It was a Saturday. The day is synonymous with, fun, friends, parties, alcohol, food, relaxation and more. I’m a restaurateur by profession. So, when I’m done with business I prefer going to a friend’s place, grabbing a few drinks, talking about a few meaningful things or sometimes, pure gibberish. This is usually the plan, but this one particular night, my friend Kabir (name changed), decided to be a host to a bunch of us. Drinks were served, our spirits were getting better and after a few of us were done talking about the sensation that the Shiva trilogy has created, Kabir welcomed a new guest (self-invited) who I will refer to as Lord.
Lord is an aged, white-bearded man who has seen a lot of success. He likes hanging out with a younger crowd and tries (and fails) to fit in. After a drink, he started making some debatable statements, which, I would usually ignore, but the topic was restaurants and our trade was being accused here. Obviously, I took them personally and the night went on to become a courtroom drama scene with some real tension. I was loving it. The accusation by Lord was that restaurants, for no reason, charge a lot of money and thus, he refrains from going to any. I sympathise with Lord’s wife, who has been cooking for him all these years. On the other hand, Lord’s children are avid diners and love going to the most expensive restaurants in Mumbai, some of which are priced so high that an average person may have to spend one, even two months worth of salary to pay a dinner bill. Restaurants like ‘Hakka San’ and ‘Yauatcha’ in Mumbai have changed the dining scenario. They are truly of an international level and have eradicated the myth that fine dining can only be experienced in five star hotels in India. They are based in the one of the most expensive locations of the city, have international chefs, are massive and thus, are bound to be expensive. But are they worth it??
According to me, the value derived from that experience determines its worth. But by no means can one accuse them of being thieves, cheats or scammers. Lord did! The price of a dish is not determined by the grammage of its ingredients but many other factors. One pays this sum for those factors and the overall experience it gives you. You could get a better and bigger portion of soup elsewhere, but will it enrich your experience to the nth level. May be not! I have dined in such restaurants where it sometimes pinches my pocket, but it does more as well. It becomes a memory difficult to erase. All in all, it becomes a memorable experience that you cherish for a long time. Lord thinks that going to such restaurants is a means of elevating your social status and something ‘cool’ to post on Facebook or Twitter. A useless activity on the whole. Lord would rather save the money and buy branded clothes or a Rolex.
My argument is that a Titan and a Rolex shows the same time and a Nano and a Mercedes will take you from point A to point B. So why the Rolex and the Mercedes? Are they not just meant to raise your social status? NO! It’s a lot more than that. You derive value from a Rolex, a Mercedes and from flying business class. It is not because you want to show off. Maybe some do, but I omit them from this equation. This equation is about those who find fulfillment in making these purchases and buying such experiences. Get out of the box and see what these experiences have to offer.
You will remember every bite of that dumpling. You will remember the high that martini gave you. And likewise, you will enjoy the time that the Rolex shows you because every time you look at it, it will remind you that you are seeing good times, hence you could buy a Rolex.