Last night home

I left home 5 years ago, and have been back 5 times,

With no recollection of the escapades of each time,

Yet I never forget, the 5 nights like a eidetic charm

The last night of each time.

The last night brings a plethora of guilt

Riddled with bullets of emotional doubt

Could I have been more vocal on the table?

Maybe a little more could have been said before the old man called it a night

Mother helps me fold the fallen tee-shirt

Her tone hinting anxiety for my future

I have memorized the contours of her forehead, to keep me in spirits for a later time

Father shuts his bedroom door

Perhaps disappointed at how we appreciate silences

My presence is yet an unfinished limerick,

Like a muddlehead waiting in despair

Nothing changed in the 5 times,

My vow to be home intact

The guilt and homesickness remain the same

Each time promising to be the last

There are unchained emotions kissing my country mouth

To get me to come home soon

For if you were in my place

Wouldn’t you do that too?

How to be a Fantastic Customer?

“People are such idiots. They will read everything highlighted in inverted commas like its a fucking postulate.”

I put the line above in inverted commas to state the unspoken truth. That people are idiots.

I was at Barbecue Nation last night and was bowled over by their fantastic customer service at Vizag. TBH (OMG I can’t believe I finally used this term), it was my first time at a Barbecue Nation and I really wanted to know what the fuss was all about and that’s why I went there, which was also amplified by my extreme hunger and lack of decisiveness of two useless sisters for a decent dinner suggestion.

cadbury

So we were escorted to our tables, and our welcome drinks arrived much later, while we were busy devouring the meat. Yet, we overlooked everything because we really liked the polite attitude of the boy ‘Suman’ who was hell keen on us trying some more starters. Yes the realistic mindset made me want to assume the worst of him and think that this is what people do in order to get the behavior reciprocated in their tips. I was later shocked to learn that the people there did not accept tips, and hence his niceness made me want to make him the hero of my story. Now hotel and hospitality regulars like my sister may say that it is all a part of their job and that all this behavior is rewarded and yadayadayada, but then this is my blog. I paid for it and everything. So,all hail my main man Suman, the super man.

I quietly observed the table adjacent to mine, a habit that comes out of living in a town like mine, where everyone knows everyone. If not by a first name basis, than on a familiar car number plate basis. So these table neighbours gave our hero Suman a really hard time. They had the most undermining tone and verbally insulted him (ok I am exaggerating) for slow service, which was not a surprise considering the fact that every bastard customer celebrated their birthday there which resulted in periodic dancing of the staff, every now and then. These things look nice in a club or a resto bar, but at a place where food is the crux of the place, dancing staff should be super strict no. It is such a copied idea. How sexist are we, if we ban bar dancers and yet encourage this family validated experience?

So Suman did whatever he could do bring their food on time, which sort of ran on a parallel speed to our own orders as the starter food is of the same quantity and assortment. I strongly felt a need to address this issue that has been bothering me since then. We focus so hard on wanting an excellent service, but are we any good customers? Does the monetary superiority of paying for service entitle people to behave like morons? Yes we would probably say no. Here is some unasked advice for every noob out there who doesn’t do it out choice but lack of knowledge.

  1. All service establishments have something called the right to admission. They can choose to kick you out if they don’t like you. So don’t walk in their like they owe your grandpop a share of their will.
  2. It is okay for stewards to screw up. They don’t do things on purpose. If you disagree with the staff or feel like you have been let down, do it politely or request for the manager with a smile on your face. There is absolutely no need to raise your temperament like a cocky rectum acting up.
  3. Be thankful and show gratitude on your face and let the staff know that you encourage them to do better. If you find someone new on the job, then might as well help them and give them a chance to be better at it by suggesting stuff to them. Otherwise they’ll develop into a people hating mongrel and take their frustration out on their families or friends at home.
  4. Try calling the staff with their name. I judge people on the basis of how they speak to staff in a restaurant. Hell yes it should be a benchmark to decide a date.
  5. Thank yous are free. It doesn’t hurt to thank people for their service, even if you are paying for it. It could be a secretive thank you that they did not spit in your food. I would if I was ever a waiter.

The hospitality industry is not a glamorous affair. A lot of effort goes behind setting up an establishment early in the morning and then shutting shop preparing for the next day and also pretending like nothing happened.

The least we as customers can do is, make someone feel better. If not in a restaurant, then atleast do it outside. It’s a beautiful addictive feeling. Nice people are the most selfish. They are nice all the time because it makes them feel better.

Try it.

The Untraceable Murder.

They should be tried for murder

For killing emotions, a crime too

Some people destroy feelings for so many materialistic things. They leave no trace on the crime scene because the murder is a mentally exclusive affair. It is possible to ruin and destroy a cafe without a trace through the ammunition of haunted feelings and sentiments. Cities never remain the same, neither do songs and their lyrics. People die too, yet you see them walking around and carrying on with their lives, while you consciously choose to not notice them, nor acknowledge their presence online for they bring back emotions of hatred of a mangled past.

What made me get to this zone? No I am not in a bad space of mind. I started contemplating about this issue because of subjecting myself to a conversation with my old school pal who stopped talking to me for a long time because I brought back haunted memories of his ex girlfriend, through whom we both became friends. For years I never understood why, till he decided to come out and explain himself. I have never appreciated honesty so much.

Feelings are such a core aspect of our lives, and yet we underplay them on such a complex scale.

Ode to Josephine

Somewhere out there someone’s saying a prayer
That we’ll find one another in that dream somewhere out there

And even though I know how very far apart we are

It helps to think we might be wishing on the same bright star

And when the night wind starts to sing a lonesome lullaby

It helps to think we’re sleeping underneath the same big sky.

Survival

I’ve come home on a short stint of leave of some sorts though my heart has been trumpeting with its own steady problems.

Though there have been no major battles across the borders, my mind has been fighting issues of its own.

I need to understand and accept certain things that I cannot change . I have been letting the gods of insecurities overpower my emotions for a long time.

It’s time I let the margarita in front of me to keep quiet and let the sober me to start taking over the real feelings of this blog.

There has been a shift in the last couple of months and this has been the most challenging phase of my life till date as I have had to deal with one of the most trying times that have made me question the fundamental reason of my basic decisions.

Dear God

Please don’t let me screw up.

I am at the crossroads of the most important junctures of my life.

May I have the maturity to handle things that I cannot change and live up to the expectations of everyone affected by me.

I need to survive. Most importantly, I want to.

Dear Josephine

For distances across the seven seas

There are permissions and currencies

For love to conquer boundaries

I have unpardonable tendencies

Elements with weird valencies

To curb the heart of insecurities

Because I’m helpless in countless philosophies

For the mind to battle adversities

I succumb to the fatalities

Untitled Mindset

So post a short stint of leave at Bangalore I have joined work again. Work has been action packed quite literally. I’m currently battling a minor back pain which made me think about how much I have hurt my body in the past couple of years. Yet I never learn. My gut tells me I suffer from a hyper activity disorder.

I have also began some serious training, and pretty soon give the ladkiyaans of my imaginary mohalla something to look at.

There has been a roller coaster shift with the job as I’m literally juggling between a thousand odd chores.

I’m looking for a good steady SUV for myself to roam in the streets of Punjab playing obnoxiously loud materialistic punjabi music for neighbours to crib about.

I bought a new iPad pencil last month and cannot stop gushing over how amazing I have become at doodling, which is a habit I picked up in one of the many long phone calls that I attend as a part of my work.

A Fear of Airplanes.

Turbulence ahead, you are requested to please fasten your seat belts.

This one announcement in the plane sounds like a death threat to my petrified soul.

It is to be kept in mind dear reader that this blog is being written some 10,000 ft in the air as my airplane crosses the unforgiving skies of Chandigarh. I can see a raindrop or two on the window.

I have had this nagging fear of the skies for over a couple of years now. It was never there before. I used to be fascinated by air travel in my early travels. I guess that went for a toss when I let a few terrible experiences and YouTube videos get into my nut.

It was thorough pondering that made me realise that it is not the fear of the skies or death that haunts me. I am a qualified sky diver. I have jumped in the dark skies without a second thought. Give me a parachute and I will be sure of myself.

But in this giant metal tube with a hundred other passengers and a stupid wailing kid, I realised that I have a serious fear of helplessness. The helpless idea of putting my life in the hands of a pilot I do not know or do not trust. The fact that I could be subjected to plummet to my death from a height, within a minute that would be filled with nothing but a sense of anger at the idea that I failed to book a train ticket. I have had thoughts about what I would actually think about. I have been wondering at the business proposition of investing in a new technology where a mega giant super parachute could be installed for a failing engine to save the plane.

The worst part of the ordeal is that this niggling fear does not come to me while booking the god damn tickets.

It comes to me only when the plane taxis on the runway in full swing. Those minutes put me through a sort of regret. A familiar feeling that makes me want to tear open my front seat and slap the scalp of the uncle ahead of me.

Just like any other typical human, I never learn. I’ll continue to bitch about this amazing invention that has been saving my ass as well as saving me 4 days of precious leave because my loved ones stay way far in the hinterland while I stay perched in a pigeonhole in the mountains, in the Siberian end of the country.

Godspeed.

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