Wedged into a booth seemingly lifted straight from a John Wayne movie, before being covered in the prerequisite pink flock wallpaper to give it a clasic 60s sheen, 4 men huddle round a table in a cosy Indian restaraunt.
Nestled amongst tightly packed buildings, hiding from the dark at the foot of an anonymous, steep sided Calderdale valley, the light beaming from the restaraunt’s windows spills out onto the street, chasing the pre-meal chatter as it flows out through the doors and echoes around the night.
The tonal tales of far away places and devilishly done deals, escaping through the entrance, seem to intertwine with the piped music, creating a culturally cosmopolitan air with an infectiously northern twang around the huddled booth, but begins to die down as the procession of sliver trays begins to make it’s way, carried deftly by experienced hands, towards the already crowded table.
The popadoms, by this point, have already been eaten.
First judo-chopped with surprising aggression before being dunked in an array of dips and pickles and systematically demolished by all 4. Barely a sentence had been broken as they were removed and gobbled. The talk had crossed continents, won races and bounced off car bonnets, untroubled by the addition of pre-meal appitisers, but now, as the main courses began to energe from the kitchen that was no doubt once a living room in a terraced house, it slowed, became more measured and directed itself at the food before it.
The table began to fill. As the curry desires of each of the 4 were laid out, subtle introspection took over from selfless fascination. Jason had laid out the constituant parts of his order on his bejewelled plate as far apart as he could. His fork slowly tracing a convoluted route between them, climbing over every single mound before slowing, reasessing and diving back down towards the next without stopping or tiring. It seemed a bit Daft.
Brant, meanwhile, was busying himself with reshaping the angles his mound of tikka had arrived with, seemingly unhappy with the steepness with which the lamb left the chicken. A small, contented smile spead across his face as he leant back to survey his reworkings. “I can slacken it off slightly further if I reinforce the rice behind it” he mumbled, before hunching forward again.
Across the still filling table, Steve watched Brant’s angular modellling, keeping his own considered opinion back as he began to merge one portion of his main course with another. Adding more to his plate he created, built upon and changed completely a small empire of food before him.
The waiter seemed to know exactly what he was thinking and delivered another tray of keema rice just as he called for it, to diversify further the meal in front of him in a way that he hadn’t originally intended, but now found to be exactly as he wanted.
The table began to groan under the sheer weight of dishes resting on it as the tablecloth finally vanished completely. Trays of condiments perched perilously, hanging over the edge of the drop down onto the carpet far below and swaying slightly in the breeze.
I, as the 4th member of the booth, clutched onto my half a pint of Kingfisher and leant as far back as I could as if to balance out the food in front of me, while pondering the politeness of counting the calories in a large serving of boiled rice and lamb korma.
Steve’s arm stretched out toward a waiter as he moved forward to deliver another tray of food, keeping him back from a sizzling jalfrezi close to the drop off the table and halting him in his tracks.
He reached out towards the bhindi bhaji ocupying the centre of the spread, before pausing.
“Hold on lads, I’ve got a great idea…”
Note: all, or at least the vast majority, of this nonsense is completely made up. In fact you probably shouldn’t read it, it’s pretty much just lies, exaggeration and the end of the italian job badly rehashed. And anyway, I didn’t even have a korma.