I have been spending lots of money for the last two months. Not that I wanted to waste money, but situations demand that money be spent. Never really given it a thought until my friend and me stepped inside a restaurant yesterday for her treat.
We chose the place because she was impressed its ambience , the last time she had dined there.
It was 2:00 o' clock in the afternoon. The ambience was impressive and place looked crowded. We managed to find seats and settled down to place orders for lunch. There was an old man in a typical rich South Indian attire( Silk Dhoti, Shirt and Shawl) having his lunch in the same bay as ours. There was a mineral water bottle on his table from which he took occassional sips.We ordered a bottle of mineral water too.. "Thanks to the Old Man" I said to myself... else I would not have cared to ask for Mineral water, given that the restaurant was popular and good and I am all flat for the paintings there.
The food was tasty, but I noticed in the menu card that a lime juice in the restaurant costed 35 rupees... a little too high I felt.. Still, never bothered to tell it out, as I was intent on finishing my meal and getting home for a quick nap before the next programme on the cards for the day.
We were enjoying the food and generally discussing the shopping we did in the morning when we heard the old man picking on an argument with the waiter.
The entire hall stopped eating and talking. The old man was demanding an explanation for the mineral water charges in his bill. He felt that charging 25 rupees for a water bottle is too high when the nominal rate is 12 rupees. Any kind of explanation from the waiter did not seem to satisfy him. He asked to speak to the manager. When the waiter hesitated, he stormed into the Manager's room to fight for the extra 13 rupees.
The waiters smiled... That is all they could do...
That is when it struck me, that we have also been paying exhorbitant rates for a nominal meal in restaurants all these days, but never bothered to question any one on anything, simply because we thought that it was not very 'NICE' to question the prices in some restaurants.
No body told us, but we all seemed to already know the reason for the high prices.... I see that we are paying for the A/C, the lights, the decorum, the wall papers, the drapes, the cushions, and the service along with the food. The cost of everything else is included in the Price of the dishes we eat.
Who is to explain this point to the Old man ?
I knew we had spent more for the food than its worth..
We paid through Debit Card.. May be that is why we never realised the High Prices.. It is the card that takes care of the Bill, not the rupee notes that we used to count out to pay bills usually.
The beautiful Tanjore painting which costed over a lakh rupees smiled cheerfully when we walked out... It seemed to say, 'That is Life, Deeps'..
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