Human beings have this tendency to vent out their bottled up anger in the very wrong places, at the wrong time and at the wrong people. This has been happening to us for a very long time. Less marks due to grumpy mood swings of the teacher(happens in board exam corrections loads of times!!), mom or dad yelling at us for some things we never did due to a work tension ,or even us taking out the entire load of frustration on our friends who would watch us with a baffled expression.
My PS hostel has a mess functioning downstairs. Its not a big establishment, but caters to a mass of people who according to me can make do with a bowl of starch (which essentially remains tasteless).The other side dishes, most importantly Sambhar can be of any brown colour, with any assortment of vegetables thrown in or even the curry can be in any state of cooking.It didnt matter. I realized this horrifying fact when the food wouldnt enter my oesophagus, but I saw the others munching away happily.Probably Im too spoilt or my tastebuds work overtime. Worse, are the set of women who cook and take care of the mess.
Though their culinary skills are pretty decent, their serving skills most definitely are not. After the initial taunt I faced from one such lady at the mess counter who served the curd about my usage of spoons and acting too westernized, I thought the worst was over. I had to wait only till dinner time to hear more.
Dosas were being served for dinner. They were in a huge casserole. Accustomed to Atish mess habits and the knowledge that the dosas in the lower end of the casserole would be hotter, the bitsians dug their hands into the dosa container searching for hot dosas. We heard a huge scream from the lady who was supposed to be at the counter and she came running in. We went rigid and looked here and there. ( I thought it was a snake and actually got scared). We soon found out her problem. Us.
She yelled at us digging the lower half of the casserole. Being the only one in the group who understood and spoke tamil, I asked her why it mattered. She said the top dosas would form rolls and no one would eat them. ” Eh?” Form rolls?? Why wont anyone eat rolled up dosas?” were the first questions that sprang to my mind. She continued rambling about us being totally uncivilized(which we are) and having no inkling of how to eat. Anything would fall due to gravity and due to its extreme cohesiveness to the bottom dosas, it would form rolls. Its natural. Its scientific. But it doesnt contaminate it. I wondered. Anyway, my dinner was ruined.
It was of no help.The warden was called for and told as if we upturned the entire container of dosas. I guess my prayers worked and the warden turned out to be a sensible woman. She shooed us from there and later called us to her office where she explained that the woman was having a bad time at home with a drunk and wife-beating husband and enormous responsibilty of being the sole bread winner since her husband had lost his job the previous day.
“Oh!” a case of wrong person getting the hot end eh? I thought and chuckled.
As we came to know in a few days time, there was a massive downsizing of the staff of the cafeteria done a few days earlier, where the lady’s husband had lost his job. The manager had just walked in with a disgruntled face and thrown people off his pay rolls just like that. He had been fired by his boss, a dietician in the hospital just then for no apparent reason.
Probably, another case of wrong person getting fired I thought.
Just see the path traced by the line of fire.All mistimed yellings. It ended on our plates!!!!
Pity, I cant write this in my PS diary.