Café Mondegar, at Colaba, is by far my favourite beer joint. The combination of chilled draught, beef in a sinful sauce and chilli cheese toast with mustard (at the right thickness-you must tell them to go slow on the water) never appears to lose its sting. I spend hours looking at Mario M’s cartoons, chatting up the waiters, and smoking endless GFK’s. Everything seems okay with the world when I am in Mondy’s.
The killer-ap in Mondy’s is the jukebox. The simple promise of being able to listen to your own poison, from Floyd to Straits to REM, is absolutely compelling. True, on a four pitcher evening, one has to suffer Summer of 69 about that many times. But you forgive that after the second visit to the newly done up relieving room. I have even let Dancing Queen slip by on occasions.
You can then possibly begin to imagine my horror when after the second glass and third smoke, just when I was beginning to relax; the silent jbox suddenly emitted the very familiar tune from the movie Silsila! Believe me, my loyal readers; I am not making this up because it makes a good piece header. It’s totally true. My jaw hit the mug. This was sacrilege. My Mecca had been defiled.
I sat through the seemingly endless song. And then took matters in my own hand. I projected I would be there for at least another one and a half hours. That’s about 17-18 songs. Tokens were procured and in two installments I loaded 17 songs. From Ugly Joe Kid to CCR. And everything in between. After the fifth song a semblance of order had returned.
I had a severe word with the management and have been promised that it was a never to be repeated overzealousness on part of one of the new staff who hadn’t yet grasped the brand essence of Mondy’s.
Hopefully, this is now a closed chapter.
Note to all Hindi music fanatics: I have nothing against Silsila or Hindi music in general. But there is a place for everything. And Mondy’s definitely isn’t the place!