It was a different age, the one before smart phones, on a sweaty afternoon we went to an udupi ordered pav bhaji and waited for the order to come, the order zoomed in fast enough. We ate it like starved people those who had been starved for almost 2 whole hours. We ate, gobbled , chatted, we laughed and burnt our tongues on all that hot food. Time was slower, things were in black and white, people smiled a tad too much. The bill zoomed in faster and we were out on the streets, replete and joyous.
Pan to today, we are older, poufier and a bit potty in our head. We walk into a lunch place , it has an udupi feel, we gaze lovingly at our phone and read the menu pre functionary, a cow calmly crosses the road while we finalize the order, then the order comes in and a sudden flourish of activity kicks in... Revati leaps from her seat, a couple of tables around us look up startled, the waiter jerks to a halt in his tracks. She is armed and ready, she gives a set of rapid instructions in a language that could be Hindi and the table is set.. few empty plates are rearranged, the tissue box is jerked to the side, the fork is snatched from my hand, the food is artistically arranged. I imagine an army of spot boys materialize their arms loaded with ammunition and the conductor of that orchestra gets up. She gives a serious nod to her army and 'click' , the 1st shot is fired... The war then proceeds in rapid paces, the enemy is gotten down to its knees and several clicks and cold plates later the food has been perfectly photographed. The imaginary spot boys evaporate as they came. Battle wearied Revati sets down her prized mega advanced phone and camera and says "aah i am full"... I nibble at the food.. most bits of it is parceled then we go home and old days udupi style eat it in peace with chatter and laughter and home crockery and more comfortable clothes. Humour apart life has changed but the better things of it haven't. I have seen her wisdom slowly. Who will sit in crowded places and pretend to eat food you know you have to rush down, it's so much better to have it at home.. but it's her charismatic inborn talent with the click fest that makes me see the same food that looked pretty but not pretty enough as in the pics she has clicked. She clicks food, I ignore her and type stories as we sit across each other. Then we go home and be ourselves. Life has changed and life has not. The only difference comes from that 'click'.