Monday, 10 December 2012

Pizza Wala in Delhi

(Text and Photos by Pupps Roy)

From Ludhiana to Lajpat nagar. A long way to go! Italian delicacy comes in a decked up vending cart with an inbuilt LPG oven. Its colorful, has night lights, a well described attractive menu and it smells so good from 20 feet. Sweet smell of Onion, garlic and cheese will bring water in your mouth and there you stop. You look for the man to bake your favourite pizza but he is nowhere found. He stands 5 feet 4 inches and hides at the chopping area right behind the oven. He is chopping fresh onion for his next pizza pick up. Meet Kishan kumar. He is wearing his most radiant smile as he welcomes people walking around his cart. "Sometimes I call out people to buy my pizza and sometimes I don't. It totally depends on my mood you see", he says. He doesn’t look to have many mood swings as he always has a smiling face.

Pizza comes in different sizes and prices. The menu card is right outside the cart hanging on a nail and is swinging with the cold Delhi breeze and can fly off anytime. The lowest price of the pizza is 60Rs and the highest goes to 90Rs. There are pictures of pizzas everywhere on the vending cart so that everyone knows exactly what they are eating. He also has two customers currently waiting to be served. One family sitting inside a Maruti 800 with two kids and the man of the family is smoking outside and staring at me or measuring me as I am talking to Kishan. He so much wants to be in the photograph and I am just ignoring him. Finally he enters in the conversation, "This pizza is really good. Its my second time here". Kishan Kumar gives a teethy grin, takes out a half done pizza from the oven and sprinkles some extra cheese on it and puts it back in the oven again. It looks like he doesn't want to lose this customer. Who wants to? Everyone is trying to hard retain theirs by offering something or the other these days. Customer's delight.  Never to lose any.

"Is that Mozarella"? He looked up blank as if he heard something in Hebrew or Chinese. He needs some sort of simplification. "Is this cheese mozarella?"He thinks for few seconds and then replies "This cheese comes especially from UP and this is used only for pizzas". The texture is soft and the color is pale which is exactly like mozarella. I trust him.  His customers are devouring the pizza so there’s no doubt about it that his pizza ingredients are tasty and wholesome. No wonder that his pizzas are moving so fast. He has two more student customers now. Someone has to know where his skill sets are from. The secret of his fast moving Pizzas. He is busy but he is enjoying this whole pizzacentric conversation. He combs his hair neatly before he is ready for a photograph to be clicked.

"Where did you learn pizza making?" He again thinks for a minute or more as he serves pizza to one of his customers. Well, this is actually giving him the time to think. "I learned from Ludhuana Pizza hut". Are you serious? He may be lying. He is not smiling now. He looks serious. Maybe he is trying hard to convince me. He adds on "I used to work there and one of my freinds taught me how to bake a pizza". Now so many questions run in my mind. If he was not baking pizza then what was he doing in Pizza hut? A delivery boy? No no, definitely not. If he learned baking pizzas then why is he not making pizza base? There are many pizza bases stacked in the corner and he tops them with sauces, veggies and cheese and there is his pizza. He may be fibbing or may not be. He may have learned in Delhi from some coffee shop Or maybe someone taught him how to bake pizzas and he is now working for him just as an employee. Let’s not go into this. He is little serious now. He requests me to shift little bit as there are customers around him and I am not one of them. I finally asked for a slice of pizza. "It will take some time Sir". He may have thought that I am asking it for free. There's no need to wait. I am highly contended with the smell of cheese, onion and some burnt herbs and a spicy cinversation. I am convinced that his pizzas are great. Now he really wants me to go. He stretches his hands for a warm shake and then turns sideways. He turns his neck to see if I am still there to conjure him or not. I quickly vanish with the whole thought of this mystic pizza episode. It was awesome!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow I wish to have on from that stall soemtime. You are a truely person with quest of bringing so many interesting stuffs regarding Delhi.Keep it up with lots of Love :)