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A plateful of warm gestures

Good intentions stay with you and egg you on to reciprocate

Many moons ago in Ankara, I visited a restaurant on the outskirts of the city. Inscribed at its entrance were these words: “Dear diners, if you’re not happy with the food at our restaurant, just let the server/ manager know that the food is not up to your expectations and you won’t be required to pay. We’ll not ask you any questions.”

I entered the restaurant, had a scrumptious meal, scribbled a note of thanks in Turkish, paid and returned to India. Later I came to know that the food served at this restaurant was so good that no one had ever complained.

In Algiers, I was not happy with the Soupe au Pistou (vegetable soup) served at a French restaurant. I casually jotted down “Just passable” in the visitors’ book, along with my name, e-mail ID and cellphone number.

After a few days, the restaurant manager sent a mail of regret and asked for my bank details to return the amount I paid. Apprehensive, I did not share my bank details.

After a couple of years, I returned to that restaurant. The manager was there. He recognised me and welcomed me with warmth. This time, the food was good. He accepted no money and gifted me a very expensive wristwatch which I still use.

Certain little gestures of goodness shown by friends, strangers and even foes at times stay with you and egg you on to reciprocate.

sumitmaclean@hotmail.com

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Printable version | Jun 6, 2020 4:24:55 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/open-page/a-plateful-of-warm-gestures/article31659334.ece

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