Monday, October 11, 2004

The Paneer wars

We get paneer butter masala,pooris and rice with lots of peas(the mess annas call it jeera rice;though to this day nobody's smelt or seen a trace of jeera or similar spices in the rice)for dinner on Sundays.
Now this is a big day for all of us.We starve ourselves all afternoon and evening and by the time its 7(that's when the mess opens for dinner)we're ready to make a mad rush for the mess.Me and a couple of my friends even cunningly went to the mess at 6:45 in the hope of being first in line for the food.Unfortunately,the whole college seemed to have had the same idea.
Result:we're 25 millionth in the line.And when we do get to the front all we get is a measly few pieces of paneer and gravy.They're generous with the gravy;it makes the few pieces of paneer we get seem measlier.Strictly one helping only.To think we actually pay their salaries...
When I think of all the paneer being devoured by the evil mess annas quite literally at our expense,it makes me want to kill pandas and burn rainforests.Well,maybe not the pandas,but napalming large parts of Brazil would definitely help vent some of my frustration.
And so began the Paneer wars.Every Sunday;the mess transforms into something out of the Assault mode from Unreal tournament;the mess annas viciously defending their precious paneer and us out to get our rightful two helpings at the very minimum.
But we have one thing on our side:the experience of having played Commandos two,Age of Empires and other such games.We are embattled veterans of strategy;we are used to careful planning and quick execution,while all the mess annas have is the right to suspend us temporarily from the mess.It's an even match.And the stakes are high.
Operation Infinite Justice
Mission objectives:Appropriate and ingest as many helpings of paneer butter masala as possible within one hour.
Mission equipment:Nothing but our wits.
Primary target:Mess anna codenamed "Tango" occupied in serving one medium sized ladle full of paneer butter masala.
Secondary target:Mess supervisor codenamed "Charlie" occupied in,well,supervision of the proceedings.
Initial mission status:One helping obtained.Preparing for assault.
Mission status Go!

Delta(that's me;I've always wanted to be called that.NITTians:pardon the pun)observes Tango and Charlie intently.He has nearly finished his first helping; and he is considering his options.He has several strategies in mind;after all,he has been certified by Mensa international to have mental powers beyond human comprehension.There are several interpretations for the above statement,into which,for obvious reasons,I won't go into at present.Suffice to say that Delta's smarter than the average NITTian out to get his rightful two helpings of PBM .

After a few seconds of careful consideration (yup,that's all the time it takes him!) he decides on the simplest course of action.He is aware of the fact that this involves a considerable amount of risk;but then again,what's life without a little bit of risk?Besides,he knows he can depend on his legs to get his 192 pounds of pure muscle out of trouble faster than Tommy Lee dropped his pants for Pamela Anderson(believe me,that's fast).

In short,Delta's a Hollywood action movie superstar.

His whole body tenses as he resumes his surveillance;the moment of strike is everything.Tango continues serving;but there is a visible (only to Delta's eyes) droop to his shoulders.Tango is tiring.Delta plays out the scenario in his mind;nothing can go wrong.He synchronizes his watch to the moment Tango moves his hand for the next serving and begins the countdown.
At T minus O seconds Tango turns and calls for the replacement.Delta springs out of his seat(like a well oiled spring) and makes for the counter.He moves at just the right speed;fast enough to get to the target in time,yet not fast enough to attract Tango's attention.The replacement is moments away from the target:a huge bowl of PBM left unattended;as is Delta.
They get there almost simultaneously,but Delta's reflexes are faster.As he grabs the ladle their eyes meet;and in that fleeting moment Tango knows he's lost this round.Delta serves himself quickly and turns when he hears Tango call for his ID card.He doesn't hesitate.He spins around and cuts through the queue for the pooris,leaving Tango(and the people in the queue)cursing.He moves quickly to the exfiltration point,which is located at the other end of the mess hall. He can now enjoy his second helping in peace.Mission acccomplished!!

P.S:1.)This blog is my tribute to gaming. Some of my happiest memories are of long nights spent outthinking Nazis and slaughtering bots in Deathmatch.
2.)If you think it's easy coming up with great analogies,let's see you do it.