I am sure you must know the words from Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru’s speech on the eve of India’s independence – “At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom.” Well, we had decided to see the movie `Rush’ at 12 noon, at the PVR Theatres at Palladium Mall, not quite the midnight hour, but you get what I am saying, on a working day. So the other simile, while the world works we were at a movie.
As you know, lunch for us is something light and quick, quick being the most important. We cannot bear sitting down to a long lunch and seeing the day just flit by. At the times we are at the Palladium Mall, our favourite place to eat is McDonalds. This is quick, the food neither heavy nor light [stay away from the fries] and I assure you the food is most hygienic. I am serious, and not being sarcastic. It was 11.30 and we had about 20 minutes to eat and leave to be able to reach the theatre at 12 noon.
Right alongside McDonalds was Smoke House Deli. This is a very trendy restaurant. Everyone who is a somebody has eaten here. This is open from morning breakfast to dinner. So, logically speaking, 11.30 would have been time when people should have been having a late breakfast or a coffee or a midmorning snack. I suggested to HRH the Queen of Kutch that we see if they would serve us a sandwich, which, is another lunchtime favourite. In we went and to my considerable surprise there were no, I repeat, no, punters. The restaurant had lots of waiters, obviously with nothing to do, behaving in a loutish manner and generally playing the fool. At the take away counter there was a chef holding 18 inch French loaves in his grubby hands. No gloves, why should you care about hygiene. We asked for the menu and had a look at the sandwich section. Some usual sandwiches, Roast Beef and Onion, Vegetarian sandwiches, Mozzarella Panini and so on and so forth. Each one of them cost about Rs 450 on top of which I would have to pay taxes and the infernal service charge. So for the two of us we would have spent about Rs 1,100/- for two sandwiches all told. Add to this the drama of ordering, eating, billing, waiting for change. We both walked out.
Next door is McDonalds. The time was 11.35. The place was crawling with teenagers and young college students all happily tucking into burgers, bags of French Fries and slurping on all manner of soft drinks. My mood immediately lifted. We went to the counter and ordered. A Chicken Maharaja Mac for me and a Spicy Chicken for HRH the Queen. Nothing more. The money was handed over and within a minute we had fresh hot and in HRH the Queens case, spicy burgers. Job done. We ate, wiped our lips and headed to the cinema.
How much did this cost? Rs. 211/- yes folks Rs. 211/- For both of us. No service charge no jerking about. I was so pleased. Is there any wonder everyone all across the world likes McDonalds? Is it any surprise that Smoke House Deli had no customers at exactly the same time when located just 10 meters away? Is it because McDonalds caters to a different target audience? Or is it because sombody’s cannot be caught dead in a McDonalds? I do not know. All I know is that for a quick fresh hot tasty hygienic meal, Its McDonalds for us.