Having spent the entire day sleeping and sneezing under the layer of bedsheets I put up with as a blanket halting everyday ablutions, rituals and meals, it was only sane that I decided order something delicious to quell the indecent roars of disapproval emanating from my entrails. Freshie, a wingie, voiced a similar opinion. Googling up joints nearest, we locked upon Hangla, a Bong eateria, which roughly translated means someone who is hungry/emaciated/lethargic from starvation/famine stricken etc. Having specified the entities that we intended to devour, I pushed the end call button.

The concept of home delivery is a novel one. It came to being, possibly out of the perpetual symbiosis that has since times immemorial, existed between the consumer and the producer. It is like one of those simple give and take policies, where consumer doesn’t mind paying couple ‘a bucks for guaranteed satisfaction, which, in this case, would imply the consumer not wishing to painfully put on clothes, go all the way to a joint, squabble with his cronies over what to eat, eat, pay, come excruciatingly back to the Institute.

Therefore the consumer gets hopping mad when he is informed that the deliveryman is being held at the Main Gate due to some curfew that is imposed at 11 o’clock.

“What the fuck?” I remarked, incredulity writ large on my face.

“That’s what he told me.” Said Freshie.

“Abey who will go to the main gate now yaar, ditch hai be.”

“What else can we do? Unless…I can call them…on intercom.”

“Do it! Gimme me a call if it’s a no go.”

With that I resumed watching Scrubs. Five minutes elapsed. The Nokia tune went off somewhere.

“No go.”

Therefore the now cranky consumer wears his sandals, grabs his wallet and makes his way out of the hostel. Of course, the consumer is supposed to understand that the topography of IIT Bombay probably features on the walls of headquarters of every major terrorist group in the world, aka Al Qaeda, the Lashkar E Toiba and their likes. Therefore in addition to personnel and some 3 dozen security cameras put up all over the campus, each and every deliverymen having the temerity to deliver grub to IIT inmates after 11 o’ clock ought to be halted and harassed. The fact, howsoever odious may it sound, is also for the consumer to digest that the strong Ambuja Cement reinforced walls of IIT Bombay are enough to deter hardcore terrorists hardened with months of intense commando training. Though there was that fisherman who did slip in, his love for our gill-accessorised friends pulling him inside the premises. He had cast his net, a happy go lucky guy, with nothing but the tranquil desolation of the night minutes before sunrise, and sinking into a reverie of the good ol’ golden days of Pancham Da, had broken into a chorus of ‘O Re Maajhi’ except that he never got to finish it, the snapping of a pair of alligator jaws terminating the song before ‘jhi’.

Therefore it was quite safe to assume that alligators and panthers were, somewhat, on our side. Any surreptitious extremist trying to slink in would promptly be feasted upon. Of course, they had made a mistake, but everybody deserves a second chance. Most of the menfolk would probably appear the same to them anyway.

It was near H8 that we finally got an auto. Dismounting at the main gate next, I gave the guards in the vicinity filthy looks for what it was worth. The deliveryman, a harried, honest daily wage bumpkin, narrated his plight that involved a sick mother and Hangla kids, and asked me to not order anything if they weren’t sure they would be able to deliver to me before 11 o’clock. Nodding absently, I handed him the money and he took off. Feeling the weight of food in my hands had made me hungry again. I now walked in again to hail an auto and get within the sanctuary of my room as quickly as possible, flitting past a security guard when he suddenly verbalised.

“Aapka ID?”

Atleast the food was good.


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