An Evening in MachanFebruary 1, 2011
One evening my dad, after long tormenting days of illness, beamed-up with smile and said, “Let’s go for a treat, but decide to take me to a place where we avoid the usual type restaurant.” Amazingly Machan set our mind since my sister liked the idea of getting into a “Mowgli” ambience. I knew not but it was a pump-up for me on the very thought of conquering the monotonous boredom of a restaurant. My thoughts changed into a momentarily happy smile sensing the refreshment of a jungle environment.
The very word “machan” in local language meant a raised platform, built high on a tree often used for watching tigers, elephants or wild animals used for protecting the villages or for hunting. Machan is situated on the top floor of Dona Plaza at Bora service, a few kilometres south of railway station on the Guwahati-Shillong road.
When we reached Machan, we stepped in a small wooden bridge near the doorway and the cool murmuring of flowing water ringed our ear. The sudden dark shade on the dining area made me feel of some evening in a dense forest. The evening was beaming with delightful whispers and murmurs in the dining area. We took a space right in the middle and sat for a while observing the area. As I sat gazing every nook and corner of the restaurant, I discovered some jungle surprises, the woodpecker, the rhinoceros, the giraffes, squirrels, monkeys, especially the cobra which resembled an anaconda took me by surprised with its hissings.
The environment was very tantalizing which cured our hunger pangs until a gentle reminder came from well dressed waiters for ordering the course for the dinner. Lighting was perfect, arrangement of chairs and tables could be appreciated and arranged in stylish manner. While waiting for our food, I could see the diners immersed deeply in the semi-dark, light musical backdrop sipping drinks and slowing moving their jaw joyfully with each sip and each piece of snacky bites. Not only the children but the adults and anxious parents were moving all around the place to take photo with electric powered squirrel, birds, python, monkey, rhinoceros and elephant. We were speechless and excited with every snapshot we took. Overall it was cosy, not noisy; it was fun and frolic to be in Machan. Though the food was no more than usual restaurant menus (usual but awesome), yes indeed it made a difference with its jungle mood. I could see customers’ excitingly coming and content. It indeed gave a flavour of jungle dining. It was great! Yes we did have a Mowgli time.
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The lighting in Machan is extremely substandard. Trying to set the ambience to a place doesn’t mean darkening indoors to such an extent, one’s hardly able to see the food being devoured. To say the least, they overdid the ambience with it’s shades of darkness. It should be a little brighter, or better mood-set over and around eating spots. The food though is great!