It was a productive Tuesday. As a team we had achieved a lot in the first half of our work day. It takes a lot of juggling meeting up with team members working in different time zones, therefore it was doubly great! We had made plans earlier that we’d go out to a quick lunch and zip back in time for a post lunch meeting.
My team member, Manoj Balan very kindly offered to speed us to the restaurant and back in his beloved Toyota Innova. Anyone who knows Manoj, knows that there are just five things that are dear to his heart – his family, his car (which is like his second son), the company intranet, his soul brother “Erk :)” and all things related to the state of Kerala! 🙂
Soon we had Regina (who was visiting us for a few days), Chetan, Raj, Manoj and me, ensconced in the Innova and we were on our way. We reached Smokehouse Deli pretty quickly, none of us were surprised as Manoj is not called “Speedy Balan” for kicks you know. 🙂 Our own desi version of Speedy Gonzales?!
Smokehouse Deli is a popular restaurant with the team as it pretty close to the office. I love its quirky interiors with their story walls as much as I love their complimentary breads. They are simply fragrant, mouthwatering and yummy.
When we reached the restaurant, we were quickly situated at a table and though it was a beautiful day, it was a shade warm to be sitting outside. We requested the friendly wait staff for a table inside once one opened up and mindful of our limited time, we immediately started placing our orders.
After a back and forth on what to order the guys decided to stick to sea food.
I listened as Manoj extempored the goodness and yumminess of prawns to the other guys, especially to Raj. Manoj ordered his dish along with the others and while we waited, we were told a table was available inside and we all moved inside, into air-conditioned comfort.
Our main courses arrived and from the looks of it, Raj was the only one who ordered prawns. Manoj and Chetan got varied dishes of fish. And then, I overheard this conversation from across the table.
Manoj (after taking a careful look at his dish): Raj, do you know what you are eating?
Chetan (his eyes round in surprise, before Raj could respond): Yeah, Manoj I ordered the prawn dish for him
Raj (confused): Yes, Manoj.. it is really nice
Manoj: Do you actually have prawns in your dish?
Raj: Yeah, I can see some in here and I just tasted one. Very nice.
And he goes about moving the ingredients in his plate of halibut, mashed potato and greens, with his fork… thinking in his mind “I swear I ordered prawns“.
It took us a while to figure what was happening with Manoj.
Chetan caught on and started sniggering away as he looked towards me across the table; I raised my eyebrows at him and suddenly the bulb went off, both of us started laughing. Raj was grinning sheepishly at this point.
What had happened was that, with all the talk of prawns during ordering, add to that, the confusion of us moving from the outside table to the inside one, Manoj really thought he had ordered the prawns when in actuality it had slipped his mind. He was seriously wondering why Raj was eating his prawn dish!!
We brought Regina up to speed and soon all of us were laughing uproariously, including Manoj. We are glad the guy has a sense of humor! Working with a fun team definitely has its moments.Someone thankfully saw the time; we quickly settled the bill and rushed back to the office in record time, thanks to speedy!
Now every time someone has prawns, we make sure to keep Manoj informed!! :):)
Note: All permissions have been obtained from Manoj to publish this episode from “The Speedy Balan diaries”.