person, if I need a table; and what was I to do- wait outside the restaurant, for some unlucky customer like me who gets thrown out eventually, and pair up with him for a table?

I am not flaming, or even trying to play a blame game here. All I want to put across is, how a customer like me who "used to" adore Indijoe, gets totally annoyed and irritated by an incident like this, and having to walk out and search for another place to eat(luckily here in Bangalore, good restaurants are, for your kind information, not hard to find). Every time we friends had parties, treats and such get-together occasions, I used to suggest Indijoe as the best place to go for. What this person, who threw me out forgot is that an individual coming to a restaurant one time, is the one who is going to bring along a whole family the next time, provided the atmosphere is enchanting and not annoying!!

Sorry for such a long mail. But I was just trying to point out the feeling of a customer without loosing on the emotions behind the words. I believe you value each and every customer (over a pack of them who might be shelling in a couple of more bucks) and keep Indijoe as nice as it used to be, keeping with the reputation of the BJN group. I request you to do the needful. And just in case, if there is any need to contact me over a phone, my number would be: xxxxxxx

Thank you for you time.

To my surprise, she responded, the same day. And here it goes..

Dear Mr. Jagadeesh,

Thank you for taking the trouble of writing this mail.

It is very distressing and disturbing for me to hear that one of our manager's has behaved in such an unprofessional manner.

Please accept my sincere apologies and be rest assured, I will personally take this matter up very strongly with the team. Please do not hold this one incident against us. I assure you, you will not be disappointed.

My number is xxxxxx. Please feel free to call me for any assistance.

Vice President (Operations)

If you ask me what did I gain from spending my time on this behalf is expressing the power of a customer. And I do respect every concern and company that do take care of customers, they are, people who really knows how to handle the business. And the gist of the post is not a black mark in any way against Indijoe, or the BJN group, but on the contrary, my respect for a VP who finds time to come down to a customer's level to address an issue.

For me, it is a rebellion sought (not exactly, but for the rhyme), fought and got!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Ah, Poetry! -- Innocence Lost

Where has the charm gone, I ask, when I visit the "Ah, Poetry..." community on Orkut now-a-days. It used to be one community of budding and veteran poets, having poetic exchanges, comments and criticisms and so forth.

I still remember the day I joined the community; almost a year back. It was very addictive. Poetry became an indispensable part of my life, fired by the inspiration- of knowing that there are readers who take time and read your poem.

Now what remains is petty fights, egoism and a once-in-a-while appearing gem of poems. "Why?" my mind asks. Here is the ten commandments of "Ah, Poetry..." (*and many of them, I live with it, knowing nothing can be done).

  1. Give more to get more (comments).
  2. To get maximum comments (*but most of them nothing but a half read, or rather not-read comment saying 'nice', 'great' and all such) you have to be a female.
  3. To get more comments (*to top up on 1.) you need to be a female with a profile pic (*beautiful the better).
  4. Every one has a hidden intention- satisfying an ego, snatching some fame, irritating one that gets the most comments and so on the list goes.
  5. The best way to get a girl accept your friendship request (*proven) is to read a dozen of her poems, put in some sweet comments interspersed with some criticisms (*for that she has to write one or two poems which are understandable) and then send the request. 99% you will be accepted.
  6. Everyone starts with a spree, that he/she got more comments than mine (*and my mind saying, that no that write is not even worthy as mine), so I need to do something about it.
  7. Blessed- Anonymity allowed. Hide behind the veil and shout all things filthy- decent outside, indecent inside- and act, there is no fairer an angel than me!
  8. Everyone complains, but the fact is, to a poet, nothing can be a replacement for "Ah, Poetry!".
  9. Everyone complains, but the fact is, to a poet, nothing can be a replacement for "Ah, Poetry!".
  10. Finally (almost) everyone reaches a stage of 'Nirvana', where no one's pranks affect you; drag you into controversies, and you remain 'selectively-blind'.
Tail Note:
I haven't written this as a finger-pointing article at anyone. Till a wordly fight becomes a fist fight, silence can be the best aegis.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Poothan and Thira

In the mid summer heat,
The 'chenda's they sing.
Like the spring among seasons,
With a convivial tone.

I stand at the gate,
With effervescent joy,
The procession of lights,
For it to arrive.

I know they rhythm.
And emotions overwhelm-
Of fear, and anxiety;
'Poothan and Thira'- arriving!

Hide behind mom,
And I peep from a side,
But the poothan sees me,
The pace of his dance- growing!

War of the good,
Against the evil,
They dance to the rhythm,
So does my feet.

Memories flood,
Like tides to the sea shore,
Hearing the 'chenda'
'Pooram' is here yet again.

Sitting in a wheel chair,
Pushed by my mother,
This time when 'Poothan' comes,
Only my mind will dance!!


Tail Note:
Pooram is a festival in Kerala. It is an annual festival associated with temples. There will be a pooram for the most important temple of a region. That used to be the biggest festival for the natives of that specific region, who worship the God of that temple. The most famous one is Thrissur Pooram.

The way Pooram is celeberated varies. There is always elephants and a musical instument called Chenda, a form of drum. People can never feel nothing when they hear the rhythm of a Chenda.

Poothan and Thira is an art form, part of Pooram in the central part of Kerala, much like a minor version of Kathakali. It is a type of dance form, which travels across to each house in the specific region. Poothan has a scary dressing and tries to scare children around him with his sword and all. Thira is another dance form, but much less scary. The word Poothan comes, supposedly from Bhootam, the Malayalam word for Bhoot.

Walking Away

Time has come,
When I am no more a child,
Time whispers,
It is 'time' to make my flight.

I will be parting my home,
Walking away,
Bidding good bye,
And not looking back.

Walking away,
From that jasmine
That bloomed yesterday,
For the first time.

Walking across, a breeze,
That lilts the paddy,
As naughty as ever;
Ruining the hair,
That I had set.

Crossing red mud floors,
Where I took the first steps.
When the little hand
Was holding my father's fingers.

I can feel the tears,
In my mother's eyes-
A good bye-
And I keep walking away,
Not looking back!!



I genuflect.
And on my knee-
I stand;
The seventh in line.

Closing my eyes, with
Hands tied behind the back;
And wanting to close my ears,
Every time the gun cries!

Death swallows,
One by one;
And it will come,
Knocking at my door!

Every fire,
And to every final sigh,
I feel my heart,
Skipping a beat.

The bitter cold,
Behind my neck,
When the thirsty revolver,
Gives me the last tickle.

I count the moments,
Sensing a finger,
Making love with the trigger,

There was no fire,
An empty revolver,
He is in no hurry,
So too the heaven's door.

I hear the reload,
But I am numb,
To all that I call world,
And I wait, for the gun to fire again.


Tail Note
A brief history. During Second World War, Japanese had captured many Americans as prisoners of war, and one of the most heinous camp was at Palawan, in Philippines. After the grip tightened on Japan, sensing that America might come back to save their soldiers, Japan started executing the prisoners of war.

Burrows were dug and many were pushed in to it, then pouring petrol into it and incinerating. Then again, many were made to kneel, and a man firing bullets behind their neck.

The whole of these war crimes (*no I am not blaming just the Japanese here, it has happened to all the countries that have waged war) goes through "Bataan Death March", "Palawan Massacre" and all.

More details can be found here:

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Divine moves

A spin,
A swirl,
Then, on the edge
A ballet dance.

Coffee mug-
And spilled.

My secret potion

A drop of faith,
A pinch of hope,
Pour in belief -
And all into trust,

What I did not know,
Is of the never changing summer,
The concoction,


Perfect trap

A trap is set,
And made luring,
With rubrics,
And I hide it
Under layers of words.

My poetry waits,
With an open mouth,
For victims,
Who falls prey,
For my crazy words,
And idiosyncratic title!!

You are here, entrapped
And whom do you bring along?


Lamentation- 2 haikus

Season turns autumn,
A wind sneaks in through my door,
And the door, laments!

Mournful melodies,
Mosquitoes sing for the night;
Silence takes its toll!


The little naughty kid,
Plays around the universe,
Rolling planets on the sky's floor,
And sticking stars on the dark walls.

Tired he is,
Running all around the cosmos.
Tilts and sits, he, on the moon,
Hanging his bare feet on to its side.

Feels with his fingers,
The clouds passing by,
Blows a gust of air,
And makes them fly off!

He takes off;
To play with a new toy,
From his toy-box of cosmos.

We are all just his toys,
Still, mesmerized we stand,
At his naughtiness,
Uncertainty -

The only thing certain..


Monday, June 09, 2008

Atomic Kitchen (1) - burnishing a hidden talent

Scene 1:
The day starts, just like any other. Birds chirping, zephyr flowing. Nature as always, showing its magnificent splendour.
The only catch, I woke up early (*earlier) and hungry out of the bed. Now what is the option. Get up, do all the morning poojas and get out for a breakfast? Nah! That's gonna take a tad too long.

Bulb flashes- idea!!

I'll cook. "Wow! Amazing, but what?"- my mind asks. Egg toast. Now that sounds tasty. I said why not.

Cooking, till that time, that very second, was one among my latent talents. No one, including myself had explored that facet of mine.

The stage is set. The utensils are laid. All I need to do is... to break an egg. How do I do that? Do I throw it into a cup? Or do I cut it? But where to cut? The corner or the center? "No!", nothing to worry; it is my specialty: I can cut it anywhere, and I mumbled to myself - "here goes nothing!!".

Holding the egg over the cup, with the sleight of hand, like a magician, I do it- I make the cut- or rather a half cut. Now comes the artistic part, breaking it off and pouring.

Hands perfectly placed on sides (between the words, I did cut it in the center, to break the suspense) I tear it to the sides. The raw egg flows. Not a single drop spilled, "wasn't that wonderful?"; but, into the cup. All that was there in the cup was, a few broken shells.

All said and done, even 'the best cook in the world' makes mistakes at times. It is when things go wrong- serendipity happens- that is I get a raw egg to toast!

Tail Note:
The best part was the smell of the raw egg, that prevailed, over hours, days and weeks. Now I am not sure whether the smell is gone, or I just got used to it!!

To add, this is surely not the end of my kitchen adventures; the saga has only begun.