Sunday, September 12, 2010
Being in the Final year, I was allotted a single room for myself at the hostel. But the food at the Hostel Mess was always a problem as the students came from all States of India and foreign countries too! It was an impossible task to cater to the tastes of the inmates who are used to their regional cuisines with limited resources. Last year a Malayali , Mr. Panikkar was the mess contractor and so the menu had Sambhar, rice etc which was quite acceptable to the South Indians. He had also provided North Indian dishes and Roti etc for other students. But this time a new contractor, a Punjabi Sardarji Mr. Chadda took over the mess. The food turned out to be mostly of the North Indian variety and rice was limited to only a cupful and we coming from the South found it difficult to digest this change in cuisine. Since I was in the Mess committee which decides upon the weekly Menu, I reintroduced Sambhar and rice. But unfortunately the experiments by the Punjabi cook to prepare Sambhar turned out to be a disaster in the form Dhal with some added chilly powder. Ultimately we conceded defeat and swallowed our pride and ate the North Indian food provided. Some ingenious students had electric hot plates in their rooms and did their own cooking and managed with pickles and other condiments.
Some students found out that nearby Law College Mess was providing reasonably good food with unlimited rice too, and they were allowing students from outside to eat there. Added attraction was the sweets served with Sunday lunch, which you can have as much as you want. So I along with Murthy and Venugopal Thakkar, I joined the Law college mess and our food crisis was happily solved.