The guys are at a high-end restaurant. They have ordered some of the exotic dishes, and are waiting for the service.
ARUN: This thing always confuses me. Which one goes in the right hand? The fork or the knife?
MANJIT: The knife. Fork goes in the left hand.
ARUN: Then why does the spoon go in the right during dessert and stuff?
MANJIT: Because it’s dining etiquette.
IMRAN: I think it’s bullshit.
ARUN: Yeah, me too. I mean, I can understand the Western folks don’t do anything unclean with their left hands; so it doesn’t matter which hand they use. But we do. The unclean stuff I mean. Therefore, it makes sense that we reverse the etiquette and use the fork with the right hand.
MANJIT: Yes, but then, you won’t be able to apply enough force with your left hand for cutting the food.
IMRAN: Wait a minute. The western folks don’t use any hands for the unclean stuff?
ARUN: Well, yeah. They use toilet papers, don’t they?
IMRAN: I know that. But they still have to use their hands for the toilet paper, right? They don’t just go up to a toilet paper roll, turn around, and start rubbing their you-know-whats against it.
ARUN: I see your point. In that case, I suppose, their hands are equally dirty. So, again it doesn’t matter which one they use.
MANJIT: I think it’s hygienic. Hands are too dirty most of the times.
IMRAN: Oh please! Don’t give me that hygiene bullshit. We are Indians. We pride ourselves at being unhygienic. We are born unhygienic, and we stay that way. Hell, just a few minutes back I saw you were counting notes and licking your fingers to moisten them just after having picked your nose.
ARUN: Hahaha, in your face!
MANJIT: All right, all right. Maybe, we are not hygienic, but you cannot deny that there is a certain level of sophistication and class on display when you use cutlery.
IMRAN: Look around dude. Desis are the most classless people in this world. For instance, do you see that dude over there with the strange bun over his head?
(They look around to where Imran is pointing, and spot an Indian male with long hair tied in a bun, wearing a pair of shorts and a T-shirt that said “Chicago!”)
What is his problem? Why is he wearing shorts to a high-end restaurant? It’s not hot here. This is not Kailash ka Dhaba. There is air conditioning here. It’s like, “Dude, stop being an American wannabe. You are miles from being cool. Get some pants for god’s sake.”
MANJIT: It’s called fashion.
IMRAN: All right, we’ve already agreed upon this. You don’t talk about fashion.
ARUN: I know what you mean though, Imran. I have similar thoughts when I attend my office parties. They will serve the meals in the classic buffet style, which is okay, but there won’t be any seats around. I mean after a long day, I just want to sit down comfortably and eat my meal. This whole suave dining system feels like another official exercise. Sophistication is nothing but pretence.
IMRAN: That’s not the worst part though. The worst part is that they serve you fish curry and tandoori chicken and expect you to not use your hands. I mean, how the hell do you eat something with bones with a spoon or a fork?
ARUN: That bugs me even when I have a place to sit down. For instance, they will serve you rice with chicken, and then you start eating with a spoon because you know eating rice with a fork is like holding chullu bhar paani. Of course, then you realise that you need a knife to cut the chicken, which is fine. But lo, you then realise that a spoon is ineffective for holding the chicken pieces while cutting. Therefore, you also need the fork. Now the problem is I have got only two hands. Where do I find the third one?
MANJIT: The one thing that bothers me about dining knives is that they are so blunt. I have to keep slicing and slicing to cut something as soft as a liver piece.
IMRAN: Oh, we know Manjit. When you use cutlery, you make such a racket that people are forced to stare at your ugly face in spite of themselves.
ARUN: Shush guys! Here comes our order.
(The waiter serves the food they had ordered and leaves.)
MANJIT: Oh, this looks delicious. I can’t even pronounce these names. They are Italian, right?
IMRAN: Or something with fake Italian names to make them sound cooler.
(Arun tastes an appetizer)
ARUN: I can see where you are coming from. Yuck! Oh my god, this is just raw cabbage dipped in some tomato sauce.
MANJIT: That’s cabbage? I thought it was some kind of pasta or something!
(Imran starts choking on something)
IMRAN: I’m done with this crap. What the hell is this? This is just a dollop of cream on raw onions. I’m going to order some biryani.
MANJIT: Shut up, Imran! Order some risotto. This is called fine dining.
IMRAN: Fine dining, my ass. Fancy names cannot obscure the fact that I am being served raw veggies. I don’t even eat the cooked veggies. It’s like they have recorded my worst nightmare, and then made me watch the whole thing in a multiplex after paying for deluxe seats and awful popcorn.
ARUN: You know I have similar thoughts when I go to a coffee shop. First they serve you this god awful cappuccino which is so bitter that it can kill all the worms in your gut. Adding extra sugar doesn’t help either, because then the flavour of the coffee gets lost. So basically, I’m paying some 60-70 bucks for a draught of the dead, pretending to enjoy it because it’s supposed to be cool, while in reality I’m only gulping it down because it’s so damn expensive.
MANJIT: Want to go to Shankar’s dhaba and order some tandoori?
BOTH IN UNISON: Hell, yeah!