“lets go out for dinner”, she said, while i was expectantly hoping
she’ll make me a simple home dinner – like ‘tayir sadam’ or something. i’ve been eating out for some 8 years now and am so sick of it, i’d do anything for a lil home food.
so we set out, and i ask her where she wanted to go. simple, objective question. and i was expecting a simple enough answer. somehow, i’ve never been able to communicate with members of the opposite sex clearly, and so when she answered me with a volley of questions instead of the name of a hotel/eat out, i knew this was going to be difficult.

so after half an hour of riding around the city, endless questions and
even more complicated answers, she finally asked for a decent ‘thattu
kadai’. thats a way side shop that sells idlis, dosas, parottas(NOT the
north indian ‘parathas’) and the likes. more trouble. for most of such
shops i was acquainted with were strategically placed very close to
booze shops, and the clientele consisted of predominantly inebriated
men-folk. far from the ‘decent’ connotation that she meant 🙂

after a lot of thinking, i remembered one such place in masilamani
street, t nagar
. i’d been there ages back, and so only knew the
location vaguely. we got there, and when we couldn’t find the place, i
asked this man – he was on the road, just outside his appartment,
burning crackers. he wasn’t too sure and so asked his dad, who happened
to be standing in the balcony of the appartment in question.

this was a really old man, hair perfectly silver grey, skin all
wrinkled. he was dressed in the typical white veshti & vest. he took a
while to understand the question, so i shouted “masilamani street“. his
old face immediately lit up with comprehension. his enthusiasm was
infectious – with his hands on the balcony railing, he leant so much
forward that for a while, i thought he was going to fall off. he
didn’t, but he give me precise, crystal clear directions in impeccable
english. i thought he almost wanted to accompany me to show the place,
such was his eagerness in directing me. old people are actually cute. i
often wonder why they are shunned so much by the society. yes, they
might at times act out of senility, but don’t we all…?

when i finally got it all, i wanted to give the old man a tight hug &
thank him, but i didn’t. “thanks thatha. and happy deepevali to u”, i
yelled out. “thank you”, he said with that priceless-toothless-grin.

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