A School Cafeteria is a form of food service location without the provision of any waiting staff table which could be either a restaurant or dinning space inside a large institution (school).
Our school cafeteria was operated by an ex-army cook who was fond of bleach. Albeit, mediocre food; the aroma of the food was surpassed by the scent of it. Even if you tried to lick a tray or a plate; you would be tasting the bleech. But at dot noon when we all piled in to get the food, at least abundant food were available and arrived piping hot instantly. At times, I would try to sneak some food out from the cafeteria to devour the same from the bleach smell, it never taste half bad. The effect that smell had on the taste buds was wonderful.
Our Cafeteria was a cacophony of loud chatting. Each table defined as cosseted huddle of congregation of loud voices above the din. The food remained secondary to the informative news exchanged out here. Though standing in a queue for my plate of nothing fresh, my eyes are cast on to discover who is associated with whom. Getting the information, I ought to know its imperative so that I can know as to whom to flatter and whom to snub at.
Our school cafeteria was really like the school gym. Open was the hatch connecting to the kitchen and the scent of chips and beans used to come wafting in. We used to line up across the back wall with white formica trays in our hands occasionally kicking the wall with our toes, or even leaning on it while shuffling along. Though the lunches were not much to be spoken of, the deserts were really of praiseworthy! It was long donuts stuffed with cream, Yum ! We then, sat around the hexagonal tables to stuff ourselves.
Yes, to describe our school cafeteria and its food is like describing the favorite shade of graphite pencil. Finally, it didn’t matter as to what you asked for or you wanted. You always get the same over-cooked grey offering on it’s grey taste. Moreover, our cafeteria remained empty save for the twenty-five tables that always remained unoccupied and dirty beyond fixing. There were sophomores who entered with their excited laughter filling the building and their chatter were audible when they sat at their tables for having the lunch.
Honestly speaking, once the cafeteria was the orangery of the manor. The ambience was so unique that it covered the lack in flavor of the food. The tables of the cafeteria were antique and were small like the fashionable café. With the sunshine in the children’s faces and the cool breeze blowing in from the fields they were energized over milk and cookies.
The “delights” of our school cafeteria makes me nostalgic. Even today while writing this content, I can hear the thrilling laughter of the so-called leaders friends, giggles of the teen girls and the often cries of the small kids. Moreso, I remember very much the simple uncouth village boy caretaker, “Chottu” who always smiled to please everyone!