Count your blessings and not your calories: CBTL, India Bulls Centre

Caveat: Somewhere hidden in this rambling piece of self indulgence is a little review 

Never underestimate the power of good food and good people to buck you up. And if it's good people who love good food then it's the cherry on a double chocolate sundae with crushed brownie bits, hazelnuts, hot chocolate sauce.... but wait, let me stop before I get ahead of the story.

K's gone to Delhi on work. Last heard I have a slow roasted wife. I was at a bit of a loose end. Now think of all the Woody Allen films and the trips which the Jewish characters in them make to their shrinks. Well for the hypochondriac race of Bengali Alpha Males a trip to one's G P is the answer. So I dutifully went to Dr M who sent me off with a number of tests. Her parting words were 'call me with the results, no need to come over'.

I then went to the Gai-eem . I rowed and I cycled without reaching anywhere and was then sent to a four step escalator which climbed in the opposite direction. I did a Charlie Chaplin act for a few minutes before I became breathless. I had forgotten my blocked nose and ear and was paying the price for it. I thought I was having multiple cardiac arrests and wasn't really impressed by the head trainer who said that this was 'normal'. I trudged back home to great chicken curry and some much needed babying on phone from the skewers of Delhi.

I then watched Chowringhee, an old Bengali movie. I had recently read the English translation of the book and was quite impressed. The film had the great Uttam Kumar. It was quite good. But it was also everything because of which I never used to watch Bengali films while growing up.

It was in black and white. And it was very depressing. In fact I remember that we used to have a very old lady as our cook. She had once gone to see a Bengali film in a theatre. My mom asked her how she found it. This four feet tall, hard working, wizened lady said, "It was very good. It made me cry".

Well as you can imagine I didn't go to sleep in a very Technicolour frame of mind.

No breakfast  when I set out this morning as I went to the bloodsuckers at the the path lab. Taking a con-call in between. Breakfast finally happened at Mona and Eliza's. A day full of meetings faced me after that. I skipped lunch. Yes, you heard me right. Even I can't believe it. Wasn't hungry.

Then we went to the India Bulls Centre at Lower Parel for a meeting which turned out to be unusually cordial in today's pressure cooker world.

We went downafter the meeting, at three pm, to the newly opened Coffee bean and Tea Leaf CBTL at India Bulls. It was an 'express' version with  no live sandwich counter. I ordered a chicken tikka wrap for lunch which was quite tasty. The chicken was very well flavoured and tender. Especially for a coffee shop ready made dish. I had a rather pedestrian masala alu puff with it.

I was with a couple of my colleagues. They love to eat. Thank God for that. I had introduced one of them to CBTL's Ultimate Mocha recently. She had introduced it to the other. Two Ultimate Mochas were duly ordered. And a Black and White Mousse cake which I had recommended earlier. And an Apple Pie Crumble. All this while repeating oaths to begin dieting from the next day. The apple pie was described 'as not as good as other apple pies' and demolished before I could finish my roll and puffs. The mousse, thankfully, met unqualified praise. 'Thankfully' as my reputation was at stake!

My order of 'fresh brewed coffee' was ignored twice by the guys at the counter. They probably felt that it didn't gel with the Ultimate Mochas and two pastries. Cindarella stuff.

They finally gave me the coffee which turned out to be a nice 'pick me up'.

The Ultimate Mochas were met with scowls. 'It's not right'. The manager was called. 'This is not Ultimate Mocha (U M)'.

'Ma'am U M has chocolate coated coffee beans in them'.

'This doesn't have them!' Two sets of arms were crossed and cheeks puffed in righteous anger.

'Really sorry. We'll get you another'

They looked at their empty glasses. 'No, let it be'

A feedback form was offered.

'No, we don't want to write about this... But this is not Ultimate Mocha'.

'Ma'am we'll offer you complimentary ones the next time you are here'

'How will you recognise our faces?'

The manager scribbled something on our bill and we finally left. Happy in the knowledge that we had another meeting with this client soon. Happy with the knowledge that there were two Ultimate Mochas in this world with our names written on them.

So it was back to work. More meetings and calls. I was too late to pick my test results at the Path Lab. One more con-call was to be made. K was still being tandoored in Delhi. The house was still empty.

But at least those twenty minutes at CBTL livened up a dreary day.

Thanks girls :)
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