This was our last day in India. 4 hours of pacing up and down Usman Road - and after going through a hundred or more pieces of sari, it was time for a break.
There are several eateries just across BKR Grand Hotel, where we stayed. We entered one, satisfied with its overall cleanliness and sat down. It was a small diner and we were the only patrons at the time.
An elderly man came to take our order. Vee and I discussed quickly the merits of snacks over a full meal, and finally decided on the thali. Our third and last thali meal in India (sigh).
At the end of the diner, I could see 2 men (in their late fifties) hunched over a table, busy preparing something.
Then, in the usual legendary speed (refer Thali Tales 1), the thali trays arrived!
Our server was tall with thick well-trimmed graying mustache. He was attentive and polite as he placed the trays and got us our bottled water. Once he was sure that we had everything we needed, he moved away.
He did not disappear totally though. Instead, he stood in vigilance a few tables away. He provided Vee and I ample personal space to eat without feeling observed, yet, within sight for any help needed.
After the first thali meal, it had become a habit for me to count my dish bowls before eating. Altogether, there were 8 bowls (including the dessert), 1 papadum, a generous amount of white rice and a piece of roti (the Indian flat bread) - another hearty meal!
Vee started to eat. As for me, I took out my camera, and turned my tray to this direction and that to get a better angle of my thali tray. After a few attempts, I still could not get a good view of the rice beneath the roti. So, I moved the roti slightly to display the rice.
I aimed my camera on the thali again. Still unsatisfied, I just sat still for a few seconds. Come on, how difficult is it to shoot a photo of a tray of food, anyway?
Suddenly, from behind my lense, I saw my roti moved. In the swiftness of the South Indian server, our server had taken matters into his own hands, literally!
In my shock, I heard Vee chuckled.
I looked up. The server had a satisfied smile on his face. I smiled back and said, "Nanri." Thank you.
And he moved back to his guard post.
"I hope he washed his hands..." I whispered softly to Vee.
Safiza is a Travel Blogger, Common Reader, Book Hoarder, Art and Nescafe Tarik Lover.