Amma looks desperate. She wants to speak to Annie and is trying to get her attention. “Stop it Amma”, I say. It is a busy time in the restaurant and Annie is the owner. “But why not”, Amma is upset. “I’ve seen her in films since she was a little girl and watch her cookery programs”. I’m starting to feel a bit guilty. I don’t really know any of the celebrities here and haven’t got a clue what she is on about.
The plans for the day fell apart this morning. As we made our way to TVM, I did wonder what I was going to do this evening. Amma then mentioned about her sore gums. She did say this a few days ago and then nothing. Now it seems to be bothering her again. She is going to Hrishikesh and Haridwar in a couple of days with Asha and needs to sort out any niggling problems before her trip. I ring Prasantha. Her son and daughter in law are both dentists. We pick Prasantha up and drive to Nemam, where the clinic is. She gets special treatment and we collect the antibiotics.
It is getting late. Syam drops us of at ‘Rings by Annie’. The manager sees us coming and rushes to find us a good table. He knows Prasantha. We start ordering the food and get a bit carried away. I ask the manager my usual question “what is your popular dish?” “They are all popular”, he replies. It is not an arrogant reply but a genuine one. He is however keen for us to try the lamb roast dish. Prasantha has her eyes set on a Falooda. Prasantha and Chandana go to wash their hands when Annie walks past and Amma gets wonderstruck.
Soon the food start coming. The manager enquires if we are good. I tell him that I have a request. “My mum is star struck and wants to desperately meet Annie. Could you introduce her to Amma please”. “Sure”, he replies. The lamb roast is melt in the mouth delicious. The chicken dish is even better. The chapathi is soft and everything tastes delicious. We decide to come back again tomorrow afternoon with Asha when she arrives. Prasantha gets her Falooda early so that she can keep an eye on and drool over it as she savours her mains.
As we start wrapping up Annie arrives with the widest of smiles and sits next to Amma. She seems like a very down to earth person and soon we are all chatting away as though we’ve known each other for years. Sree lives nearby and drops in to see me. I tell Annie that it was Amma’s eightieth birthday a couple of days ago and we will be back tomorrow to treat her with Asha and she says that she will definitely be there to see us.
An afternoon with not much to do ended up as entertaining as the rest of my visit this time. I’m having the time of my life and don’t want it to end.