Monday, July 11, 2011

Pizza Corner Memories.

I am not dying. I consider myself still young. My Pizza corner is young too. People write memories when they retire. But with my terrible memory, I may not remember half of them.
Entrepreneurship isn’t as bad as it is made out to be. At the same time it is not a bed of roses. There are some good and bad times. Here are some of my favorite moments in my Pizza corner.
1.The two young medicos were deep in studying the menu. Young Tanmay, carrying the MOT like a seasoned pro, went to them and enquired if they were ready to place their orders. The young ladies froze for a moment and stared at him for a moment. Suddenly they broke into laughter. They were taken aback to see someone so young. Priceless. Tanmay stole the heart of all the young ladies who visited during his brief stay.
2. This young engineering student signaled for a waiter. Since all the staff was busy, I went and enquired if I could help. He was holding the menu with the picture of the large pizza with the real pizza on the table. He was counting the number of tikka pieces on the picture and comparing with the real one. “They are less than the one in the picture.” I explained that I have measuring cups for each sizes and the chicken is spread according to that. It is pretty uniform. He thought for a moment and stared at me, “In that case, change the picture. “ I too stared back intensely and said in the same serious tone, “ Good idea.”
3.These two Malaysian girls have the loveliest smile in the world. But one day there was an inordinate rush. Their order was not only delayed, it was mixed up as well. One of them was furious. When reminded of that night, she has a very simple explanation. “Hunger can do many things to people. “ I hope beautiful girl, you are never hungry.
4. I had an unusual request. This young boy came with his girlfriend carrying two large bags. It was his friend’s birthday and could he have a candle lit. I assured him that it was his restaurant and he could do whatever he pleased. We gave him a corner and switched of the lights there. He was a charmer. He pulled the chair for his girl. Brought gifts for her. Then he ordered an empty plate and placed a large cake on it. The staff was surprised how they could eat such a large cake. But he was not only chivalrous; he was kind hearted as well. He cut the cake in large pieces and offered them to all the staff. The staff genuinely wished them well. I hope we don’t get many such guests. I can’t resist desserts and I am already overweight!
5. A young man was standing outside carrying a bottle of beer. He was insisting that he drink inside. The staff was unable to stop him. I went out as a large crowd was waiting for their turn. I pointed to them and explained to him there weren’t enough chairs inside. Only one of them could go inside. So why don’t he get the beer inside him and then haul his solitary ass inside. The young man smiled and in one large swig drank the whole beer to a huge applause. He patted my shoulder and said I was cool. But I, on the contrary, was glad that he wasn’t hot headed.
6. This young lady brought her grandmother to the store. The old lady was diabetic. She had multiple allergies and was a high blood pressure patient. But she was insisting on eating all kinds of foods. “ I am not going to live long. Let me eat what I want to.” She kept on saying. We carefully planned her menu. She wanted to try mint mojito. The young lady was worried about the impact. Suddenly I asked her if she would have tea with me. The old lady said that she couldn’t find it in the menu. I winked and said we keep it for special people. While paying she wanted to pay for the tea as well. I told her it was on me.
After a week the young lady came and informed that the old lady had expired. Her last meal was the one she had in Pizza Corner. While dying she remembered me and asked her granddaughter to thank me for the tea. It was a poignant moment. I pointed to the star that was twinkling the most and said, “That must be your grand ma.”
she smiled and squeezed my hand, her eyes moist, said, " Thank You."
7.Young Rehan always comes with his mom. Then one day his mom explained. whenever his father is out of station and he misses him, he wants to visit uncle's store. I make it a point to offer them both seats even when there is a waiting.Him and the students who come with their parents. No one minds it. for each one has parents. and parents visit hardly once a year. They certainly deserve the special treatment.
Memories are many. The young Arab, who has the most pleasing manners but always pays half the bill and the remaining has to be collected from his apartment, The american girl who orders from a bar, we were uncertain if it was a crank call since she orders huge. Then that charming Malaysian couple who stopped their auto and helped me reach my store dry under their umbrella. Their explanation that I care for them a lot. Well! who wouldn't love such well mannered boys and girls?
They all have their own idiosyncrasies. But I love them all.
The best compliment I have received was from an NRI from California. "It reminds me of my home!" she says with a far off look in her eyes. Thank You young lady.
The Pizza corner serves it purpose!