Saturday, 16 July 2016

Bill Please - The One




She sighed contentedly, leaned over and rested her head on his shoulder. It had been a lovely meal, almost romantic, like a first date after a pretty long time....God knows when last they'd been alone together, she mused! 
The children were out of the nest, for studies and work. Today, even he had realized, how lonely the house felt! Looking at her wan face, he'd suddenly snapped his fingers and insisted they go out to dinner, in style!
Now seeing her content and smiling after a long while, he felt glad about his whim. He patted her head absently and nodded to himself, they'd do this more often, she looked so pretty when she was happy.
The bill arrived and he briskly paid it along with a generous tip. 
She reflected, it had always been this way with him, the past 26 years. No questions, no hesitation, no eyebrows raised....just a calm, steady acknowledgement of the bill and its payment.
Today, out of the blue, she remembered a distant incident, one that surprised even her as it resurfaced after...a good 26 years.
"Sweetheart, can we sit for some time in the park nearby, remember how we used to come here often with the kids?" she asked.
"Sure, let's go. You want to get some ice-cream or something?" he asked.
"No, I am stuffed, let's just chat for some time."
"Can I ask you something?" she started once they settled down into a bench overlooking a decrepit old fountain.
"Ask away milady," he replied with a smile.
"Do you remember the first time we met? You spoke to my Dad over telephone to fix the 'first meet'. You said you'd prefer to meet us all over dinner at some restaurant instead of the traditional setting at home, remember?" she asked with a shy smile on her face.
"Hey, of course I do! How can I forget the most important day of my life?" he said, pulling her closer and draping his arm around her shoulders.
"Well, I was wondering, how is it that, you who never let anyone else pay on a family outing, never once in the 26 years I have known you....that, you let my father foot the bill on that first day we met, that was so unlike you!"
"Ha, ha, ha!" he burst out laughing. "Trust you to rake up something as remote as that! Didn't I tell you why I let your Dad pay the bill?"
"No, you didn't and well, I never asked!" she chided.
"Hmm, okay, it's no big deal actually, I'll tell you why..." he smiled mischievously.
"You see I had decided beforehand, that if I didn't like the girl I was to meet at the rendezvous, I would save the family the expense of the dinner....the least I could do for the inconvenience. But if I liked the girl and she liked me too, I had decided that I would let the girl's father foot the bill...that one time! And of course, it was love at first sight for both of us wasn't it? That's how your Dad ended up paying the bill. Make sense?"
"Hmm...not really! But I am glad I heard your explanation. I didn't think about it much then as I was already bowled over by your charm!" she replied, looking at him fondly.
"Look, it's nearly 12, let's get going, I have an early meeting tomorrow morning," he said as he stood up and held out his hand to help her up.
Hand in hand they walked up to the car, each immersed in his own thoughts.
She was happily musing about the tall, gallant, handsome man by her side, thanking her stars for having him by her side all these wonderful years.
He was thanking his stars as well, for coming up with that brilliant explanation! 
Even after all these years, he couldn't quite own up that he'd not paid the bill that night as he did not have enough money in his pocket to pay for it. But that night, so many years ago, he had resolved, to change matters....work as hard as he could, so that never again....would someone close to him, pay the bill!



That dear folks, was our strong, sturdy dependable (SSD) type, from Category 6. 

Old-fashioned, girl-boy-family meets that formed the basis of arranged marriages in India, have evolved considerably over the years. Almost everything happens online nowadays, even in arranged marriages! But how does one pick up the subtle hints of a person's inherent nature without actual physical acquaintance...I wonder! 
The slow build-up of romance in the old-fashioned match-making process, had a charm of its own!

I do hope you enjoyed the Bill Please series and I am grateful to all those who read it and cheered me along! Thanks folks!


DISCLAIMER: 
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

Happy to be a part of:



READ:

A quick recap to help you understand what the Category 6 - Strong Sturdy Dependable - SSD  means:


I have managed to segregate people into six categories based on their distinctive reactions upon sighting the bill. I also hasten to add that one cannot be indefinitely slotted into a particular category, after all human reactions vary according to situations, don’t they?

Lastly, you have the solid, sturdy dependables SSD as the sixth category - good ol' fashioned, chivalrous folk who think paying the bill is a norm, no fuss, no tussles, no me-me'ing here, it's all very clear - big Daddy is here!






Copyright © 2016 KALA RAVI

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Bill Please - Nobita does it again!

Content Alert: Recommended for the viewers (includes afflicted parents) of the cartoon series 'Doraemon'




"Do you know what happened yesterday? Yes, yes when I had been away to see Dorami?"


Gian and Suneo had been at ball practice for a solid hour. They kept calling Nobita to play with them but he paid no heed, being immersed in his new comic book. Soon the two got tired of playing with each other, with no one to cheer, challenge or defeat!
Along came dainty Shizuka, "Hello boys, it's such a lovely day isn't it? Can we do something fun?" 
"That's a great idea Shizuka!" chorused the three boys including Nobita, who finally dragged his eyes off his book.
"I've got it, let's go for ice-cream sundaes at that new parlor just next to the park, I had been there last week with my parents, it's too good!" bragged Suneo.
Everyone agreed and off they went to the ice-cream parlor.
They found a nice table overlooking the park and settled down comfortably.
The menu boasted of the most eye-popping and dazzling desserts they'd ever seen. Orders were placed with adequate instructions for the toppings to be added.
"I wonder, who's going to pay for this....I have hardly enough to pay for my share, but what will Shizuka think of me?" Gian wondered.
"No way I am paying for that slob Gian or that numb-skull Nobita, but how do I impress Shizuka?" Suneo wondered.
"Doesn't she have the warmest brown eyes and the sweetest dimple!"sighed Nobita gazing at Shizuka.
The desserts arrived and were every bit as delectable as the menu promised!
Gian and Suneo were digging into their desserts with gusto and soon they were competing as to who would finish first.
Shizuka was eating hers demurely, watching the two with a smile and Nobita was simply stirring his into a slushy mess!
The two competitors accomplished the feat of wiping out the large sundaes in record time, almost simultaneously and Shizuka clapped enthusiastically.
"Ahhh, that was super delicious, wasn't it Suneo! Aww, there's my mom outside, she's waving out to me, I have to go, Suneo pay up mine, I have to rush!"  
By the time the others squinted to see where Gian's mom was, he was already gone.
Suneo looked at his watch and pretended to be shocked, "Is it 4.30 already? I promised to go out with my cousin! Now, let me pay first." He opened his wallet and scanned it
"Oh! Bother! I have only new 1000 bills,  the waiter won't accept those! Anyway I can't pay till Nobita finishes, but I am already late! Nobita you are still eating, so take your time. I'll drop Shizuka home on my way to the class."
Shizuka looked at Nobita and his sloppy mess. "Suneo, you carry on, I'll wait with Nobita."
Suneo left, feeling glad that he'd skipped the bill, but uneasy about leaving Nobita alone with Shizuka.
Back at the parlor, Nobita, was suffused with the happiness of Shizuka waiting alone with him!
But Nobita, didn't seem to be anywhere closer to finishing his ice-cream especially when he kept forgetting to eat in between chatting and gazing at Shizuka.
Finally even Shizuka gave up! "Nobita, I had promised my mom that I'd help her out with the evening's chores. Let me pay, you finish your ice-cream at leisure."
As she ventured to pay for the ice-cream, Nobita resisted strongly. 
"No, no, no, of course not! I am done, I don't like ice-cream so much. Let's go,  I'll just settle the bill!"
His eyes popped when he saw the bill but he gallantly refused to let Shizuka pay.
He paid, emptying his wallet, draining all his pocket money and the gift his uncle had given him.
But when he saw Shizuka waiting outside for him with a coy smile, he came out jubilantly! 



"Well, I got the whole story from Nobita using my 'Memory camera' gadget, I had to check what he had been up to while I was out. Oh, Nobita, when will you stop being a born-loser!
But I have to say: Sometimes being a born-loser is not so bad, is it?!"

Signing off,
Doraemon
 

And you guessed right, I am a cartoon overwhelmed mom! Something that plays in the background constantly, does seep into your system...whether you like it or not!

Do join me again, for the next in the Bill Please series!


DISCLAIMER: 
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

Happy to be a part of:

READ:




4. Bill Please - Wait a minute

5. Bill Please - Nobita does it again!




A quick recap to help you understand what the Category 4 - Born Losers means:

I have managed to segregate people into six categories based on their distinctive reactions upon sighting the bill. I also hasten to add that one cannot be indefinitely slotted into a particular category, after all human reactions vary according to situations, don’t they?

The fourth category comprises of all those individuals known as Born Losers! Mark me, when I say they differ from the first Me-Me category! They don’t voluntarily opt to foot the expense but it is just that they are the only ones left behind to handle it…blame it on their slow eating speed or their ingrained loser streak!



  

Copyright © 2016 KALA RAVI

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Bill Please - Wait a minute


Content Alert: The following content is recommended for readers who happen to be fans of  'The Lion King' movie series, featuring the inimitable pair of mismatched friends, Timon, the meerkat and Pumbaa, the warthog.


Timone was bored. The sun was beating down on his back mercilessly and he was famished. Now what wouldn't he give for a juicy tubful of his favorite treats! Sigh, gone were those Hakuna Matata days when he could scoop and stuff armfuls of those treats right off tree-trunks or slimy poodles. With the new legislations, those tasty treats were now classified under Jungle property, that meant you actually had to pay for those critters.....who does that? He had to have his treats right now and he would do just that, with a little help.

"Hey Pumba!" he said giving him a sharp jibe on his ample midriff, "Guess what?" 
"Aww, Timon lemme be," slurred Pumba. 

"Pumba, you won't believe what I am gonna tell you....we are going to 'Snakes and more' for their no-bars-all-you-can-stuff buffet platter! Isn't that awesome?" 

"What, what, what....come again Timone," asked a bewildered Pumba coming alive at those words. "Really, you're going to take me there?" 

"Why of course my dear friend, I am going to take you there and the connoisseur that I am, I shall introduce you to the finest selection of top-of-the-line gourmet bugs, worms, beetles.....freshly harvested, delicately plated and served by the best chefs in the Jungle. You my dear friend, are in for the treat of your life!" 

By now, both friends were practically drooling and they cantered or is it scampered as fast as they could to reach the gastronomic mecca of Pride Landes.

They soon reached 'Snakes and more' and made themselves comfortable on the squat boulders. For a whole minute they simply gazed at the mountains of food, heaped in piles, alive, squirmy, plump and juicy waiting to be devoured by them! Ahhh.....this was like revisiting the Hakuna Matata days!

"Ohh, welcome, welcome to my humble restro! I am very happy that the cheeky meerkat and the gassy warthog have graced it!" said Rafikii. "I am proud to present to you, the no bars, all you can pig...I mean hog....err, stuff...Rafikii's special buffet spread of the choicest, hand-picked, delectable morsels of ecstasy. Go ahead, pig on...I mean tuck in, and a word aside to you Mr Pumba," he said pulling him along. 
Tapping him on the head with his staff he added wisely, "We don't see things as they are....remember!"



"Oh, come on Pumba, don't listen to that old monkey, we have work to do!" shrieked Timone hurrying on to grab the largest leaf platter he could find.
Two hours later, the two pals slumped, stuffed to the brim with no space even for a mite more. Rafikii came around, clearing his throat, "Are we done here, boys?" 
"What done? Not already! That was just us warming up, right Pumba?" exclaimed Timon, proceeding to load his platter again. 
"Pumba, I tell you this black beetle is the scrunchiest ever, but I tend to be biased toward this wee little multicolored one too! You know what? I think I will get down to worm-farming soon....yes, capital idea isn't it? That way I can have my worm and eat it too! We can rope in Simbaa as a partner too. He can be the brand ambassador for my product: Imagine this, a can of the finest worms with Simbaa on the logo proclaiming, 'Timone's Best: Did you get your daily scoop?' 
Meanwhile Pumba was getting a bit restless, "Err, Timone, don't you think it's time you paid up, Rafikii's waving his staff quite meanly."
"Yes, yes, in a bit. Just wait will you? So where was I? Hmm, yes, Timone's Best! What a great name, can you think of anything better? No? Of course you can't! So like I was saying, we could pitch it better with Simbaa on the can. Not that I would look bad on the can....say what! But just for ol' times sake, I think I'll give him a chance."
"Say....Timone, what about me? The can could say, 'Timone and Pumba's Best'?" 
"No, no, no that won't do...too much information equals brand dilution, we want to keep it simple and smart, stick to the rules. And I suggest we do a promotional feature....yes I got it! I'll give you a role in it, in fact a big role in it! Order one crate and we give them free delivery, and guess what? You'll be personally delivering it with a smart cap bearing the caption: Timone's Best! Genius aren't I? Are you happy now Pumba?"
Rafikii rapped his staff on their boulder seats,"Are we done?"
"Go away, old monkey, we are discussing important marketing strategies. Pumba needs my advice. Pumba pay attention...as I was saying, the core to selling the product is in marketing it, blah, blah, blah and of course it involves some more blah, blah and blah" on for the next two hours!
Finally, Pumba could bear it no longer, what with his overfull tummy, glaring Rafikii and Timon's non-stop drone! He went up to Rafikii and handed him the tiny ruby he'd found during his daily forage in the bogs.
"Okay Pumba, are we done yet?" called Timone, "Don't you take the longest time, shuffling about so slowly on your feet? Come on, get a move on! Did you enjoy the treat? Didn't I tell you, you'd have the best time of your life? Now, move, scoot, let's push off! I wonder if we can catch the matinee show, my treat again, I guess it's your lucky day boy!"


Guess what category Timon belongs to? Yes, you are bang on! It's Category 3 - The Waiters


Do join me again for the next episode in the Bill please series!



DISCLAIMER: 
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.


Happy to be a part of:


READ:









A quick recap to help you understand what Category 3 - Waiters means:



I have managed to segregate people into six categories based on their distinctive reactions upon sighting the bill. I also hasten to add that one cannot be indefinitely slotted into a particular category, after all human reactions vary according to situations, don’t they?



We have the third category - the Waiters! Well, obviously I don't mean the ones serving the food but the guys who like to take their time coughing up the dough, even if they are the ones that initiated the luncheon!

The bill arrives and lies unattended. The server anxiously hovers around anticipating the settlement. But nothing fazes the Waiters! Masters of meaningless chatter, slow and steady wins the race for them. They are thicker-skinned than the MIA's; they do not leave the battle-front, they hang on to their seats and still pull it off! Eventually brawling babies, pestilential kids, grouchy dates and sheer civility kick in to ensure that the tab is picked up by anyone else besides the Waiters! Yes, the game's Waiting, simply Waiting!

 





Copyright © 2016 KALA RAVI