It’s been almost a year since I am working part-time at Rasa India restaurant at Quayside. Undeniably there was been quite a lot of learning experiences from the restaurant job by serving customers. There is a sense of pride in talking to the them as it is more an art of communication, a culture connection and fine food serving. Now it has become a routine of my daily life in Newcastle to invite whoever I meet for a meal at Rasa promising the taste of Kerala. Being a cultural ambassador is what probably thrills me the most. Well, there is definitely another intention too. I know nothing about cooking Kerala dishes to invite friends home for a good meal. My restaurant job helps in that way too. From intimate friends to my faculty staff at Northumbria University came to Rasa for dinner and its a pleasure to serve them.
Just remembering my favourite film character here. As many of you know my dearest female character in cinema is ‘Yesterday’ from African film ‘Yesterday’. Let me just talk about the male character that fascinated me the most. He is ‘Guido’ of ‘Life is Beautiful’. I guess Life is Beautiful is the film that I have seen maximum number of times since my college days. While in MCC, visitors to my room were not allowed to leave until they have a glimpse at this film. My Heber Hall friends know this fact pretty well.
Guido was always been ‘the personality’ who I wanted to become in real life. I’m not denying that my first choice was always been Chaplin of the 'The Kid' but Roberto Benigni seem to have an equal charm when he comes in front of the audience. More than any of those action heroes or charming Tom Cruises, Guido is still the first choice as a role model. He was a family man. When he was around everybody laughed and smiled. Those who hasn’t seen the film, I really don't want to explain about him but let you see the film yourself.
Now what is Guido’s connection to this post? Well, he was a waiter like me in real life. Ever since I have seen this film there is one favourite scene and dialogue that I kept sharing with friends. It’s about the first day of Guido’s work at his uncle Leo’s restaurant. Guido was a bit annoyed when he had to bow in front customers. He asks uncle, “How long I am supposed to bend?” Uncle explains, “Think about a sunflower. It can bow to the sun, but as you see them low it can very well straighten up too. You are serving but you are not a servant. Serving is the art practiced by the Supreme Being himself. God serves man but he is not a servant”
Last Sunday we celebrated the famous Kerala festival Vishu at Rasa. It was a memorable day in life as I had my studio friends Claire and Pete as well as good friend Indu too enjoying the traditional Vishu Sadya at Rasa. Pete also had his birthday celebration with his set of friends too. I felt so homely serving them. Quite an amazing time in the restaurant.