In an isolated hostel campus, when you don’t have any real options for food except a messy mess, a new option to eat, it is orgasm for stomach.
“Guys, a new eatery has opened by the barber’s shop today. We must go check it out.” As the sun was set to set, Bubba rushed in with matchless energy for his love for food was known to the whole group.
JP quickly stood up from his I-don’t-give-a-shit-to-the-world mode from the muddled bed for he was a partner in crime with Bubba when it came to being a foodie.
In no time, the eight of us, the gang mates, assembled at the gate to go and check out –read, attack- the new food joint.
“So what’s on the menu?” Bubba inquired spraying his eyes all over the shop as frying sounds romanced his ears from inside the kitchen.
A heftily built man appeared from inside the kitchen.
“Welcome sir. I am Billu, I’m the owner.” He said.
“Cut it short and tell me what’s on the menu?” Bubba sounded a little more serious this time. An empty stomach Bubba must not to be messed with.
“Here it is sir.” Billu pointed to a tiny blackboard marked with Menu at the top, if you will.
Two bullet items in yellowish white chalk read,
– Unlimited : Rs. 50
– Limited : Rs. 30
“What is this?” Dattu was prompt to ask.
“Both have the same cuisines. Two curries, Dal, Papad, Buttermilk, Rice and Roti. Limited has 1 serving of Curries, Dal, Papad, Buttermilk and Rice and 3 Rotis while Unlimited has as much as you can eat.” Billu promptly explained as he lay a couple of tables adjoining each other with eight chair surrounding them, all plastic.
In a tight on pocket hostel life, difference of 20 bucks was huge but engineers are meant -and born- to innovate, you know. So we all looked at each other and just the eyes did the talking.
“Ok so we will have 7 Limited, 1 Unlimited.” Goti said without further ado.
Billu, having received his first order, excited, cheerfully shouted to his kitchen, “Chhotu, 7 Limited. 1 Unlimited. Quick!” Unaware of what lied ahead, he stormed inside for making sure his first order went flawless.
The 8 steel plates were set neatly with bowls and spoons.
“I will have unlimited, the rest are limited.” JP said sitting right in the middle, equidistant from everyone else, pointing to the rest of us as Goti grinned as Chhotu and Billu were ready with the first serving.
The curries, followed by everything else was served hot and tasty. JP was the center of attraction for the other 7 of us. After all, he was The Unlimited.
Billu came for the valuable customer feedback. “How are you liking it sir?” he asked with a comforting smile throwing a glance at each of us in a rapid fashion.
“Umm…it is …ummm delicious” Bubba said licking his fingers without even bothering to look up at Billu.
“Thank you. Thank you.” Thrilled, Billu rushed back to the kitchen to refill for JP – The Unlimited.
It was more than what met the eye. Every time when Billu would go inside to get refill for JP, JP would be busy refilling the 7 of us.
This went on until it was too late for Billu to realize where his business plan had failed. He had overlooked the significance of missing *Conditions Apply on the menu. And he was paying the price, roti by roti, dal by dal, curry by curry.
Post the realization, every time JP innocently asked for a refill, Billu could not refuse, and helplessly, he would go back to kitchen knowing how his very first business order had given him learning – Unlimited Learning.
Thirty seven refills later, Billu breathed a sigh of relief as the marathon dinner finally came to a close.
As we went to pay for 7 Limited and 1 Unlimited, before anything else, Billu got up from his desk at the cash counter, picked up a wet cloth and rubbed ‘- Limited : Rs. 30’.
‘No more Limited Sir.’ he said surrendering to the creativity of engineers-in-making as we chipped in and paid 260 bucks instead of 400 that we consumed.
Don’t judge. We played by the rules!
Photo Credit: LoggaWiggler