Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Dhola Ri Dhani

Upon morning arrival from Bombay, I began my last week in Hyderabad. Tuesday evening our team had reservations for a Rajasthani-themed restaurant on the outskirts of town called Dhola ri Dhani. The restaurant featured not only camel rides, a Rajasthani puppet show, a magic show, and innumerable other attractions, but also choki-styled seating and traditional dinner. As expected, our team of six exhibited remarkable enthusiasm for the location. With child-like energy we bounded from one activity to the next, accompanied by a man in a dancing horse costume. The Rajasthani puppet show featured puppets juggling fire, and the magician promised to retrieve someone's ring from my nose. He gave me orders in only Hindi, so somehow the ring ended up in the middle of a tomato instead.

The choki-styled dinner is one in which you dine seated at a small table. Dinner requires not only that you manage spices well, but also that your knees can withstand a couple hours of awkward pillow repose aside a stunted table. For me the former was not a problem, but the latter left me limping to the sink to wash up. After rounds and rounds of food, raita and dal, sweets, kulchas and gobi and aloo (all veg), rice and curd, I managed to convince the waiter that 'Nai, nai' was not embarrassed courtesy masking hunger, but was bona fide, 'Do not give me any more food or I will wipe my curd-encrusted fingers all over your turban.'

We finished up the night with Gujarati hits (out of theme, of course) and a little post-meal dancing. After an impressive demonstration by one of the girls on our team, (a former Indian Idol finalist!), we packed up the cars and left Rajasthan.

1 comment:

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