‘Second breakfast?’ Can there be such a term? Once you consume food after a prolonged fast (say overnight), it means that you have broken your fast. You are not starving anymore. Then what do you call the second intake in the morning? Certainly not ‘Second Breakfast’.
All these thoughts passed through my head when our caterer who brought our ‘breakfast’ caught us eating hot, home made Pooris and Palya. What must have gone through his head? There he was, dashing in like Moose Miller with the hot Pizza, trying his best to hold on to a stainless carrier with piping hot upma, imagining the helpless, starving old couple looking forward anxiously to the arrival of his breakfast and here they were, coolly enjoying their own hot Poori Palya !
“They certainly owe me an explanation” he must have thought. But, busy as I was, trying to pick up the last bits of Palya with my perfectly apportioned piece of Poori, I was hardly in a position to offer one (I mean an explanation, not Poori). Moreover he was sporting a Poker face like Jeeves, the gentleman’s gentleman of Mr. Bertie Wooster, though I am sure his face must have registered a flash of surprise or shock when he walked in.
I could very well imagine what he must have told his wife, the chef- non– pareil. “Do you know what I saw today when I went to deliver breakfast to Ramus? Here I was, struggling to hand over the hot upma a little earlier than usual when I caught the old couple enjoying Poori and Palya! Of course, I have caught them eating so many things, plateful of Vegetable Salad for one. But that’s ok since we don’t supply them salad. I have even seen her cleaning Spinach. Even that is fine because the old man’s floppy bowels probably do not move without the greens. In fact, any time I see them they will be munching something or other. But, to eat a full fledged breakfast before consuming the one I supply them? That really takes the cake. EvenChapatis, Idlis and Pooris they always order extra from us.”(He wouldn’t know that we share his fare with our servant maid.)
Since I couldn’t give the explanation to him, let me at least give it to you.
It so happened that during one of my severe debilitating flair-ups of Arthritis, my sister-in law happened to drop in. Though I am fully operational on ordinary days, I feel a bit of help is needed on those critical days. Seeing my condition, she told me about a caterer popular in our neighborhood, who served homely food. We tried him out for a week, found him ok and engaged him on a regular basis. He supplied breakfast anytime from 8.30 to 9.45AM and lunch by 11.30 AM. We got him used to come right inside the house and deposit the carrier on the dining table. Since we are early risers,(my husband is an early sleeper too), waiting till 8.30 or more for breakfast was quite an ordeal, more so as my husband has recently been put on diabetic pills. So, in order to prevent Ramu from nibbling the furniture in sheer hunger, I serve him my breakfast at 7 AM and remove all the tell tale marks by the time the caterer comes and I keep the stuff he brings, for dinner. On that particular day, I happened to be a bit late and he happened to be very early and so at 7.30 he caught us enjoying homemade Poori and Palya.
But then he never asked for an explanation and so I could never give him one.