Monday, December 21, 2009

Please do stop the music

Last night, I was at this Indian-Mughlai type restaurant and they were playing some saxo-phony music. At least it sounded kinda like Kenny G having a bad hair day... well, strike that. When doesn't he? So, I am at this restaurant trying to gently wrestle with some burra kababs and I can't help but feel a little uneasy about the music.

I mean if it was Pankaj Udhas asking you to drink moderately in his wet tissue paper-like voice, while you doled out generous quantities of dal makhni onto your plate, you could go on and tackle the kababs, no doubt about that. By the way, you should know by now that Mughlai restaurants and Mr Udhas probably have some kind of deal goin' on. If you don't believe me, answer this: Have you ever been to Moti Mahal and not felt his looming presence, right from the warmth of the tandoori platter, all the way to the icy tingle of the kulfi falooda?

But the sax is another matter altogether. Thanks to sleazy libido-enhancing ads and clumsy seduction scenes in Indian movies, this wonderfully uber-melancholic-or-ultra-tectonic instrument -- that Great Mood Enhancer of B-grade ventures -- automatically makes me feel a little queasy. I expect the lights to dim further, and the scene to change and cut across to two feet squashing each other at the edge of the mattress, before the scene cuts across to a fencing match between two palm trees or pollen-rich flowers, and then cuts right back to a risky-after-being-frisky Navin Nischol with a smug look on his mug. And that does something to my appetite. Seriously.

I wonder if Kenny G and his apostles are aware of the crucial role they have played in ruining one Indian appetite at the cost of fine-tuning another. But given the popularity of instrumental music at family dine-ins, perhaps they should swap a deal with Mr Udhas. But then, while you could guzzle to 'em, can you imagine getting raunchy to ghazals? I didn't think so.

Anyway, there goes quite another appetite.

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