Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Cost of a pizza - my dignity

Last week I went to Cochin to attend an AIMCAT test. (A mock test of CAT) It was by no means a normal trip, for one thing the test didn’t go well I just got 60 percentile in it. (Apparently they take the minus marks seriously) I forgot all about the test once I was outside the exam centre.I remembered seeing a pizza hut on my way to the exam center. I got tired of not having a real life pizza, so even though I only had Rs.185 (exactly 185) I decided to go pay the pizza hut a visit! That turned out to be one of my many “brilliant” ideas that day. First I got onto an auto-rickshaw, which can proudly claim to be the slowest of its kind in the whole of Kerala. (Maybe even the slowest one in the world)  At one point I saw a guy riding a cycle speed past us, but the sound the auto made would suggest that a diesel engine of a train was on the road. (It also made enough smoke to match the diesel engine) 
                                                              At first I thought I was on some Indian version of TV shows like “punked” or “just for laughs”. You could get out of the auto and do some shopping, get an ice-cream and get back into the auto without the auto ever stopping. It literally went that slow.  I even noted the number of the auto for future references. (kl-07 3591) If you are ever in Cochin forget the ayurvedic spas or the port get into this auto and ask him to go around the city one time, it will take a few days but finally when the trip is over it would be all worth it.

                                             I started reading Dan brown’s deception point, and 36 pages later I finally reached pizza hut. He asked me for Rs 30, I gave him Rs 20 after a heated bargain. So the balance I have now is -Rs 165. I went upstairs and sat at a table for two and the waiter promptly bought me a menu card. So I slowly went through the different kinds of pizzas, after almost page 5 of the menu it became clear to me at that moment I can’t afford any of those delicious flat slices of spicy heaven. But then I saw an all American pan pizza which was just Rs125. Food I can afford! The pizza was at my table in 15 minutes, and I finally for to use my skill with a fork and a knife. I attacked the pizza with so much ferocity that at one point every one there became silent just to listen to the sound of my knife squeaking against the plate. The pizza got into my stomach in less than the time it took it to get to my table. (I was famished, I’m not a barbarian) Then the bill arrived (drum roll) it was Rs.172 So I weighed up my options,

  1. I could pick up my bag and run; if I was lucky the guys downstairs would not realize what happened.
  2.  I could stay there and wash the dirty dishes.
  3. The cops may catch me; I could slip them a Rs.100  note and get off.

But against my better judgment I went to the billing clerk and I whispered really silently “sister I am Rs.7 short of paying the bill.” (I am not that subtle or silent when I make my confession to the priest, and trust me there are things I say then that would disgust any self respecting priest) After repeating the sentence about 4 times the clerk finally understood, she asked me how much the bill was. She pondered for a minute, (the longest minute of the year) then without making any fuss she smiled and let me go. Then I upped my new low (how much more low can I get at that moment) and asked her if I can take the water bottle. (Thank god she said yes! Though she was smiling at me from the top even when I was outside) then the trip to the railway station involved me going to another station at first. (a stupid guy gave me a lift) But I finally managed to get to the junction after hitch-hiking with a guy on a bike, a trucker and cyclist. I managed to get to my town on the train for free because of the railway pass me and my mom have. (My dad was an officer in the railways)  A day of bad judgment ended with that! Oh and someone stole all the petrol from my bike after I parked it outside the railway station.