79/100. On assignment. After being up two consecutive nights and days with a sick child. That too, coordinating a shoot with every-hair-in-place, red-lipsticked people who define gloss. As if that wasn’t bad enough, Subir da, who usually has to be kept back from clicking photographs, refused to even take a cell phone photograph for the pact, forget getting out his bells-and-whistles camera. And to top it all, he said I would thank him for it later on.

So, off I went to drown my sorrows in an almond and cheese tart at Flury’s right across the street. Though I was really, really craving a cup of coffee, I decided to pass as there was already too much caffeine rushing around in my system. But, neither my system nor I had counted on the perceptiveness of a kind restaurant manager who had a cup of my favourite poison sent to me, compliments of the house.

Since my beautiful Bengal batik in georgette is a repeat of day number 25, the photograph does not really matter. And any which way, it’s the kindness of a stranger – handed over in a cup of coffee- that’s the star of this story.

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