Lunch for 3: Jagdish, a goddess and me

My friend Heidi calls it the start of heaven – when you meet a person, quite randomly, but you have a genuine connection with them or they have a message for you. 

So it was, quite by accident, that today I found myself at an Indian restaurant in Woodstock, Cape Town, for a solo lunch.

I was on my way home, but quite by chance because of a wrong turn found myself in Roodebloem Road, and remembered that the doctor I had first seen when I came to Cape Town, Dina de Bruyn, owned a restaurant in the area, an Indian restaurant, and I needed a curry, some hotness to give me some fire.

And so I found Chandani

entrance to the indian restaurant chandani

at the front door of chandani

It was going to be a quick curry during which i would read a bit of my abnormal psychology handbook for school.

my psycho book readings for college

I sat in a corner of the amazingly decorated restaurant with this amazing woman

Goddess Lakshmi, the protector of the home and all its comforts and luxury. Also know for her generosity

But it turned out to be a bit more than just a quick lunch with a goddess. Three hours later, as I bid farewell to Dina’s husband, Jagdish Vanzara, I knew I had had a taste of heaven – and it wasn’t only the food…which was , well yes, heaven

the goodneas of real indian cuisine

a rose by any other name is a tomato, delish dish

Jagdish started talking to me when he brought me my meal. He had such a welcoming open energy and we spoke about his time in South AFrica and how, when he had decided to pack it in and return to India, someone suggested he first come and check out Cape Town. So he came down South and never went back to live in India. He also met and maried Dina. A crossroad in life led him to his destiny.

I asked him what Chandani meant. Moonlight he said. I had visions of the cool white moon in a faraway land of heat and spice. “I got the name in a dream,” he said, as though it was the most normal thing to say. And I loved this. My interest was piqued since I myself have been having many messages received in dreams.

“Dina and I were troubled about what the name should be. We had three names. I wrote them on a piece of paper and placed them on the altar where I pray before I went to bed. It is a ritual i often do when I need to know the answer to something,” says Jagdish.

That night Chandani was what he dreamt of and so his and DIna’s restaurant was opened under that name.

“People have hundreds of questions. They need to know to ask the right question,” said Jagdish.

It was right there that I got the message. WHen we ask the right questions, we get the answers.

It was also round about then when my dessert arrived. vermicilli fried in ghee, with milk, safron, sugar. a mouthful, an exhale, not only did i get a message but i also got a taste of  heaven.

I love how spontaneous wrong turns take us to amazing places, how we meet special people because we took one road and not the other.

Like Jagdish found DIna  when he was just about to turn around and leave South Africa, and how we all have a taste of some of that magic via Chandani.

And how, my wrong turn today found me blessed with such a wonderful few hours in the day.

I humbly thank a goddess, Jagdish and my bad sense of direction for a brush with magic.


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