I’m telling you one could hardly walk on the streets of downtown Melbourne for it being so crowded. Everyone bumping into someone or other; of course I didn’t mind if it was a pretty girl, I mean you can’t blame me can you?
One morning I was in the breakfast room enjoying my meal when suddenly I felt as though a figure was looming near me. I thought not much of it at first assuming it was only someone pausing to decide where to sit. Well, that was it.
A young man asked if he can sit at my table. I looked up. I nearly fainted from shock I do believe. And here I always thought it was a big, big world! It was Noori’s little brother, Farhan. Yeah, the same one that always wanted to beat me up everytime I walked past their home back in Suva.
This will be good I thought and extended the welcome to sit. He looked on at my plate for a brief moment and then said, “What you are having for breakfast looks real good, I think I will order the same.” I must say that I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Why?
Upon my breakfast plate was eggs, skillet potatoes, toast and pork sausage. Remember this is before all the modern substitutes for pork and beef we have now; turkey, vegan, etc and well as most everyone knows Muslim faith does not allow the eating of pork. Farhan knew full well that he was about to indulge in pork; that is to say if he hadn’t already.
I bring this up because it’s just too funny when I think back on the reasons he fought me when we were younger; Muslim and Hindu, no go … do not come near my sister! and all that. Now here he sat with me enjoying pork sausage.
I refrained from chastising him. C’est la vie!
We exchanged pleasantries during our meal, obviously the both of us a little more matured since our last meeting. He was going to school there in Melbourne. With the prices of everything sky high during the Olympics, he’d caught on to the fact of breakfast at the YMCA costing only a fraction of what the restaurants all over the city were charging. Smart.
He asked what I’d been doing and where I was off to next so I told him my agenda, that is as I saw it at the moment. How nice a conversation can be when ego doesn’t get in the way. From that point forward I saw him 3 or 4 times more.
Very soon after I arrived here I sent a letter to home, informing them I had left India but that I hadn’t quite made it to London. Circumstances brought me backwards, to Melbourne. It wasn’t long before I received a reply.
The letter informed me of an uncomfortable situation at my house. It said something about the inappropriate presence of a man, for sometime now, at our residence. I was advised to return home just as soon as possible.