I was at the Pizza Hut the other day, with my colleagues to have a Pizza Lunch – an inherited property from the Western World. There is nothing unusual in it. Corporates and common men like me are having Pizzas these days. We were cracking jokes, sipping our ice teas, eating the Garlic Breads and those medium and large, veg and non-veg Pan Pizzas.
After sometime a group of students, who were in their school uniforms, came in and sat in a table near to us. They too ordered ice teas, garlic breads and pizzas, just like us. They too were having lunch. Only difference was that they were school going children,( may be in 8th, 9th or 10th) and we were employed adults.
I was thinking of the amount of pocket money that they might be having. Sure they might be from well off families, pocket rich with Rs 500 notes. Their uniforms said so.
Years before, near to my high school in Vadakara, there were 2 small shops, may be u can call ThattuKadas. One run by Chandriyechi and another by Moliyechi. We used to go there during our intervals- the short and long ones. I remember eating those sip-ups, those achchars that come in small packets (they used to cost 5 or 10 paise), those endless number of Kadala’s (Kappalandi), and those Bathakkavellams (Watermelon Juice in Kozhikoddan Slang). I even remember getting caught in Appunni Master’s class while eating Kadala’s – I thought I could fool everyone by keeping my hand over my mouth and nobody will see my munching. But Appunni Sir was just too good for me :-). And almost all these things I ate were on debt. Come Vishu and Onam, I will get richer and pay my debts. I thought that was life to the fullest.
And to eat my first Pizza it took more years. In that Pizza Hut of Powai, Mumbai. That was in 2003 Jun-July. My ITP days at MBT, Mumbai.
All the while I was eating; I was just comparing my childhood with those students. I know it is another generation with another set of thoughts, probably living in a bigger and wider world than mine in that sleepy Vadakara.
Just after that 2 young girls (6th or 7th std) in a modest set of uniforms, a blue pinafore, check shirt and pink ribbons, came in. They just browsed the catalogs, waited for a few minutes. I was eager to know what they were doing and was keeping an eye on them. Just when we finished and got up, I didn’t see them. I thought they might have left.
While going to the parking lot, across the road, I saw those two girls. They had that small cone ice cream in their hands. The Gang of Four Students was still finishing off their Chicken Hawaiin Medium Pan Pizza
PS: I wish I could go to those shops next time. I am sure Moliyechi will yell at me "mmala dhanushshalle yathu"