Deep in the wilderness of the Shameerpet forest, a daily struggle for existence occurs.
(Please pause for effect.)
Welcome, sheltered ones. As most of you are leaving home for the first time, living alone can be a difficult change to become accustomed to…and also a myth, as you’ll discover when you’re trying to kick your wingies out of your room late at night. What can be a far greater challenge is to feed yourself well and regularly, both of which are unlikely to happen simultaneously. But don’t fret, we are here to guide you. So you can assure your mother that you won’t be skipping any meals and at the same time, you can go ahead and tell your girlfriend that you’re finally going on that diet you always promised.
A Hot Mess
“Breakfast is the most important meal of the day…..and lunch, and dinner, and snacks too.” –A friend.
Cheap, edible, and predictable would describe our college messes. We’ve got two of them, as hopefully you’ve noticed by now. The two messes serve mostly the same items but dictated by different weekly schedules. While the food is actually quite decent, when you’re looking sadly into your plate of poha pongal on a dull Thursday evening, this place can seem a little forlorn.
Mess registration happens at the start of every month and can sometimes become a competitive sport. The record for the fastest ever mess registration stands at a doozy 2 min 46 seconds. Mess registration gone awry has led to many a broken heart before. Thankfully, SWD does its best to help numb the pain.
Although this year will most likely see the end of competitive registrations, now that the caterers have been standardised for both messes, mess registration tales will continue to live on as campus lore.
However, don’t underestimate the Mess just yet.
Just like Cinderella transformed herself in time for the ball, Mess 1 turns itself into a fine dining establishment every night at 10, better known as the ANC or the All Night Canteen. With a flashy TV screen displaying orders, a Frankie stall, and tasty, and more importantly budget-friendly, food, you’ll start to believe in magic yourself.
Fun Fact: The messes even have their own black market currency, namely chits with Mess Coupon written on one side, and a convincing picture of a coin on the other to fool you.
Et tu, Bru?
Among our alternative dining options, we have our beloved Bru stalls. Bru 1, fabled to be open even after curfew, has been the protector of students’ appetites through thick and thin. Bru 2, its younger counterpart, also has a chat stall, and so to maintain the natural balance of the universe, it chooses to remain closed for the better part of the day.
In the academic block, one may find the cafeteria, a great stop for a late breakfast missed at the Mess.
Fun Fact: The cafeteria makes a good chunk of its money by hooking its unaware patrons into the addictive habit of drinking…. fruit juices, that is.
On the other side of campus at the Connaught Place, we have a bakery, a juice shop, and all-round food pit stop at MORE. Just opposite CP, is Amul, a great place to sit with friends and make your ice-cream habit into something sociable. Once a week, the Dosa Place stall parks itself at the beginning of the SAC road and sells authentic overpriced breakfast for dinner. The Dosa Place is also a life lesson within itself, because if a dosa can become a pizza, then you, too, can become whatever you want in life.
A Far More Useful Energy Theorem
“The number on a scale of 1-10 quantifying the amount of hunger multiplied by desirability of potential food divided by distance to food source measured in minutes walked, further divided by bodily inertia, unwillingness to get up, and cost provides a good rule of thumb of whether energy spent is worthwhile.”
– Euclid (unconfirmed.)
Noodles, Our Savior.
The tried and true last resort of college students everywhere: instant noodles. It’s a wonder they don’t market noodles specifically to teenagers, because I wouldn’t be surprised to find out we make the majority of their consumer base. Just imagine how much more they could sell with slogans such as “9 In 10 College Toppers Prefer Maggi” or “Now With 2x Immuno Nutrients To Help You Finally Grow That Beard”. What a shame, really.
However, being the conscientious writer that I am, it is important to note that although kettles are widespread in hostel rooms, they are also not allowed, much to the chagrin of many in the Great Kettle Raid of February 2016 and the Maggi Revolution at BITS Goa in 2009. (You can read more about it on Quora.)
Sleep, The Best Cure for Hunger
More than once in your college career, you’ll find yourself giving up the search for food late at night and going to sleep, hoping that it will make those stomach pangs disappear. This has not worked yet for anyone I know, but that’s no reason to not try it out.
The author would like to apologize to all African orphans for trivialising the topic of starvation. If you would like to donate to someone needy, please visit https://www.facebook.com/shreya.nimma.