My college days found me staying in what roughly can be called a ‘hostel’. Only it wasn’t. It was a house that converted into shared lodgings for 30 odd girls. There is a whole saga of my life there in that hostel that would simply take up reams of space. Dining in the place was a simple problem. We had asked one of the messes nearby to bring us our food to the tin shed that doubled up as our dining hall.
I have often wondered how these eateries got the name, ‘Mess’, and it dawns on me that it is probably the mess that is all around that contributes to the name. Anyway, this particular mess that served our food was not the best, it certainly wasn’t the most hygienic. One day, as we were sitting with the sambar floating in our plates over the rice, one of my friends asked me to check whether the red chilli in the sambar looked red chilli enough. I gave her a feverish look. That day was one of the days, I was genuinely hungry and the watery sambhar even looked savory from a distance. It wasn’t as brick reddish as usual and I was rather looking forward to it. I gave her a look of disdain that was entirely lost on her. She was too busy staring into her plate. So, I joined the band of observers and it did seem a little strange that the red chilli should have sprouted little feet and arms. There were distinctly there.
“Maybe, the chilli split in that odd manner.” I said unconvincingly, only to have my co-observers give me a look of disdain. What goes around comes around I tell you.
And so it was that despite my best intentions to believe otherwise, the offender was classified as a cockroach. UGH!
In other news,Valentine’s Day is here, and the daughter is all a-twitter. I have been asked several times what I consider to be the most important day of February. There is love in the air. This time, with all the attention this day is getting in her life, I thought it a rather bright idea to see what is it that other folks were getting the loves of their lives. The roses and the chocolates I knew, but what I did not know was this….
Here is a gift – I don’t know if any, but die-hard naturalists would consider the gift romantic, but there it is. The chance to name one of the species of cockroaches for now and ever more is the Valentine’s Day Gift.