If you have not been to Kayani Bakery on a Saturday afternoon, you cannot have any idea what it’s like. I cannot describe the way people crowd around the counter that they can reach, and around the counters that they cannot. I cannot describe how the red-faced men behind the counter serve customer after customer, cheerfully ignoring other customers who insist on shouting out their orders.
Some of the men behind the counter smile and converse. Others give you withering looks. Still others lecture you on how you should wait for your turn. It’s all part of the experience.
Today, I was in Kayani Bakery, peacefully waiting, and amusing myself by watching how people cope with the crowd.
“Yes, ma’am?” came a cheerful voice.
I placed my (rather large) order. As he put my order together, the gentleman explained to me the difference between plain cake and mawa cake. “You’ll need two bags for this,” he said, finally. “I’ll put it in two bags.”
I looked at the red cloth bag in my hand and smiled politely.
“Ah! You’re a green saver!” said the Kayani man, delightedly. I continued to smile politely. “Give, I’ll pack it; I’ll pack it.” There were customers jostling my elbow, so I surrendered gratefully. The Kayani man asked again, “You’re a green saver?”
I made polite noises, and finally, realising that an answer was actually expected, stammered, “We – we try!” I picked up my bag and began to make my way through the crowd.
“Wait, one minute, one minute!”
I paused and turned.
“Boss wants to give you something!”
I waited, pleasantly surprised. Kayani Bakery is not the kind of place that needs, at all, to go out of its way to please the customer. I could not imagine what I was waiting for.
The ‘boss’ at the cash counter was on his feet and reaching out for something. Here’s what he gave this ‘green saver’!