August 10, 2006
Today, I was at this Italian place for lunch. I had ordered my Veggie Calzone, and sitting there, I started watching people, their food and the usual chehal-pehal. Somehow I got reminded of my school days, and my 2-boxes “double decker” lunch. By school, I mean it covers even my XI and XII. Ah! I miss curd rice for lunch, the exchange of food that took place with friends, the barter system, the competition for the spicy food of that Punjabi kid, the sweets/murukku that this TamBram used to get everyday, this whole lunch thingie was a ritual we used to look forward to.. I mean our day started with asking mom “whats up for lunch”.
As we grew older, our ability to wait till lunch break weakened and we had completed our lunch by the 11 o’clock short break, and lunch breaks were productively spent either playing in the ground or stealing the girls’ lunch boxes. We considered both as sports.
Back to today: Suddenly, the female at the counter called in the speaker system “Spiderman, your order is ready”. Everybody paused for a moment, and laughed. I too laughed. Then I got up to the counter and took my Calzone. Flashback at cashier: “So, when your food is ready, by what name would you like to be called Sir?” to which I replied “Spiderman”. “Huh?” she asked susprised, and I replied “yes, Spiderman” I said mocking the Spiderman wrist movement. She said “you have a sense of humor” to which I said “no, believe me, I dont. I am just trying to make your job easier. You would have a tough time pronouncing my name as it is in the credit card”. Yes, last time when I was here and gave my name as Pavan, the guy spoke in the mic “Bavan, or Bavaaaan or Baaaaavan or Paaaban” or….”, before he ran out of the multiple choices, I had already walked from one end of the restaurant to this delivery counter.
So, next time you hear a wierd name being called at a restaurant, please dont laugh, and try to sympathise with him/her.