Another dull summer afternoon awoke me from my intermittent sleep. I decided I needed to eat before allowing the storm of my to-do list to overwhelm me.
So I drove out to my usual vada pav place feeling famished, in my usual dazed state of mind. The Rajasthani guy was there .. after many days. Lanky, simple, clean nice moustache, bright bold eyes and that unique accent when he spoke which always left me feeling more curious about him. There are usually not many customers in the afternoon and so I was probably one of the first ones to show up.
He opened a whole new pack of pav and sliced out one for me. I love watching people work and I stood there watching him set the pav on the big tava, adding butter, vada, onions, roasting it. When it was done he asked me if I would like it cut into half before serving me – something he usually doesn’t. I agreed and also found some ease to ask him for an extra mix of chutneys on the side.
The vada pav tasted perfect and instantly quelled my hunger. (really Bless him) I stood there chomping, watching the street blazing in the heat, my eyes darting from the street to the people around and hesitantly ending at him. I remembered the last time I had seen him chopping onions and felt that same sense of attraction towards him once again. I loved his eyes but felt conscious of stealing as many glances at him as I should have loved to. He was standing there, looking straight ahead at the street just like me. I wondered what he thought of, I wondered what it was like to be him and I almost craved to have a conversation with him. Above all, I really adored the simplicity of his being and decided to carry it with me as a treasure to inspire me.
I was so lost in thoughts that before I realised that I had finished eating, the paper plate flew off from my hand across the tava towards him and he caught hold of it ! I was both amused and embarrassed. He simply nodded to indicate that it was okay. I swear it was okay because the plate was licked off clean and so it didn’t create any nuisance or mess.
I went around the corner quickly escaping his sight to wash my hands and instantly beaming into a huge smile that I knew just wouldn’t stop for the next few minutes.
I’m still smiling as I write this. It has stopped raining now and everything feels so fresh and beautiful. Yea I forgot to mention – the weather sometimes decides to match my mood and turn a day around.0