The anecdote belongs to three fictional characters Kabir, Amay and Rahul. The incident is narrated by Amay and I am sure many of you might be able to empathize with them and maybe they will be able to bring back the memories of your college times or would give you an image of how college life is if you are going to live one now.
So, here it goes:
“It has been 10 minutes since we are in this line. For how long we need to wait to get these chapatis” Kabir irked.
“Come on. It’s a special diet today. A paneer curry, dal, chapati, rice and a dessert. One could die for it.” I replied rather exorbitantly.
It was quarter to nine in the night. Kabir and I were in the hostel mess, trying to get chapatis from the counter. It had only taken us a month to get bored of mess food inexorably. Only consolation was two special diets served in a week. We cajoled our hearts throughout the week by showing it the two dishes in mess time-table – Chhola Bhatura with a dessert on Tuesday and a paneer curry with dessert on Friday. Today was Friday, and so my taste buds had been imagining the taste of paneer curry since morning. Before starting for mess, we had looked for Rahul to join us. However, we didn’t find him, so we had walked to the mess without him.
“The wait is over.” I had said just before entering the mess. However, destiny was determined not to give on anything so easily. There were more than two-dozen guys lined up to get their hands on chapatis. Given the fact that we were brought up by our mothers without having to wait for a chapati mostly, it hit our pride to stand in queue for that. However, we had learned to swallow our egos in past one month, so we had joined the queue.
“Come on. It’s a special diet today. A paneer curry, dal, chapati, rice and a dessert. One could die for it.” I replied expecting that the so called special dinner would obliterate all our frustration.
After passing another few minutes, we finally got the chapatis. Once we had those in our plate, we rushed to the counter where paneer curry was being served. A guy there, first poured a gravy (that was devoid of even a single piece of paneer) and then from another tumbler picked 5 raw pieces of paneer of the size of our molars and dropped it in the gravy gasping for it. The curry for which I had been waiting for a week was now floating in my plate, waiting and wanting to be consumed. I walked ahead silently. However, Kabir rebelled
“What is this bhaiya? Can you put some more paneer?” he asked when he got his set of molar-paneer.
“This is all you get.” He replied shooing Kabir away as if a laborer had asked a shroff for a month’s extra wedge.
After picking up the dessert from the dessert counter, we finally settled on the dining chairs.
“Disgusting. Is this what we had been waiting for a week?” Kabir said in disconsolation while counting the paneer in his plate. Even I was disgusted but thought to keep a positive attitude.
“It’s ok. At least we have the Rasmalai to eat as the dessert.” I said with a plastic smile.
Anything that’s fake, doesn’t last for long. God gave me a demonstration. A hand came from behind, with a spoon stuck between its fingers and before I could fathom its intention, the spoon swooped the dessert from my plate and landed it in Rahul’s mouth. I stoned for a moment on having my dessert stolen.
“Come on dude. I have taken your dessert, not your virginity.” Rahul said chewing devouringly on my dessert.
“Try to be optimistic now. He is just saving you from getting diabetes. At least you have rotis to chew on, Amay.” Kabir laughed
“Yeah. And it’s a lesson too. Never leave your dessert unguarded. It’s disrespect to the sweet god.” Rahul replied guilefully.
Next second I stood off my seat and yelled, “I am going to kill you bastard.” He realized my intentions and ran for his life. Another Tom and Jerry chase started.
After running around the mess, and punching him thrice on his back, we returned to where we had left our plates. Rahul then took 1-1 chapati from both of our plates. It was our bro code. Whenever one of us was coming late for dinner, other one took chapatis for the former one. After settling down, Kabir finally spoke
“I have got an important thing to discuss.”
“What’s that?” Rahul asked
He signaled us to wait while he hungrily chew on the food that was about to make its way down the food pipe, thanks to the gravity.
(Continued on next page…)