Lunch with Manu

Manu is my little Bhaiya.
We grew up together.

Sheetal and Manu have 2 year old twins. Busy, busy.
I am an angel attendant in my own right.

2 Sundays ago, by some twist of events, we found ourselves, Manu and I, having lunch together in a coffee shop. Just us. Rare event.

On a table nearby were a family we know. Couple and two beautiful teenage kids. (media celebrity couple, our colleagues)

Manu made some comment about their marriage being not so good. Too much public display of not-love.

The boy had a beautiful shy innocent half smile on his face. I had just embarrassed him a bit by telling him that I had shot an Ad with him when he was a precocious 4 year old.

N: He’s so beautiful, it hurts a little when I look at kids like him.

M: What?

N: You know kids whose parents are not good to each other. The pain shows on their faces. And then the over-compensation to hide/drown that pain.

M: Hmmm

N: I think something breaks inside you.
I feel that I have many broken bits inside me.

M: (looking down at his plate)

N: That’s what I am doing these days. Finding the pieces, putting them back together…… sticking them with fevicol and putting them in the sun to dry.

Manu nods slightly, looking down.
I don’t make eye contact, either.
Both of us pick up our phones and check mail. He office mail, me Facebook.

Its a very happy moment for me. Having lunch with Manu.

(Later he told me many blood-curdling inside stories from 26/11 Mumbai while we were stuck in traffic together. Manu works for news television.
I used to as well, but now I can afford to nurture my weak heart, short temper and high standards. So I almost never watch TV)

About Natasha Badhwar

"Because I'm a Tinker. That's who I am. Tinkers fix things. But I can't do it alone." (Pause for lots of action. Group Action......) "You did it, Tinker, you saved Spring!" I also have three children, one marriage, a million friends and one life.
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