<%-- Page Title--%> Slice of Life <%-- End Page Title--%>

<%-- Volume Number --%> Vol 1 Num 136 <%-- End Volume Number --%>

January 2, 2004

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All That Pizzazz

Richa Jha

You don't love me anymore. All of Dhaka has pizza-ed at the spunky red hut. I've even heard of people coming all the way from Chittagong to taste the real thing, and you act as if it doesn't exist," The Hubby whined, and he had reason enough.

"Ah, but you know I'm not a pizza person", I tried to show him some reason beyond his reason.
"Should that prevent you from taking us there? I don't like Hollywood flicks, but I am made to suffer them; the kid doesn't like shopping, but he's left with little option but to scratch the toenails of the mannequins at the sari shops; I don't like…" he protested.
"Hey, I object to that. I'm no sari person, so no cooked up allegations please".
"Okay, whatever. But that's not the point. Fine, forget about me, did you ever care to find out how the child feels about not having been taken to the hottest place in town. Imagine him buckling under peer pressure, feeling miserable when his friends talk about the cheese, and the toppings, and the Vengaboyz jig, the painted walls, and all that jazz. They'll tease him, boo him, goad him…"
"Enough. Stop your theatrics right-away. Children his age don't discuss jigs and mozzarellas with one another as you do with your buddies. Our child is too young to see what he has (or hasn't) missed, and besides, he doesn't like pizzas. Remember that time when he mistook the black pan for a flying saucer and dashed in the direction of the waiter. I don't want any more disaster-outings. And really, he doesn't like pizzas. "
"See what I mean when I say you're selfish? And a bore? And a …"
"Alright, we'll go". It is often so simple for The Hubby to get things done his way. I think it is the dreaded b-word that does it for him.

Last evening, a normal weekday, was as good an occasion as any other. The Hubby spent a good ten minutes finding a parking slot. Obviously, the ones who found a place inside were in no great hurry to vacate them. The queue outside resembled those snaking ones before a lucky-dip counter at fairs, just that this was no free dinner and these were men and women of fashion; men in tuxedos and women in amusing hairdos-it was clear that everyone had come prepared to attend an opera. It happens when you are choking on innumerable tales of swinging waiters. If they all looked jumpy (I am certain I did too), it was probably because of the mild breeze, the not-so-comforting nip, and the even more discomforting sight of seeing others gobble up big chunks of piping hot pizzas while we froze on a famished stomach. There were kids too. Few played with balloons, few with their Hot Wheels or Barbies, many others threw tantrums to be taken inside the big shop next door. Our son sucked on his thumb. I knew he was feeling hungry.

By some strange force of inertia, the queue didn't seem to move at all. I looked at The Hubby with glowering eyes, but he tactfully avoided my gaze. The who's who of Dhaka stood there before us, some opining on how, (and please read this slowly and carefully) at one of the many outlets of this chain in London, he felt ripped-off last July because they sprinkled less salmon chunks than what had been put up on the wall posters, and that the taste was not half as good as the one he'd had in Athens. Sounds confusing to you? It certainly must have to the other gentleman standing before him, because this person's following words were, "yes, you are absolutely right. There is nothing quite like the London Piccadily Square joint, they are simply the best in the world, followed by (as he insisted he'd heard) the Dhaka one." To which the lady standing before him added that a Chicago one, where her son had taken her once, had been the most outstanding experience in pizza-dining. Interestingly, none of them seemed to mind the queue at all. Deciding I had had enough of it, I gathered the little fellow in my arm and started walking towards the car, without as much as looking at the Hubby. I don't know which path he followed, but he was there before I had even located our car. I always knew there was an ace sprinter latent in him.

The Hubby may, after all, have to wait until the legend of the jiving waiters becomes less legendary, and some of the pizzazz around this pizza subsides. We had had to wait for over a year in an Indian city about five years ago before the Macarena fever died down. From the look of things, and the queue, it may take longer in Dhaka. Afterall, the Vengaboyz were a bigger hit than Les del…who-were-they…Macarenamen.




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