The allure of food and movies are so strong that some people don’t mind travelling great distances just to satisfy their starving appetites and filmy madness. I already have had prior experience in this regard. My prior stay at a nondescript place in Odisha (Dhenkanal) called for regular visits to the nearby city (Bhubaneswar) for the above mentioned purpose. Not that BBSR was endowed with quality film screens and restaurants but never minding that, I made it a point to enjoy my sojourns to the capital city of Odisha on a rickety old bus that always was packed to the capacity. ‘Packed to capacity’ is infact an understatement! The only seat assured is of the drivers which he blessedly claims without any tussle. For the lesser privileged ones, it’s a very long journey indeed. The scene wherein the conductor of the bus squeezes through a small window at the rear and issues tickets from the back shall be vividly remembered! I have always come to trust the however obsolete bus that takes me to Cuttack and then the change for a mini bus to BBSR. All that for a cup of cappuccino at the Café Coffee day or a Bollywood flick at Kesari/Sruthi complex. They say no pain no gain for nothing, do they?
Cut to the present I am tucked away in the middle of nowhere. My university is situated at a distance of about 50 Kilometers from Delhi. I am yet again compelled to pay visit to a nearby capital city, only this time it is our national capital that is only too willing to warmly embrace anyone with a fat wallet. Not that Delhi is beyond the reach of everyone but definitely its temples (read Malls, Theatres, Food joints) are for the priced lot! Glitzy big malls and a good joint to hangout are priceless for students. So when I heard an earnest appeal from a friend of mine (also from Chennai) that she yearned to visit Hotel Saravana Bhavan, I immediately gave my express assent to her. HSB epitomizes all that is proper Tamil cuisine!
Frustrated with the routine food dished out by our university, it seemed to me that this plea from her sounded like a lifetime wish and I empathized with her ! Fortunately for us, Delhi is endowed with not one but two HSB’s! So we penciled in on a particular date and spread around a message to that effect. Food brings people together but that was not to be in this case. We had to make it more appealing for the folks of our class. Thus we came up with a most tempting offer possible. Have food and then catch Daniel Craig in his latest outing as James Bond in the big screen. We hoped it would draw in people but there are times you are left disappointed by your close friends. Notwithstanding that we were a crowd of five. Five was made ‘famous crowd’ by Enid Blyton and we geared up for a perfect day that ultimately didn’t disappoint us… (To be continued)