Imagine getting a text, first thing on a mid-month Tuesday morning, that you have a grand total of Rs 1188.08 in your account.
I wake up, disgusted with the numbers on my phone screen. I count the digits. I count them again. Can't be right. I've obviously been robbed. I get up and look in my bag for for the blue plastic card, expecting to not find it because misplaced cards happen to me four, maybe five times a year. This would just be one of those times, second in a month. Except I'm missing 40 grand. Thought number one, what a greedy waiter!
Only explanation: The aggro TGIF chappie in his red and white stripes and lots of badges from last evening has cleaned me out.
But then I find the card. TGIF waiter is off the hook. Good for him. I make a half-baked mental apology for the insinuation. Still don't love those badges, though, and really, they make the worst Bloody Marys ever.
Even three weeks ago, on Rakhi, I knew this. My then companion, drinking whisky on top of whisky right before flying back to Toulouse that night, says to me, erm, moronicus, I hope you know you're drinking bad rasam.
Rasam! I love rasam. But I don't want to pay Rs 500 for a pint of make-believe, pale, watered down, unspiked tomato soup that they're charging me not-nice amounts for.
They don't learn, since that rakhi day they haven't. Obviously nor have I, given that yesterday, with no gun to my head, just an aa bail mujhe maar attitude, like the headline in one of the city supplements today, I went back to TGIF hoping vaguely, that in three weeks I was there last, they must've got a new bar tender. Ha! No such luck.
Landed on our table, in glass tumblers: rasam garnished with one giant celery. Toulouse whisky friend had said to me that day, "Erm, there's a tree in your glass, da".
That's right. Giant bloody celery tree, with no salt on the rim, and worse, no alcohol in the rasam. TGIF makes the worst Bloody Marys, EVER. Did I already say this? Good, it bears repetition. If somebody asks you who makes the worst Bloody Marys, make sure you thump your chest loudly and convey this bit of trivia.
We sent back our peppery reds. They brought them back, apparently redone.
We asked for the manager. He turned up. And the horrible, defensive, unhelpful man that he was/is, said sorry, this is the best he could do. He didn't do anything! We had to ask for the ingredients. Bring the tabasco, bring the lemon juice, bring the worcestershire sauce, and for chrissake, bring more vodka, you wicked stingies.
(Didn't say wicked stingies. That would've been rude and awfully reminiscent of Notting Hill and Hugh Grant saying Oopsie Daisies.)
But the dishwater -- apparently TGIF uses a premix that has possibly only powdered tomato seeds.
We bowed our heads and prayed. Help us god, to not clobber this imbecile waiter, and his attitude-throwing manager for treating us like powdered ants. Amen.
It worked. Sort of. The manager succumbed, gave us two complimentary vodka shots -- for three of us, but still. It helped. Vodka does that, makes it all better, and helps cranky women calm down, inhale and get back to talking rubbish and cackling.
So much for detox. And oh, about the poverty, the early morning alarm bells, the near-destitution-post-it-- namely, my current financial standing of Rs 1188.08 -- I'm going to be, duh, spending a lot less and taking the metro a lot more. Till Citibank tells me otherwise.
It's like college again. Worse, actually -- at least the 1,000 bucks pocket money I got back then, plus some more for the bus (bless mummy-deddy!) had the decency to be a rounded-off amount. Not some stupid Rs 1188.08 that is to last me fifteen more days.
Like a good girl, I am also going to carry lunch from home and not drink over-priced dishwater at franchise restaurants gone wrong. Let's see how long it lasts.