It’s not all that blue

Royal China did not seem like they knew what recession meant, with a packed house, dim sums, duck and bottles of red wine on every other table. Nikhil Chib tells more.

entertainment Updated: Mar 19, 2009 14:59 IST
Nikhil Chib
Nikhil Chib
Hindustan Times

Ok we have been hearing all about the recession, the sub-prime crisis, the one trillion American debt to China, European banks shutting down, Satyam and all the pink slips from New York to London.

I have friends there who say the situation is really tough and people are actually getting laid off and that’s not all...getting another job is not easy or not happening at all.

Cushioned existence

A friend from New York says he can actually see the edginess in people when he goes out for a drink at night. While the situation is grim all around the world, India seems cushioned in many ways. With the big business houses, pots of black money and a loving joint family system that we pride ourselves with, none of us will be on the streets..

When I try and explain to my workers that there will be no salary increases this year and they are lucky to have a job due to these tough times, they laugh and say “Recession, what’s that?” Some of our bars seem to be packing in the business from Bombay to Delhi. While I am happy about this, a word of caution comes from my private equity and investment banking friends who have been the biggest hit, that things will get worse.

But I don't believe it so much, especially when I see INOX full to the brim, and long lines for Swati Snacks to eat the pankhi and dahi batata puri (me and wife included). Great value for money at only Rs 60 and that will definitely be the mantra for this year and maybe continue for the next year too. Copper Chimney was packed too, the other day, with us delving into lachha parathas, black daal and reshmi kababs.. simply divine. Then there is our very own Corporate Crunch Lunch at Busaba which I have to say is a steal @ Rs 350.. kaukswe, momos, steam fish, etc.

Where’s recession?

Royal China did not seem like they knew what recession meant, with a packed house, dim sums, duck and bottles of red wine on every other table. Ditto for the usual suspects going for steamed wantons with crispy garlic and mouth-watering pork dumplings, which burst gravy in your mouth (can't bite half or you will have it all over your self) at Ling's Pavilion, as well.

The bars are not doing bad either whether its the new Zenzi in Lower Parel or its neighbour Blue Frog. People are definitely not opening the Moet in abundance or drinking the really highest priced item on the menu. It’s probably a Tiger or an Absolut.

Make the most of it

So where is this damn recession which we have been reading and talking about. has it come, going to come, or come and gone? The price of oil and gas has fallen, vegetables at Dadar Market are so fresh and at real value for money, stores are offering fat discounts. Great so it’s either time to go out there and spend or save as my friends at the gym is doing. By not going out on the weekends he says in another few weeks he would have saved enough for his family's next big trip to Singapore and Bangkok.. first class tickets, fancy restaurants and 5 star hotels.

Now that’s smart guys the choices are all there. Let’s forget all the stuff being handed down by our fickle media.

First Published: Mar 19, 2009 14:56 IST