Wednesday, 2 April 2008

There’s No Such Thing as a Free Dinner

Around 8.30 in the evening, on days when there’s not too much work, we interns face an interesting choice. If we stay back for an hour, we can order out at any restaurant of our choice. The dinner will be billed to the law firm. We will also be entitled to claim cab fare. If we leave, no candy.

Every afternoon, visions of free pizzas and biryani float before our eyes. Every afternoon, Lahiri and I promise ourselves that tonight we shall be resolute. Every evening, as soon as the opportunity presents itself, we unceremoniously slip out.

We buy dinner, and go to Marine Drive, where we meet up with friends who are interning at other law firms in Bombay. We eat our packed dinner at the seafront, and enjoy the surf in our faces. We discuss moots, shopping, Wordsworth, swivel chairs, and many other unimportant things. We inhale the smell of the sea (which we compare favourably to that of Lahiri’s feet). We laugh a lot. When we’ve polished off the last of the chicken, we use Abira’s hand sanitiser. Just before midnight, we go home.

What can explain this economically inefficient behaviour, especially on the part of me and Lahiri - two dyed-in-the-wool devotees of free food? By doing what we choose to do, I know that we forgo our free dinner. I know that we spend anything from Rs. 40 to 60 on a dinner that is not a patch on what we would have got at the firm. And I know that tonight, unless some hard-hearted associate forces us to stay back late, we will slip out. Again.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Rahul Saha said...
After all my training (dissapointed shake of the head). But hey good for you guys, we never really had this option.

Sroyon said...
This was the first week. Times have changed, dude. It's Sunday, and I'm posting from office.