Tuesday, April 15, 2014


I have come to stay with my parents for a while. Coming back to Bombay is like reliving the old era...eating sandwiches, wada pao, dabeli, frankies....and Maa's home made food(although first comes sandwiches and then Maa's home made food!). We have an udipi restaurant just across our house...'Mayur'...which is the biggest landmark for anyone trying to reach our house. This time I had made my mind...about ordering Chana Masala from Mayur('Sapna Salian'...thinking of you too!)...and fortunately I could. Another reason about eating there is, it is not a very expensive place to binge. For me I can throw a party there and still save money by not going to a bigger branded eating joint like..dominos, barista...or even McDonalds.

While returning from my dentist, as she allowed me to eat anything I could  I said why not 'Chana Masala from mayur!!!'. I stopped by...ordered my grub, and happily sat waiting for my dream sustenance. just then I saw a couple with their son..they parked their bike and entered the restaurant. It was past 2 in the afternoon, very sunny and warm. They trio looked very tired and sun dried. Their son entered inside saying that he was very very hungry. It seemed that the father was not only carrying the helmet and a back pack, but was also carrying load of worries perhaps from liability or an obligation. He looked over worked & drained. And same was for the mother...she had dark circles reaching her cheeks, she had managed to tie her hair and still her hair were running out of her bun. The only good thing about the trio was their son still looked fresh and had a spark in his eyes which a child of his age should have!

I reminded the waiter for my much awaited Chana Masala. Seeing people around me eating...Paper Dosa, Poori aalo, wada sambar, Chinese platter, madrasi taste buds started playing volley ball in my mouth. He said it will take another 10 mins. I waited patiently...although my mind was already processing when I eat my 'Chana masala' incredible would that be. I would be eating that after almost 6 years. So then I started viewing my surroundings again.

Suddenly tensed couple got up and started leaving. The hotel manager and the waiters asked them, Sir...what happened ...Didn't you find everything fine??
The father cleared his throat, moved his hand over his nose and not looking at the waiter in his eye replied "Vo chintu ko non veg khaana hai...zidd kar raha hai"...The wife smiled very subtly rubbing her hands together and nodded in unison of her husbands reply. Mayur is a vegetarian restaurant. I felt bad for the son...poor little boy was very hungry. Just as they order was ready. I was happy to go home and eat !!!

I was walking back to my house with the yummilicious Chana masala in my hands...just then I started wondering where nearby would the couple take their son for him to eat NonVeg. There was nothing nearby that would serve them non vegetarian. Right then I saw the same couple standing at one of the Anna's roadside gaadi...where we get same South Indian food... but at cheaper price. Their son was sitting on the bike and the mother was feeding him plain dosa. I understood...that it was not that the son who wanted to have non veg...but the scene was so that...although the restaurant was reasonable for was expensive for their pockets. They made an excuse so that no one in Mayur knows that they are trying to save money! This instance made me realize that terms like expensive, cheap, good, bad, warm, cold....are all relative. Cheap for one and expensive for another.

They looked at me, they had seen me wait for my order...I could not help but smile at them...with a very tacit inference in my eyes ..."I understand folks...enjoy your food"

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