U – Udupi Hotel
“Today is my No-Cook Day!” announces The Aunt one morning.
“Yayyy!” yells Raju.
“Yippee!” cheers Raghu.
The Aunt looks pleased at the enthusiastic response and looks around at JayPrakash Uncle.
The Uncle smirks. “That doesn’t sound like a compliment to you!” he says.
“I’m not looking for compliments.” retorts The Aunt. “I’m just looking for a day outside the kitchen.”
“Let’s go for a pizza!” says Raju.
“No, McDonald!” suggests Raghu.
The Uncle looks at them thoughtfully. “Didn’t we go with your choice last fortnight? I think it’s amma’s turn to select this time.”
“Awwwright!” sigh the boys, preparing for the worst.
“I feel like having something simple and South Indian today.” says The Aunt.
“I knew it!” says Raju rolling his eyes at Raghu.
“How about the Udupi Restaurant in the next street?” asks The Uncle. “We haven’t been there in a very long time.”
The Aunt nods her head. And its decided. Soon The JP family is walking down the block to the Udupi Hotel.
When they arrive there’s a huge crowd milling around the doors of the restaurant. A man at the door is handing out little slips of paper with numbers on them.
“Your token number.” he explains. “When it’s your turn you’ll be called!”
The JP Family is impressed. “See!” says The Uncle complacently. “How popular our hotel is! Have you ever seen so much rush for your Pizza?”
However it transpires there’s a Summer Discount Offer on, at the restaurant. That explains why half of the South Indian population of the town seem to have shut down their kitchens and headed over here. The Uncle is even more pleased. He loves Discounts!
They sit around outside the restaurant feeling hungrier and hungrier by the minute. Every now and then the man appears and shouts out names and numbers. It sounds like a day out at an Auction .
Finally it’s their turn. The man appears at the doorway and yells, “Mr. JayPrakash. Table No 8. For four people.”
The family head inside and take their seats at table No 8 and a waiter appears to take their order. The boys are not sure what they want.
The waiter, a nice and homely chap, helpfully rattles off a long list of dishes available, “Medu Vada, Dahi Vada, Puri Bhaji, Pav Bhaji, Rava Dosa, Soft Dosa, Set Dosa, Ghee Dosa……” all in one breath.
The boys are even more confused.
“I’ll have a ….. er….um…..ah…..!” begins Raju hesitantly.
“And I’ll have …… that!” declares Raghu, eyeing the next table. Raghu finds other people’s plates more interesting than his, invariably!
“That’s Chole-Bhatura.” advises The Aunt. “You couldn’t finish it last time remember?”
“I’m one month older than last time.” declares Raghu. “I can eat it.”
Raju finally makes his choice. “Ghee Roast!” he tells the waiter.
The orders are placed and the family passes the time watching the others around them. There’s a man two tables away tackling a Masala Dosa with knife and fork. Enterprising but messy! One piece of greasy and soggy dosa refuses to cooperate with the fork and ends up in his shirt pocket. The boys giggle uncontrollably.
“This is more fun than Pizza Hut!”says Raju.
The waiter appears with their order. Ghee Roast turns out to be a 1 mile long Dosa extending from one end of the table to the other. Raju turns pale just looking at it.
“I’ll never finish this even by next fortnight!!!” he wails.
“This is way funnier than Pizza Hut!” agrees Raghu as he settles down to watch his brother eat his way across the length of the table.
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This is the 21st in the series The Adventures Of The JP Family as part of the A to Z Blog Challenge.
Alphabet Illustration – Sudarshan Rao