Have you ever wondered what goes on in and around your college while you’re off for the summer vacation? Where does the chai waale bhaiyya go and whom does the canteen serve? As Delhi’s colleges close for holidays HT City takes a walk along the deserted campus to check what the college canteens will be up to during the summer.
Rohtasji who owns Art’s Dhaba in St. Stephen’s College is known for his gulab jamuns (aka G-jams) and samosas (aka Hot Sams). But his busy business will slacken during the summer and Rohtasji will leave for his village in Bulandshehar to work in his paddy plantation. He says, “College is lonely during this lean period and a visit to the village rejuvenates me for the next session”.
Bhaiyan ji, a waiter at Café (St. Stephen's College) too has plans of a mini-sabbatical. He will go back to his village to catch up with old friends and relax by the river side.
On the other hand, there is no easy escape for Mansoor Ahmed, a chai wallah in the university. Ahmed narrates, “I will continue to operate my tea shop (but only in the evenings) as some kids stay back for various entrances and coaching classes. Since I am a trained carp enter, I will work as a labourer in the morning to make an extra buck.”
Shivkumar Jha who makes lemon soda near Lady Sri Ram College says, “I will not go anywhere and continue my business will continue as I cater to other people as well.” But Raju Hasan from Muradabad, a parathawala nearby has a unique reason to take an off, “Mohammad Azrudin has won the elections .I will go to Muradabad to celebrate!”
All them unanimously agree that the one thing they will miss most, home or away, is the hulla gulla of the bachcha log and their regular customers, the students who have become a part of their daily lives.
The next time you’re heading off for summer, remember to say bye to these guys too, they’ll be missing you.