It was a spring season 2003 when my cousin got married and started a new life with wonders. Spring in Punjab province of Pakistan is very eye-catching season, flowers blooming, mildly cold wind flowing and moderate rain makes the natural ambiance very romantic. My cousin was leaving for his honeymoon and my uncle proposed that we should give him a surprise by accompanying him. Not a few, but many of us agreed, totaling 9 families (around 40 people including adults and kids). Our destination was the same, only the timing was different. We all left for the Pearl Continental Hotel, Bhurban, only one hour after the newly wed couple left.
It was the first time, so many of us (all relative) were traveling together. We had a plan to stop in between for lunch at the Mian Ji Restaurant, Lala Musa. It is not a very fancy restaurant but still is very famous for its food. We settled in the family area and gave a huge order, including its best dishes like Daal, Pratha’s, Biryani, Chicken Karahi and Mix Vegetables etc.
There were only 7-8 waiters serving the whole place. Meanwhile, other customers, including a delegation of a well-known multinational company was also seated on the other side of the restaurant, waiting for their order to come. They were like 50-60 people, all managers of different hierarchies. They looked very decent and well mannered. Soon our order came and we started eating our meal.
Since we were almost 40 people, it was getting difficult for the waiters to match roti’s and pratha’s with our eating speed. Soon all the roti’s and pratha’s were vanished from the table, it was then my uncle asked me to ask some waiter to bring some roti’s and pratha’s quickly. I stood up and went straight to the nearest standing waiter and after giving him a little stare I asked him that why are you serving so slow, go and bring some more hot roti’s and pratha’s quickly. I have an unfortunate personality (Orson Welles). For a moment I thought that I am Orson Welles, when I heard a huge roar of laughter on two huge tables.
It was the worst nightmare coming true.He was not the waiter, instead he was the head of the delegation looking for the waiters himself. Those decent and well-mannered people were chanting at him in humor and laughing out loud at us. It was then he angrily yelled at me saying “do I look like a waiter to you? ……..”. In my defense, he was wearing a dark blue shirt, black trousers and a black tie, same as all the waiters were wearing. I was going to throw up my 4-5 eaten bites.
He looked so furious and angry at me. I didn’t know what to do, my lips were twitching and hands trembling. I was frozen with my eyes stuck on him and my heartbeat was rising fast. I was about to be fainted out with all his yelling when luckily my lips moved and I said “I am extremely sorry sir” and walked in haste toward the restroom to throw up.
I was lucky no one in my family saw this incident or they would have laughed as well on my stupid mistake. I came back, sat next to my uncle and told him roti’s and pratha’s are coming. Then we finished the meal, checked the bill and left the restaurant. While leaving the restaurant, I walked outside hiding behind my cousins and family members, so that they may not see me again (I think, I did it, because I never wanted to face them again).
For few hours I stayed in shock and told my mother about it. She listened to me sincerely and gave a very nice tip for life. She said, sometimes bad things happen and there is nothing we can do, except to move on. She tried to convince me it was not my fault and neither was his. I accepted what she told me and soon I forgot it. But I must say, every time I remember it, I feel sorry for him and think it was more humiliating for him than me.
I always wish, I could have found the real waiter that day!