Monday, September 12, 2011

Breakfast in New York, Lunch in London.

It is a warm spring day in New York. I am walking on this beautiful tree lined street which has cafes on both sides. Everyone I pass while walking has a welcome smile (i noticed atleast 3 of the 5-6 girls that I passed, looked exactly like my wife). Wondering how could this be, I continue walking, almost in love with the balmy day and the nice feel-good vibe. I have almost made up my mind that this is the place I am going to spend the rest of my life in.
The cafes on kerb all smell of fresh coffee and mouthwatering baked delicacies. I decide to have breakfast. I order coffee (which strangely tasted like tea) and also start eating the dish which I cant remember what it was. The pleasure of having this breakfast equalled the one I used to have while gorging on Aalu parathas as a kid, with Chai and pickle. This breakfast was almost the same, very nostalgic. I finished my breakfast and started walking. Now, this part of New York looks more like Palampur or Kasauli. I also seem to know the roads better.

I dont know why but I am hungry again, I remember having had this awesome breakfast a short while ago. But I am hungry now and I start looking for a place to have lunch. And, how powerful is the human thought, I notice that there is a restaurant far ahead, rather a 'dhaba' and I rushed towards it. It is a very typical small town dhaba, complete with plastic chairs and smoke bellowing from the ceiling chimney. As I was walking towards this place I also noticed that there are no highrise buildings in sight on this street. Its just a road with trees on both sides. I reached the dhaba and felt totally at home, I do no longer feel the de-riguer sense of being a newbie in a strange city. The hosts are friendly and I could hear a faint hindi film song in the background. Dont know what song it is, is it a Kishore Kumar song? or has it suddenly changed to Backseatboys?. Frankly I cant tell. All I am concerned about right now is food. I order daal, tandoori roti and a gravy, fresh onions cut into rings and lassi. As I am waiting for the food to be served, I am wondering how quickly has London changed from a bustling metropolis a few blocks behind to this quite street with a dhaba. I see no one on the streets, they are totally empty. Oh, it struck me, they all are empty because 9/11 has just happened and I imagine people running and buildings falling not far from here. Ok, now it makes sense, this street is empty because all the people here in London are busy running away from falling WTC towers. Lunch is served, WOW am I loving it? Hell yes, never thought London would be this easy for a vegetarian. This city is awesome. I am totally enjoying this lunch, Daal is rocking, spicy and thick and potato gravy is like nothing I had ever had before. I finished my lunch and noticed no one here asked for any money from me. Oh, ok they would probably charge my card. Ok, makes sense, they would charge my card. As I walked out of the dhaba another lady walking on the road smiled at me. C'mon this cant be happening, even this lady looks exactly like my wife........

.......Next station Town Hall followed by Wynyard and then Milson's Point. My bag slipped from my lap and was about to fall when I noticed the person sitting next to me stood up and left. Looking around with just one eye open, I realize this indeed was my stop. Wiping drool off my face, I hurriedly leave the train on to the station. F@#k, I had fallen asleep on this goddam train. This is not New York (which suddenly changed to London), this is Sydney. I am not a tourist, I go to work everyday.  Oh, this is probably the lost sleep at night working overtime here on train. I had a breakfast of cereals and not Aalu parathas. I am hungry.


  1. After reading this, felt like reading some Chetan Bhagat Stuff.....never knew that u've become such a gud writer.......keep up the good work......kudos...

  2. Loved this! It’s written so well that I could literally visualise everything! Great job!!