When a bench is more than just a bench


I fractured my toe after doing a Humpty Dumpty in the shower on Wednesday morning. My new car was pressed into ambulance service in its first morning. That was the last I saw of the car till today.

I have been cooped in at home since then. I could hobble around but couldn't go out. Thankfully it was a toe and not a finger. So I could write at least. But virtual connections work up to a point. I needed to go out. Even it was for two minutes.

Today was Saturday. K was at home. And our driver, The Great Salami (with apologies to Simon Majumdar) , had come. So off we went in Princess Leia, our new car, to Candies, hundred metres away from home. I limped the few feet from the gate at Candies and flopped into our favourite bench by the door.

The chicken sandwich, coffee, petite four and sausage puff were incidental. K had got food for me from Candies on day one too. I could have had the stuff at home. But then I would not be in the happiest restaurant in the world. And in my favourite spot over there.
There is more to food than food after all.

The sheer relief of being able to do something as normal as our Saturday breakfast was amazing. The joy of being outside home. At a warm place full of fuzzy memories. Connecting with the routine. The way life should be.

I stretched out languorously and put my feet up on the rails below the table. The smile widening as K came with a tray of goodies. As the Beatles said, 'all my troubles seemed so far away'. The half an hour that we spent there was just what the doctor ordered. Chatting. Taking in the open space and the chirpy sun. All the happy faces around us. The parents who had plonked their kids on the bar stools. The two two feet tall sisters with huge glasses bigger than their faces, eating earnestly by themselves. The three size zero teens making place for their chubby and glowing friend and her overloaded tray. Faux mistletoe, twinkling lights and a Christmas tree. It was the most wonderful time of the day.

A time to feel thankful that it was just a toe.

Post Script: This is an old picture. The table has new tiles on it now.

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