Thursday, February 03, 2005

The kheer? 1/2 on 25

(These tiny stories appeared in BITSAA's Sandpaper, but here they are again).

Tuesday night dinners? Always a little dreary: slopped into one of the compartments in our thalis was a concoction that, we were led to believe, started life as kheer.

When Dinesh and I sit down this Tuesday, that RPA mess servant institution, Girdhari, sports a troubled look. Before passing our thalis out, he turns one over. "Look," he says. "The stuff stays there." The kheer. It does. Stay there. So congealed, it won't fall out.

This is not something to take lying down, or even sitting there. We summon the manager. I speak to him. Meanwhile, Dinesh picks up his spoon lugubriously, sticks the business end into the kheer, and thumps the other end with his hand. The small piece he shovels out of the once-kheer then goes into his mouth. He drops the spoon. Thumps his head with one hand, his chin with the other at the same time. This way, he munches through the stuff. Lugubrious still.

The manager gets the point. Maybe not. Next Tuesday, the kheer is the same.


We called Nitin "Bondo" for no apparent reason other than it was one more of those peculiar BITS names. But he was, in the very best sense of the word, peculiar anyway. I know he'll be thrilled to know I've described him like that. Hey Bondo, if you need to reach me, try directory inquiry in Timbuctoo.

One incident summed up Bondo's outlook on life for us.

In a long-forgotten test -- some 3rd year Maths or Physics course, I think -- Bondo came home with half on twenty-five. (I got a big fat zero, but that's another story). That's right, half a mark out of a maximum of 25. Still, that fraction alone was not what made this a special occasion. Good old Bondo picked up his paper and streaked off to the concerned professor's office. To protest. But not, as you might imagine, that he had been given an unfairly low mark. Or half-mark.

"Half a mark is a disgrace!" he wailed at the bemused professor. "Please reduce it to zero!" he pleaded. "At least then I can show my face to my VK wingmates!"

The odd thing was, he was right. When he returned with a resplendent zero, we looked at him with new respect. Then we gave him bumps.


Blogger Kumari said...

kheer in our times was any day better than the Mess rasam - which was as good as dishwater.
But then i always ran to the KG or RPA mess in my psenti sem to make up for it :)

7:55 AM  

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