Several years ago, I was making my first trip to the US – a middle class boy’s dream was coming true, and I was very excited. I was accompanied by a colleague – Rohit (name changed) – a happy go lucky fellow with the typical Mumbai BINDAAS attitude.. “Tension lene ka nahin, dene ka…” – he lived by that principle.
We reached the hotel Sunday afternoon, and moved out to get some food for our dinner in the evening… we spotted a McDonald’s close by… and decided to have dinner there.
At the counter, a lady greeted the juvenile 23 year olds, and we flashed the most cordial smile… Rohit scanned the menu at the back of the counter and ordered – “I will have Number 7 please..”..
“Make that two” – I added…
The next statement stumped both of us.. The lady looked at us and said
“Here to Go”
We exchanged glances – look of confusion in our faces.
• Is that a question for us to answer?
• Is that an acknowledgement that order is made, now go and wait…
• Did we say something wrong that she wants us to “GO AWAY”.. A racist remark perhaps… I retraced what I had said, and strained my brain to figure out what can be wrong with saying “Make that two”
All types of questions blurred my mind and we looked back at her with a “I have no idea what you are saying” expression….
Rohit managed a response – “Excuse me…. Can you come again please?”
“Here to GO?” – repeated the lady, visibly a bit upset at us not being able to understand (something so very simple, it appeared)
This time it sounded like a question for sure.. What does she want? Like in Engineering, we tried to break it up into parts, analyze the problem statement… Take food from here, and go somewhere perhaps.. Maybe we order here, and collect the order from somewhere else…
The delay in response got her really animated, and she blurted out –
“Here to go guys, here to go”….
This is our last chance.. We have made some big mistake (I thought). I looked at Rohit – ready to step out of the the moment he gave the slightest hint..
But the Mumbai dude was calm… calm as a cucumber. He looked the lady in the eye, and said –
“Maa’m – you give me HERE, I will GO there (pointing at the seats) and eat it”
She burst out laughing… and said –
“Guys – do you want it HERE or do you want a take away (TO GO)”
“Here, maa’m” – Rohit let out a gigantic smile.. And I let out a sigh of relief…