March 25th, 2009

Watching waiting

Faster than a speeding bullet

The other day I went to a Thai restaurant near my house. The food was amazing and I intended to enjoy every morsel of it. The gravy was a typical Thai red curry with white gourd and chicken. And of course, the famous Phad Thai rice. Next to our table was a table with around six men who had obviously come directly from office and were having a politely gala time drinking and sitting with each other. In fact, drinking a lot. The restaurant was decently lit, and tablecloths a pristine white with a few Thai artefacts thrown in to create an environment.

All went well till I was left with almost nothing on my plate, and no intention of reloading it. Then I decided to have that tiny bit of chicken left on my plate. I pierced it with my fork. And then came a split second which extended for minutes. My fork made a loud noise as it hit the plate. The chicken was not chicken. It was gourd. It was a hard piece of gourd that refused to be pierced by my unsuspecting fork. It was a hard piece of fork which made no qualms about skidding away from my plate and make a beeline towards my left, leaving a streak of angry red behind it.

I closed my eyes, I waited for a reaction. Any reaction. I saw there was none. The man on the table next to me refilled his glass. The waiter came and asked to refill my plate. My table fellows continued their conversation. I looked down at my plate. It was empty.

After a while I circumspectly looked at the table next to mine - it had a beautiful level, single streak of red, not leaving the cloth at even one point, slimming down as it traversed around a foot-long journey. I wondered at what speed it must have sped me. I could not locate that errant gourd.

As for me, the sooner I could leave that place, the better I felt.

What would you do if you were me? And if you were the Man, perhaps not so dulled by alcohol?
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