Going out for a family lunch or dinner, is a very common activity. More often than not, it is about the time that the family spends together. The time becomes memorable and enjoyable when the place and the food is equally good.
So, it was yet another family lunch day. However, however we were looking forward to this one, primarily, because of the place that we had chosen for our lunch. We had booked a table for our family at MirchiandMime located at Powai, Mumbai. Those in Mumbai would be aware of this place and their other outlet called MadeiraanMime. So what was so special about MirchianMime? While I tell you more about this place, do note that this piece is not a review about the place or the food there, but it is about my experience of the visit there.
MirchiandMime is a fine dining restaurant based in Powai, a suburb of Mumbai. Their other outlet MadeiraandMime is a pub very close to this one. However, children aren’t allowed at MadeiraandMime. What is unique about both these places is that the employees here are differently abled. The attendants who take orders and serve are hearing and speech impaired. They can neither speak nor hear. One may wonder as to how would they interact with their customers. Their super power – sign language holds them in good stead.
The next question that would come across would be how would we, as customers know their sign language. It’s very easy as the menu card has few basic instructions on how to place the orders. These are very easy to understand and follow. Apart from this, the Managers who can speak and listen normally are around to help us, in case of any difficulty. Moreover, the attendants themselves reconfirm the orders placed by the customers by pointing out to the items in the Menu card.
My takeaway from the visit
Lot of our lessons in life are not from the textbooks but from our day to day experiences. At times, we learn new things merely by watching the way people go about in their lives. My visit here too was one such experience.
Being a vegetarian and a teetotaler, my options were very limited. However, the food was very delicious and mild in spices, contrary to its name. The ambience of the place too was very warm and friendly. When I visited this place, I was only observing the attendants and the way they did their job. They moved about with such confidence that was capable of putting fully abled people to shame. They not only did their job adeptly, but they had a perpetual smile on their face.
My curiosity got the best of me and I began interacting with the manager and asking him more about these employees. He began telling me that they had 4 branches and about 40 such differently abled employees (It has been quite a while since I visited this place and now the figures may be a bit different). While he was appraising me with this information, our waiter was prompting the manager with some other information. I actually found that truly commendable. While some of us who are fully abled too might hesitate to voice our opinion, this waiter here had no qualms doing so.
I also learnt that some of these employees had been around from the time of its inception in 2015. It apparently took them two months to be fully trained. There were no signs of the staff being bogged down, in any way, due to their disability. The managers too did not show any signs of being superior in any way. The camaraderie between them was a sight to enjoy.
I have come across many fully abled people who have all the amenities in their life, a peaceful day-to-day schedule and no undue stress in their lives, yet they will not cease to complain.
And here were these people who had all the reasons to complain, but they were all smiles and happy to provide flawless service to us.
Indeed, these men and women have a superpower within them – of positivity and resilience and the ability to converse in Sign Language!
Featured image source – Instagram handle of Mirchiandmime