The little one (who, I’m somewhat sad to report, is very rapidly turning into the Not So Little One) had her annual day concert recently.
(Yes, she looked beautiful. Yes, she’s impossibly cute. I couldn’t agree more with either of those sentiments, and I find it quite impossible to talk about how beautiful and cute she looked without turning into a maudlin, ramblin’ fool, so we’ll move on.)
After the concert, as a special treat, I asked her where she would like to have lunch, and regretted it immediately. For the Not So Little One is currently going through a phase where the pinnacle of fine dining is McDonalds. The very best dish in the world is a chicken burger, and there exists no better side dish than a box of fries. Slurping down an obscenely large glass of a fizzy aerated beverage alongside is practically de rigeur.
As you might imagine, I beg leave to disagree.
The burgers are, in my opinion, soggy excuses of incomprehensible tastelessness. The fries appear to have undergone a medical procedure during which their spines have been completely removed. And don’t get me started on aerated fizzy drinks.
But this column isn’t a rant about McDonalds, although I wouldn’t blame you for thinking along those lines. It is a story about two young boys, and it took place a couple of decades ago.
This was a time when McDonalds had just entered India, and it was a time when our two young protagonists had wallets that would have put an anorexic waistline to shame.
One day, it so happened, there was an advertisement in the newspaper. Said advertisement encouraged readers to cut out the advertisement, and walk into the nearest McDonalds with it, and receive 50 percent off on a burger of their choice.
Our impecunious young knights read the offer, found it attractive enough to cut it out and perpetrate the folly of walking into that accursed fast food chain. Having reached there, they found that they had between the two of them barely enough money to afford not a single burger, not even the cheapest one.
However, if they combined their wealth, and made use of the advertisement’s offer, they could afford – between the two of them, mind you – one single, solitary salad burger. And that is what they proceeded to do. They used up their money to consume one salad burger.
If I could go back in time, I would have liked to have pointed out to them that just outside that particular McDonalds was a vada pav seller who would have happily sold the two of them two excellent, spicy, piping hot vada pavs for exactly the same price, with chutney and fried chillies gratis. But the folly of youth, I am sorry to say, made them choose otherwise.
Since one of those two young lads was to go on to be the proud parent of the Not So Little One, what right does he possess to deny her? Foolish though the choice may seem to him today, he himself has made the same choice, and at a much older age.
And so it was that I found myself, once again, in the land of atrocious food.
The other young lad from our story, I am happy to report, has a son who just turned three. Soon, he will discover the joys of that fast food chain, and force his father to accompany him into the innermost circle of hell. That is my only solace from this sorry tale…
.. but misery does love company.
#All views expressed in this column are the authors and Pune365 does not necessarily subscribe to the same.
He doesn't expect the paradox to be resolved in his lifetime