All for a plate of food!!

The kid screamed with glee and they opened the door to the restaurant. He tore through the aisle and occupied the table at the farthest corner. His mother, a lady who looked like she had seen better days, slowly walked and sat beside him. Her face had a grandiose aura and she sat there, teeming with a look of perplexity.

Her husband came and sat opposite them, partially blocking my view of the kid but the mother was still in my line of vision. I continued watching Netflix on my phone, sipping my cup of chai while my complex order was getting prepared in the kitchen.

As the waiter came to take their order, the kid screamed out his order- a masala dosa with an accompaniment of a single vada. His excitement was so much that his shrill voice ricocheted over my full volume AirPods- the whole restaurant and possibly the next street also heard it. And suddenly that table became more interesting than Netflix.

His food came, my food came. He started eating, I started eating. His father’s food came, he started eating. But her food didn’t come and neither did she start eating. She was shifting her focus between her husband’s plate and her phone. Her throat was jostling as she made frantic attempts to curb her mouth watering. The husband didn’t seem to notice. He was one with his plate of food.

After a second, the son seemed to sense his mother’s anguish. His little hand broke a piece of his dosa and fed his mom. I was sure her eyes moistened as she slowly enjoyed that piece of food ever so lovingly given by her son.

At that moment, I finished my food and got up to wash up. My mind was full with thoughts. Why didn’t the mom order anything? Did she eat already? Did she have food at home? The pessimist in me was in play as I started thinking a possible worst case scenario- were they on a tight budget that the mom faked her appetite so that the two men in her life could eat a nice dinner outside. I was deep in thought even as I stepped out of the restaurant thinking of her sacrifice.

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I realized something. I forgot my Airpods case amidst all this hullabaloo.

Walking back, I was startled to my table was already occupied by someone else and my case was nowhere in sight. The waiter tapped my shoulder and handed it over to me. I thanked him and couldn’t help but notice the glistening crunchy oothappam on his hand. The aroma was enticing and color of the crust made me drool. The mask acted as a savior in this case. He passed by me and set the oothappam in front of the mother……

This prejudiced mind was laid to rest, all for a plate of food, in a crowded restaurant and a dish with a longer prep time.

One thought on “All for a plate of food!!

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