Frigid NYC. One little Dosa stand. 300 students. Barnard University campus.
It's 30-something degrees Farenheit outside with the wind-chill factor dropping it further, so it feels like 20 degrees. Students are huddled together in a line outside the dosa stand waiting for their turns to taste their own little share of heaven (topped with sambhar and coconut chutney).
This is my first time experiencing the immense pleasure of eating a Thiru Kumar original dosa. I have read about it and am very excited. The problem of course is that dosas take time to be made. So when the initial enthusiasm of meeting friends dies down, the background bhangra music starts sounding like noise, and my fingers and toes start burning....I ask myself...why am I doing this?
A dosa (though only my second favorite compared to idlis) is a divine blessing for us poor desis in firang land who have been bred on them through childhood. So a dosa is no longer just food...it's a Dosa...with a capital D....a boon, a thing of joy...it's my little share of heaven. So even though my body is hating me, I stand in line for 65 minutes and 40 odd seconds, with my friends and the music giving me comfort.
So now I'm face to face with the man himself. He is asking me how spicy I want my dosas. My default answer has always been Medium cos I cant handle the Hot spice level. My excuse: I'm hot enough ;-) So I say 'Medium'. Anyway, Thiru Kumar invites me to share the warmth of his grill thingy and spins out two dosas expertly like it's the most natural task in the world. Up close he is really an adorable little guy and his moustache is impressive!! He is now talking to me about how I should come down to the Village where he usuallly works everyday. So I nod, take his card, thank him for the dosa and scurry in.
While my fingers and toes are waking up, I admire Thiru Kumar's work of art. Cos that's what it is. A dosa as thin as paper and as round as ..well..the moon. Golden in color ...with the potatoes stuffed in the middle. That's the prize that I'm working towards....the reward.
After waiting a few torturous minutes for my friends to arrive...yes...i can be well mannered when I want to be...:P.....we all dig in. Not a word is uttered as we're all immersed deep in such a basic kind of joy.
So does it make sense to wait for 65 minutes and 40 odd seconds in the frigid weather to experience something that lasts about 2 minutes and 30 odd seconds?
My answer: HELL YEAH Machaaan!!!
Song of the day: "Kaasu Mele Kaasu Vandu" ...I dont remember the movie name...but it's got Kamal Haasan and Prabhu Deva.
All my love,
Here's a piccy to tide you over...