Complimentary Vada: The Controversial Piece

Posted: March 19, 2012 in The Things
Tags: , , ,

Like most mornings in my life, since I moved to Kerala, I decided to get myself something to eat. Feeling like a woman and not wanting to cook, I left home and walked into this small restaurant right across my work place and ordered for a Masala Dosa. The generous restaurant, if I can call it so, decided to place a complimentary Vada along with the Masala ‘Dull’ Dosa.

Now out of curiosity I asked the waiter, who threw the plate with the Masala Dosa and Vada on my table (hospitality is rare in Kerala), about this complimentary Vada. I asked “Boss, I just ordered for a Masala Dosa” and pointed at the Vada. He grinned and winked at me and said “Have it brother, it is delicious.” Now that did the trick, coz delicious food with a review from a guy who has first hand experience is a must try. Also, the smile and wink suggested that this complimentary Vada was a part of the so called hospitality.

Now as I sat there digging my finger into the complimentary Vada and often taking a chunk off from the Masala Dosa, I felt as if the Vada was grinning at me just like guy who served it to me. I know I have a stupid imagination. As I sat there I decided to have a cup of coffee, I called the waiter and just then a guy walked in, occupied the chair opposite to me, looked into my plate and ordered Masala Dosa. I smiled at this new table buddy and ordered my coffee. The waiter brought the Masala Dosa along with “The Complimentary Vada” and my coffee arrived in a steel glass which was placed in a flat small steel bowl which was again in a stained saucer. The breakfast table buddy was munching onto his breakfast and he seemed in a hurry, I assumed that Monday was the reason for me eating slowly and him hurrying up. He quickly finished his Masala Dosa along with the Complimentary Dosa and waved at the waiter for the bill as he rushed to wash his sambhar dipped hand at the wash basin. I smiled at him as he walked away from the table collecting his bag and he ignored my smile as if I didn’t exist at the table. I ignored the way he ignored me and looked back at the grinning Vada, suddenly I heard a ruckus taking place at the bill counter.

My Breakfast table buddy was pointing at the long wooden menu hung on the wall and he said “I ordered for a Masala Dosa and the menu says it is 35 rupees, you can’t charge me 42 rupees” The guy at the counter with the same Vada/ Waiter grin said “You also ate the Vada, which will cost you 7 rupees.” The Complimentary Vada, my idea of hospitality had suddenly become a complicated subject of argument. My Breakfast Table buddy slammed his hand on the counter and shouted “I never ordered for it and you served it, I thought it was free.” The guy at the counter frowned and said “If you didn’t want the Vada, you could have told the waiter and he would have taken that back.” I looked at the waiter who looked at me and walked into the kitchen. Seconds later another guy walked out of the kitchen, walked upto me to ask if I wanted anything else. The ruckus at the counter mellowed down and the Breakfast buddy left after paying. I asked for the bill and pretty much knew that the Complimentary Vada wasn’t complimentary anymore.

The Vada tasted better than the Masala Dosa but I realized that nothing comes for free, atleast not the Complimentary Vada.

  1. M says:

    There are no free meals in this world. Hence proved! 😛

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