Sunday, February 08, 2009

A Sweet Discussion

When I was returning from New York City last evening via the PATH, two men and a woman boarded the train at 33rd Street. They were young and looked like Indians. The woman was dressed up like an american girl and there was nothing except her looks to suggest she was an Indian. Let's call her Ms. A. Let's call the men Mr. B and Mr. C.

A and B sat down opposite me and C sat down next to me on the train. The men started discussing the Australian Open and the girl put in a comment or two. I found A and B had American accents while C had an Indian accent. I was feeling drowsy, when I heard Mr. C say something like:

"Come to my apartment. I'll treat you to sundaes."

I was mildly surprised. The temperature had risen about ten degrees above zero during the day, but it was hardly a suitable weather for enjoying sundaes instead of hot coffee in the evening. However, A and B had heard C correctly. The conversation that followed was something like this:

B: "Sandesh? Oh, A loves sandesh."

A: "Yeah! I do."

B: "Did you bring them from home this time?"

C: "Yes. I brought them and kept in my fridge."

B: "Didn't you bring rosogollas? I like them sometimes."

C: "I like them too, but couldn't carry them in my luggage."

I was mildly amused and was smiling to myself looking in the other direction.

A: "Yeah, I like rosogollas, and also jilipis."

C: "Oh you do? Jilipis are very nice."

A: "And how do you say it... taal... taalmisri!"

C: "Yes yes!"

A: "Yeah. I love that a lot."

B: "You guys like a lot of mishti? I find they are too sweet for me usually."

C: "Well, not all sweets are that sweet. Have you heard the name kanchagolla?"

I felt like hitting him on the head and robbing his flat. What kind of decency was this, discussing all kinds of sweets in front of a hungry Bengali? 

A & B: "Yeah!"

C: "They are not that sweet."

As the train approached Newport, Mr. C got ready to leave. "Aren't any of you coming with me?" He sounded disappointed. The others declined. Ms. A was very hungry and needed to eat her dinner. Mr. B was with her I guess.

B: "We can go to Jackson Heights for lunch sometime. Maybe we can have some kachchi biryani."

A: "And paani puris."

C: "Sure!"

I wanted to say, "Will you take me to your apartment? I can eat all your sandesh if you want." However, I suspected he would not be willing to share his mishti with a total stranger. So I kept quiet.

C left at Newport and the other two at Exchange Place. I continued on my journey, hungrier than before. It was only six o'clock. There were still a few hours before dinner.


  1. not to worry...lots of mishti coming your way very soon :) :) take my share and save me from the sweet overload.