It was a fine morning in Bangalore. I woke up and looked around. I had slept for more than six hours. People usually say that you won’t get proper sleep when you’re in a new place. But, my system is an exception. When the clock hits half past ten, I doze off. No matter what happens.
I was in Bangalore to visit my friend. It’s been a while since I visited Bangalore and I thought it would be a nice break from the usual routine.
I looked into the adjacent room and I saw my friend waking up slowly. After freshening up, we thought about the most important thing of the day. Breakfast.
“So, where can we have our breakfast? Any good places?” I asked.
“There is a small place by the corner of the street. The taste will be good. What say?”
Sometimes the smallest of the shops will give you the best experience. So, I immediately nodded in agreement.
We left the house and reached the place within 5 minutes.
The shop was small. A bunch of young men were gobbling idlis and dosas. A lady in her late thirties gave the tokens and a man in his mid fifties stood by the counter and served the customers swiftly.
“What are you having ji?” asked my friend.
I said “Pongal” .
But, the guy in the counter said pongal got over, but he has kitchadi.
I nodded and within no time I held a plate of Rava kitchadi in my hands. I moved over to one of the corners of the place where they’ve kept the chutney and the sambar. I poured it onto the plate and moved away leaving way for a small queue of people who were waiting fill their plates with chutney and sambar.
I walked a few steps and started eating. A TV was mounted above the corner were the chutney and sambar was kept. Some telugu movie was playing. But, nobody cared. They were all busy with eating, thinking about their day ahead.
My friend ordered a plate of Poori and was waiting for it to be made.
While all this was happening, two girls walked into the hotel. They were in their early twenties. They wore trendy clothes, had coloured their hair, and wore funky shoes.
They walked to the counter and said “Anna two plate idli”
The guy said its in the cooker and he will take it out in a minute.
Before telling you what happened next, let me tell you how idlis are made.
An idli’s shape is biconcave and it is made up of rice batter.
When the batter is ready, it will be poured onto the idli stand which is nothing but a stack of small circular aluminium plates, each containing four to six convex cavities.
But, South Indians use a piece of cloth onto each plate before pouring the batter. Once the idli is steam cooked and is taken out of the cooker, the piece of cloth is lifted and the idlis come off along with the cloth.
Later, water is sprinkled on the cloth and the idlis are taken out. Now, the idli stand is ready make the second batch of idlis. This is how idlis are made.
But, when the guy in the hotel took the idlis out of the cooker, I was shocked.
He used plastic sheets instead of using a cloth. Apparently his logic was, it would be easy for them to take out the idlis if they had used plastic sheets.And his logic worked fine. He easily took the idlis out of the plate.
I couldn’t imagine an idli getting cooked on top of a plastic sheet with temperatures inside the cooker reaching more than 160 Celsius. Imagine what it could do to the person who is eating it.
Plastic heated to such high temperatures can be carcinogenic. With number of cancer cases increasing year by year, I was shocked to see how even the breakfast that people have on a daily basis can have such a fatal impact to their help.
I wanted to scream at the owner for doing such a thing. But, I couldn’t. I was in a new place and I didn’t want to create any trouble. I told my friend about this and asked him not to have breakfast there.
I am not a responsible citizen. I feel guilty for not taking the effort to warn them. But, I also feel bad for no one else in the restaurant noticed this or questioned the same to the people at the hotel.
It is sad to see people always failing to notice such things without realizing how much damage it could make.