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Monday, October 25, 2010

Hungry Kya ?? Always Look before You Eat !!!

Weekends, if some poor unsuspecting soul does not invite me for dinner/lunch I normally survive on a diet of fruit juice and bread. Well, this Sunday was one such day, where hospitality was not quite forthcoming, but laziness was at its peak. Having been through a human Laundromat, my metabolism was doing overtime

It is difficult to sleep on a hungry stomach even if you are bone tired. I gorged on bread , some tomatoes and other form of edible grass , till I experienced a feeling of fullness.

 Crash..................! Sleep came on to me the high to a drunkard who has had experienced a change from Pineapple adha(quarter) to neat Vodka.

A couple of hours later, the incessant hoot of a express train across the track awakes me up. The first thing I realize is a full bladder

As I finish irrigation......... hunger strikes with a vengeance.

Walking down, I see a makeshift box, manned by a lady. I walk across, and sniff the unmistakable smell of frying potatoes and surprisingly the smell of freshly brewed tea. Some laborers are enjoying their break with chai sutta.

“Do I ..or do I not eat” is the question ? Admittedly, I could digest anything from anywhere, but this seemed to be pushing the limits. Additionally there was a stark difference in the crowd there and me, physically as well as otherwise.

Hunger reigned supreme, as always!!

I approached the lady, and asked in Tamil what is available.

White rice and vegetables……. poori and vegetables.

" I will start with poori " I said.

She plunks a steel plate into a bucket of water, making me wonder if it was better off before. Stone cold pooris are plunked on the plate which has some traces of bubbles, brown and blue. A mish mash of vegetable curry is plunked on top (Separate vessels be dammed!)

" Not hot? " , I asked.

 The lady stared as if it was the ultimate sin. Her eyes seemed to be saying, isn’t it enough for you to have food, you want fancy as well?

Mollified, I ate the pooris, thankfully the cold pooris were just two in number, before she ran out of them.

Rice? She bawled seeing my empty plate.

It was not really great, but then it wasn’t too bad either. And if it were dirty, I would fall sick even with the rice on top...a couple of thousand bacteria more would not really make much difference for I guess it takes just one to mess up !!

Sure...and in went the rice.

However , I started receiving a lot of curious and hostile stares from the onlookers. The security guard of the adjacent huge office complex was also eating and he was giving me the most dangerous look.

I gave him a smile and shrug, trying to imply that I was famished and not in moods to travel...but he continued gazing.

It was making me feel uncomfortable...I gulped down the rice and asked for some tea.

I was served some in the plastic cup, which houses just about a mouthful. I asked to be served in another bigger glass and I guess it was the wrong thing.

“This is the only glass, have it or leave it”, came the growl from the lady.

It seemed like the last straw.....for the guard kept his plate down and walked towards me.

“This is not your place , why do you want to come and ridicule us by your antics. Please leave right now”

Hoooha.... !!

There is a hierarchy, whether you like it............ understand it........ or not you have to …….respect it.

I have no qualms in eating in that place, but my mere presence there seemed to have rubbed the wrong way to them.My insistence on some basic prerequisites had given the impression that I was making fun of them as it was kind of luxury for them.

There was no point reasoning with them, so I just paid some change and walked away.

So next time you feel hungry ....dont just eat...!!

For the plate in which you are served matters...a others if not to you...and you got to respect that :)

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