Saturday, February 20, 2010


Lunch, Irony and broken eggs

The (usual) hungry self walked into the mess the other day. Without so much as a cursory look towards the regular fare, headed straight towards the 'extras' counter. Read- what you eat by paying extra. Was greeted by plates of Tandoori chicken, kebabs, chilli chicken, chicken 65 and even the rare fish fry. Repeated the puerile exercise of asking the Mess guy what each dish was, mainly to hear the familiar names pronounced yet again in the increasingly familiar Bong accent (Chee-cane shikshty phaa-eeb).

And amidst the apparent problem of plenty, amidst deciding what to choose and what to save for the inevitable tomorrow, the only thing that self really craved for at that point was the once-everyday and forever-cherished anda bhujiya, served on display of those cheap 3 Rupee pink, yellow or white coupons, to desperately salvage and give some taste to a lousily prepared meal, cooked in front of you by that sixty-plus bhaiya whose name I never got to know, to whom I remained just another face amongst the many for whom eggsshells were cracked everyday and with whom the only conversation I had involved him expressing his views on the kanwar march. And that, dear readers, is what I just could not have- not then, not later, and perhaps not ever. For there was so much more to those scrambled eggs than just oil, salt, onions and the occasional jeera and laal mirch...

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