Manipal and Pizza Porn – The celestial connection

I can imagine my father turning in his grave. “ What now a book! Are you crazy? Haven’t you embarrassed us enough?”

Even I have thought about it often. What did my parents do to deserve me. They were simple folks who worked hard in their lives, retired gracefully and died peacefully when their time came.

I , on the other hand, never did anything right. My parents were always worried about me. I switched jobs like people change clothes, changed locations at whims and when even that failed to satisfy me straddled continents. For ten years I flitted from USA to UK and back to USA. I even worked for two blessed weeks in the dark West African country called Togo.

But one day I returned just as I had left. As I sat in my Jacksonville office, I asked myself if this was what I wanted in life. I had been in this job for 72 hrs. having just shifted from Miami. Frankly it bored me. On an impulse I resigned, picked up my belongings and for the next whole week drove alone through the Mid West in USA. The adventure was worth it. I made quite a few friends who I knew I would never meet again in my life. After more than two thousand miles of exploring, I just decided that it was time for the bird to fly back to it’s nest.

If someone finds this inspiring , honestly, he needs urgent help. All I have now is a passport full of stamping of various countries, a clean and empty bank balance and a trunk full of memories.

Manipal was an accident. A friend’s sons were studying in MIT. I came to meet them. As I was waiting for them near Guzzzler’s Inn, I spotted a few boys drinking beer in the afternoon sitting near a kiosk. I found it delightfully weird. But soon I was to find out that this was not just normal , it was normal being weird too . I thought I had reached my Eden.

People often ask why do you love Manipal so much. It is hard to explain it to the ignoramus.

I started my little pizzeria with two friends. Pizza Corner was my little pearl in that lush green and eyesoothing location in Green View. I can guarantee that no other place could boast of a better sun rise or a sun set. Even when the Sun set on our business, I was watching the Sun set one last time. I didn’t take a picture. Some things are best left to the memory.

honey bees

Manipal is a story teller’s delight.

There is a story hidden behind each bush, under each stone and every nook. Each day was an adventure. Nothing normal happens here. Our staff once found weed under the sofa and surprisingly no one came back to claim ownership , often we were surprised by a vociferous group of monkeys baring their teeth to scare us, once we were attacked by bees who then not content built a large bee hive. Not only that we often spotted snakes and once even a large python on the road.

I wasn’t just serving food and soon became the unofficial counselor for many troubled souls. Some were just interested in discussing about their never ending girl stories, while others about their drugs and alcohol related problems. I sometimes like to believe that I saved a couple of them from committing suicide. But the truth is that in the end their will power won. It was heart breaking when young boys lost their fathers . The boys showed remarkable fortitude and composure. Then there were friends who broke down after losing their young friend which happened frequently. Once The dean was unceremoniously ejected for her callous attitude after one such disaster. All in all, life was one big roller coaster ride.

But soon I realised that I wasn’t cut out for business. The whole life I had been yearning to write. When I realised that I wasn’t getting any younger, I became restless. The picturesque location could have been a paradise for writing. But I had no free time. Soon the free time came but in a very inelegant and cruel way. Big businesses arrived only to make us pack our bags and leave.

It turned out to be a blessing in disguise though. I was able to complete my maiden novel, Pizza Porn.

What is the irresistible charm of Manipal? Manipal allows you to be yourself. The youngsters are not judgemental. Their weirdness is not an aberration but an embellishment. It adds to their aura. They are not dumb junkies wasting their lives. They work hard and party hard and excel in all fields. Pizza Porn, in a way, is a tribute to this life.

Coming back to the book, is it autobiographical? A big no by any account. I have simply picked up anecdotes from this amazing city and woven them into a story. If it fails to click, no blame can be apportioned to Manipal or its denizens.

There is something irresistible about a juicy pizza or steamy sex. I do not know the great man who said , “ Pizza is so much like sex. When it is good it is very good. When it is bad it is still pretty good.” I doff my hat to him.

But if you are looking for Pizza you know where to find a good one. The best one has already left and the ones who are left are only second best! If you are looking for Porn, I am sure that you would definitely know where to find one that as well. But if you are looking for any of them in my book, well you are in for a disappointment.

Pizza Porn is simply a  Journey of two youngsters. Just like you. Why,  It could even be your story.

About Sudhir 58 Articles

Author of a two novels, Pizza Porn and Rambler Inn and Other Stories , nothing about Sudhir has been cool and smooth. Trained to be an engineer, he realised that he wasn’t cut out for that role. So he left engineering and worked abroad for a decade. He saw three ghastly terrorist attacks from close quarters. Whether it was Mumbai or New York or London, the response has been the same – of fear, outrage and sheer bravery.