Lifestyle Awards 2013
Wellness & Relationship
Tales of a traveller
Posted By: Ankur Borwankar
A week in Delhi, and I’d been pestering my brother to show me the raging city he’d said he would. After sleeping all of Saturday and absconding with a girl on Sunday, he swore he’d take me to Park Hotel on Monday. Not, however, before making me suffer through a colleague’s baby shower, at which I’d been promised there would be booze. A promise I was daft enough to believe.
Hungry and whining after the worst baby shower in history, we entered the lounge area of the hotel just after 11 and placed a call to Murtaza Saifee, Pune Rugby’s finest full back and Sous Chef at Park hotel. There was much to trip on while we waited for our host: beads everywhere and, though pink isn’t my colour, blue and Hello Kitty neons. Even the elevators were painted a summer sky, with clouds and birds and everything.
Murtaza appeared in full chef gear and guided us to Agni, the bar, and watched silently the amazement on my face. Flashing strobes, a wall-projected TV, a cigar humidor the size of a fridge and all of Ireland on the racks - this was the promised land. We took a table for 3 while Murtaza told us that the house was going to half-charge everything tonight, for us, and us only. The perks of having an inside man... He vanished after telling a waiter to get us the drinks menu, and wouldn’t reappear till much later, yet again bearing gifts.
After requesting a befittingly named Acid Drop - absinthe, lemon juice and essence of fennel in a super tall shot glass - and a Jim Beam Black, we went over and made sheep’s eyes at the cigars, and learned that the most expensive one, the Churchill, was for 9 grand. Tail firmly tucked, we retreated to our table and, till the drinks arrived, resorted to the most economical way of entertaining ourselves - conversation. Though I didn’t see any green fairies that night, I did manage to get very, very plastered. As the dance floor filled up with surprisingly large numbers for a Monday night out, the fog machine and lasers kicked in, and I ordered another shot.
Murtaza showed up a while later with two plates of jaw-dropping food: Galouti Kebabs, and Salmon Tikka generously seasoned with dill. The Kebabs were served on tiny parathas and melted on my tongue. The Salmon, served with mint chutney, joined the party on my taste buds and, too soon, both plates were empty. Although Murtaza had vouched only for the Salmon, I preferred the kebabs. Nevertheless, both dishes were truly outstanding and our host was most gracious.
After paying less than one grand for what should have cost three (food was on the house), we stumbled out of the bar and back into the lounge, and turned to answer nature’s call. On the way we encountered an enclosure of neons, LEDs and mirrors, put there for no purpose other than to fascinate inebriates. This reason was explained by a warm gentleman standing at the entrance to the restroom, who held the door for us, followed us in, hovered around till we finished, turned the tap on, and then held the door again as we made our way out. Clearly, Delhi doesn’t have enough jobs. My brother, though, fell hook, line, and sinker, and was so charmed, he forgave this outright invasion of privacy, and tipped the man.
We picked Murtaza up outside the hotel and dropped him at his home that night, before returning to our own at 3 am, pretty late for working class. Coming from a city with no club scene, this was a fantastic welcome to a city with one foaming at the mouth. Indeed, Delhi is raging.
Ankur Borwankar comes from Pune, works in Delhi but lives in his own tripped out world. When he's not trying to outstare a Pink Floyd poster, or busy attaining oneness, he writes articles like this...
© Copyright NDTV Convergence Limited 2013. All rights reserved.