My friend, who is also a respected elder brotherly figure for me, first pulled my attention to it during our random stopover at a chai-shop (tea-shop) in the market opposite the main gate of the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi (IIT).
After lunch, we decided to take a walk and the urge to have some ‘chai’ took us to the market complex.
Now this dog was sleeping king-size in front of a food joint before the chai-shop, Chayoos, an outlet that we could locate where we thought to experiment with for fulfillment of our urge.
I had read somewhere that dogs sleep, on an average, some fourteen hours a day. Now I don’t have any idea about the verity of this claim but the dog here certainly looked living it fully.
In the midst of a slightly upscale market place with people frequenting food joints that dotted the place, he was positioned there, in his deep sleep, indifferent to the chatter of people gorging on delicacies while sipping their choices of brews.
Now, gorging on food is universal a habit to most of the Delhiites irrespective of which scale and class of the society they come from. In fact, the more affluent ones gorge more copiously (or stylishly), irrespective of which upscale area of Delhi they populate.
And by his size, our dog looked sharing this inherent gluttony of Delhiites. Clad in a striped dog coat, he was clearly obese. Sleeping under the tutelage of the ‘proclamation standy’ of the joint, with a radiant doggedness, he was sleeping like its brand ambassador and it seemed he was adopted by the ‘marketplace with many food joints’ and was enjoying many patrons and good Samaritans.
Pushed by my instinct and my friend’s suggestion, I clicked the frame in some angles. Thereafter, we proceeded to meet the demand of our urge.
Now, this chai shop was like any other outlet in such places, promising big with cramped surroundings, with sitting places giving a feeling worse than the economy class leg rooms of many so-called no-frills air carriers. Frequented by people of all shapes and sizes, it had a longish menu on chai.
We both settled on ‘honey-ginger-lemon’ tea. The counter guy took our order, obviously with a smiling face. But the marketing innovation, yes the promoters of this chain would have thought so, that came with the smile while taking the order was a silly one.
With a marker in hand, the folk asked our name. It’s common, so I told him. Now what he does – he writes our names on the two mugs that are to be used to serve our order. And after the order is prepared, he shouts our name as on the mugs to call us. Now rubbish it was. It was a small space and there was no need for this senseless ‘value addition’. A simple order number would have done it better.
And we were not going to think in ‘outrageous for them’ terms that asking and writing names on mugs meant they would gift the respective mugs to the customers (and so to us). Even if their ‘honey-ginger-lemon’ tea was overpriced, the ‘innovation’ would not be financially viable.
Anyway, the tea served was good in taste and volume, better than my many experiences with ‘honey-ginger-lemon’ tea and ‘honey-ginger’ tea at many other outlets. We sat with, talked and discussed freely and had some quality time together on our once-a-year meeting. And the taste and the volume indeed helped in this. Also, they had accepted our request to bring down the volume of the audio.
After finishing the tea, when we came out, we again saw our dogged dog, now fully awake and strolling around the marketplace in unison with its oversized built. He was walking around like he owned the place.
Naturally extending my previous act, I took some more frames of him and we proceeded to complete our walk.
©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey–/