By Margaret Sheard …

Bollywood Restaurant in Catalkoy opened its doors for a special night to say farewell to Hussain Azhar who is leaving the restaurant business after 21 years and going into a new venture of property management in North Cyprus.

There were over 100 people who turned up to wish Hussain every success with his new venture and Rachel Saunby was there to entertain us with her lovely style of singing.   Now the days and evenings are getting warmer, the event was held in the nice outside area so there was plenty of room to seat all of the guests and space for dancing later.

Hussain had laid on a buffet for his guests which was excellent and there were so many choices – onion bhaji, spring rolls, meat and Chinese dishes, curry, rice and salad, so everyone tucked in when they had filled their plates with the delicious food of their choice.

There was much conversation going on all around us as people met up with old friends.  Hussain was kept very busy welcoming all who had come to wish him well for the future.  The waiters were kept very busy serving drinks from the bar and they were very attentive in making sure everyone was served.

Later in the evening John Graham pulled Hussain to the stage area and, on behalf of everyone, thanked him for his many years of keeping his customers happy.  Hussain then said a few words thanking all those who had come to his leaving event before quickly handing the microphone back to John.  I think he was very overcome by the whole event but he seemed to enjoy it nevertheless.

I managed to have a few words with Hussain during the evening and he told me he had come to North Cyprus 23 years ago and spent 21 years in the restaurant business, starting at The Courtyard in Karakum, and including many of our well-known venues, such as The Grove.  The last 6 years have been spent running Bollywood, both on the main road and at the current location.

Hussain feels that he should now spend more time with his wife and 3 daughters.  Running a restaurant involves very long hours and this is the reason for his change of direction which will now give him evenings and weekends with his family.