The sky is a deep, dark blue. There isn’t a cloud to be seen. On-the-run lunchers in ICC’s Level 9 cafeteria are trying their best to relish poorly cooked vegetable thalis and pau bhajis. (and some are regretting their decision of trying new-to-the-menu: Maggi Noodles) We are out in the sun, walking toward Art Beat.
“A regular walk in the sun oh my. You must hate the food up there!”
Since I am not paid to be polite, I have no qualms in admitting I d-e-t-e-s-t Level 9! They serve water and call it curd, mix up yesterday’s leftovers and decorate the menu with a hideous aloo-chole-paneer. (ever heard of such a dish by-the-by?)
Their parathas are long and ugly masses of a rubber like substance and I am never hungry enough to swallow that size. The place revamps itself at night though with lovey-dovey couples and sweet talk replacing harried software developers discussing their latest stroke of genius. It seems the quality of bhojan improves too. But then, evenings up there are more about unwinding to a nice panoramic city view than filling up empty stomachs.
“I wonder what’s so special about Art Beat…”
Is Kuku da Paratha more your kind? I’ll accept a ride there anytime if you please. Art Beat’s specialty lies in being walkable, serving fairly edible food and having an easy on the pocket billing system. There are days when dal chawal is all we order – a stark difference from the compulsory masala overdose up there. But then, I haven’t spoken about the best part of it all.
“I know there’s no escape until you are out with it.”
Escape, my darling. That’s where the nail loves a hitting. On our way back to office, we take this curvy and long about way that walks us through a canopied lane of quiet houses and silent shadows. The sun, forever in a playful mood these days, plays tricks that entice – warming you up just enough to let pleasant thoughts about school vacations and summer evenings seep in. The walk makes me stare at fading stress and blues like an amnesic and I am transported to happier times.
“And how do we pack all that up in the one hour break?”
Oh we are just a good time managers. We don’t dawdle over our food and are out in less than a half hour from the closet. We then proceed to take in every bit of the sun and taste every strand of the (not so) luscious orange that is my customary fruit. And though I say it myself, we are back at our desks at just the right time. Ain’t we model employees?
I smile triumphantly at you and shiver just a bit in the post-sun coolness of the air conditioner. You give me one of your looks and press the elevator button to floor # 5.