When I enter, it feels warm, musky and homely. It has a snug feeling about it because the place is jam packed. I, as a single girl, could not get hold of a table. How could I? It was already crowded and one empty table required me to leave behind my purse/car keys/wallet/shopping bag and I had not one thing that I would like to leave unattended. I could have left behind a plastic lollipop stick but that wouldn’t have worked because some fellow Indian would flick it, and squat on the chair. He/She would have completely ignored that the germ and saliva infested lollipop stick ever existed.
I wanted to eat Masala Dosa, and I ended up in an Indian resteraunt. Its a Haldiram themed based eating joint. You reserve your place, you order food and pay, you go back to your “pre-reserved table” and someone will serve you. You eat and you leave. Simple.
When I reached the counter to have my dosa, the man asked, “टेबल है क्या आपके पास?”(“Do you have a table?”)
Man at the counter: “अकेले हो क्या?” (“Are you alone?”)
Sonali thought before giving an answer to this man. She fucking did not have a table because she has come alone. Only if she could boss around to capture one. Only if she could just brought that stupid plastic bag that she had left in the car.Only if she could have come with someone… Uff! Sonali is feeling sorry that she has come alone to eat. In just one sentence, Sonali cannot believe that the word alone has translated to lonely.
Irritated Man at the counter: ” सॉरी मैडम। टेबल बही है तो ऑर्डर नहीं ले सकता।”( “Sorry madam, I cannot serve you if you don’t have a table”)
Sonali looked around the busy Haldiram based-and not Haldiram eating joint in New Jersey.
The closest table had 5 middle aged suit and dupatta clad Indian ladies, hogging on shared bhelpuri and vada paaav. They seemed like Bongs. (Note: Sonali is a racist when it come to Indian population)
The table on the right, seemed like a table where gossip could originate from. Guy was like mid 40s. Girl who seemed like a wife was in mid 20s with fucking powder on her face, red lipstick, gold chain and spaghetti top-hanging on from the hinges of her boobs. With semi transparent long skirt she walked like a Geisha and every man in the room saw her walk with hidden glances. Every woman in the room just shamelessly gaped. I was one of them.
Obviously, she had the table. My judgement was allowed.
I ordered regardless and sat on the waiting sofa. People just wait on it for their food.
The old couple in front had their Paav Bhaji served. They were holding coke bottles like beer buds. They were not fighting for the Paav, silently munching the delicacy at hand. Calling the cleaning guy(and not the server) to give them food, spoon or paper napkins. They just sat there. Timeless couple so engrossed in food, they barely even saw each other.
And they had the table.
Sonali now realised why family is so important. The word “Single” had a new meaning. It meant that if you are fucking alone in an Indian resteraunt, you will not get served.