Before I start with the “once upon a time”, paneer, for those of you in the dark, is basically cottage cheese and I happen to die for it. If you’re not able to gauge the intensity, I’d dive in a bucket full of paneer curry and throw in a few bedsheet sized butter naans in there and you know, just eat my way out.
So, moving on, let me get you in the scene and then explain to you what happened.
I live in a hostel full of girls with a huge dining hall, loads of trees outside serenading us with the much needed cool breeze in the evenings and an undying source of cacophony, otherwise called the TV room.
We aren’t students living in a hostel, no. We are inmates. (Due credits to my best friend for coming up with that mind blowing and apt title)
Our menu for each day is set. It never changes. Whether it’s diwali, holi, Christmas or ramzaan, our menu DOES NOT change.
On Mondays, we get this paneer curry for dinner and my friend and I patrol the vessel since 6:30pm and when the serving staff is gone, we each take a plate and filter out ALL of the paneer from that vessel. Don’t worry they refill it again but we’re considerate enough to leave the other batches to the rest of the people.
With a ladle each, and the stealth mode on, piece by piece we rescue the paneer out of the not so delicious vegetable gravy.
We have eyes everywhere when we’re doing this because
A) Seniors might come and ask us to move.
B) The staff cribs a lot.
We’ve done this many times by now. Years of experience to guide us. We’ve been guilt tripped into discontinuing this wonderful practice by the staff in all ways possible. Last Monday she spoke to us like a dying mother to her child, “Please child, don’t do this, leave some for others.”
We felt bad that day. So we took only five spoonfuls instead of ten. (There wasn’t ever any count.)
This week however, the story was slightly different.
We slouched into our seats and kept ourselves busy on our phones while the staff assembled the dishes. We were busy but not oblivious. *insert the devil emoji*
The minute the last of them stepped back into the kitchen area, we raced to the serving area and grabbed two plates as quickly as we could manage.
*cue James Bond music*
The process began. We were sweating more than the bomb squad do when they try to diffuse a bomb.
One of the serving ladies walked in and we thought our game had ended. She slammed the lids on the adjacent vessels and tried to cover the vessel we were busily surveying. Our hands didn’t budge and I think she gave up. She threw that lid aside and walked away.
We shrugged our shoulders and got back to work. Just to see if there was anyone else coming, I turned back and what I saw left me giggling like a lunatic.
The lady had her head in her hands and was on the floor leaning on one of the benches. I’m assuming it was because she was tired after the day’s work but the thought that we could have been the reason behind her surrendered posture seemed very hilarious to me.
I think she has given up on us. *laughs*
Ps We aren’t the only girls who do this. We actually have competition and that is the driving force that wakes us up from our evening naps.
Hope you had a fun read!