Saturday, 16 July 2016

Bill Please - The One




She sighed contentedly, leaned over and rested her head on his shoulder. It had been a lovely meal, almost romantic, like a first date after a pretty long time....God knows when last they'd been alone together, she mused! 
The children were out of the nest, for studies and work. Today, even he had realized, how lonely the house felt! Looking at her wan face, he'd suddenly snapped his fingers and insisted they go out to dinner, in style!
Now seeing her content and smiling after a long while, he felt glad about his whim. He patted her head absently and nodded to himself, they'd do this more often, she looked so pretty when she was happy.
The bill arrived and he briskly paid it along with a generous tip. 
She reflected, it had always been this way with him, the past 26 years. No questions, no hesitation, no eyebrows raised....just a calm, steady acknowledgement of the bill and its payment.
Today, out of the blue, she remembered a distant incident, one that surprised even her as it resurfaced after...a good 26 years.
"Sweetheart, can we sit for some time in the park nearby, remember how we used to come here often with the kids?" she asked.
"Sure, let's go. You want to get some ice-cream or something?" he asked.
"No, I am stuffed, let's just chat for some time."
"Can I ask you something?" she started once they settled down into a bench overlooking a decrepit old fountain.
"Ask away milady," he replied with a smile.
"Do you remember the first time we met? You spoke to my Dad over telephone to fix the 'first meet'. You said you'd prefer to meet us all over dinner at some restaurant instead of the traditional setting at home, remember?" she asked with a shy smile on her face.
"Hey, of course I do! How can I forget the most important day of my life?" he said, pulling her closer and draping his arm around her shoulders.
"Well, I was wondering, how is it that, you who never let anyone else pay on a family outing, never once in the 26 years I have known you....that, you let my father foot the bill on that first day we met, that was so unlike you!"
"Ha, ha, ha!" he burst out laughing. "Trust you to rake up something as remote as that! Didn't I tell you why I let your Dad pay the bill?"
"No, you didn't and well, I never asked!" she chided.
"Hmm, okay, it's no big deal actually, I'll tell you why..." he smiled mischievously.
"You see I had decided beforehand, that if I didn't like the girl I was to meet at the rendezvous, I would save the family the expense of the dinner....the least I could do for the inconvenience. But if I liked the girl and she liked me too, I had decided that I would let the girl's father foot the bill...that one time! And of course, it was love at first sight for both of us wasn't it? That's how your Dad ended up paying the bill. Make sense?"
"Hmm...not really! But I am glad I heard your explanation. I didn't think about it much then as I was already bowled over by your charm!" she replied, looking at him fondly.
"Look, it's nearly 12, let's get going, I have an early meeting tomorrow morning," he said as he stood up and held out his hand to help her up.
Hand in hand they walked up to the car, each immersed in his own thoughts.
She was happily musing about the tall, gallant, handsome man by her side, thanking her stars for having him by her side all these wonderful years.
He was thanking his stars as well, for coming up with that brilliant explanation! 
Even after all these years, he couldn't quite own up that he'd not paid the bill that night as he did not have enough money in his pocket to pay for it. But that night, so many years ago, he had resolved, to change matters....work as hard as he could, so that never again....would someone close to him, pay the bill!



That dear folks, was our strong, sturdy dependable (SSD) type, from Category 6. 

Old-fashioned, girl-boy-family meets that formed the basis of arranged marriages in India, have evolved considerably over the years. Almost everything happens online nowadays, even in arranged marriages! But how does one pick up the subtle hints of a person's inherent nature without actual physical acquaintance...I wonder! 
The slow build-up of romance in the old-fashioned match-making process, had a charm of its own!

I do hope you enjoyed the Bill Please series and I am grateful to all those who read it and cheered me along! Thanks folks!


DISCLAIMER: 
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

Happy to be a part of:



READ:

A quick recap to help you understand what the Category 6 - Strong Sturdy Dependable - SSD  means:


I have managed to segregate people into six categories based on their distinctive reactions upon sighting the bill. I also hasten to add that one cannot be indefinitely slotted into a particular category, after all human reactions vary according to situations, don’t they?

Lastly, you have the solid, sturdy dependables SSD as the sixth category - good ol' fashioned, chivalrous folk who think paying the bill is a norm, no fuss, no tussles, no me-me'ing here, it's all very clear - big Daddy is here!






Copyright © 2016 KALA RAVI

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Bill Please - Wait a minute


Content Alert: The following content is recommended for readers who happen to be fans of  'The Lion King' movie series, featuring the inimitable pair of mismatched friends, Timon, the meerkat and Pumbaa, the warthog.


Timone was bored. The sun was beating down on his back mercilessly and he was famished. Now what wouldn't he give for a juicy tubful of his favorite treats! Sigh, gone were those Hakuna Matata days when he could scoop and stuff armfuls of those treats right off tree-trunks or slimy poodles. With the new legislations, those tasty treats were now classified under Jungle property, that meant you actually had to pay for those critters.....who does that? He had to have his treats right now and he would do just that, with a little help.

"Hey Pumba!" he said giving him a sharp jibe on his ample midriff, "Guess what?" 
"Aww, Timon lemme be," slurred Pumba. 

"Pumba, you won't believe what I am gonna tell you....we are going to 'Snakes and more' for their no-bars-all-you-can-stuff buffet platter! Isn't that awesome?" 

"What, what, what....come again Timone," asked a bewildered Pumba coming alive at those words. "Really, you're going to take me there?" 

"Why of course my dear friend, I am going to take you there and the connoisseur that I am, I shall introduce you to the finest selection of top-of-the-line gourmet bugs, worms, beetles.....freshly harvested, delicately plated and served by the best chefs in the Jungle. You my dear friend, are in for the treat of your life!" 

By now, both friends were practically drooling and they cantered or is it scampered as fast as they could to reach the gastronomic mecca of Pride Landes.

They soon reached 'Snakes and more' and made themselves comfortable on the squat boulders. For a whole minute they simply gazed at the mountains of food, heaped in piles, alive, squirmy, plump and juicy waiting to be devoured by them! Ahhh.....this was like revisiting the Hakuna Matata days!

"Ohh, welcome, welcome to my humble restro! I am very happy that the cheeky meerkat and the gassy warthog have graced it!" said Rafikii. "I am proud to present to you, the no bars, all you can pig...I mean hog....err, stuff...Rafikii's special buffet spread of the choicest, hand-picked, delectable morsels of ecstasy. Go ahead, pig on...I mean tuck in, and a word aside to you Mr Pumba," he said pulling him along. 
Tapping him on the head with his staff he added wisely, "We don't see things as they are....remember!"



"Oh, come on Pumba, don't listen to that old monkey, we have work to do!" shrieked Timone hurrying on to grab the largest leaf platter he could find.
Two hours later, the two pals slumped, stuffed to the brim with no space even for a mite more. Rafikii came around, clearing his throat, "Are we done here, boys?" 
"What done? Not already! That was just us warming up, right Pumba?" exclaimed Timon, proceeding to load his platter again. 
"Pumba, I tell you this black beetle is the scrunchiest ever, but I tend to be biased toward this wee little multicolored one too! You know what? I think I will get down to worm-farming soon....yes, capital idea isn't it? That way I can have my worm and eat it too! We can rope in Simbaa as a partner too. He can be the brand ambassador for my product: Imagine this, a can of the finest worms with Simbaa on the logo proclaiming, 'Timone's Best: Did you get your daily scoop?' 
Meanwhile Pumba was getting a bit restless, "Err, Timone, don't you think it's time you paid up, Rafikii's waving his staff quite meanly."
"Yes, yes, in a bit. Just wait will you? So where was I? Hmm, yes, Timone's Best! What a great name, can you think of anything better? No? Of course you can't! So like I was saying, we could pitch it better with Simbaa on the can. Not that I would look bad on the can....say what! But just for ol' times sake, I think I'll give him a chance."
"Say....Timone, what about me? The can could say, 'Timone and Pumba's Best'?" 
"No, no, no that won't do...too much information equals brand dilution, we want to keep it simple and smart, stick to the rules. And I suggest we do a promotional feature....yes I got it! I'll give you a role in it, in fact a big role in it! Order one crate and we give them free delivery, and guess what? You'll be personally delivering it with a smart cap bearing the caption: Timone's Best! Genius aren't I? Are you happy now Pumba?"
Rafikii rapped his staff on their boulder seats,"Are we done?"
"Go away, old monkey, we are discussing important marketing strategies. Pumba needs my advice. Pumba pay attention...as I was saying, the core to selling the product is in marketing it, blah, blah, blah and of course it involves some more blah, blah and blah" on for the next two hours!
Finally, Pumba could bear it no longer, what with his overfull tummy, glaring Rafikii and Timon's non-stop drone! He went up to Rafikii and handed him the tiny ruby he'd found during his daily forage in the bogs.
"Okay Pumba, are we done yet?" called Timone, "Don't you take the longest time, shuffling about so slowly on your feet? Come on, get a move on! Did you enjoy the treat? Didn't I tell you, you'd have the best time of your life? Now, move, scoot, let's push off! I wonder if we can catch the matinee show, my treat again, I guess it's your lucky day boy!"


Guess what category Timon belongs to? Yes, you are bang on! It's Category 3 - The Waiters


Do join me again for the next episode in the Bill please series!



DISCLAIMER: 
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.


Happy to be a part of:


READ:









A quick recap to help you understand what Category 3 - Waiters means:



I have managed to segregate people into six categories based on their distinctive reactions upon sighting the bill. I also hasten to add that one cannot be indefinitely slotted into a particular category, after all human reactions vary according to situations, don’t they?



We have the third category - the Waiters! Well, obviously I don't mean the ones serving the food but the guys who like to take their time coughing up the dough, even if they are the ones that initiated the luncheon!

The bill arrives and lies unattended. The server anxiously hovers around anticipating the settlement. But nothing fazes the Waiters! Masters of meaningless chatter, slow and steady wins the race for them. They are thicker-skinned than the MIA's; they do not leave the battle-front, they hang on to their seats and still pull it off! Eventually brawling babies, pestilential kids, grouchy dates and sheer civility kick in to ensure that the tab is picked up by anyone else besides the Waiters! Yes, the game's Waiting, simply Waiting!

 





Copyright © 2016 KALA RAVI

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Bill please - To good ol' times!




'Oh, goody-good! Ricky and family will be coming for the party too,' thought Shaina. That made it five families for dinner. All that remained was to confirm the table reservation at Ho-China, currently a popular eat-out. Soon everything was set and she confirmed the time and the venue of the meet on the Whatsapp chat group she had specially created for the occasion, her 35th birthday!
The boisterous group met on the designated day and what fun it was to catch up with old friends! Back-slaps, air-kisses and hugs were exchanged, kids' hair sufficiently ruffled, cheeks pulled and ohhh-cho-chweet-ed!
Old college mates, Tina, Ricky, Ayesha, Vipin and Shaina had finally caught up with each other on  Facebook. Fourteen years had passed since they'd last set eyes on each other, but it seemed just like yesterday. 
The large cake ordered by the gang, in honor of Shaina's birthday was duly cut with fanfare and a lot of cake-smearing! Conversation, double-helpings of food, desserts and drinks flowed freely, aiding the bonhomie of the evening!
Conversations ranged from, 'So what are you upto these days' to 'How Brexit could have been avoided' to 'The latest holiday destination' and leg-pullings like 'How the awkward Vipin had transformed thus and landed such a beautiful wife!'
Everyone profusely thanked Shaina for organizing such a fantastic get-together and forcing them all somehow, to make it to this event!
Around 11 p.m, Mr Shaina rose with a contented sigh and started, 'Hey, listen guys, I have an early morning flight to catch tomorrow and the kids look practically asleep, I'll take them home by a cab. Shaina darling, you drive yourself back and enjoy the party okay? Bye folks, see y'all soon,' and with a casual wink and flying kiss to Shaina, he took off.

Within minutes, Shaina received a call and she moved aside to take it. She signaled to the gang waiting at the table that she couldn't get the network, so she was going out to take the call. 
The clock ticked to well past 11.30 p.m, spouses started shifting uneasily and kids started drooping but there was no sign of Shaina. Her phone responded with a 'switched off' message.
The hosts of the party had vanished with no trace and the waiter was hovering around restlessly with the bill. 'Told-you so...should never have come...how typical of your friends' and other barely restrained mutterings abounded.
Eventually the bill was settled and the company made their way out with ill-disguised bitterness!
Just as they were exiting the venue, they spotted the missing Shaina, hurrying along from the parking area. Spotting them, she exclaimed, 'Ohhh, you guys are leaving? Aww, my poor babies got too sleepy is it? Naughty Shaina aunty! The network here is unbelievable! Had to walk down two blocks to get it! Hey! You settled the bill too....ohh, you shouldn't have! I know its my birthday and all....tch,tch, you folks are too sweet! Next time it's on me, promise? I hope you picked up the cake? I'd told them to pack it up, there's no point in wasting a good cake, is there? No, you didn't? Never mind, I'll take care of it....see you all soon dearies!'

After hugging them all warmly in farewell, off she headed to collect the remains of the celebration

So, that dear folks was our category two, yep you guessed right - the MIA's!
I had a tough time cooking this one up, hats off to real-life MIA's, amazing people!

Do join me again for the next episode in the Bill please series!



DISCLAIMER: 
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.


Happy to be a part of:


READ:

A quick recap to help you understand what Category 2 -MIA refers to: 

I have managed to segregate people into six categories based on their distinctive reactions upon sighting the bill. I also hasten to add that one cannot be indefinitely slotted into a particular category, after all human reactions vary according to situations, don’t they?

The MIA (missing-in-action) guys with their incredible disappearing act belong to the second category. Rather than muscle about or debate over the bill, these chaps prudently avoid any such exchanges by vanishing from the scene the moment they perceive its arrival.
It is as good a time as any other to check out the wash-room facilities of the set-up, have a puff, attend an emergency call or just disapparate, they decide.
They are convinced followers of the opinion – Escape while you still can. 
Of course, they are not shallow enough to gloat over their escape; instead they’ll sadly remark, ‘Oh, paid already? Missed it! It’s on me next time, promise?’




 

Copyright © 2016 KALA RAVI

Monday, 11 July 2016

Bill please - Boss play



'Oye, pappe! Bill itthe le aa!' bawled Sherry in between burps and generously running his palms around his overfull paunch! 'Nahi, nahi....no, no, no paaji! This time it will be my honor to footing the bill, I say!' stepped in Mishra. 'Na bhai na, ye bill toh maro che!' jumped in Jignesh! Soon the other male members of the party, trooped in to demand their right, to foot the bill. Miss Cheryl and Mrs Patil who had been demurely sitting, started feeling rather left out from all the action. What the heck! Appraisals happen only once a year, no point in missing a single opportunity, is there? And so, they joined the melee!
Mr Shekhar was completely bewildered at the show of such fire and passion from his erstwhile subdued and courteous staff. Never before had he heard the coy Mishra be so vociferous or the timid Miss Cheryl being so aggressive!
But matters were rapidly progressing towards a potential battle with the waiter nervously holding the bill high over his head while standing on top of a chair!
Shekhar cleared his voice rather loudly, but of course it was drowned in all the cacophony! He waved like crazy, but so fierce was the concentration of all involved in claiming the bill, that they paid little heed to other distractions. 
Only one way to get their attention - Shekhar ran to grab an empty chair and now climbed from there to the adjoining table! All the other customers and staff who had been avidly watching the fanfare surrounding the waiter with the bill on the chair, now shifted their attention to the suited-booted gentleman towering at an even more elevated level! 
Eventually the staffers noticed the strange apparition of their boss on the table too and the brawl subsided to a hush.
'I am glad, you have all finally decided to heed me,' started Shekhar. 'Please stop this nonsense, the bill goes into company account so there is absolutely no need for anyone to foot it!' The relieved waiter started clapping and soon the rest of the restaurant followed suit. 
Hurriedly the staff raced each other to be the first to rescue the boss from the higher altitude to normal plains. Shekhar chuckled, "Gupta, I think it's high time you wore a toupee!
Well guys, thank you all for a fantastic time and now that you are all settled and quiet, I have an announcement to make....today is my last day in this office, ten glorious years with this wonderful organization. I am confident that my successor will be equally supportive, don't worry! Your appraisals will be handled by the new boss as I need to join my new firm ASAP!
Thanks for being a wonderful team and thanks for a lovely lunch. Ha,ha, ha, big surprise right? Oh and yes! I was kidding about the bill going into company account! Go ahead now and decide peacefully as to who will settle it. I need to hurry; there's a welcome party being hosted in my honor at my new office! Cheers team! "

Me-Me, anybody?



Do join me again as I unravel the next episode in the Bill please series!


DISCLAIMER: 
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.


READ:
2. Bill Please - Boss Play
3. Bill Please - To good ol' times



A quick recap from the previous post:

I have managed to segregate people into six categories based on their distinctive reactions upon sighting the bill. I also hasten to add that one cannot be indefinitely slotted into a particular category, after all human reactions vary according to situations, don’t they?

Firstly we have the Me-Me or the large-hearted guys. A brouhaha ensues between this dwindling race of individuals, who get their kicks by way of footing the bill. Typically there will two or more contestants vying for the check in this scene. The contestants may even get a little heated on this issue, especially if the participants of the meal include the boss or the prospective girlfriend. 
While the victor proudly settles the bill, the loser good-naturedly back slaps him, ruing his loss and promising that the next victory would be his! You might not want to miss the loser's rare smug smile masked beneath the defeated look!
It’s beside the point, but still these victors may not always continue to vie for that spotespecially after a verbal beat-down from over-zealous better-halves/girlfriends/mommies. ‘Why did YOU have to? Were YOU the only one that ate? Aren’t YOU the most generous one?’ And a good dose of such reprisals ensure that repeat gestures of magnanimity are curbed!

A sub-category in the Me-Me group includes persons who Me-Me to the fore and then lose ground when they knowingly or unknowingly realize that their wallets/credit cards are stretched! It is the thought that counts, right?



­­Copyright © 2016 KALA RAVI