The mystery and aura associated with this particular facet of college life never seems to fade. Perhaps it the greatest misnomer of History, because what is served in the mess is not food, only a vestige of it, a mere mirage of the true delights that they wish to mimic.

Mess workers are equally talented beings, they manage to convert every conceivable item that the mess committee could think of into a miraculous, horrendous and stomach-churning tasteless treat! They should be credited with having pioneered cooking with almost no oil or spices, the stuff all these multi-national health brands claim to have finally mastered, what’s better they do not require any new gadgets for it, their skill serves them well enough.

Mess food generally has the impact of making us want to cry like babies or it puts an expression on our faces that is so apt for soldiers going into battle. However, people overlook certain good aspects of it. Here are a few points we should consider as they would serve to fortify us with more courage and determination so that we can handle the three time a day battle with the mess food with ease.

1.) Mess food is just like the absolute zero. There’s no going lower than it. It serves as the gold standard for bad food. Since, we are so adept at dealing with such food three times a day, it possibly builds inside us a resistance for bad food. We expect less from the food we eat. As a result, in future if our spouses prepare something for us, we are less likely to find it bad enough. It could avert a potential family fight!

2.) They say health is wealth. Mess food contains no or almost no oil and possibly no spices. It’s highly unlikely to affect your health and since it’s available in unlimited quantities (leaving the relatively good dishes for the time being), go and have as much as you can of it!

So we see Mess food does have advantages. You see the Mess workers through their zeal of serving the worst tasting food on Earth, are trying to teach us life lessons too. We should honour their discretion and try to deal with the stuff they provide us. After all they might make bad food but they still do have to work a lot. Think about this, the mess opens at about 7 a.m., ever thought about the time the mess workers have to wake in order to prepare the food. We would never be able to wake so early! In contrast the mess remains open till ten in the night. Let us honour their labour and stop complaining about the food.

The objective of this article was not to insult the mess or its stuff but it was to bring home a point which most of us have forgotten in this mechanical life that we are forced to live here. They too are humans, not computers. They are trying their best to feed this huge population of ISM, which by itself is a mammoth task, let’s try to give them an iota of respect by not complaining openly about the food.

P.S. I was inspired to write this article when I saw a boy in the mess openly abusing a mess worker and the food.

Souradeep Bhattacharja

I am pursuing my Bachelor of Technology in Mechanical Engineering at the Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad. I passed my ICSE Examination in 2012 from Calcutta Boys' School with 96% and I passed my AISSCE in 2014 with 96% from Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan.

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