Paosei, a Bangalore treasure


Bhagya, our resident gourmet chef, mood-lifter, angst buster and housekeeper all rolled into one is still ill. It’s been five days now, and things are falling apart.

Besides bringing in the newspaper in the morning (on crutches), I now have to make my own tea. I also have to count the number of clothes sent out to be ironed and put my empty cereal bowl back in the sink myself.

It’s very stressful for someone who’d much rather hang around Facebook all day or a jazz club all night.

My SO (Significant Other) is a sweet bugger most of the time. He’s been taking us (me and my son Stefan) out to dinner every night. But the tension’s building up, I suppose it’s natural.

Bhagya knows what we want on Mondays (Swedish meatballs), on Tuesdays (Chicken Milanese) Thursdays (Broiled fish with ginger, home-grown oregano and basil) and so on.  No thinking required. I can play Scramble on my cellphone without having to think while I eat.

But waiters in restaurants expect you first to listen to the specials of the day. Comprehend their elegant menus in dim candlelight. Then decide what you want to eat based on information you’ve just been bombarded with.

It’s very easy to get taken in by a, ‘Sautéed butterfly shrimp with lemon-garlic flavoured linguine.’ It sounds delicious, but when it arrives, if the shrimp hasn’t been peeled, it’s impossible to eat a slippery noodle along with the shell of a crustacean in the same mouthful. I’ve seen people spit the noodle and swallow the shell.

So it was with steely resolve to have a good time even if it killed us, and a sense of ‘hit me with your best shot,’ attitude that we went to Sunny’s last night. Yes, the same Sunny’s that Arjun Sajnani and Vivek Ubhaikar have been running for two decades now. A Bangalore institution like Cubbon Park.

Arjun and Vivek were absconding. But Paosei was very much there.

“Oh madam, I’m so sorry,” he said pointing to my stylish blue-and-metal crutches, matching my outfit. He wasn’t asking me what happened, just telling me that he cared. SO would call him a classy guy.

He held my chair and I sat down.

It had been at least three months since we last ate at Sunny’s but it felt nice to be back home.

Menus were placed in front of us. SO, Stefan and I didn’t need to look at the menu. One of the most charming things about Sunny’s is that they don’t keep messing up their menu with new items. A and V understand the importance of the familiar.

“We don’t need to read the menu, we know…” I started to say, and Paosei held up a hand, smiling at me. “Allow me,” he said, dashingly.

“German sausages and Dijon mustard with garlic-flavoured broccoli for you and Sir. Diet Cokes, room temperature for you and the glass filled with ice for Sir. Mint leaves. And for you,” he pointed at Stefan, “Fettucine with chicken breast and fresh lime-soda.”

Our jaws fell open. Stefan gave him a standing ovation. SO beamed.

Allow me to present Paosei, a Bangalore treasure. We need to protect and preserve him at all cost.


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