If you have ever lived in a PG (Paying guest) accommodation or a hostel, you already know what this is about. But if you haven’t, surely you must be having someone around you who has or is currently living in one. Soon, you’ll respect them a lot more. After all, not everyone goes through hell and lives to tell the tale.
1. Paani Paani re!
Water water everywhere, not a drop to drink. Why? Because it’s in the dal and the curd, in the gravy and the milk. Food in a Pg consists of approx 30% water on an average, and that’s on a good day. At least you never get dehydrated!
2. Food that looks so good, your hunger vanishes just by looking.
What is the objective of food? To fulfil hunger. And pg food achieves an unparalleled level of expertise in that. Your hunger is fulfilled just with one look. As the half cooked bhindi floats in a green slimy broth, and the mixed vegetable looks more like mixed leftovers, you realise the true potential of appearance in cooking.
3. The “Garnishing”
On a good day, you’ll find some vegetables mixed up into each other, like a piece of alu dum in dal. On a not so good day, you might even find visitors from another world somewhere within that pile of mysterious looking material on your plate. On an even worse day, perhaps you will come across some DNA evidence which might help pinpoint who made that atrocity in the name of food.
4. True spirit of Recycling
Be it yesterday’s rice or the sabzi from morning’s puri sabzi, you will find that the dining table is one place where you can travel to the past. No need to feel bad about it, you are recycling after all. What did you say? The bread looks slightly greenish? It’s the country’s prosperity my boy, that you are contributing to.
5. Non-veg Day
Also “Good food day” for some people. Basically the third world war. If you think that a large number of women set loose upon a season end clearance sale is a chaotic and barbaric scene, you haven’t seen a bunch of hungry hostellers set loose upon a pile or portions of good food, especially non-veg. Blink and it’s gone. Grudges are held, revenge is taken. This. Is. Sparta
6. Midnight Snacks
You hated today’s dinner. You didn’t eat much. As normal, it’s 1 AM, you aren’t sleepy. Then you hear that earth shattering growl from your belly. Unfortunately, my friend, you are hungry. Only one thing can save you now. A Scavenger hunt for midnight snacks. A friend’s saved box of biscuits and namkeens, a packet of Britannia cake forgotten for ages, or that guy who just came back from home, these aren’t the heroes you deserve, but the ones you need right now. The ones who saved the dark nights.
7. Finally, the importance of Ma ke hath ka khana
If there is one thing that can make a grown PG person cry, it’s when Mom tells them what’s cooking today over the phone. Seldom are things missed more than this. And if you are coming back from home yet you are empty handed, god save you from the rest of us back at the pg!
So, did you have these experiences? If I missed something, please tell me in the comments below!
and If you missed your hostel or pg even more, share it with all your hostel mates. Even they deserve some nostalgia, or a reminder of reality, whichever be the case 😛