You Need 2 Naans
My Peter says I should mention my praise for a little Indian restaurant in Tucson. So here I go- never wanted to be a person who blogged about what they are eating…
Let me back up for a moment and say that I recently met a dear friend at another local Indian restaurant- that shall be nameless. It has been in operation for many years. Peter and I had our first meal together there. The food is decent and the woman who owns it is, well, cranky. Peter calls her the “cranky lady” and we accept that when we go. He even enjoys it, being from New Jersey were cranky proprietors are quite acceptable, I am told, if they do a good job with their product or service.
I have not been to this restaurant in a while, and I thought intentionally of going this day to patronize them. It was cold and rainy and I was early for my meeting. No greeting or seating was offered so I simply sat down and waited. Nothing. I went and found the lady and she was true to form, cranky, when I asked for tea. Tea was delivered, not particularly good. My friend arrived and it was expected we would eat the buffet and no service would occur. We ate, it was decent. We visited a long while and only once perhaps was there service- she came and removed our plates. I wanted more tea but was uncomfortable asking. It seemed like she was annoyed we were there so long but it was pretty empty, so we weren’t taking up valuable real estate.
When I got home I didn’t feel well. I don’t think it was the food but the whole experience was distasteful. Why go there at all? Why feel uncomfortable when I am patronizing her? Why was it so empty? Does she treat all of her customers this way? If so, no wonder there is so little business on an ideal day for Indian buffet lunch. Was she mad because her business was slow? If so, this was not helping. If I was unusually brave and kind, I would tell her what I am thinking- which is I do not feel inclined to come back there. I would give her a chance to understand the effect her attitude had on me and her business. Instead I will simply chronicle it for us all to consider- how are we behaving that may be adversely affecting what we hope for?
Now on to the delightful surprise I had at lunch yesterday. A small restaurant formerly called “Amrutha” and currently called the “Curry Leaf”. It opened a while ago and we patronized it a few times. What was unusual is that they served some South Indian food, which is more uncommon- dosas, idili, sambar. The décor was odd and the food was only alright then, but you could sense there was an Indian family determined to succeed. With the name change and some renovation and a new menu it felt like a new place, yet the same owner was there which made me happy. The food was delicious, the service warm and friendly, the prices perfect for a weekday lunch. Next time I know where I will suggest my friend and I meet for our long visit over our meal.
Try making your mealtime harmonious by avoiding upsetting discussions. A nicely set table also adds to the pleasure of eating. So does a smiling face, a cheerful word, a beautiful flower or a picture. Bless your food, and enjoy it. ~ Indra Devi
Natasha Korshak is a long-time teacher and trainer of yoga, meditation, mindfulness and MBSR, and has been working in the field of integrative health and wellness her entire professional career. She is a graduate of the Interfaith Theological Seminary and an ordained Interfaith Minister specializing in contemplative practice, grief processing, and spiritual direction. Her study and training of mind/body/spirit methods is extensive and she has learned from many of the pioneers in their discipline. As the founder and director of the Sol Center she is well regarded for her depth, warmth, authenticity, and the smile in her voice.