A smiling photograph of Karnataka's former Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa used to welcome me to a vegetarian hotel in one of the busier markets in Bangalore.
Yeddyurappa was not alone in the photo. He was seen being garlanded by none other than the owner of the hotel himself.
The photo was kept on a big table and the owner sat with an air of being somebody's somebody as he received and counted cash.
As I enjoyed the usual idli and vada submerged in sambar, I could not help looking at the photograph. What a smile! Was garlanding such a joyous phenomenon? Where did the garlanding happen? Did the former CM show favor to the hotel owner too (as he was allegedly inclined to) and grace the opening ceremony of the hotel? Or did it happen when Yeddyurappa came for a local party meeting?
We never really found out; my 'co-eaters' and I had to be content simply to wonder, as Yeddy and the owner smiled on.
However, my breakfast on Sunday was different. There was no more Yeddyurappa photograph to look at.
It was missing, while the real Yeddyurappa hopped from jail to one hospital and from that hospital to another before returning to jail.
Where is the photo, I asked the hotel owner. He ignored the question at first but I repeated the question.
The owner, who used to talk to me in any language I wished - English, Tamil, Malayalam and Hindi - acted as if he didn't know any of these languages and replied in chaste Kannada, which he knew I didn't follow.
Perhaps, he knew language didn't matter when the meaning was clear.