The evening had set in with a dusky scrawl of pink and orange across the sky, making a smile appear on my face as I caressed the napkin laid neatly in my lap. The restaurant’s ambience was incredible, and if one sat in silence, they could hear the slight clink of cutlery and the murmur of a sea of crowds surf around the relaxed atmosphere of all the tables that surrounded. I took a sip of the clear, crystal liquid in a glass beside me and smiled, at no one in particular, for although all the tables had a couple of people at them, I chose to sit alone. Perhaps it was the subtle fragrance of delicacy in the air that caused in me an incredible urge to let out a carefree laugh.

The sea of murmurs seemed to die down, yet the clink of the cutlery became louder. My order had arrived, in the hands of a man dressed in a pristine white suit. I’d never liked the uniforms of waiters in fancy restaurants. They always looked like they were going to a wedding- not someone else’s, but their own. I shook my head but did not express my disapproval. I was too old to do that, sixty four was no joke. At least, I hoped it wasn’t.

Besides, I’d been coming to the same diner for the past 5 years and was well acquainted with the prospect of chewing away inaudibly amidst the crowds, observing everyone’s body language. The people had taught me a lot, had given me a lot to write about. I’d often find myself spending hours after my dinner with a cup of coffee as company and paper as the party, scribbling away and weaving some tale or the other. Yet, although I learnt much from everyone who surrounded me, no one taught me as much as food did. I never enjoyed as much as when I ate the food.

Today was like any other. I felt an inexplicable sense of joy as a ceramic plate was set at the table and I stared at the contents, entranced by the beauty that the chef had cooked them in, after all, the ones that I had ordered were known as beautiful dishes, anyway. They weren’t exactly dishes though, at least one of them wasn’t.

My dinner tonight was to be Brownies and Ice cream. A classic combination, a sweet one. One that would leave the owner in awe and fascination of the flavours, yet was never saccharine enough to leave a taste in the mouth.

The brownies were a pretty brown with a chocolate syrup spread across in lines over their triangular form, and gave off a slight crunch when chopped into a piece by the silver cutlery that lay nearby. It was warm, and so I had to have a taste. A brownie was a rarity, an eatable of quality, it coursed happiness through my veins, giving me immense satisfaction. Any brownie was a dream. And the one on the table was one too, perhaps, for it was made unearthly, as if it was the last one that would ever be served to me. I looked at the objects on the table once more.

Reality came freshly scooped in a bowl beside the dreams, a cold reality, a bowl of ice cream, which when put in the mouth would melt from a heap into a liquid which would then spread across the tongue and then be swallowed, leaving only its pleasant state and coolness on the tongue. Ice cream was unparalleled, yet it was common. It could be found anywhere else. I took a bite of it, which then erased the brownie from my mouth. I was too busy rejoicing in its flavours, to remember the fact that I had tasted a heavenly masterpiece seconds ago. In the face of reality, I’d forgotten my dreams.

My spoon then cut into the chocolate and then into the cream, and then went floating into my mouth. I felt the two sink into each other and I smiled. Mission completed. This, was pure nectar.

For neither brownies nor ice cream is perfect in themselves. No dream is enough without reality, and we will no longer have any dreams if we lived only by reality. One could taste the mixing of the hot and the cold, one could feel crunchiness and softness melt into cream, all within a span of few seconds. Ice cream and brownies, a classic, a perfect combo. Not just in food, but in real life too. I could see brownies and ice cream reflecting in every person in the restaurant. No wonder I had much to write about. I sighed and put my spoon down. I’d learnt to appreciate the things in life that were crunchy, that took time to make, yet I knew how to appreciate the coolness of life too, the one that would soon melt into oblivion in one’s mouth, or in real life, one’s soul. I’d learnt a valuable lesson within seconds of my meal.

When life gives you brownies and ice cream, don’t choose. Life isn’t all about choices. Savour both- each one is incredibly different, yet incredibly important for the other. If I had to give you one advice to follow, though, it would be only two words.

Dig right in.

Stay Happy Forever!

A/N: Am I the only one craving it right now? 🙃 That being said, I’m so grateful to you for reading this post. It means a lot. Lots of love to each one of you! Jai Sri Hari!

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