07 August 2018

Dialogues with a Delhi barman

There seemed to be a lot of choice in the menu - Pint, Lager, Draught ... but they didn't had what we had ordered. Thats when the problem starts - give people too many choices and then don't fulfill them - same as in Democracy. And the funny part is that none of the choices are actually better than the rest. After much haggling and posturing, the barman got his way and he did get us the beer he wanted us to drink, because it was pricier!
The manager sensing some trouble came over and asked, "Is there anything wrong? Do you want something else?"
I was about to burst a vein or something in my brain. I wanted to tell him, "Yes! Everything is wrong about this place! You can't get the beer that people have ordered - thats the problem! And then to top it all, you have the nerve to ask what is wrong in the most condescending way!" But I didn't say any of it.
I just told him, "Don't ask me any questions! Give me only answers!" This unnerved him a bit. He asked me again, "What happened, Sir?" Obviously he had not been paying attention to me - I had forbidden him to ask me any more questions. So I asked him, "When is the next cricket match between India and Sri Lanka?" He mumbled a "I dont know" and retreated, taking me for an incorrigible drunkard.
Then I started thinking about him, Manish was his name. Being a barman in Delhi, is no easy job! Remember Jessica Lall!? But then the danger has its rewards - as a barman, one becomes the most knowledgeable person on earth, that is if one eavesdrop carefully. Afterall, many a happy men after getting drunk say lots of things and I am sure Manish and his peers would have lots to eavesdrop on the received wisdom. I wondered what all he could be listening to in a day's work? Insider info on stock market? Brags about a new restaurant by its 20 something owner? Stories of Kargil War from a retired Major? Heartbreaks of college kids? How Mbappe is greater than Maradona and Ronaldo put together? Plans of a bank heist in South Delhi? And of course lots of political stuff. So, indeed lots of wisdom in days work!
I concluded, the next time I meet a barman, I am going to be more respectful. Like Lord Rama was to Ravana on his death bed. Who knows, I might stumble upon the next big rally in the stock market!

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