Tea Party - Malabari Style

Hotel Deluxe is tucked away into a quite corner of Pitha street off Pherozshah Mehta Marg which is off DN Road. I have written about my first time at Deluxe earlier in September. And since then I have made sure that I visit it whenever possible. Of late it has become a regular haunt. Especially for the delectable tea time snacks and the frothy tea that they serve in a big tumbler. Also, it is quite cheap. Inexpensive is a fancy term. Cheap is best. Both literally and otherwise. But this post is not entirely about the economical prices of this place which is run like a not-for-profit organisation. It is about human warmth.

I was hungry this evening and low on cash. Typical characteristics of a man with a wiry frame, a scraggy beard, unkempt hair and dull clothes. So that shouldn't surprise anyone. It was 645 and today being Sunday, all places around Fort  are shut because there is no business today. Except for, Deluxe, of course. I hurried to get there before 7, after which chai is not served. It is appam and chicken stew time. I made it just in time to see the pile of snacks missing. I approached an empty table and the server, a friendly fellow with a heavy built greeted me and back slapped me as I sat down. When I asked him if there were any more snacks being made, he simply shook his head but informed me that he could get some dosas (Now a saadha dosa without chutney is not the best of combination and they make chutney  only when Goli Bajjis are served) He doesn't speak much Hindi. So I somehow told him that since there was no chutney, I would only have chai. 

He shrugged his shoulder in disapproval and muttered something about chicken and dosa in Malayalam. I shook my head vigorously as I wouldn't have been able to pay for an item that contained chicken. And before I could present a financial statement of my pocket, he flourished two dosas neatly piled on each other with a generous amount of chicken gravy and a few pieces poured on them in the centre. I didn't touch the plate and showed him all of the 35 bucks that I had with me. He simply waved his hand and urged me to start eating. I started hesitantly and then forgot all about my predicament as I munched on the delicious combination of chicken curry and dosa. My chai arrived and I sipped slowly, wondering about the number of plates I would have to wash to settle my bill.  

I washed my hands and approached him. And asked him for the bill. Without bothering to write it down, he simply made the victory sign. I was confused, I asked him how much again and he said "twunty" 10 for the chai and 10 for two dosas and chicken was complimentary. I was quite relieved because the pile of the plates in the kitchen was quite huge by now. So I paid him 25 bucks for his generosity and walked out into the evening, feeling absolutely fantastic! The kindness was unexpected but touching nevertheless. Enough to make you fall in love with the city. The city that always surprises you. The city that never lets you go hungry. 

The next time you are in Fort don't go demanding for free chicken curry at Hotel Deluxe, it is only for loyal customers. But the next time you are in Fort, do go there anyway. 

Hotel Deluxe,
Pitha Street, Take the first right in the Citibank lane(PM Road) off DN Road
22042351, 66559914,


supriya khedkar said…
Such experiences just make your day :) Its a nice feeling...like last Sunday I was offered an umbrella when it was raining heavily...again by the owner of an eatery outlet which I visit pretty regularly!
Rushikesh said…
Hey Supriya, sorry for responding this late. These experiences are heart warming and always cherished! Which eatery was this?

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