Bye Bye to Restaurant

By Raju Bhosle

When my six-year-old daughter insisted for the first time that she would like to have food from a restaurant, I agreed.

Only one day, I thought to myself. The wife would get some rest for the day. So, all of us set out for the nearest restaurant, but no tables were available. My daughter was distressed, and she almost broke into a sob.

I cheered her up by saying we would wait for a table. But it was taking too long; many others, who had arrived before us, were also waiting for a table.

Realizing that we would not get a table for another hour at least, I suggested that we get the food packed and eat it in the cheerful atmosphere of our own home. My daughter agreed to the scheme.

I placed the order. The food was packed and delivered within 15 minutes, and we soon returned home.

It was a hearty meal; I thoroughly enjoyed it, and so did my daughter. My wife was a trifle annoyed; she had to plead with the daughter to eat the home-cooked food every day.

Anyway, it was an enjoyable experience. But I was unaware of what lay in store for me.

The next day, we ate food cooked by the wife. But the next day, the daughter again insisted on hotel food. I gave in and brought the food from the restaurant as before. Things came to a head when my daughter began insisting on having food from the restaurant almost every day. If I scolded her, she would start crying and refuse to touch food.

I was in a dilemma. My wife is a good cook, and it was exasperating that the daughter should prefer restaurant food over nutritious home-made food. It was also a drain on the pocket.

The wife and I did a little bit of thinking, and we hit upon a plan. The next day when the daughter demanded food from a restaurant, I readily agreed. But before leaving for the restaurant, the wife carefully wrapped home-made food in a packet that I put in a bag without the daughter noticing.

Instead of going to the restaurant, I roamed around for a while and returned. I handed over the packet to the daughter and saw her finish off the food in a flash.

"Was the food tasty?" I asked her.

"Very tasty; even better than the food you brought from this restaurant earlier," she replied.

My wife and I sat down for our meals after feeding the child. When the daughter saw we were eating the same things, she asked, "Are you also having hotel food?"

I told her about the prank we had played upon her. I pointed out to her how much she had enjoyed the food.

My daughter has never again pestered me for restaurant food.

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