It wondered how long, would it take to survive in this cage
These golden bars were blocking the way to the stage
Waiting for the moment, it could fly freely
Deciding in its mind to visit the human prison daily…
How much fun would it be to see them all locked
With family it’ll go, to see them being mocked
Will take a chilly or two, to throw in the bars
Hoping it’ll help them heal the stuck-inside scars…
Will chirp loudly on their heads, making silly faces
What pleasure would it be to see their dreams turn into ashes
Hope they realize, how lovely freedom us
That flying freely in the air is the purest bliss…
Restaurant Review: Bijolai Palace – A Treehouse Palace Hotel
Rating: ✻ ✻ ✻ ✻
Address: Near Kailana Lake, Jodhpur, Rajasthan 342003 Phone: 0291 516 2000
Rocky and Mayur have ventured out to explore food from all parts of India and curate videos on Askme.com I’m contributing my part by relishing my favourite dishes at Bijolai Palace and sharing my views with you all!
Ever since I was a little girl, tree-houses have never failed to enthrall me be it in cartoons or in images. Given a chance to review a restaurant by Askme.com, the ‘tree-house‘ in the name of Bijolai Palace: A Treehouse Palace Hotel, was enough for me to choose it. So here’s how it went:
Food: This multi-cuisine restaurant offers mainly three cuisines, namely, Chinese, Continental and Indian, both vegan and non-veg. Guests can savour traditional Rajasthani delicacies while enjoying scenic views of the Bijolai Lake at the in-house restaurant. Being a hardcore vegetarian, my choices were scarce. The complimentary Papad was a plus point as we chose our table. My first choice was my all-time favourite Tomato soup and it was a downer, but not in entirety! Served hot, with small bread pieces, it was too mild for a spice lover like me.
The ‘From the Clay Oven‘ section in the menu, caught my attention. The prospect sounded interesting hence we ordered a serving of Hara Bhara kebab from ‘From the Clay Oven‘ section and Chilly Paneer from the ‘Chinese’ section for starters. The servings were generous and filling. One word for both: STELLER.
Moving over to the main course, we ordered Kofta Curry and Tandoori Roti from the Indian section accompanied with Jeera Rice. The malai paneer kofta was creamy and soft, dipped with gravy. Tandoori roti, cooked evenly, blended with the curry was an absolute treat to our taste buds. The rice was light and fluffy, perfectly cooked.
Bijolai being a heritage hotel, it amazed me to see the reasonably priced food. The service was fast and balanced. The dessert menu was quite limited in its offerings so we ended up ordering scoops of Chocolate ice cream. There is no point in discussing its taste because, as everybody knows it, chocolate is heaven and heaven is bound to taste heavenly (I know I’m redundant :D). However, the serving was too little and the dish too was mediocre.
Overall, the food was YUMMY!
Ambience: Bijolai Palace offers you fine dining, open, outdoor and rooftop. As much as I wanted to have lunch in the open air, near poolside, the heat managed to beat that desire.There was a slow, traditional melody playing to match with the peace and calm of the place. It seamlessly blended with the traditional wooden decor. However, the in-house restaurant could have been built more lavishly because it seemed to me as too plain for a palace.
Fortunately, the scene changed soon after as clouds collected right above our heads to present to the diners the actual scenic beauty the palace offers. One word for it, AMAZING!
Staff: The staff was very attentive and equally responsive. The service was quick and smooth.
Bijolai Palace is a naturist’ paradise. Nestled amidst the Aravalli hills, the hotel offers panoramic beauty to soak in. Give it a try. Do pray that it rains!
“Have I reached Miss Ananya Thakur? I am calling from DFC.”
“Yes, this is Ananya Thakur, how may I help you?” asked Ananya excitedly. It was the evening after her first day at the job and the day had gone well.
“Ananya, you were assigned the job of assisting the HOD Finance?
“Yes, I AM the assistant of HOD Finance, Mr Malhotra”, emphasising on the ‘am’. ”
“I’m afraid you mistook the information. You were supposed to report to the General Manager for assisting. This is purely unprofessional behaviour. It was your first day at the job and you didn’t show up at all!”
“Uh, what!?” Asked Ananya, shocked.
“Someone else was hired for the post you worked as today. Seems as a miscommunication on both the sides.”
“I don’t understand! I was clearly told that I had to work as the assistant of HOD Finance! I am sure about it. I suggest you to please look into it once again.” retaliated Ananya, coming back to her senses.
“We have it all checked. As today was the training session, some mismanagement occurred. I am calling to inform you to report to the GM tomorrow morning, sharp at 8:30 a.m. I hope the information is clear. Thanks for your time.”
“But I was told… Thanks”, spoke Ananya animatedly when the line was cut halfway.
What the hell was that? Dad had clearly told me that I had to join DFC as the assistant to Mr Malhotra! What confusion came up then!?? Thought Ananya.
It was 7 in the evening. She was home by 4. Today was just the training session, so as to acquaint the newly recruited what work they are supposed to do.
Ananya sat in her dimly lit garden, sipping her ice tea.
“I should talk to Dad about it.” she spoke to herself and took a deep breath.
Even with what just happened, Ananya was lost in thoughts, smiling.
How is it possible?
What a lucky stroke to run into him on the street! We were in Gurgaon then and we are in Mumbai now! Almost makes me believe we were destined to meet.
Maybe we were.
Deb was her best friend back then.
The only kid who talked to her without the intentions of sympathising. He made her feel alive. He made her see the colours that nature had denied being witnessed. He was her lighthouse in the darkness of that starless night sky.
But one day, she saw it all herself, with her own eyes. That day she found that to be able to see cost her, her only friend, Deb. The one who showed her the world that beheld beauty so serene that she wished she had eyes to drink it in.
Ananya grew up into a beautiful, charming young lady. She loved her Dad, her new and only family. Her grandmother died three years after she was adopted. Definition of love for her was her Dad. Other than that, Ananya didn’t entertain ‘Love’ much.
Just two years back, she had received a call from a man asking if she wanted to know who her real parents were. She was shocked beyond measures. Before she could reply the line was cut.
That day, she told her dad about it all. He was quite taken aback. He told her to ignore such fake callers who might lure her in order to extract money.
Ever since that day her demeanour became mysterious. She started putting two and two together in order to find her biological parents. Her actions were hidden from her father and that made her feel guilty at times.
Running into Deb seemed like a sign to her. Maybe, even the universe wanted her to explore her past.
‘Since he knew I am rich, he must have inquired about me after he was adopted. I need to meet him. I hope he is as excited to meet up as I am!’ thought Ananya, sipping in the last few drops.
Deb was ecstatic. He stood on that pavement for a few moments, reliving the past.
Deb’s biological parents met with an accident and lost their lives. No relatives showed up for taking Deb home. His neighbors reluctantly admitted him to the L.B.S. Orphanage. Deb was 6 years old at that time.
Deb was too small to protest, but big enough to realize that his parents were never coming back. Being with other kids in the orphanage took away his agony slowly.
The best part of being in that orphanage for Deb was Ananya. She was the first kid, he had befriended there and the only one he still remembered. Ananya was a chubby, fair-complexioned and a healthy child except for her blindness. Deb never let her disability be a barrier in their friendship. He showed the world to Ananya with his eyes and Ananya took away his pain with her continuous innocent chatter.
They became inseparable… Those three years in the Orphanage were magical.
The happiest moment he had from his childhood was the moment when he was told that Ananya will be able to see. That day he told Ananya that he would show her the whole world and everything that she had missed till now.
The same day, a couple had come for adopting a kid. They chose Deb.
The day of Ananya’s operation and Deb’s adoption were same. He asked to see Ananya before leaving but they had to leave immediately as his new parents were going on a vacation and he was going with them.
As time passed, his days in the orphanage became a distant memory, but Ananya’s face never left his mind.
He went on to London for further studies and had come back a day before. His father wanted him to join his family business. He had no idea he had a surprise waiting for him.
His buzzing phone brought him back to the present. His dad was on the other side. He spoke before his Dad could have, “I’m about to reach!” and cut the phone.
He walked a few steps ahead to reach Starbucks and entered. His father was waiting there, sipping on his frappé.
“Sorry for being late! I didn’t realize Mumbai was too big to walk and reach on time”, he sighed.
“That’s okay son. I just experienced how it feels like when someone keeps you waiting. A good lesson for me!” His dad laughed as he ordered his hot chocolate.
“Well then, no scorecard entry for this one!” Deb replied, laughing.
“Now let’s talk business young man. I have a meeting to attend.” His dad said with a serious tone.
“Are you sure you don’t want to join me? I know your mother is pushing you hard about it, but don’t worry. I’ll handle her. Tell me what is on your mind?”
“I don’t know Dad, I’m very confused. I don’t know if I can be a good business man. I have always wanted to do something for the society, something for those kids in all those orphanages. My experience was pleasant, but many of them are still living life with inadequate services. When I come to think of it, maybe I will start an orphanage myself, but I have no idea how! I want to earn the money to fuel my desires.”
“That’s wonderful son! And I know exactly how you can do that. All you’ve got to do is to join my business. Not as the owner, but as an employee. Earn your bread and feed your dreams. You will be given the same salary as that of any person who could have got the job. No extraordinary privileges. What do you think?”
“Sounds great Dad, but can that actually happen?” Deb asked, excitedly.
“Of course! Let’s just hope that your mother and Sid agree to it too. So now on, you are the new HOD of Finance in DFC. Congratulations young man! You’re hired!” His dad replied happily shaking his hand.
“Are you serious? That is huge responsibility Dad! I’m not sure I can do it, maybe we should start a little lower.. I think I should assist the HOD for a while, sounds cool?”
“That’s right, you should know what you are going to do before actually doing it. Let me make a call. And, don’t you dare tell your mother about it. She’ll drive us both crazy.” His dad replied, dialing a number.
“Mr. Malhotra, I assume we still have the assistant job vacant?
Oh, you hired someone.
Today was the first day of her job?
Great. Tell her that she isn’t the right person for the job. Maybe transfer her.
I want that post empty. I have hired a certain Mr. Deb for the job.
You know what to do now.
Yes, that would be great.”
“Dad! Did you just fire someone because of me?” asked Deb, taken aback.
“Oh relax son! She has been transferred. Don’t worry. You, young man are the new assistant to the HOD Finance of DFC! So, let’s celebrate! It’s your first job!”
“Fine, I wouldn’t mind if you pay for this coffee”, smiled Deb.
As she traced her footsteps to work, Ananya’s mind was figuring out excuses for being late on the first day of her new job.
She held a few files in her left arm (It would impress her boss that she is all about business). Although they made no particular sense to her but she was all game for her new job. There was no way she could lose it. After all it was the first job she had got after she had been able to see.
Blindness was the curse fate had chosen for her until a generous human decided to do some social service and got her and a few other kids in her orphanage, operated. Later on, the same man had adopted her and had suggested her to go for this job.
She was just thinking about how great her day would be when she trampled over a stone and came down to earth, literally. As she was helping herself get up, a young man came over and helped her pick up the files that had spread on the ground. As she picked up one file, her eyes met his. He was one handsome hunk but seemed genuine. ‘+1’ thought she and chuckled.
He was bemused at her behaviour and quickly picked up the rest of the papers and handed it over to her.
She saw the confusion on his face and steadied herself.
“Thanks so much!” she chirped and extended her hand for a handshake.
“Pleasure” he spoke briefly with a secretive smile and reached for her hand.
As their hands met, the smile on Ananya’s face evaporated.
This touch! Is he… No it can’t be! But I never forget anybody whom I’ve touched, and he, he was my best friend back then. How is this possible!?! she thought, confused.
“Is something wrong?” he asked immediately sensing the tension on her face.
“Do I know you?” she asked at once.
“I don’t remember exactly, but I felt I had seen you before when I saw you first. That’s why I came here to help”, he confessed.
“I am Ananya! From the L.B.S. Orphanage in Gurgoan. Remember?” she almost screamed with excitement.
“Oh my god! Are you serious! Its been so long!”, exclaimed Deb, as they hugged each other.
“It’s a miracle to find you here Deb! I’ve been waiting to meet you ever since you got adopted back then. I’ve missed you so much! You never contacted me back. Well, I don’t blame you for this. Who would remember a friend from the orphanage when you are fed with a silver spoon.” She kept babbling as she punched him playfully.
“By the way, where are you headed to? You seemed in a hurry! Something important?” Deb asked, concerned.
“Gosh! I’m really getting late. Its my first day of the new job in DFC. It’s a really great opportunity for me and if I mess this up, trust me, my dad will disown me.” She spoke hurriedly.
“But if I’m not wrong, your family’s next 7 generations wont need to work to live life king size. Why this job?” He asked with a cocky smile.
“Because I want to!” she started walking as she replied.
“Deb, I’ll sure catch up with you soon but right now, I have to go. Take care. See ya soon!” she spoke and left.
“See ya soon!” murmured Deb as he smiled to himself. He knew she would see him soon. After all, DFC was short for Deb Finance Corporation.