Black spires and cityscapes hung on the wall to my left. Yellow lighting and insides sung for chicken curry, tender-like-your mother kebabs, and chai. It was just another humpy-dumpy Wednesday. At the Shad. Mecca for the cheap and the broke. India-Pakistani food at its best. My local tea-joint. My one-stop refuge when I ran out of ideas for places to meet in Jersey City.

It was just before 12:00. 11:45 AM precisely. The pre-lunch hustle had not gotten raucous YET. 

From my perch at the window I watched devotees of chicken curry and multiple masalas lining up. To my right, an old man watching videos on YouTube, without headphones. Thank you Grandpa.

I was inhaling the Samosa Chaat-- a funky-dunky-mixture of fried dough, potatoes and all kinds of caloric goodness. Silently, steadily as if the world were about to come to a shrilling halt. 15 minutes before he arrived. Blindr Date no: 2, that is.

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