Rated: 13+ · Short Story · Contest Entry · #2258496
A great journey.
|There we were, a bunch of tenth graders, on our way from Mumbai to Mysore, by train. When I say 'a bunch' you understand that I'm from one of the biggest schools in Mumbai. So I mean a train-load. We'd booked the whole train for the twenty-eight hour journey, and would be traveling with one teacher and one monitor in charge of each bogey.|
Now the most important thing you need to know is that the journey included a long halt in Bangalore, the capital of the state of Karnataka, where Mysore is located. And the reason you need to know this is ... PIZZA.
What's pizza got to do with anything? Is pizza the traditional food of South India? No, no. Idli-dosa is the traditional food of South India. But you need to know about pizza because I have a cousin, an aunt and an uncle in Bangalore, and they love me very much, and in our family, love means food.
So, before the start of the journey, I called my cousin and carefully ordered the toppings. I told her the timing of the train, the platform number, and exactly where I could be found in my special bogey.
The journey was fun. We ran out of drinking water within ten hours and had to buy soft drinks at the station. The train almost left us behind, what with so many people lined up at the soft-drink seller. But we got on, thirst assuaged. Only don't tell my Dad or my sister, they'll get nightmares if they knew I had to hang on to my friend by his thumb and forefinger to prevent myself from falling off the moving train.
We looked out of the window for a while, at the fields and the grazing cows, and then at some bleak factory landscapes. We napped. We played word games and singing games. We ate. We didn't drink (no water, remember?). Soon, we had eaten our quota of food, too. But I had a secret. I had pizza to look forward to.
So, tired, hungry and thirsty, we were pulling up at the Bangalore station. I'd ordered enough pizza for those sharing the cubicle with me - six of us, in tiered bunks. I was in the middle-tier. I watched at the open window for a sight of my pizza with my family. I had to sneak it in and hide it (my laundry bag was empty for the moment and would take it all in) before others caught a whiff of it. We'd eat it when everyone else was asleep.
AHA - there it was, my pizza, held by my cousin, waving at me. My family was delighted to see me. I was delighted to see my pizza and them.
Now another thing you must know is that my aunt is the Principal of a Nursery School.
And being the Principal of a Nursery School means being able to out shout two year olds having tantrums.
So my aunt has a loud voice. A very loud voice.
She proved it that day. A train-load of tenth graders heard it.
"RISHI, RISHI, WE HAVE YOUR PIZZA HERE WITH ALL THE TOPPINGS YOU ORDERED!"
When they were done with it, my classmates kindly condescended to let me taste a sliver of tomato and a tiny piece of onion. It was good. Burp.