Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The taste of IIT

"There are only two types of people in this world, one which has read this blog and the other which is going to read this blog." -- Adhiraj Alai

IIT is a prestigious institute, the place where almost all IITians are from. It is known for the leaders it manufactures, the brainy raw materials it take in and the useful workaholics it sends out to conquer the world. We all know about IITs and the IITM, but what people in general don't know is about the food in IIT. That is the purpose of my blog, to show the unlucky people who did not manage to get in that there is at least one thing they are better off at. This post is dedicated to all the people who've attempted to lose their lives in vain) after getting a taste of the food at IITM.

IIT has 6 main places where people find food-
Campus Cafe
SAC (students activity centre)

First of all Gurunath patisseries. According to 1931 census, it is known that more number of people go for guru for grub than to Thirupati for grub. Guru in some contexts represent the whole of IITM. Eg. It is a centre for bio-diversity; So many different species of living organisms can be found in one small area. Cats, dogs, deer, man ... you name it, you will find it grazing there. It is also reported that 2 million species of insects are found it that 30 x 50 sq feet of land. Species which include the puff chasing mad-fly and the fevicol ad-fly [The red beetle like insect which are self symbiotes {two insects stick to each other no matter where they go and hence fevicol}]. Due to the introduction of the pesto-flash, the number of insect species has come down from 2 million to million down 50% and hence the total number of species are down from 2,000,0004 to 1,000,004.

Guru is one of the wealthiest stalls ever. Hot veg puffs (or weggi puff as the owner likes to call it) get sold like hot cakes there. If one goes at 6:30 or later, he/she will find that the menu has only Veg puff and egg puff other than chats, speaking about which, one can hear "SAAAAR token numbar FIFty NAYAN" at least a hunded times a day in the chat counter***. The chat counter also sells Maggi. Recently a Pizza company joined the chat stall and now they sell miniature Pizzas. The side effect of that is that they now sell Maggi 30 minutes or free noodles instead of the more popular '2 minutes noodles'.

Guru also sells American sweet corn. A combination of Indian corn, Indian Masala, Indian land and an Indian salesman gives rise to American sweet corn. This is so because its obviously an American innovation of using Aluminium foil as an insulator for heat replacing the traditional corn skin which is a revolution in the corn industry. The stall is called Grills and steam. The founders of this empire were Bill Grills and Sweety pie (both American), that explains the origin of the terms "sweet" corn and "Grills" and steam.

You can find Ice-tea at the heart of IIT in the coffee stall. The guy who operates the thing doesn't speak. (I couldn't think of anything funny, so I put a fact instead.)

Coming to Bassera the midnight express, it is a place where food doesn't come in the order it is placed in. The place was once filled with people, lots of them and was called Quark Minar instead, now its Bassera. The Administration challenged the Pizza guys in Gurunath and reduced it to 29 minutes and 59 seconds or less and hence this barren grazing field, the home of all nocturnal IITians is called the midnight express.

Tiffanys: I remember, Just yesterday, the prizes were just like a baby and now its all grown up, brings tears in my eyes. The administration wanted to call it 'Tiffanys express' but then realised self mockery was not always good and later deleted the latter part of the name. One particular item I like here is the cup of horlicks where they add a little milk to a cup full of horlicks. Two boards have been put up there saying 'We deliver quality' and 'Self service' which send mixed messages to their customers. They also have a board put up outside saying "Table cleaners wanted". This is probably an attempt to open the waitressing industry options to IITians

CCD stands for Cafe Coffee day. Every day hundreds of IITians who are categorised under 'rich' come here to change their category. They offer a variety of coffee like cold, hot, with sugar without sugar, drinkable, eatable, with ice cream, without ice cream, affordable, unaffordable, Indian beans, Javan beans, with coffee, without coffee etc.. They offer other items too like samples of cookies worth 10 bucks which you pay for, Mint for 3 bucks a piece, water from the lake for 10 bucks a liter.

Campus Cafe: cant really complain here except, it can be called the campus restaurant instead.

SAC: The students activities centre not to be confused with students amenities centre at Guru or the students activities centre which ain't got no food, is one of the places where most of the people meet half their daily energy requirements. It has been calculated that SAC and Guru together contribute to 25% of the total ecological foot-print of India. Every year freshies who are unaware are honored with the pride of being a sac vol and then he is trapped for an entire year gradually realizing he has a lab test on the day of the sac-vol treat.

Mess: The mess is one place where the Darwinian law of natural selection doesn't hold good. RR mess hardly has any biological off-springs and yet is not extinct after a number of generations! The Aloo crap-fry that is prepared Monday Wednesday Thursday afternoon has no takers, yet not yet extinct. The friday evening M1 menu consists of Banana, bread, blood n balls (They call it veg-Manchurian). Blood n balls has no takers, still alive.

In the mornings we have Idly Vada (Monday), pulses,vegetables and masala (Tuesday), Dosa (Wednesday), Maggi (obvious), Kesaribath and bonda(Friday). what is served on Saturday and Sunday mornings is still a mystery to me and my sources of reliable information.

Other than the regular food there are a few occasional surprises like centipede, cockroach, staple pins, needles, frog-legs, human fingers, mixie blade and so on.

There are 4 categories under which these messes come under.

1 HMK and HMC for the old and elderly.

2 Excellent mess[XM] for the unlucky*.

3 Himalaya mess for normal people.

4 SGR for people who can have enough patience to wait for the food to come with Pure-vegetarian brand as an incentive

*Result obtained by putting the two following observations together XM << SGR <<; normal food

1. One of the many girls from the computer science department of my batch who prefers anonymity stated "SGR was much better compared to Excellent mess."
2. One of the x-freshies who tried to rag the seniors stated "SGR totally sucks. We have to wait for at least a fifteen minutes in the morning for tasteless food."

As Immy said and I quote "Ahhhhh! mess food! (long pause), when was the last time I had that?", people hardly eat at the mess and still end up paying for things that they don't eat which is worse than diabetic people paying for sugar-free sweet corn or sugar-free sugarcane juice.

There is a rumour that the utensils are washed in the lake near by. That explains most of the problems that come up regarding utensils. The taste-health war is on hold at the mess because neither of them is given preference. The explanation the mess administration food gives is "Look on the bright side, The Himalaya building is so beautiful that is a plus point."

The first of the all the above observations (Anti Darwinian result) can be explained using the algorithm that god himself has designed. This mess allocation system abolishes bribery and corruption because the mess administration don't have to pay anything to get their job done.

The algorithm is as follows.

Enum mess [CR = 1, RR, SK, SGR, HMK, HMC ,XM]

step 0: for all people do-
step1: Input 1st choice for the mess.
step2 : Input 2nd choice for the mess.
step3 : Goto step 7
step4 : Goto step 10
step5 : Input 3rd choice for the mess.

step6 : Input 4th choice for the mess.
step8 : Calculate the grievances of the previous months.
step9 : calculate the priority of the particular person.
step10 : go to step 0

step11: for people in decreasing priority do-
step12 : mess[person] = random(7) + 1

This algorithm takes in 4 choices for the mess. I was very lucky to get the 5th option. (5th option is shared among all the messes that I could not give as a choice.)

The working staff in the mess can be compared to the deer in IITM. As soon as a pack of deer hear a footstep they get all worried and a rush of adrenalin in their haemo-lymph is observed. Similarly, the test for the milk-quality is just started by the mess secretary and all the exited anxious mess staff huddle up and start discussing their future plans. Surprisingly, the only complaints that are ever received are Mixie is too noisy or floor is wet or Utensils weren't fully dry.

In Himalaya mess itself there are stalls called the CSU stalls where one can buy lots of junk food which provide you with excess energy for the excess work you do. One can also find a variety of fruits being sold like apple, sweet-lime, guava, custard apple, Apple, Mosambi, guavaa, custard apple, Big lime, pomaceous, Malus pumila, etc the list grows on.

That is about it for the mess and IITian food. Hope you had a hearty meal.


Vinay Hegde said...


By the way, your hostel SAC stands for 'Students' Amenities Centre' :)

and yeah.. One of the many girls from the computer science department of my batch many?! You could have put her name instead! :P :)

basicinstinct said...

who prefers anonymity

Arun said...

Very Funny... vEERRRY funny...!!!

You forgot to mention Ascendas wer many a times ppl go for gen treats and flirtings..:P ( no offense).. wer nothing is available in two or lesser number of digits...

You proved to be a comp sci student. 0 means low and 1 means high..so you called high as many..good..:P

But remember that the species who consume slow poison in Xcellent mess say that Himalaya is GAWD level...

Also there are many colleges that have such slow-killing centres that are more effective than IITs'. So this is the only place where IIT lags when compared to others..:D

basicinstinct said...

about SAC-- I knew that.
put that on purpose that way because we don't find any amenities there only junk food.

Mohammed Iqbal said...

Lol , sarcasm-maxx !! Expecting more on LAN Cut...

Btw , you messed up all the "Student *******s Centre" it seems !
It is 'Students Facilities Centre' at Guru , I believe :P

ABHISHEK SiM said...

may God bless you. my soul feels the "sukuuun" after reading this. burp!

eagerly waiting for the LAN rant.

( anonymity - nice joke. )

V-PUNK said...

well ,actually some(me) of "the unlucky people" who did not manage to get into the iit's aren't better off at anything ...coz the mess food of NIT's is even a bigger sucker....

siddharthwatwe said...

gud wrk kash :)

K.Ashwin said...

I am Ashwin. Just read your blog.
awesome blog entry man.. you are hilarious.. i cant stop laughing reading your entry.

good going bro

Rajat said...

LOL....Years shall pass, but the memories of the food will continue to haunt!!......