Saturday, May 4, 2013


Last night's incident at Paradise restaurant in Hyderabad where a street flower vendor was manhandled by a security guard aka bouncer was quite a shocker. I have often heard about Paradise from my friends in Hyderabad and was on the list of my must-visit places the next time I go to the land of Biryanis. Of course, it's off the list now as I can always sacrifice a good Biryani for bigger things such as human rights. I might change my mind if the management team of Paradise apologise to the flower vendor in person, in front of the public, pay her a hefty compensation, put the bouncer behind bars, take action against others in the team who were present or aware of the incident and did nothing! All in all, they need to re-educate everyone working there about the basics of security management and that violence is not the answer to everything.

Priya, a witness has helped in getting the matter reported to the police and threw a light on it though her blog and that is how I came to learn about the incident. According to her, the vendor was setting shop on a roadside close to the restaurant and apparently, customers of the restaurant were also buying flowers from her. While she was minding her own business, one of the restaurant's security guards aka bouncers came and asked her to leave to which the woman obediently walked away.

This is Priya's account of the incident: "Even as she began to walk away, the bouncer pushed her to the ground–yes on a road where traffic flow is quite heavy; snatched her basket of flowers, tore them and began to hit the woman. When we along with the other customers started to scream and run towards the bouncer hitting the woman, he pushed her again to the ground, and ran inside the Paradise garage. We were quite enraged at this point and ran inside the garage only to be stopped by other bouncers who told us to ‘get lost’ and one went to the extent of saying that the woman was beaten because she was ‘drunk’ and ‘misbehaving’. By this time, a considerably big crowd had gathered all of them demanding for the bouncer to be handed over. Not only were the other bouncers and security guard protecting the culprit but they went a step ahead and threatened customers to leave or forfeit their cars which were in the garage. In a matter of seconds, the bouncers also began closing the garage doors and had barricaded one of the entrances to the hotel. A so-called Manager appeared on the scene, behind the barricades and told us to leave, saying “You are making a scene out of nothing”.

Another witness, Chandrasekhar commented, "Yeah! It was so unfortunate. I was there yesterday night standing at the signal to turn green when this scuffle/incident happened. I saw the guy in safari pushing a lady down and after sometime running into the parking lot. I parked my bike and enquired with some people and then a lady flower vendor told me that this is very usual thing that happens with them quite regularly."

As told to Priya, one of the hawkers, Lakshmi said, “They push us around, spoil our flowers and sometimes even grope us. We put up with it because we have no choice and have to do this for a living.” 

Based on these statements, it looks that like this was not a one off incident and Paradise seems to have a history of such unfriendly incidents in the past. 

Below are some of the comments made by customers who have experienced or heard about unpleasant things at Paradise:-

Robin - "I had been aware of couple of minor unfriendly incidents at Paradise, however, this one is absolutely horrendous. Not going to visit Paradise anymore and will try my best that none of my friends go there as well." 

Navin - "This is not the first time the bouncers have showed their high-handedness towards customers or other people. They think paradise is a autonomous entity in that area and these people are giving protection to this so called citadel by behaving insanely. They even come and shout on the motorists even if they stand on the road. Dare, to argue with them and these beefy jerks will threaten you with dire consequences. This all happens because management also believes in high-handedness and they support these bouncers. A year or two ago, a bouncer started arguing with the customer over some parking issue. In the heated argument the bouncer started hitting the customer and other bouncers also joined and similarly like this case the bouncer ran into the garage and others closed the garage door and barricaded it. Later, what happened nobody knows. So this is an age-old practice of hitting people and running in garage, as they the know the management by hook or crook will save these so called knights of this egoistic citadel."

Bindu - "Yes one of the bouncer misbehaved with my husband too this happened 2 yrs back and when this was reported to the head security official in the Paradise -Even he started using slang”fuck off” and stuff.. My Husband reported this incident immediately to the nearby Police stn and gave a written complaint on the security head. He was called to the stn, but he was given a royal treatment as even the police officials go and have biryani there, it was really frustrating. The security official started arguing that he never used such bad words with my Husband. Me and my husband stopped going there and even we started suggesting friends not to go there as there is no proper treatment by the security guards and management. As of now we have informed students of universities like UOH and OU not to encourage their business instead there are other better places like cafe Bahar, Bawarchi , Victoria and many who make great biryani.
Yes Paradise is no more!!"

The Paradise team responded with a not so convincing apology claiming that this was the first time that such an unfortunate incident has happened there. They also did not assume responsibility for the incident, claiming that it was unfair for them to be accused. The message was addressed to the flower lady and Priya & her friends. I wonder if the apology will ever get to the flower lady:)

This is a brief indirect re-post to help spread awareness about the incident. Please help spread the word!

Use #boycottparadise if you're posting about the incident on twitter. 

Read more about the incident on Priya's blog here

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