In this short story, Vijay Medtia explores the challenges an immigrant goes through abroad as they struggle to leave behind all that they have known to embrace the unknown.
He opened his small curry house on a side street of the city and called it Master Chef. Not that he was a master at cooking but he was good, and he wanted to serve fresh, authentic, Indian cuisine. The food served in the many so-called Indian restaurants, wasn’t up to his standards. The sauces were pre-prepared days before, overly sweet for English palates, and the meat pieces were thrown in when the orders came in. It generally gave an off-dated taste. His food was cooked fresh daily, a few hours before he opened at 7.00 pm.
Rahul Sharma was forty-five, fit, with flecks of grey in his black hair. He had arranged the seating to allow only a maximum of ten customers at any one time; they sat in a U-shaped area, chairs close to the counter. In the middle, he could serve them and easily walk back into his open kitchen behind him. This gave close proximity, and if the customers wished to talk whilst he served, then they could. He didn’t think many would talk, but he was wrong in this assumption. There were many lonely people, others with full social lives, who also came and chatted with him about their joys and sorrows.