क्या गिला करें?

Staying in a PG in a mammoth city like Delhi might not always be an easy task. After warring with my family that no, i would not stay at home but in a PG, because commuting to work would be easier and it was a new experience and etc etc etc, I finally had my way. PGs were hunted for and a suitable one was found. The exorbitant rate did not include food, but that didnt pinch me as such since i was anyways not gonna be around for all the three meals. Same went for the other three ladies with whom i was sharing the flat. Really, there werent any hassles. Sometimes we would cook on our own, sometimes we would order some fancy food, other times make use of a tiffin service, or else just rely on good ol’ maggi! 😀

This is how it continued and there was nothing too blog-worthy about it at all. But theres one minor incident that stands out in my mind. About food, ofcourse! One night, we had ordered khana from a nearby tiffin service. We placed the order, sorted out the math over the bill, gave our address and patiently ignored the growling monsters in our tummies, which had been energized by a super long day at work. The food was to be delivered by 2030 hours. We waited, and waited a lil more. And then some more. An initial phone call to the tiffin carrier revealed that he was on his way. However, as the intensity of our hunger pangs increased, so did the effort to track down the exact location of the tiffin carrier who was literally carrying four innocent lives in the tiffin boxes, down to the longitudinal degree and grid reference. BUt well, now our calls were going unattended. Even the most patient soul amongst us was getting pissed, to say nothing about the author who has an overactive volcano for a temper. Finally, at 2200 hours, the bell rang! All of us froze. Really. My friend opened the door and announced that the dinner had arrived. FINALLY! Upon hearing this, i immediately marched towards the door, fully armed to annihilate the imbecile at the door who had nearly caused us to die out of sheer hunger. I edged my friend out of the frame and opened my mouth to yell down whoever was at the other side. The Enemy. But…all i finally managed to do was gape at him, silently, with my mouth hanging open and then closing like a fish. Standing before me was a short, slightly stooped, kindly looking old man. He gave me a tired smile as he waited for my friends behind me to empty the tiffins and return them. I looked at him for a moment and then went to join my friends. No words were spoken, but all of us were thinking along the same lines. We quietly emptied the containers, fetched the money and not surprisingly, paid a lil more than the bill, feeling that it was grossly inadequate. The old man accepted the money gratefully and gave me that heart-wrenching smile again. Haltingly, he told us that the lady for whom he delivers the food had given him the wrong address and he had been running around the area looking for our house, constantly being yelled at by people whose doors he knocked, irked by a carrier whose food they hadnt ordered. I was the one handing him the money, overcome by a strange sensation to run and lock myself in my room. It was obvious for me to react in this manner since i lost my grand dad last september whom i loved dearly, and the vacuum can never be filled. So an old gentleman invariably reminds me of him.

So well, this was an unexpectedly emotional ending to a normal meal… Strange are the ways of God.



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