The New Year Lunch (Quarantine Diaries)

It was probably the most beautiful day of my Post Grad college life. The day was 15th April 2019 i.e. Monday. The idea was to organize a class get together for lunch on the occasion of Regional New Year. Then, I used to stay in Sri Ram Nagar, Chennai, with my classmates Arinjoy and Mayur. It was a 2 BHK room ground floor based with a considerably spacious drawing-room. Sukanya lived nearby so she was also there in the team. She was the Lead Chef of the entire program, Arinjoy being Assistant Chef. Nothing of that scale was ever tried before. She had experienced at home in managing food for many people as hers was a joint family. In our class almost everyone had New year festivity that day so we decided why not we celebrate it together like a grand feast.
The entire weekend went in preparations; cleaning the room and surroundings, arrangements of raw materials for cooking, etc. On Sunday evening I went out to bring 2 types of special Bengali sweets from a place in Mandeveli. That evening, invitations were sent and we were glad that everybody turned up. The next day means on Monday, the stage was all set for action. We had a class that day so Sukanya and Arinjoy decided not to attend. After the class got over I and Mayur’s helped in guiding our classmates to the room from the college campus and coordinate with everyone. In the meantime, cooking had begun at its full scale since morning on 2 Induction stove. Initially, there was some issue that the pressure cooker was not there so only vessels were available hence lead to little more delay. It was already afternoon I and Karthika brought Kheer (Payasam) from a nearby shop. So when we finally reached our room I realized it was jam-packed and everyone had reached there already. It was a great get together. It’s been a long time we had smiled, joked, played and laughed together. In class also though we met daily but there was this sense of academic seriousness and less of casual freedom.
Initially, refreshments were served with cold drinks and sweets. Then we began playing some random games with cards and chits. You won’t believe our room echoed with rejoicing and laughter. As only vessels & kadhai were available the cooking took a bit more time than expected. There were few people among the guests also who came forward to offer a helping hand to the hosts. Anyways in a batch-wise fashion, the food was served; Chicken curry for non-veg people and Paneer Curry was veg people followed by kheer (Payasam) in the end. That’s the thing I loved about my class. Though there were 13 members there is a unique proportion of everything. We had lunch in a couple of batches and mind you the food was extremely delicious. Thanks to our Lead, Assistant Chef and all those who helped them in some or the other way. After that, we had a lot of fun and crazy photo sessions with various hilarious filters. One such photograph became the DP on our Whatsapp group.
As the sun reached the edge of the horizon we knew it was time to depart. We hoped we all could get together again, have fun again and share laughter again.

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