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Food for thought

india Updated: Jan 22, 2008 22:20 IST
Rajiv Arora

A couple of months back, a new restaurant opened in south delhi. I and a friend of mine decided to take the risk of being among its first customers. It was around 1 pm when we entered the place and there were just two other guests besides us. We liked the ambience and hoped that the food would be as good as the place. Within sometime, other guests started coming in and soon a major section of the first floor where we were seated was occupied by a group of sexagenarians.

From their discussions, we realised that they were there to celebrate someone’s birthday. A bit too chatty for their age, the group’s enthusiasm dampened when they were told that the restaurant had no bar licence. Undaunted, they decided to go ahead with their orders and soon resumed their discussions which ranged from property rates, Raju’s marriage, Kirti losing her phone and some other very personal matters.

While their party was in full flow, a lady entered the joint with her son. She sat next to us, unfortunately. Unfortunately because I could overhear their conversation. She was trying to explain to her son why it was necessary for her to marry again. But soon her voice drowned that of the oldies. Though we could make out that the boy resented her decision, the kebabs and juice his mother ordered for him managed to calm him down a bit. And the clever mom ensured that till the youngster did not understand her 'problem', the kebabs kept coming in.

So, the situation was something like this: I was surrounded by some ten people of different age groups and discussing all their problems right over my head. On one hand, a union was visible, while on the other, a break-up seemed inevitable. And amid those entangled webs of life, I learnt an important lesson: sometimes the only thing one can do is to stand up and leave, after paying the bill, of course.