Short story by Keyur Seta
Vijay and Nisha are siblings studying in standard second and third respectively. As their father is an accountant and mother takes tuitions, they come from a strictly middle-class household in Mumbai. Hence, they hardly get to eat out at expensive eateries, leave alone five-star restaurants.
Once, Vijay’s classmate Sameer, who hails from a super-rich family, throws a birthday bash at a five-star restaurant for his close friends, including Vijay and Nisha. As they both have never even dreamt of visiting a five-star restaurant, they are simply amazed by the experience. Sameer’s parents always love boasting their status.
Through their talks, they make the children present at the event feel that visiting such luxurious restaurants is the best way to enjoy with your near and dear ones. Since Vijay and Nisha had a memorable time at the party, they feel their family too should visit such five-star hotels regularly. So the siblings put forward their wish to their mom and dad. Initially, the parents ignore the kids’ demand by labeling it as ‘silly talk’. They continue to brush them off for another 1-2 days but later on realize the kids are serious.
But visiting such a five-star restaurant is almost impossible for them considering their financial status. They try explaining it to their kids but all in vain, especially due to their ages. Soon, Vijay and Nisha start emotional blackmail saying, ‘Our parents don’t care about our happiness unlike Sameer’s parents’.
This is enough to hurt the parents. They have no option to give in to their kids’ demand by withdrawing a large amount, by their standards, from the bank. The four of them set out to visit the five-star restaurant for dinner one Sunday.
The kids were happy and merry; the parents, who were earlier annoyed and sad due to their adamant behavior, are now pleased and moved to see their kids’ delighted state of mind. But as fate would have it, it suddenly started raining just when they had reached the end of their locality. This was highly surprising because it generally doesn’t rain in November in Mumbai. They thought it’s just a passing shower but that was not to be. The rain started pouring in like cats and dogs and soon, there was water logging. Almost everyone on the road was without an umbrella as nobody expected it to rain.
It started getting late but still the rain isn’t showing any signs of fading away. All four of them are now getting hunger pangs that are becoming more and more intense as the minutes crawl by. The parents suggest they should now eat at an eatery which is just few steps away from where they are standing. It is a simple Udipi hotel so the kids don’t agree initially out of dejection. But thanks to their hungry state, they soon agree.
When the food arrives and they start eating, Vijay and Nisha slowly start feeling good by the food and the simple yet cozy atmosphere of the eatery. All of a sudden, Vijay and Nisha’s close friends Sameer and Ruchi from their drawing classes too walk in with their family for dinner. The siblings are delighted to see them. Naturally, Sameer’s family sits at the adjacent table. With a pleasant mixture of delicious food and endless fun talk and masti with friends, Vijay and Nisha have the time of their lives in a completely unexpected manner.
When the enjoyable session finally ends, both Vijay and Nisha are of the opinion that they should come at this Udipi eatery regularly from now onwards. Thus the two kids received a pleasant lesson that we don’t always need to visit an expensive five-star restaurant to have a great time. The company of our near and dear ones and the warmth for each other are enough to have a memorable time, irrespective of the status of the restaurant.