Open Page

Food for thought at a grand buffet

Cuisine Culinary Buffet Dinner Catering Dining Food Celebration Party Concept. Group of people in all you can eat catering buffet food indoor in luxury restaurant with meat and vegetables.

Cuisine Culinary Buffet Dinner Catering Dining Food Celebration Party Concept. Group of people in all you can eat catering buffet food indoor in luxury restaurant with meat and vegetables.  

‘To eat well, shun social niceties in a subtle manner’

It was 1959, and I was at the reception hosted by the President on Independence Day eve.

We were a bunch of youngsters who, in their white trousers and black bandhgalas looking strikingly like penguins, were wandering hither and thither like Hansel and Gretel lost in the forest.

Trainees at the IAS Training School in Delhi (which later morphed into the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration in Mussoorie), we were soon corralled into an informal group for President Dr. Rajendra Prasad to meet us. The kind President graciously made a few enquiries and moved on to the other groups.

The well-stocked buffet tables at the reception were groaning under the weight of the victuals and viands that were stacked on them.

We had been informed that when the President left after the National Anthem, we could help ourselves to the sumptuous feast. So soon after the President departed, all of us rushed towards the tables.

But by the time we reached there, there were only a few stale samosas and soggy sandwiches left. As we nibbled at these meagre left-overs, one of the senior officers came across and asked who we were and what we were doing in this distinguished gathering.

When we identified ourselves, he looked pityingly at us and said that the only way to enjoy such repasts in “high-profile” parties was to totally shun social niceties, but in a subtle unobtrusive manner, and take “guard position” at the buffet tables.

Having given this sage advice, he continued rather sardonically to add that this homily would be wasted on us as the next time we would be eligible for an invite to the reception would be after 35 years or so when we would be sufficiently senior in the official hierarchy.

But I had no occasion to make use of the advice as I bade goodbye to government service midway through my career.

sr_raghuram@hotmail.com

Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Jul 3, 2020 2:31:23 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/open-page/food-for-thought-at-a-grand-buffet/article31932551.ece

Next Story