I was busy tucking in my red curry rice for lunch when I notice the next table was filling up. Two nymphets clad in paris-hilton-inspired garb and their rotund 50ish mother in rich green kanjeevaram and 1-inch red bindi. They seem happy. The girls seamlessly chatter in english with occasional tamil with the mother, who smiles broadly. I watch with fascination. Then the girls went to get their food, keeping the mother to guard the much sought after table during Saturday lunch hour rush. They return with a tray laid out with masala dosa, rava idli, sambar and coconut chutney.
Oh I smiled, how nice. This must be for the mother.
Once they settle, the mother comfortably pulls out her colourful coin purse tucked in her blouse (a sight that doesn’t embarrass me anymore) walks up to the Subway counter, stands among other minimal clothed younglings, orders a pickled delight in tamil and comes back to the table with easy gait. The girls eat their dosa carefully with forks and knives while the mother unwraps the sandwich with relish and begin to tear pieces of bread with her fingers before placing them in her mouth just like a paratha.
My plate empty, I walk away with one last admiring look at my recent neighbours. Lesson learnt. Never typecast.