Asian Table

ARMED TO THE TEETH It could have been a scene from a Bollywood version of The Godfather. I entered the highly recommended vegetarian Sindhi Restaurant near Varanasi's Lalita Cinema to find half a dozen men sitting at the center table, rifles and sawed-off shotguns casually slung across the backs of their chairs. I thought it best not to ask why. None of the other diners, well ensconced in their peeling vinyl booths, appeared perturbed. Nor was I, once my thali, or set meal, arrived. Usually served on a flat metal plate divided into sections, thalis are a traditional Indian meal comprised...

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