I am fortunate to have some great childhood friends and very fortunate to be able to meet them often. It's been 19 years since we finished our schooling but every one of us ensure to adjust the schedules to make room for our meeting. Depending on other commitments, we plan to meet for breakfast, lunch or dinner. In the same way, we decided to meet for dinner on a Saturday. Usually, we try to find a place which is easy to commute for all of us. One of my friends is lucky to reside in the same area we chose to meet. While looking for a restaurant by name "Dialogue in the Dark" on Friday morning, I discovered another restaurant "Talking Hands". I came to know that there will be no lights in Dialogue in the Dark restaurant from a Telugu movie Jyo Achutananda. The waiters direct the customers to the tables and there will be light only on the food plate. After all, one has to know what is going into their mouth. The reason for the discovery of this restaurant is, Dialogue in the dark and Talking Hands are located in the same building, Paryatak Bhavan, Begumpet.
It was shocking to know that all the staff in the restaurant are deaf and dumb from the reviews. My friends have joined me in sharing the excitement to visit the restaurant as soon as I told them about this special feature. We have reached the restaurant around 7.30 PM. Before entering the restaurant you will find a board with a headline "Interesting Facts about Talking Hands Sign and Dine", which has the following lines
- Enter the Silent World of Deaf
- Experience the Beauty and Soundless Expressions of Sign Language
- Enjoy the Artistry of Sign While You Dine
- Please Talk to the Staff with your Hands and Listen with your Eyes
- Learn Sign Language Through Images on the Wall and Watching Videos on the Screen
- Enjoy Ordering from the Menu Using Gestures and Expressions
- Our Service Staff Will Be Delighted to Teach you Some Basic Signs
- In Order for Our Guests to Experience the World of Silence, We Restrain From Playing Music and All the LCD Screens Will Be on Silent Mode
We were welcomed by a staff member with a Namaste and a smile on his face. The restaurant is filled with an air of silence. The walls are covered with images with the basics of sign language. You can learn how to say "Hello", "Sorry", "Thank you", "Good" and some other words from those images. The restaurant has a capacity of around 100, but we found not even a single chair occupied. A waiter came to our table to greet and give us the menu. The menu has North Indian, South Indian and Chinese cuisines. Each dish has images with a couple of signs, those are the gestures for the serial number of that particular dish. As we are looking into the menu people started coming and around 40 seats were filled in no time.
One might feel challenging and uncomfortable in using the sign language for a couple of minutes, but once you start doing it you will surely enjoy. Because you will notice the kid in you being active while doing so. No need to worry even if you want to talk about anything which is not on the menu, for example, cold water or one by two. You can use your own sign language and the waiters will be able to interpret it for themselves. One of my friends were so excited that he wanted to place the entire order using sign language. Being a vegetarian, I have opted for Paneer Tikka, Veg Manchurian, Paneer Butter Masala, Veg. Jaipuri and Veg. Biryani on sharing basis. I was a bit skeptical about the taste as the strategic advantage of the restaurant is not the taste but the concept of having deaf and dumb staff. But I was completely wrong in my presumption, the food was great. No single dish can be labeled as average or below average, everything was made to perfection. My non-vegetarian friends were as happy as I was with the food. The prices of the dishes are on par with any average restaurant in Hyderabad. We had a great dinner and told the staff that we will be back soon.
It was a pleasant experience to know that someone has come up with such an idea and offering employment to specially-abled. As told to the staff, two visits of mine have followed the first one. In the middle of noisy and too much going on restaurants, Talking Hands is here to provide you a placid experience along with mouth-watering food.