An elderly gentleman sat next to me at a restaurant this morning. He was dressed in a spotless white shirt and could have been in his seventies but his face looked tired. He ordered for an ‘onion rava dosa’ and requested the server that instead of sambhar he be given extra cups of chutney. In a matter of few minutes, the plate was emptied and his face shined like his plate which glistened with a fresh coat of ghee polish. He now ordered for a plate of ‘butter murruku’ and ‘pineapple kesari.’ The server’s eyebrows arched like an inverted ‘V’ in surprise on hearing his order. The gentleman did not approve of the server’s reaction and looked at me instantly if I shared the server’s surprise, but I maintained a straight face.
It took a while for his next order to arrive. At this time, he gently tapped his fingers on the table while he sung a slow tune in a low voice.
The dessert, ‘pineapple kesari’ looked tempting with small bits of pineapple and came in a small bowl along with a plate of savoury ‘nei murukku.’
The gentleman dug into the dessert straightaway without wasting a second. Both the server and I waited to see his reaction, who had now become oblivious of his surrounding, completely immersed in the ‘kesari’ experience.
After a moment, his eyes lit-up in ecstasy and all the three of us exchanged our smiles sharing his joy.