Food in CMERI mess is worse than that. Chapatis are nowhere to be seen, there are mountains of rice and rivers of daal flowing there. And mind you, the main function of daal in Bengali culture(or so it seems) is just to wet the rice, nothing else. Nothing. For this purpose, it is usually made thinner than water itself, with the sole purpose of pulses to give it a yellow color. For those with a experimental bent of mind, they can try using yellow-colored water instead of daal, i doubt if these guys here will notice the difference.
Since we had abandoned the scary zhingas of out hostel mess, we had to look somewhere for daily dinner and lunch. Our search took us to various outlets and dhabas, but they all were either too bad or too Bengali. So we went furthur along, breaching the walls of NIT Durgapur and infiltrating deep inside. We had infiltrated so deep in, that we were almost about to infiltrate ‘out’ from the opposite end. Anyways, after witnessing two or three horrible scenes of food-crime and finally on the verge of passing out, a hypothetical oasis appeared in the hypothetical desert: Mausi ka dhaba. We were graciously taken in and were rescued from our slow demise by serving perfectly normal North-Indian food. From then on, that dhaba(and the eponymous Mausi, of course 😉 ) became our saviour.
Mausi is Mausi. Whole NIT-D calls her Mausi. Regular visitors have been so attached to her, some become extremely talkative in that dhaba to the point of being disgusting :D. Even for us, when we had come three or four times already, she’d greet us with a beaming smile on her face, as if her neighbourhood friends’ children had come over to eat. And the whole atmosphere was quite wholesome(if you manage to shut out your hygienic sensibilities, that is). There’s this guy called Vishal, must be in his late teens, who is as crazy about music as any of us. One day we were all sitting inside, teasing our guitarist friend for not having yet heard ‘A Thousand Suns’ by LP. Suddenly, he got interested in the conversation and began recounting his favorite tracks of LP and Green Day. Soon, he went to those songs of Green Day which i hadn’t heard myself, which was a little embarrassing really, hehe. He’s quite passionate guy, wears Megadeth and Iron Maiden Ts when we don’t even have the customary LP and Nirvana ones :D.
Those days were nice. But one such day, Mausi announced that she’s shutting the shop because their family is going to Vellore for somebody’s operation. Said it was only for 10 days. But our food crisis loomed large on us again. And since then on, we’ve again turned into nomads, wandering here and there, for a decent crummy of normal food. And what’s worse, it’s been 20-something days, and she isn’t back yet. Food hasn’t been ever the same since. We have tried lousy south-indian joints, and contented ourselves with Maggi in lunch. Since few days, we’ve returned to NIT-D for another, in another dhaba nearby the now-closed Mausi’s. Food is normal, sometimes good. But there is still a difference. Atmosphere just isn’t the same. And nobody calls her(the proprietress of the shop) Mausi.