The two sat on either ends of the table but with starkly different looks on their faces.

They sat in silence but their surroundings were anything but.

The honking of cars, the screeches of roadside vendors, the shuffling of crowds in the rushed hour and the loud rumbling of passing trains!

Almost as if she had attained enlightenment, she sat with her elbows resting on the table and a peaceful smile on her face.

On the other hand, he sat with a look of pure disgust. A hint of fear flashed in his eyes and he sat rather uncomfortably and shiftily in his seat.

Moments passed and finally, he broke the ice.

He – What is so amusing? Why are you smiling?

She – Happiness comes naturally to me. I don’t need reasons!

He – How?

She – I don’t chase to understand and know everything. I like to stay unaware and ignorant of many things.

Just then, a waiter with rather filthy and ragged clothes placed two plates of fried rice in front of them and rushed away.

Her smile widened while he sat staring at the unclean spots of grime on the plate.

He looked at the waiter and then the chef who stood cooking another batch of rice in a big, black wok and finally at the water that they ‘cleaned’ their plates with!

Disgust wasn’t a word appropriate enough.

Oblivious to his thoughts, she smiled and asked him to dig into her favourite meal.

Author: Zainab Haji

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