Look who's coming to dinner

We'd gone off on a South Mumbai expedition this Sunday.

Lunch had to be at Churchill at Colaba Causeway with its creamy Prawn Newberg.

We crossed over to another shop for desserts. I settled down with a melt in the mouth 'crumbled walnut chocolate brownie'. The brownies at this shop compete with the best in the world. A bite into them sets off rivulets of sheer bliss and ecstasy. My black coffee, with milk on the side, was just right. The coffee was strong and hot. Just what one needed for the long drive home. A polite school girl came and asked K if she could borrow an empty chair from our table. We smiled and said yes. And slipped into a beatific late afternoon. The world could not be more beautiful.

Suddenly a shriek pierced the general joy de vivre. Everyone started jumping around. Couple of the school girls darted towards us. As did a couple of the waiters. They all pushed themselves back against the glass fronted pastry shelf.

Turned out there was a rat. Not a cute little Mickey Mouse or Stewart Little. A big, grey hairy bugger. He created havoc while everyone jumped all across the shop. K was sitting and giggling. I stood up in attention with a grim face. There was some mirth in the room. But I was firmly with the shrieking gang.

One of the waiters then showed the dribbling skills of a Ronaldo and kicked the four legged patron out through the shop door. People slowly settled down. Things went back to normal.

There were at least five foreigners there. They seemed bemused. Ticking of the Slumdog/ Shantaram part from their itinerary. This is the sort of thing which gets shops shut down in their part of the world after all. Thankfully Danny Boyle was not amongst them. He would get crucified by us if he showed a similar scene in a movie.

What took my goat was the fairly blase attitude of the staff and the lady behind the counter. Everyone pretended that nothing had happened. That the unwanted guest did not exist. No apology. Nothing.

I had ordered a croissant to take home for Monday's breakfast. They had already brought it to our table. Am still a bit undecided about whether I should have it.

Like Winston Smith, in Orwell's 1984, I hate rats.

Post Script: In case you are wondering, I have been requested to be kind on the place.