>Durgapur Diaries III: Mausi ka Dhaba!


Food has been our main source of worry here since Day 1. Why do these guys have to make food in so different a way, and give them so horrible names as to send shivers down a person’s spine and make him bless himself two times before he gulps it down his throat. The day we got here in Durgapur, we had lunch in the mess of the hostel. There we were given something which was looking very fishy and out of the ordinary. We dared to ask for its proper name, it turned out to be quite a formidable one: Zhinga Posto! (i guess there was a middle name to this dish too, like a gentleman, though i can’t remember it) Fortunately, and rather ludicrously, the dish turned out to be made of potato and a UFO (Unidentified Feeding Object). At least, that UFO wasn’t a zhinga(shrimps), that much i am sure πŸ˜€

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 πŸ˜‰ ) 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.




8 thoughts on “>Durgapur Diaries III: Mausi ka Dhaba!

  1. Akash

    >Haha! Superb experience I must agree! I am in love with this particular line, Fortunately, and rather ludicrously, the dish turned out to be made of potato and a UFO (Unidentified Feeding Object). At least, that UFO wasn't a zhinga(shrimps), that much i am sure :D:P UFO =))Way to go man. I hope you get to eat in some good dhaba this time :PRegardsAkash


    >hey mannnn….you really reminded me to my days when i used to be in a hostel like you n just can't tell you abt the meals we used to get…..and unfortunately could not even found a Mausi there too, even then now i think to re-live those moments with all those "mountains of rice" n "river of Daal"….:))btw very well penned post….best wishes,irfan…

  3. Mitostargazer

    >@irfan: you are quite right, college days are unforgettable, whether you have adventures or 'mis'-adventures πŸ˜‰ and whatever has been the course of events here, i'm taking back a very fond memory :)thanks for taking the time to read and comment irfan πŸ™‚

  4. snklptwr

    >Hehe.."our guitarist friend" :-DAnyways..awesomely described..it couldnt have been more perfect! :-)And you didnt update your readers with the latest turnouts..after a nomadic existence for about 20 days..our quest for "normal food" has finally come to a halt with the re-arrival of "Mausi" aka "The Savior"..i hope everything stays normal till 26th now..i dont want anymore adventures πŸ˜› πŸ™‚

  5. Saibal Barman

    >Food indeed is a rootless crisis that life offered us so generously in the process of creation…the hunger is insatiable for it stretches beyond just a material part of "food"…it doesn't always remain a source of vitamins…a source of sustenance…it craves more for in attachment to finer faculties…the way it suits the hunger…the war between the food and the hunger perhaps is conflict closest to human mind….Very intersting angle the post exposes…like it.Regards,

  6. Mitostargazer

    >@sankalp: hehe :)Yeah, i had thought of informing the readers of the latest turnout of events, but that would have been kindof anti-climax to the whole sad story ;)anyways, as you can see now, we won't have to face any new adventures, we can rest in peace in our final days πŸ˜€

  7. Mitostargazer

    >@S. Berman: You couldn't have described it in a more finer way sir :)The urge to satisfy hunger itself is a force that gives rise to many tragi-comic sequences in our life πŸ™‚


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