“They only serve in the mornings.” R would chuckle as we walked along Savera, F.C. Road.
I would make a face and pretend to be very engrossed with my mobile phone. There would be a colleague or so by my side. We would be on our way to have a chocolate sandwich. This was several years ago, when we first came to Pune. I would steal a glance at R when I thought he wasn’t looking. Back then, he would often sport his favourite blue shirt. The one that today exists only in my memories.
Savera would serve my Mom’s best cherished South Indian dish – dosas. She would have one for breakfast whenever she dropped by to visit me. Ditto for my grandparents. We would sit indoors and marvel at the host of old men sitting around drinking tea. From the look of it, they were freshly returned from morning strolls and sported nice, athletic T-shirts and pants. “I am sure their tea tastes delicious.” Grandpa would say. “It is untouched by your Granny’s morning complaints about how much time I take to get ready.” Granny would look victimized while the rest of us giggled.
In the evenings, I remember hurrying past to get an auto-rickshaw. The rickshaws wait in clumps right across the street, looking welcoming and warm. Never mind the kind of figures some of the drivers quote. R and I have often hopped on to a rickshaw from that stand of sorts, arguing about how owning a vehicle need not succeed owning a house. Savera would teem with people then, sitting around with dinner and drinks, talking about good old Pune.
I haven’t walked past Savera in some time. When I do, I will hunt for the conversations, some half-completed, hanging around in the air. I will also hunt for the warm, fuzzy familiarity of the eatery once so frequented, replete with moments so close to the heart. Sadly, like so much else in life, the hunt will be futile. For the little place has shut shop. All I will find now is an empty space with fond days and nights buried in its breast.
Savera, you will be missed. Walking by that lane will never be the same again.