He sat alone in the middle of a crowded dim-lit dhabha – the dhabha to which Rajeev and Sanjana usually sneaked out from home. He felt lonely in spite of the presence of so many people. Sometimes, life seems all about a few people, the absence of whom makes us feel as if the whole world were depopulated.
A waiter placed the menu card on Rajeev’s table and stood by his side. Without much interest, he flipped through the booklet sized menu card. He saw all their favourite dishes listed one after another – the ones she monotonously ordered whenever he took her out to a hotel. He missed her even more.
Finally, he realized that the waiter was becoming impatient. Probably he was thinking that his customer was an illiterate. If Rajeev took another minute to place his order, the waiter might probably start listing out all that’s there in the menu card like a nursery kid enthusiastically singing her newly learnt rhymes as if she were the only one who could recite those lines with such perfection.
“One masala dosai and one filter coffee.” He said at last.
The waiter vanished even before Rajeev opened his mouth to ask for a glass of water. Had she been there, it would have been a Chola poori or Kotthu parota or Kaima idli with Masala tea. The cleaner would have a tough time cleaning up their table that would be laden with atleast half a dozen plates. He didn’t feel like having any of these without the poor girl who was skimming through each of her meals as if it were her duty. She was merely surviving on a diet that most often consisted of a calorie-conscious vegetarian burger and a big mug of fat-free milk. He sighed.
After having had his rather mediocre meal, he stood in the queue to make his payment. There was a small rectangular slate precariously leaning on what seemed like a flower vase. On the slate was written – “Today’s special – Chola Poori”
His lips curled into a sarcastic smile. Rajeev felt happy that he had sacrificed it for his sister. Eating that Chola poori wouldn’t have given him half that happiness.
P.S. 1: Mild ice puttings for my cousins. Dun’t mind oki. :D
P.S. 2: Save some crackers for me boys. :D