We were on the Belgaum- Kolhapur Highway and it was half past nine in the morning. We had left Belgaum at eight. The distance between Belgaum and Kolhapur is 110 kms and we had covered about two thirds of the distance. The purpose of our trip was to visit the famous Mahalakshmi temple in Kolhapur and my in laws had decided to visit the temple on empty stomach and have their breakfast after the ‘Darshan’. They don’t eat in hotels and hence, their breakfast had been packed and it was with us in the car testing their devotion and their will power. If things were to go as planned, by half past nine we should have been in the temple and they would have been free to get at the packed breakfast before ten. But it had taken a long time for us to get out of the city because of the unusually heavy traffic created by the presence of almost all of the Karnataka government in Belgaum for the winter session of the assembly.
The resolution to have breakfast after the ‘Darshan,’ which my father in law had made in a fit of devotion was testing him now. It was a question of another hour and he was getting restless. If he could have a small snack like a few biscuits, an act that could be condoned considering that he is a diabetic, he would make it. We searched all the nooks and corners of our car but it did not yield anything. (My son is the major user of our car and he has the annoying habit of leaving half a bar of chocolate, unfinished packets of biscuits, a banana - or its peal - in various compartments of the car).
I offered to stop if I spotted a shop by the side of the road.
“No, no, keep going. Let us not stop for my sake”. - F in Law
“If you want to eat something we will have to stop and buy it. How are you going to get anything otherwise?” My wife.
“If I am destined to eat something, I will get it” F in Law
“Keep the window open. God may land next to our car riding a bike like Akshay Kumar in ‘Oh My God’ and toss a packet of biscuits inside” I joked.
Just then we reached a toll booth and I stopped next to the window. The toll was forty five rupees. I gave a hundred rupee note and waited for the ticket and change.
“Do you have five rupees change? I will give you sixty” said the voice in the booth.
“No” I answered.
Out came a hand through the window, holding a ticket, a fifty rupee note and a small packet of Britania ‘Good Day’ biscuits having a MRP of rupees five!