Koshy's: fish curry and Kafka
By Jacob John and Deepak Joshi
24 June 2009
Koshy's, 39 St. Mark's Road, near KC Das Sweets, Bangalore. Call (+91) 080-22213793.
One thing about Koshy's is a complete mystery. How is it that above all the constant din that inhabits the place, people can still converse so animatedly? And so seriously?
Script writers discuss their new plays here, ad people bitch about their recently rejected ads, actors talk of the latest role they've lost, and everybody else is discussing the latest book or movie they haven't read or seen.
Koshy's is a pretty arty place. If you ever eavesdrop on the next table, you'll be a very surprised, not to mention, enlightened man. "I read Toynbee last night, my dear." "Oh, Toynbee's such a sniveling bore darling, you should read Kafka, he's so perfectly…." "Cutlet, Sir?" "Yes, thank you, like I was saying, perfectly unromantic, and some fries too, please."
We often used to go to Koshy’s to crack scripts for TV spots with a few colleagues from my old ad agency. Ideas would flow out of our heads as easily as the rum and coke would flow into our gullets. In the haze of alcohol every idea would seem like a Cannes Grand Prix winner. (Next morning of course, the scraps of papers the ideas were scribbled on would be sentenced to death by flushing down the toilet.) We’d continue our spirited ideating until we’d be the only people left in the restaurant and the waiters would politely throw us out.
Koshy's has sweet, polite waiters. Some of these waiters have been around since the time sandwiches were invented, yet they're as fit as any 24-year old who’s walked past a gym. Like the place, they're preserved immaculately.
Except for the foreigners, most of the crowd in Koshy’s is made up of regulars. Ancient lawyers, actors who look like they are starved for both roles and rolls, misfits from the advertising industry, budding photographers, established photographers, frustrated artists, frustrated wives, you can see them all in Koshy’s. And, of course, you can also see the bouncer-like form of Koshy’s owner and host, Prem Koshy, whose biceps are bigger than most people’s heads. And who once defeated King Kong in an arm wrestling match.
Some people come to Koshy’s and say, "Screw talking, I'm going to eat," and gorge their way through Koshy’s patented fish curry, pappadams and rice. Or pasta, or spanish omelet, or chicken biryani. The snacks here are pretty good too. Thanks to the fact that Koshy's liver on toast, fried chicken and cutlets taste the way they do, hundreds of grateful people have been able to live through conversations on subjects like 'Namboodripad’s pro-Stalinist pretentious inclinations.'