Photo Courtesy: Doodlers (Facebook page)

Kolkata tumi shotti City of Joy: Netizens take-on Mocambo on Zomato #makeyourcityinclusive

From 5388 reviews at 11:45am on 13 sept, 2016 to 5774 at 4:24 pm the same day, Mocambo’s Zomato page has been on a review marathon, constantly pulling its rating down! 386 reviews in 4 hr 40 min!

With almost all the ratings since September 12 being 1.0, Mocambo’s ratings have fallen from 4.5 to 1.8 on Zomato!

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It all started with a Facebook post by Dilashi Hemnani whose only wish was to have dinner with her driver Manish Bhaiya who took her around Kolkata during her official visit to the city. You can read Dilashi’s account here.

“Staff : Ma’am we can’t give you a table
Me : But why ?
Staff : who are you with
Me : subtly pointing towards Manish bhaiya .
Staff : aahhh….Ma’am he is not properly dressed .”

Mocambo established in 1956 is one of the most noted eateries of Kolkata, serving old-style Kolkata Continental (Khansama) cuisine. It is one of the remnants of the British Raj. After this incident it still seems to be thriving in the times of “Dogs and Indians not allowed”.

We do not have a dress code. But at least a person should be neat and clean. He was having roadside jhalmuri, walking around and grazing people. That is not acceptable. How could you have a roadsider coming in to your restaurant? This is not a dhaba.” Mocambo’s response to the incident as reported in Vagabomb.

But the ‘fine dine establishment’ did not anticipate the wrath that saying no to a humble human being, (a ‘roadsider’ according to them) could bring them. Incidents of entry being denied to people of a certain class keeps popping up every now and then but what Kolkata did to Mocambo was unique and worth an applause!

The virtual world of the Internet and social media is a very powerful tool. The moment Dilashi’s Facebook post went viral, the hashtag #BoycottMocambo began trending on Facebook. People from Kolkata got to task. They hit where it hurts most. They targeted the restaurant’s Zomato ratings, meanwhile creating a buzz over Twitter and Facebook alike. Zomato is a popular application that is used as our restaurant finder anytime we are hungry. The restaurant’s ratings dropped from 4.5 to 1.8 on Zomato. The reviews are still trickling in every minute lambasting the restaurant for its racism. This incident has showed us two things – netizens still have a human heart and two, never disrespect a human being for the class they belong to.

We do wish to give back the good that Manish bhaiyas in our lives give us daily. We do wish to serve them back, in the little ways we can. It is not about the give and take but about acknowledging a fellow human being. Kolkata, which is known as the city of joy, gave us immense joy with it’s response to the Mocambo incident. It showed us that irrespective of the size of the institution, you cannot combat the power of the people. What this online protest has brought out is that people do believe in inclusivity. They do want their cities and restaurants to be inclusive. Kolkata just did that!

It took a step forward in being inclusive. It took a step forward to make Mocambo realise the change in attitude of the people in the times that we live in. It showed us that the city and its people still has a soul! And hopefully Mocambo realises its mistake and do what Vir Sanghvi suggests in his tweet!

Be inclusive! Be happy!

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About Pallavi 16 Articles
Pallavi and web work go hand in hand. She loves to untangle chaos, create structure and results that are useful and beautiful. Her professional expertise include documentary photography, fine-art, street photography which captures a wide array of daily commotions which are missed by most of us in daily routine. Working as a Digital Media Officer with Hidden-Pockets she is trying to bring different colours of Delhi to internet through her blog posts. She is a researcher interested in feminism, cyberspace, pop-culture, philosophy, and games. You can find her traversing the length and breadth of the city conducting walk recce and indulging in gastronomic pleasures.

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