“Ek soorya hai, ek gagan hai, ek hi dharti mata. Dayaa karo Prabhu, ek bane sab...Dayaa kare Prabhu, ek bane sab”

Friday, February 23, 2007

Sab ka ek se naata
Satyam Shivam sundaram, satyam Shivam sundaram

I’m in a very forlorn mood. I know I shouldn’t be, especially after the wonderful long weekend spent indulging in good food and great friends. But I can’t help it. Maybe I just woke up tired or perhaps the shocking and infuriating incident that took place over the weekend has affected my mood.
Jaas, Dish and Colleen visited us this past weekend. It was a lot of fun showing Jaas around DC and taking him to numerous restaurants, among which one of our favs is Jaleo in Chinatown, Washington DC. We knew the Jaleo would be crowded on a Friday night, especially at 10.00 PM since it has a great bar where you can pre-game and head out to other local bars and clubs which are all walking distance. But we lucked out when our host had a 5 person table ready to go when we walked in…our only qualm was that it was near the door and every time it opened we would feel the gust winds blow in. We went ahead ordered our Tapas, drank yummy sangria and immersed ourselves in brilliant conversation. After we paid our bill and waited for our waiter to bring our credit cards we continued our conversation and did not expect what was about to happen next. Now this is how we were seated…If you walked into the restaurant, you would first see 2 hosts and to the right there were smaller tables meant for 2 and on the left of the hosts was our table and behind us was the rest of the restaurant and bar…full of people walking around. Jass is on my left, Bhatji is on my right and Colleen is on the right of Bhatji and Dish is on the right of Colleen and left of Jaas…to complete our 5some at this table. I was facing the door and my back was to the bar and other tables. This one guy, judging by his clothes and smell was a bum off the street (lets call him guy A) comes from behind me and bends down to talk to Jaas…whispering something, so naturally we all turn towards them (to my left) to see what’s going on. It was a short 15 sec interruption and Jaas says something back to him but gives us all a quizzical look. So obviously all of us ask Jaas, what that man asked him. While Jaas proceeds to tell us what he said, guy A is talking to someone who is standing behind me...almost in between me and Bhatji. That’s when we realized that there was guy B behind me. But we were all so engrossed in what guy A had asked Jaas that we did not think to really notice was guy B was doing. Apparently guy A had asked Jaas “is the food good here?” to which Jaas responded “ummm yea sure” Then guy A and guy B (who also was a bum) started walking towards the door. It was all so bizarre. Then something made me check for my purse...this weird feeling that something was so off about the guy standing behind me. Well anyway it was gone! I had kept the purse under my jacket on the handle of the chair so it wouldn’t fall off as people kept walking by. I checked to be sure and yes it had disappeared. I let out a frenzied shriek to anyone who was listened that my purse was gone. Without hesitation Bhatji ran out to catch up to the 2 guys. Guy b was still at the door on his way out and guy A was on the street maybe 2 steps out the door. Bhatji didn’t stop at guy B since he knew that Jaas and Dish and I were following him and would seize guy B. He caught up with guy A and stood in front of him blocking him and screaming at him to give us the purse. I caught up to the guy B at the door and yelled at him for my purse and he just calmly put his hands up and said “I aint got your purse!” By then Jaas and Dish were out and at his side and I said to Jaas…”Make sure he stays here. I’m going over to Bhatji and guy A” as I walked over to guy A who looked bewildered...perhaps because he didn’t expect us to catch on to their plans so soon. But he was fumbling with something in his coat. I didn’t stop to think that this guy could be armed or just violent...because I started cursing at him and hit him on his arm asking him to give me my purse back. Bhatji was in front of him and I was on his side and behind him was the resturaunt with guy B still at the door, jaas and dish who was out on the street. Guy A was cornered, he knew it. He kept saying “I aint got your purse!” still fumbling with something in his jacket. Bhatji screamed “give us the purse or we’ll call the cops” and then screamed to Dish “just call the cops….Call 911!” When guy A heard “cops” and “911” he got scared and dropped the purse from his jacket! And then the nerve of this guy, he proceeds to say “See I aint got your purse!!” Bhatji scooped up the purse real quick and handed over to me and I did a quick check to make sure everything was in there. Cell phone, keys, wallet, credit cards etc. and everything was...probably because this guy had no time to go through it at all. I noticed he had dropped his glove along with my purse, I picked it up and smacked it in his face and cursed him out some more! I was shaking with anger and I think I would have kicked him if it wasn’t for Bhatji pushing me back towards the resturaunt…saying that it was over and we go the purse back and he wasn’t worth it. Guy B who accosted by Jaas till now started walking away and so did guy A. Once inside the resturaunt, people who were sitting around us were in shock that it happened and one of the waiters told us that we all had excellent reflexes. I was still shaking….maybe from the adrenaline rush or just the fact that something like this had happened to me! And at such a nice resturaunt!! Colleen then told us that she had host to call the cops while we were all outside and the manager told him not to! Then the manager came out to tell us that he was sorry that this happened and that it happens all the time in this neighborhood and that we should be more careful with our bags. That’s it! I told him that they really should keep an eye out to see who is walking into their restaurants, to which he said “we cant do that coz it would be a full time job you know” and I said “No I don’t” We got our credit cards back and left the restaurant still mystified…Did that really happen?? Situations like this make me realize that there is a higher power looking down on us...for me to check for my purse randomly, for Bhatji not stopping to check but just taking my word that my purse was missing, for us to catch those guys in time, and for me to get my purse back safely. But more anything else that those guys weren’t armed and none of us got hurt! I called Jaleo after our guests left after the weekend and told the manager that his response to this incident was unacceptable! I told him “Do you know why this happens often...it’s because managers like you don’t do anything about it. I understand that calling the cops would look bad for you business, but having bums walk into your resturaunt and take your patrons purses, wallets is not good for your business either! I want you to report this event to the cops and I will check to make sure you have” It makes me think...who is the bigger evil, homeless bums who believe that stealing is the way to make quick money or managers that don’t give 2 hoots about their patrons..Because after all we did get the purse back and no one was hurt…alls well that ends well. No I think not…believe you me I will make this as public as possible starting with my blog and then making its way to the paper (hopefully) not out of spite but so that more ladies aware of their belongings. Keep an eye on your purse and coats etc. make sure your better half or your group is aware of all your belongings before you leave them in an area. Last but not least…do not let some jerk manager that it’s ok that it happened. It’s not ok! It’s never ok. Let your local authorities know so that they can increase patrol in those areas that need it and always make sure that you never resort to violence. Although coming from me its almost hypocritical and I wont lie...smacking that guy twice felt damn good :o) But I wouldn’t recommend doing it.
Sorry for the super long blog. I know I haven’t added any recipes but patience my sweets, for I have more yummy blog entries coming you way. Until then stay warm and SAFE!!


mkp said...

Thank goodness for you and your hubby's quick action. You should put this on washingtonpost.com City Guide, under the restaurant's page. I'm so proud of you for calling the manager. I can't believe he cares so little about his patrons.

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