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That Rare and Refreshing Thing Called Goodness

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That Rare and Refreshing Thing Called Goodness

That Rare and Refreshing Thing Called Goodness

That Rare and Refreshing Thing Called Goodness

Some places and some foods have a lot of baggage attached to
them. A particular food joint in Delhi fills me with nostalgia about all our
trips to Delhi that would be incomplete without their lassi and chole bhature.

A few years ago, I had to go to Delhi for work, for a day.
The office was close to this joint so I decided to squeeze in some time for my
gastronomic delight. The only time I could manage was after work, on my way
back to the railway station. So, I reached there, with my luggage, to find a
queue for a table. O well, I had a couple of hours on hand, so I decided to
wait. After about three quarters of an hour, of standing outside, with my bag
full of files, I got a table. I had to share this with an elderly Sikh couple
(let us call them Mrs. and Mr. Singh).

I ordered my favourite chole
bhature
 and decided to skip the lassi
as it was late evening- not my preferred time for a cold beverage. The elderly
couple ordered two plates of chole
bhature
 and three glasses of lassi,
telling me the third one was for me. I looked at them, trying to protest. I did
not know them so felt uncomfortable. Mrs. Singh very affectionately told me
that no meal is ever complete without lassi
and since I had obviously been waiting for so long, I deserved a little reward.
And so, we got talking about food while waiting for our meal to arrive.

The waiter brought in two plates of chole bhature and they passed one to me. I said I can wait for mine
to arrive but they were insistent. So, we started eating. I savoured every bite
of my food and washed it all down with the lassi.
Our meal was interspersed with all our isolated memories of this place and our
collective love for their food. I was actually enjoying their company.

After the meal, owing to my sweet tooth, I ordered gulab jamun for all of us. I wanted to
return their favour. Finally, the waiter arrived with the bill. Mr. Singh took
the paper out of his hand and started counting the money, paying for me as
well. I protested and felt very awkward, even suspicious. But they just would
not take no for an answer. Then Mrs. Singh said something which changed
something inside me. She said that they have two daughters who live alone and
away from family in Pune and Hyderabad for their studies, and someday even they
might have to turn to strangers for help. So, by sharing a meal with me, they
are helping someone else’s daughter who is also alone. I did not know what to
say except for an awkward thank you. Mrs. Singh further told me that if I
wanted to repay them, I should do a good deed for some stranger. This way the
goodness will pass on.

This incident made me realize that goodness has not
completely disappeared. Good, kind, simple people still exist. If we shed our
suspicions, we can experience some of it. Also, it is not important to return
the favour but to pass it on as a selfless act. It also made me question as to
why do we not trust people anymore, why do we put on our guards all the time?
Has all this stopped us from enjoying the small pleasures of life? I don’t even
know their names but this elderly couple taught me to trust again and to be
good to others. Try it, it is very refreshing!

Author:
Anahita Suri, Assistant Professor, School of Fashion Design, Unitedworld Institute of Design (UID)

Disclaimer: The opinions / views expressed in this article are solely of the author in his / her individual capacity. They do not purport to reflect the opinions and/or views of the College and/or University or its members.

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