Sunday, July 13, 2014

A pinch of salt..

Yesterday Sher Khan got up in scaring-ly happy mood. I got apprehensive of whether that could be one of those days I am reminded of my miserly low income. But it was too late to cook an escape plan; doom fell on my Saturday. She had plans to go to Pavilion and Berjaya time square. All husbands in Malaysia know the torturous effects these two malls may bring to people like us.

We reached Berjaya around lunch time. We decided to have lunch before getting to the shop floors.

The food court was almost empty. It wasn’t too difficult to find a nice place to sit. Sher Khan ordered her favorite ‘tandoori chicken with naan’ at the curry shop right next to the entrance. Adi is fine eating anything vegetarian if you promise an ice-cream after that.

Everything was going fine. But the day had something in store.

“They haven’t cooked it properly. I think they have not put any salt in it”, Sher Khan kept the chicken back in her plate.

“They may have done this in hurry. Should I ask them to”, I was worried because she had hardly eaten the first piece. I looked at the counter.

The guy came quickly and apologized. We came to know that their regular cook had taken day off. They offered ‘Kadai chicken’ and Sher Khan accommodated with that.

After some time we left the table and stood at nearby ice-cream parlor. I noticed that the curry shop guys had cleaned everything but had left the plate of untouched ‘tandoori chicken’ and the basket of ‘naan’ (we could not finish all pieces) on the table.

I looked at them; and they just smiled.

And few minutes later, we saw a teenage boy went to the curry shop, spoke with the guys at counter; and then came back to our table and ate that chicken and naan !

Ashamed, we watched him eat. Sher Khan had her eyes filled. “He didn’t ask for salt”.

The girl at the ice-cream parlor spoke. “We at this food court, instead of throwing such untouched portion of the meal, leave that on the table or sometimes on a separate table. Any person can come and eat that”. She continued, “Several food-shops in Malaysia allow people to buy extra dinner for those who fast. So those who cannot afford may get free meal in evening to break their fasts during Ramadan”.

We returned after few hours of shopping. A number of thoughts came by. What if this was possible at restaurants and hotels in India; say not on all days but on festivals, or on special days like birthdays or anniversaries we could buy extra lunch and dinner for those can not afford. That could be managed over a take-away counter if space may be a constraint.

It sounds ridiculous in Indian context; so did the idea of suspended coffees; but for example Cafe 42, in Indiranagar, Bangalore does that.

A new government has taken over in India, a lot of new changes are being considered. I know there are many establishments in India who are already working in this area. What if we could write to the foods and public distribution minister of India to just propose such thought to all restaurants and hotels in India and see what may come out workable for both worlds ? I am going to try that.

And till that time, those who may like to celebrate their special days by giving something to those who really need may try these (and many more):

God Bless.

A city with a heart !