The place where I used to pamper my taste buds for 3 years of my Diploma life was the Shah & Anchor Kutchhi Polytechnic(SAKP) Canteen. I remember my first year classroom was exactly above the canteen on the 3rd floor. I along with my friends used to sit on the last benches where we were greeted every morning by the cool breeze that brought the aroma with it.
I being a total foodie didn’t take much time to figure out which were the best dishes served in the canteen. One dish that topped my charts and remained at the pole position was “Samosa Chole“(which also had aaloo mutter as an alternative to chole). For 13/- bucks which increased to 16/- by the time I passed out , it was paisa wasool. I and my friend Chintan spent most of our third year eating our all time favourite Samosa Chole.
We always had this little pre-food chat thingy where one of us would ask the other “Pukke che, lecture nathi besuvu. Pan saalu karusu su? Chal Samosa Chole khavuch?” And without a minute of hesitation we used to rush to the canteen with a huge smile on our faces. Now there was one thing, we had to go before 12 which was the break time of the degree college we shared the campus with. Else getting our order was next to impossible. The expressions of satisfaction that we made we on every bite of it were priceless.haha.
There were other things on the menu that always caught our eye, they were called “Today’s Special“. This was that part of the menu which had items we had heard and had before in our lives but never quite the way the canteen served. So what made those dishes weird/extraordinary(use whatever suits you). Well, you surely must have heard of Hakka Noodles, how about yellow noodles served with chilly sauce? How about Fried Rice and Chole? It surely came as a shocker to me when I ordered them the 1st time, but they turned out to be okish if you ignore the names :P.
The Vada Pav & Samosa Pav were our favourites too. What was different about these ones were the chopped onions and the chutneys put in them.
The Engineering college that shared the campus with us also had a lot to offer our always hungry tummies. There wasn’t a canteen as such but three disjoint stalls. One of them offered us a variety of Rolls. So I, Chintan & this another friend of mine by the name Ami used to often visit this side of the campus. Some of our favourite ones very Chinese Roll, Paneer Roll, Manchurian Roll & Schezwan Roll. For 15/- bucks they were really good.
I and Ami share this crazy liking for chinese. Our joy knew no bounds when we noticed a new Chinese stall that opened during our last year. From Hakka Noodles to Triple Schezwan Fried rice to Chinese Bhel, we had tasted everything. There were times when we carried empty “dabbas” from home to take the chinese dishes parcel. We used to find reason to take chinese treats from each other. The one who scored the max in the unit tests got a treat of the other was one of them… Yes, as much we spent time on food we spent on studies too. In fact most of time I ended up treating her as she always managed to get better scores.
All of these were always accompanied by a bottle of Maaza. The 3 of us used to return home happy the days we made it to the canteen. The days we didn’t, felt dull. But then with limited pocket money & the pursuit to maintain good health, we had to give ourselves some breaks.
The Sakp Canteen was the most memorable part of our Diploma and I am sure both of them would agree with me.