“Table for Two”
This post was selected for BlogAdda’s ‘Spicy Saturday Picks’.
The waiter cleans the table with a small brush. He sweeps the leftover potato pieces and discarded napkins onto a small pan. He then takes a wet rag and wipes the curry stains off the table. All of this, he does in a mechanical way not really noticing that there is still a splotch of potato masala on one side of the table and a ring of water formed by a cold glass of orange juice.
He checks himself in the mirror behind the table. But his eyes travel past his own reflection to a girl slowly approaching the table.
Wow! He thinks. She’s a looker.
The newcomer has big beautiful eyes expertly outlined with kajal and she wears her hair loose around her shoulders. A white dupatta is flung carelessly over her slender frame. Like an actress, he thinks. He wishes he could wait some more time and look at her, but its rush hour and his supervisor doesn’t take too kindly to slackness on the job.
Regretfully, he moves away watching her in the mirror. The thronging crowds of hungry customers give him enough coverage to sneak glances at her.
The girl heaves a sigh of relief as she spots an empty table and makes her way towards it. She notices the young waiter staring at her. And she finds herself looking down, wishing he would go away. Luckily he does. But that’s only half the problem. She hasn’t still been able to get rid of the person who has followed her inside and has sat opposite her.
How am I supposed to act normal when she’s just staring at me? God, why can’t I get rid of her? , the girl thinks.
She feels her appetite disappear as she looks at the intruder.
I need to get away from her. She’s following me everywhere.
She looks around but all the tables are taken. Its dinner time and she knows she’s lucky that she even managed to even find a free table in this mad rush. She closes her eyes, trying to block out the image of the person in front of her. But it’s still there. The puffy face, dimpled upper arms and shamefully obese body. She rubs at her throbbing temple. She can feel an oncoming migraine.
The waiter is still admiring the girl from where he stands. He grins as she signals him to come over and take the order. He watches her mesmerized as she skims the menu. His eyes travel from her face to her neck where a thin gold chain lies nestled between her collar bones.
“1 Dahi Puri and 1 lassi…ummm…no make that a lime juice“. She looks up expectantly at the waiter who snaps out of his fixation on her neck and nods hastily and saunters off to the kitchen.
I am not ordering anything for you. You’re too fat as it is!
The intruder looks upset. Her mouth keeps opening as if to say something, but no sounds come out. Her double chin wobbles with the movement.
The girl stares dismayed at this.
You need to do something about yourself. The way you look. And the way you never leave my side. I am going mad.
The intruder narrows her eyes and stares at her. A stare so piercing the girl forgets to breathe for a second.
If you are going mad about me, then do something about it. Help me!
The girl looks at her sadly. Then she nods.
You are right. I must. I cannot go on like this. WE cannot go on like this.
The waiter is in a good mood. His shift is almost over and the last customer to serve has been the hottie on the far end table by the mirror. He walks over to her table with a chilled delicious dish of dahi puri and lime juice (extra sugar and lime, after a brief chat with the cook). He hesitates for a minute seeing the girl rush out of the restaurant alone.
“Oye miss”, he calls out and starts walking faster. But it is difficult with all the people around. She has already left by the time he reaches the table. He looks around puzzled. Why did she leave after ordering? Did some young man make a crude remark at her? He doubts it. He didn’t see anybody approach her. She just sat there alone, staring at herself in the mirror.
He sighs, wondering how he will explain the dahi puri and lime juice (with extra sugar and lime) to his supervisor and turns back and leaves.
Author’s Note : Do read the preface to the story at “Table for Two” – Working Backwards
Obsession with weight is something which affects most women. The degree of obsession might differ, but it exists rearing its ugly head during fleeting glimpses of your body in the mirror or when a skinny girl walks past you.
People mostly judge a book by its cover and these days, a light paperback seems to be more popular than the traditional heavy binded books.
It’s pointless to tell women not to worry about their ‘heavy bindings’. But I wish people would understand that no matter what the cover of the book is, the inside content is the same and more often than not, that book is waiting to be read by someone.
I have a Facebook fan page which is starting to show signs of dehydration in terms of fan count. So if any of my kind readers would do me the favour of going and liking my page, ‘ppreciate it a lot!