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Gastronomical Desires Of Astronomical Proportions

By Roopak Khandekar

No. This isn’t a ‘review’ on the condition of the Mess. I had written one last year, but hadn’t posted it on my blog for the simple reason that my blog didn’t exist back then. As a matter of fact, it came into this world around nine months after the self-respect and dignity of a certain ‘party’ (used in the ‘legal’ sense) were tampered with (Any person in the right state of mind should understand both these to be totally independent events).
Anyway, back to the topic. You can’t expect too much from a mess (it’s a ‘mess’ after all). But eating in a mess (or the Mess in this case) teaches you to find joy in little things like detecting the presence of paneer in a paneer parantha. However, soon the  monotony sets in , leaving you yearning for ‘real food’. The lure of ‘food’ has a pretty strong influence on the laziness of people; this has been practically observed among people who feel too lazy to walk across the ‘football ground’ to the new mess, but do not hesitate to visit places like Aalankrita or KFC, provided they aren’t bankrupt (though they do tend to occasionally stumble upon some generous soul). Eventually, however, some people (the Curdivore, a ‘leguminophobic’, may be considered a satisfactory example) build up enough patience or endurance if you may call it so, to sustain themselves until they go home during a ‘long’ vacation or when the semester ends.
Talking of quality of food, picturise ten filthy rich fellas feasting on fantastic, fabulous food ,‘finishing’ their meal leaving behind enough food to provide a good meal for five other people. You must have received at least one e-mail showing pictures of terribly malnourished people struggling for even the tiniest morsels of food. You may not have forwarded the e-mail to others, but the message certainly provides some food for thought.
When experts proudly mention the huge amounts of crops cultivated, why doesn’t the common man’s observations and experiences agree with it? The reason, as is easy to figure out, is wastage. No one really seems to give two hoots about it. Ordering amounts which are twice the volume of your stomach and discarding half of it. Being clueless about how a “few” crore rupees worth of food-grain rots away or vanishes into thin air. Knowing about the shortage of storage space and still going gaga over excellent yields (which eventually rot away)… Pathetic.
We may not be “shedding every value our mothers taught”, but sometimes we do tend to forget simple things like finishing all the food in your plate. If you aren’t sure whether you’d like it, don’t take such gargantuan amounts. Sense and simplicity…!!
 Small contributions by a large number of people can create a bit of hope.
Happy eating.


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