As I entered inside, the first word that came in my mind was ‘wow’. The place was bright with dim yellow lights and shining lanterns. The walls were covered with brown and decorative wallpapers. People were busy chatting away and eating. And eating with full concentration, I might add. The delicious looking delicacies looked too mouth-watering. The waiters were in full swing, going rapidly to and fro between the tables and trying their best to satisfy every empty stomach. All the tables were occupied. It was very hard to move but I managed to get in between them after getting help from different customers who either shoved themselves or their chairs out of my way.
When I finally sat, waiters came around me and started filling the beautiful bowls in my thali. One by one different varieties of Rajasthani vegetables were laid down. When the bowls were filled, a happily beaming waiter came with three different kinds of rotis. He placed it neatly in my thali and gave a broad smile. He was followed by another who kept down water and buttermilk. The food was unlimited to eat. Whatever anyone wanted was brought in a second. I tucked in happily. I got confused with the many bowls infront of me. Which should I try first? Gatte ki sabzi or Dal Bati Churma? Fruit custard looked good to start with while Dahi Wada was more inviting. Palak with corn was a complete new dish to me. I had never tasted that one before.
I have tasted Rajasthani dishes before a lot of times. But there is something in this style of food that never lets me down. And if anyone eats it in a popular restaurant, you are sure to get bowled over by the hospitality of the waiters serving you patiently. This time my attention went to the waiter serving rotis. He smiled every time he served to anyone. Other waiters were obliged to do their work. But this one seemed to be enjoying it. He kept cropping up behind everyone's, demanding why they haven’t finished with their rotis! If anyone wanted more, he would appear out of thin air and magically drop the required amount of rotis in the thalis, beam at them and go away. Just like that! Sometimes he would serve and go between tables. Twice he put his work away and obliged to take a camera and click some pictures of the customers. I enjoyed this performance for quite some time while trying to finish everything infront of me. Needless to say, I failed to empty each and every bowl and finally stopped eating when my stomach started protesting. I had hardly put my spoon down when suddenly the waiter appeared.
“Take one more roti, please” he insisted with an irresistible smile on his face.
“I can’t” I confessed.
“Just one more” he pleaded, ready to drop another roti in my thali.
“OK…but on one condition” I replied.
“What is it?” he was surprised.
“Can I take a picture?” I requested.
“Sure” he replied and put down his tray. He extended his hand to take the camera that I had taken out of my purse.
He was mistaken.
“No...No…..I meant that I want to take your picture” I clarified.
“My picture?!” he was confused.
When I nodded in encouragement, his doubt vanished.
“But…why?” he was perplexed and at the same time happy. His cute smile was back on track!
I wanted to tell him that it was because he was very humble and polite; ready to throw away his own tiredness and make others happy by fulfilling their hunger. His eyes showed his genuineness towards his work. He was a simple waiter who was not sad for his occupation. He worked honestly and so well, that people around him were getting hypnotized by his aura of simplicity and charm. He was satisfied in his small occupation and quite contented about it. He send out a strong message-be happy no matter what work you choose to do. One must learn to be satisfied with one’s life. Face trials and tribulations head-on with a cheerful face.
But I didn’t explain this to him. He already had too much work on his hands and I least wanted to be in his way. Instead I looked at him politely and turned to face him.
“You are very kind, that’s why!” I said and raised my camera.
“Wait…!” he objected hurriedly.
He straightened his collar, patted his oily hair, took back his tray of rotis from the table, raised it to the level of his shoulder and said smilingly,