Thursday, October 25, 2007

Blending the Brew and a Lesson in Bad Business Logic

It was a nice evening with my Aap Ka Nazrana (AKN) friends J and M, last night. The only thing that spoilt it for me was the noise level in the rather quizzically-named restaurant Blending the Brew in Chembur.

There we were AKN and friends catching up on life on the net, in real. J was ecstatic about the bike ride she just had had with M. M had gone to pick her up, considering that she now lives in Doha and doesn’t know her way around Chembur. We are all Chembur regulars, me, J and M. M lives near my school, Adarsha Vidyalaya, and J’s son lives in the Maitri Park area.

The quote of the evening from M was: “Morality is a simple attitude which we adopt toward people we dislike.” Oh, goodness gracious, there’s a deep truth hidden there somewhere.

So, the evening wore on, swapping stories about our networks and friends while we sipped on poisons, and J and M smoked. The selection of songs was the best in retro that I can imagine: Elton John (evergreen hit: Sacrifice), Foreigner (Ah, said M when “I Been Waiting, for a Girl like You,” and its unforgettable music score came on), and only Jim Morrison was absent from the repertoire. Jim would have made the evening more pleasant, verily I say unto thee. Can you imagine “The End” with its muted guitar chords playing softly over the haze of rum and Thums Up, with Jim’s rich voice like a whiplash above the minimal music score? I was so carried away by the concoction of nostalgia music and warm company that I what was in store came as a shock. Such are the ways of life!

I had finished my first, and then J had to leave, as her flight was in the wee hours of last night. A car came to pick her up, so she missed the ride back on M’s Hero Honda Splendor. We saw her off, said goodbye, and M and I decided to carry on.

When we came back tinny Hindi music was screeching from a computer device, in full blast. I like Hindi music, but the sound quality was loud and jarring. So I asked the waiter to turn down the volume, as it was affecting our conversation. Oddly, he turned it up further. The reason: “That gentleman requested it be played at high pitch,” he said pointing in the direction of a group. It seemed, from his self-important swagger, he was quite popular in this restaurant. Could be the owner’s family, quite possible, who knows! I saw several other visitors asking for the volume to be lowered, but, no, no thanks. The minions were eager to please one customer and displease all the rest. So I and M sat dazed and finished our drinks, as I couldn’t hear him, and neither could he.

That ruined the evening. But what is it that makes a restaurant want to please one customer, and displease ten others. Bad business logic, isn’t it? Those ten other customers could give them more business than the one. “This is India, don’t you know? The powerful here misuse their powers and the rest are supposed to fall in line,” I mutter as I leave with M, disgusted.

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