I moved in to the Parthsarathy Sabha canteen for dinner right after Sudha's concert. I had decided upfront to experiment. So I immediately ordered "Ilaneer" (Tender Coconut) Idly. A few minutes later the Idly arrived. I smacked my lips, rubbed my hands and moved forward and the phone rang. Boss on the line and some new dish like Ilaneer Idly on the table, is one of the worst things that can happen to anyone. It turned out that boss was in a good mood but he went on and on and I was answering in mono syllables hoping he would hang up soon which he didn't. I decided to start on the Idly. The taste was really good. There were tender coconut pieces in between and I believe they add Coconut water while grinding for the idli as well. The Chutneys were very tasty and the 2 pieces melted in the mouth and vanished in no time.
With boss still on call, I signalled to the waiter and pointed to the next item on the menu card, this time no experiment - Raagi Dosai. By the time this one came, the call had got over. I now had an elderly couple for company. The talk was around the news of the day, Nithyashree's husband committing suicide. The maami was expressing how she was upset with the news and how this guy's careless act had jeopradised Nithyashree's career when she was at her peak. All along the Maama though was focussing on the Menu card and he was keen to know if "Milagaai Bajji" was still available. The Maami pitched in and said it will definitely be available, otherwise why would they put it in the Menu card?! The Maama still looked at the waiter and beamed a big smile when he confirmed in the affirmative and ordered a plate.The Maami was still upset and said a tepid ok when the maama asked her to eat atleast a plate of Idiyappam. Contrasting tastes yet together and caring for each other. The kind of love and affection that you see in old Indian couples is really unique. I moved on thinking this is yet another aspect of the Sabha experience!