Saturday, November 26, 2011

A chapter on Canteen cuisine

Alisha D'souza

Cracking up in the college canteen

Photo Courtesy:

Here are examples of what a canteen review should comprise of;

Read on if you think a canteen review can be recounted a little differently.

The biggest of us have had the best of our days in our college canteens. For instance, did you know that playback legend Kishore da owes five rupees and 25 paise to his college canteen till date, attested to by that catchy number of Chalti ka Naam Gaadi? Don’t take just my word for it. Read India Today!

The college canteen governs the timetable of your day. Don’t believe it? Consider this….A typical day between classes can cause fitful phases of unconsciousness on table tops, collective sighs and combined yawns, not to mention conjuring commanding out-of-body experiences. This code of conduct is surprisingly well-coordinated among all class attendees.
Such a stupor in a cauldron of a classroom is only broken by one enticement- the impending visit to the canteen. In my campus in Lavale, food, music and a protest against the admin can cut all corners between the student body, and create a companionable mass of people all under one roof- Symbi Eats! Pretty straightforward really, no confusion about what the area is meant for from the name….!

From the traditional cuisine of dosa, samosa, poha,upma, missal and vada pav  to junk chow like coke, chips  and biscuits as well as the omnipresent maggi among other Chinese and local usuals are the usual suspects…on the menu. What you can really get to tickle your palate finally though, would depend on the character of various factors in the assembly line- transport of goods to the canteen, the chef’s mood for the day, delegates that takeover the college premises at regular intervals….a daunting list.
(For more information on what the canteen needs to know…for their sake…can be accessed on

The century-long (alright yes, a little exaggeration there) system is not as captivating a tale, as the usual conundrum of a Symbian…”What should I bet my cash on today??” The canteen is the real world, mind. Here is where you learn to claw your way out of oblivion, cling to the window that protects the grumpy proprietor at the other end and desperately try to end up asking for the right combination of available confectionery….all before the clock strikes the quarter!
Symbi Eats has to cater to a concoction of over 1000 collegiate between ten hours of the weekday. So they tell you they have cold stuff in pinching prices or hot stuff in cheap chipped cutlery. Quite a lot to choose from, wouldn’t you say? 

Disclaimer: This article is not meant to create distaste in any form or chop up the culinary sensibilities of any veteran canteener on this campus.


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