We had decided to celebrate the birthday of our friend RK in Standard Restaurant in Regal Building. It was a nice cosy restaurant a bit pricey but you will agree that birthday comes only once in a year & with friends it is fun time & expenses no bar. Standard Resto was located in Connaught Place which was a convenient place to catch DTC buses after the party to go home.
But RK suggested that four out of seven friends would like to have drinks also. So four friends multiplied by two pegs each will cost a bomb in Standard Resto & at that cost he could bring a full bottle of whiskey with something to spare. He can organise a place also nearby our office where one could enjoy two pegs each with omelettes & still half the bottle shall be spared for future usage. His calculation was accepted unanimously.
After finishing day’s job three of us seven friends walked down Parliament Street to reach Standard Resto as they were teetotalers (good-for-nothings!). Four of us including RK proceeded to tea stall of Kale Singh just behind the Election Commission. RK ordered the omelettes & passed on the bottle wrapped in newspaper to Kale Singh with appropriate instructions in a whisper. Four pegs with soda were prepared by Kale Singh in aluminium glasses & the muted ‘cheers for happy birth day’ went up. At this point Kale Singh also cheered & joined with a Patiala peg. All around the tea stall were govt offices & they also consented to celebrations.
After that we hopped on to two motorbikes Yezdi & Rajdoot to join other friends. We all chatted noisily & a bagful of jokes were cracked. RK sang a gazal for us & we had wonderful dinner. Everybody thanked RK for his organisational capabilities & reminded him of half a bottle kept in reserve.
was a happy go lucky man who was least bothered about the job or promotion
or rules & regulations. He was always on look out for parties, picnics etc
& loved to hang around ladies staff. Couple of weeks later I was surprised
to receive an invitation of dinner at his place. After a couple of pegs he
opened up & said that he had a hobby of collecting superior type of cutlery
items & then he arranged a display on the dining table. First item he
indicated in the display was a sugar bowl from last birthday party at Standard Restaurant!
I was surprised & he was laughing. Some
of the other items displayed on the dining table were:
Hotel Janpath ............ 4 spoons,
Hotel Ashoka ............ 2 forks & 3 spoon,
Kwality Restaurant ......2 spoons & 4 knives,
Nirula’s ........................ 3 long handle ice cream spoons,
India Coffee House ....1 sugar bowl & 2 spoons. Etc etc.