When I first moved to University I was super excited about the prospect of dining at a mess. I’m not entirely sure why at all. Especially considering that I ate lunch at a dining hall when I was in school also. I knew I would miss home food – because I’m a sucker for rasam, lemon rice, curd rice, and pasta, among other things like biryani, pulao, and Thai green curry. But I never had an understanding of how much I would actually miss home food.
In my head, I thought that the mess would try, atleast, to satisfy students desires.
Never have I been more wrong.
I think the craziest part about living at home is the variety you end up having in your meals. It’s underrated and underappreciated. We always say “wow, this is delicious”, because the food tastes good, but we never tell someone “wow, this tastes so different to what we had yesterday!” or even “wow, this tastes so different to what you made this morning!”. Even where lunch and dinner were the same food, when my mum reheated the food for dinner, it tasted different. I don’t know whether that was just the impact of a temperature difference, or exposure to Oxygen or whatever, but it did. Also, I’m quite sure we ended up making food taste different at night if we weren’t too fond of it. Like, beans curry. I think we made rolls of it and added carrot or something so it looked different and a little more appetizing to down.
The point being, food tastes different at home when you eat it.
After three years of eating in the same place, and eating the same food daily, I have grown tired of it. All the gravy tastes the same, and looks the same, even though some masalas might be different. The paneer tastes the same every single week now, and anything orange automatically repulses me. I used to be a huge fan of this paneer dish made using this Rasoi Magic powder, but I don’t think I can eat that as much anymore because it’s orange-red in colour. There remain few items on the mess menu I can enjoy without cribbing, which absolutely sucks because I have 3 semesters left.
To make matters worse, I love watching food shows and documentaries about food. Just last week I saw an entire 3 hours worth of Anthony Bourdain (RIP), and wondered why I was so agitated when somebody literally took care of my meals.
Food has always been super close to my heart. I’ve used a kettle to concoct some wild things over last winter, and I’ve grown to enjoy the little cooking I am capable of doing. I love tasting new things, as long as they’re vegetarian, and really, really appreciate cheap, good food.
I think winter break came at the right time. I’ll probably work on getting my motivation to eat mess food back.
Also, I feel like I’ve developed a small Subway addiction. Hmm.