CHAPTER 10 (continued)

Posted: May 21, 2014 in Uncategorized

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CHAPTER 10 (cont)

On my third round, serving a tray of bite size mini quiche I was stopped by a hefty lady in a red garara with a red chand dotting her forehead. There were a handful of Hindu ladies here all wrapped up in India’s finest silk and sporting bangles from wrist to elbow. “Is this veggie” she asked me expectantly. “Erm.. Im not sure” I replied embarrassed , I hadn’t paid attention to what my mother told me. “I know we catered for vegetarian” I remembered, “Let me go back to the kitchen and get a plate of some veggie snacks for you” I offered. “Oh that will be great dear, please can you bring two plates. I’m going to sit over there with my friend who is also vegetarian” she pointed to a space just inside the french double doors that open to the garden. I nodded and returned to the kitchen.

When I returned I was holding two plates stacked up high with bhajia, pakoras, potato samoosas, Puri patta, and stuffed mushrooms. I looked to where the lady said she and her friend would be. The Hindu lady spied the full plates in my hands and waved frantically for me as I walked towards her, dodging the few groups in between. She had chosen a particularly crowded spot and I noticed a crowd of young men had gathered just outside the French doors while I was in the kitchen. “Hmm thank you so much” she said sincerely when I handed her the plates. “I’m so sorry for the trouble” she continued. I could barely hear her from the loud conversation all around. The young men outside seemed to be particularly roudy. They were all facing towards the garden but the sound of their conversation carried right into the large room. “It’s no problem” I said. “if you need anything else, please just call me, my name is Hasina” I offered as I began to walk away.

“…the cruise on the Seine river was the best” came a voice from outside. One of the young men was talking excitedly, and the tone and emotion in his voice carried into the room and I found myself straining my ears to hear more, “from the one side of the river you can see the Eiffel tower and the other side, the busy streets of Paris.” He pauses , “Rameez here was chasing a hot Femme Fatale all around Paris and now can’t even remember what the Eiffel tower looked like” a loud laugh erupted as I walked away.

A few minutes later the Hindu lady called me again. As I walked towards her I lingered slowly at the doors listening to any additions of the conversation I heard earlier. The voice of a young man was talking about the Louvre museum “I dragged these dirtbags to the Museum”, came that same voice. He hadn’t lost his captivating tone. “When Rameez saw the Mona Lisa he did a Mr. Bean impression so good we nearly got thrown out.” Another voice said “And remember the naked women with no hands and droopy titties..” he laughed. “It was a sculpture” said the first voice, “..the Venus de Milo” the he continued – with a touch of irritation at the other persons comment. “She is suppose to be Aphrodite- The Greek goddess of love”. “Geez” said the other voice, I thought Geek chicks were hot”. My eave dropping was disturbed by the Aunty say , “Sorry dear, We are not sure which cakes are eggless. Please can you bring us some”. I took their empty plates away for a sweet refill. Wondering how they managed to eat all of it. I returned to the kitchen hurriedly hoping to catch more of the conversation when I got back. With another two plates full of fresh cream doughnuts, pastries and cakes I handed it over to the Aunty. Just as I was about to resume my slow walk back in the direction of the French doors, she asked for diet coke. After two full plates of food, the irony of the diet coke wasn’t lost on me. However, my desire to continue eavesdropping on the conversation outside, outweighed by initial need to laugh at her request. I obliged eagerly as it made me get close enough to hear some more detailed stories of Paris. I made excuses to go back and ask how they were just so I could hear more about the city. I didn’t see the person who was talking, but it was clear he knew how to command a conversation. He had me and everyone around him spell bound. His descriptions of the Versailles Palace and the sights, sounds, and smells of the bustling inner city, galleries and passages was vivid enough to make you think you had been there. The voice was talking about Euro Disney when my mother called me back to the kitchen.

Inspired, I began to sketch frantically in my little note pad. The crude amateur drawing of a vast river with a small cruise boat heading under a bridge with the Eiffel tower in the distance took hardly any time. I added details like railings along the river and buildings in the background. A few waves on the river and the drawing seemed to come to life. I put it aside hoping to finish it at home.

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