I was so hungry; lunch time, I entered just another restaurant you can find on a busy street of any Indian cities. I ordered for a typical South Indian Rice meal. Within minutes a plate of meals arrived with small Katoris (small steel bowls) filled with a variety of gravy and side dishes.
“Bon Appetit” eagerly I started mixing the rice with Sambar (default gravy served with rice) and started eating. My bad luck, it was very spicy. I searched for water and could not find it.
“Excuse me! Water!” waved my hands to a nearby waiter.
“Hey! Don’t you keep water first?” He yelled at another waiter who handled his table. The other guy rushed with a glass of water.
I was about to drink and it was so dirty! Some kind of oily stuffs floating on the surface of the water. I was puzzled to whether drink it or not. The waiter could see the question on my face “Sir, may I bring a water bottle?”
The chillies were doing the work, so I asked him to bring it faster. The waiter immediately brought a mineral water bottle from the counter and gave it. He took back the oily glass of water and kept it in a tray, shouting “Table no.7 one mineral water”.
I was then relaxed. I wondered why the waiter has not asked any apologies for serving me a dirty water or tried to bring another glass of clean water to drink. I followed the waiter’s ‘by then’ actions. The glass of water served to me was still there, ready to be served to a next person, it seems.
There came another victim from a gang of college students, asked for a glass of water. I was shocked with what happened next. The waiter served the same glass of water, what he tried to serve me earlier.
His gamble worked, a guy noticed it was dirty to drink and asked why it was like that and the waiter said “Sorry, may I give you some bottle water?” and the guys nodded. That’s sale no. 2 since my arrival. The dirty glass went back to the same place.
I understood that everything was a pure sales trick to force the customers to buy bottled water. Sadly, there are a few who chose to drink that dirty water, they might not have noticed or do not want to afford for a water bottle. In fact not everyone can afford a water bottle all the time.
“How can they cheat customers like this?” I decided to question the waiter or the restaurant owner about this. I could not eat any more and was about to leave the table to rebuke the restaurant people.
“Hey! Hey! Do not eat this meal… Look! There is a cockroach in the food!” One of the college guys screamed.
Soon the rest of other customers gathered around their table, so do I. The restaurant manager rushed there and asked apologies to the students after confirming the roasted Cockroach in the food.
The college guys have taken snaps of that and threatened to lodge a complaint against the restaurant, legally. The Manager pleaded for mercy as the other customers went furious. At last after his continuous begging for pardon, they warned him that it should not be repeated, else they will post the photos of the cockroach with the restaurant name on Facebook and take legal action. They asked the manager to give that commitment as a written letter to provide clean food and water. The manager agreed with no option.
They got the signature from the other customers, including me as a witness to this incident. Slowly the customers walked out without paying anything.
I walked along with the college guys.
“Hey guys, I was thinking that you too were fooled by the waiter, just like me, when he made you buy the mineral water. I thought of questioning that manager about the dirty water, but before that this cockroach thing popped up! Even the mineral water they sold to us was a part of their trick, you know that?”
“Well, you must be visiting this hotel for the first time :)” one guy smiled.
Another one continued “Yes, We are aware of that, how they sell the bottled water. As you said, it’s their trick. But what you think about our cockroach trick? 😉 Justice is served, right bro?” one of the guy winked at me.
“So you brought the cockroach purposefully!” I wowed.
“Yeah, hereafter these restaurant guys will always have a fear to play their dirty tricks on people. If they repeat, we will send another bunch of guys with a rat 😛 :)”
I shared my card with them and they assured a Facebook ‘friend request’.
Well, that’s the story of Mineral water with roasted Cockroach. Do you wish to carry some roasted cockroaches? 😉
– Words by Din
Bottom line: Why this story is mainly because of forced selling of mineral/ bottled water. Slowly the public is made to forget that there exists something called good tap water to consume. Pathogens? Almost all can be killed by boiling the tap water. Packaged drinking water is mostly a myth, they buzz around safety concerns. When your region’s ground water is polluted by chemicals, then we are left with no choice than to consume specially treated mineral water, either homemade using purifiers or commercially sold mineral waters. But why to consume bottled water when there is a good fresh water available in our region?