No Chief, this is not yet another article about our State’s politics. Ever since you warned The Man from Madras Musings about his tendency to write increasingly about people whose bite is worse than their bark, MMM has decided to desist. On the other hand this is about that postal district whose name you once felt ought to be that of the entire city, viz Mylapore, Chennai that was Madras, 600004.
Chances are pretty slim Chief that you would have ever heard of Silken Father, the Catering King of all TamBrahm weddings,your taste tending more towards that of the Karaikudi variety. But if you have been to TamBrahm weddings, MMM is pretty sure you would know of Silken Father – all caterers these days are measured against him. If you get Silken Father to see to the feeding of your guests at a family wedding, you have arrived in TamBrahmiana so to speak. Silken Father is very much the current rage, continuing in the lineage of others such as Mountbatten’s Bell, Victorious Rama who consorts with the Goddess of Wisdom, the Lotus Navelled One from the Mint area, and, of course, the Methuselah of them all – Six Flavoured Dancing God.
But to get back to Silken Father. Encouraged by his success in catering to weddings, sacred thread ceremonies, sixtieth and eightieth birthdays among the well heeled, he decided to open a restaurant. No doubt he imagined that the TamBrahm world, used to going around from wedding hall to hall in the season would flock to his place at all other times. The location was also ideal – close to the heartland – a verdant park where most of Mylapore goes for long walks to digest the food it has ingested in weddings. This is also where most hor(r)o(r)scopes are traded and wedding alliances fixed, thereby ensuring more contracts for Silken Father and those of his kind. And so, there it was, a gleaming and spanking new restaurant aptly named Silken Father’s Cooking or words to that effect in the local lingo.
For weeks before it opened, the world of social media was abuzz. Silken Father said messages, was going to feed everyone free of cost on day one. And sure enough, advertisements were released to that effect. This was the freebie of freebies when you consider that even the mother of all canteens was charging a nominal fee. The Mylapore world began dieting and salivating from the day the ad first appeared. And on the day of the grand opening, everyone that is someone in the area (and most of them are something, let MMM tell you) thronged the place. It was the original wedding crush, multiplied several times over.
What followed thereafter is what happens at weddings where the hosts send out invitations for say x number of guests and then find ten times that number rolling up, knife and fork in hand. Silken Father’s kitchen soon gave out. Unlike weddings the restaurant could down shutters and that was that. But the initial brouhaha ensured that crowds continued for a few more days. Food continued to run out. A swashbuckling man about town who is a close friend of MMM’s recounted as to how he struggled to get in and on placing an order for a sweet had it brought to him in a teaspoon. The friend assumed this was a sample and swallowing it in one gulp asked for the rest of the dish only to be presented with the bill. Clearly Silken Father has a Steely Grip on the till. Watch this space for more details.