Hamlet Breakfast (BH:D 307)

June 7, 2012

Witnessed a sunrise over the distant misty faint Western Ghats this morning. Gorgeous. A view comparable to that I had from the Ayur resort at Munnar. Except this one is just 13 km away from home.

I have become a regular through 'remote' villages just out of the way from the city. Stopped by 'Devi Hotel' in one such hamlet for breakfast. 'Puttu' and 'Appam' were on offer. We decided to order both and split along with tea.

White tubes of 'puttu' look like hefty degrees handed out by KKK if they have a graduation ceremony. The watery brownness of the 'kadala' curry was enough for us to decide on ordering egg roast instead. Egg roast, the national dish of Kerala according to Vir Sanghvi. 

I paid no attention to the taste. Not simply because a police constable was eating next to me. Even the other customers were equally interesting. Couple of them left in a huff cursing the owner who doubled as the server for the delay. "Nammal ravile jyolikku ponoranu...kaathirakkan onnum pattula" (We are laborers who need to get to work in the morning...we can't wait!) they cursed while leaving. 

An old man on the bench across from us, chewing on his appam, was fascinated by the array of gadgets Saiju produced from his pocket. The "chechi", the lady of the hotel, which I presume doubles as their home as well, busied herself with spreading new appams and de-tunneling 'puttu' from the tube. 

It is only when tea was delivered that we realized that the wiry, 30 something gentleman with a prominent red streak on the forehead, attesting his early morning temple visit, was the designated server. Breakfast seems to be a perk. With his rejoining the duty, the owner went back to the billing front table. Breakfast for two for Rs. 65.

In the afternoon, showed up at the bank to withdraw a transfer done to my account. It was 3pm. The cashier lady showed signs of unease which looked ready to spawn panic. I was carrying no gun and double checked my reflection on the glass window to ensure that I wasn't looking sinister. She leaned over to the next counter and said, "madam, kashu theernu!" (Madam, there's no more cash)

The "madam" mentioned above took a look at the screen, the drawers of the worried cashier and my withdrawal slip. "Ravile oru withdrawal undayirunnu. athukondu ippo ithrayum kashundo ennariyila. akathu nokkanam!" (We had another withdrawal this morning. So I don't know if we have this much cash. Need to check inside) Madam was apologetic. Never before in my life had I made a bank run out of money! Win!

Lest it be adequately 'big to fail', I told them that I can come back tomorrow. At that exact moment, it dawned on the cashier that her table has one more drawer. Out it came revealing another bundle of 500s. Couple of whirrings of the counting machine and my eternal dream of collapsing a bank got postponed...yet again!

Got a few minutes to myself this afternoon. Read a couple of Art Buchwald pieces. One titled 'News on the beach' from 1974 is priceless. Having a spouse with a sense of humor seems like a pretty good reason for marriage....perhaps it will be the only reason in the end!

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