Convocation 2011 for Manipal University was held earlier today. As always the one day of the year when the campus looks gorgeous at night (evening) with all the lights not the desolate place that it usually does. The roads are fixed all of a sudden within the campus. All the signs and walkways are painted. (In a fashion that will last only one year mind you, everything will have to be redone next year). In a way they are primping up all the nooks and corners of Manipal for Convocation. In another reason it could be just cuz the parents would be in town. So they have to try to live up to the image they portray.
But this post isn’t about the ceremony. It isn’t about the speeches that no one listens to. I had a kid sitting behind me snoring loudly for the entire speech of the chief guest. It was amusing. This is about the dinner. I was under the impression it would be held in the library grounds. As soon as I found out that it was to be held in Valley View Hotel /(Fortune Inn for the new comers), I had a bad feeling. They have by far one of the worst catering’s in Manipal. Only when a certain someone organizes a party there (twice) is the food good. Rest of the times it’s usually like what they had today. A brief run down, we reached there @ 9:00PM. The ceremony wasn’t even done yet I guess, but since our college was done like with everyone else we left. It was busy as expected. No problem. They asked for the coupons, we supplied them. Walking up the stairs we see people standing next to the door, sitting on the bench next to the door eating with their hands. I hear something about no spoons. I was like WTF? There wasn’t a rat’s chance in hell that I would be eating without a spoon / fork in a place like that especially. I went around to the lines that they had for the food areas in the veg and non veg section and viola no spoons. They ran out as we were told. I couldn’t believe my ears. I made my way to the far corner stand to find a dude who had a few left. Quickly grabbed some spoons for myself and the people I was with. But seriously are you kidding me?? You ran out of spoons?? Sign of things to come. I saw everyone just content eating rice and curd and dal and everything else using their fingers. It’s not exactly a pleasing sight. Sorry. Blame the up bringing.
Dinner, plain dry as a bone rice, dry white “channa” cooked as though they skimmed on everything, some bouncing idly sort of thing called Sanna, bland yellow dal, Mutton Biryani with NO MUTTON only rice left. Pan fried chicken..all I saw was crumbs of chicken and the stuff that get’s stuck on the pan after you stir fry. The waiter was literally trying to fish for chicken pieces to give you. It was disgusting. An at last there was yogurt. Thank heavens they did not mess that up. Best part of the dinner. I realized by the labels that there should have been 2 – 3 more dishes in the chicken category but everything was already over with by the time we got there.
There was ONE drink…water placed on once corner. No other drinks available. The dessert was some halwa or something, far too sweet to be palatable. I threw mine away. Some local brand ice cream was served. No wait, they had ONE TYPE ONLY of ice cream. Some Vanilla Mango something. Nothing to crib on. I mean you can’t really mess up ice cream that comes out of a packet.
This is what the parents and the students are treated to on their convocation? I would rather have had dinner at the horrendous KMC Food Court Mess then there. If this had been a some little establishment I wouldn’t say a word. But this is MU 2011 Convocation. With dinner for all the guests. It’s at the biggest hotel in town. I’m not complaining about not have a sitting area. That would be just un realistic for so many people. It’s the food. It was boring, unpalatable, lacking any flavor and just plain rude. It was more of a slap in your face food. Alright here you are, we promised you food. Eat. I heard comments from people comparing this to how food must be in a jail perhaps. I’m severely disappointed. Even more so then I expected to be.
Only consolation, thank heavens I didn’t have to pay for this. It came free for the graduating students and passes for their guests. . I would’ve been bloody pissed off paying Rs 300 for the garbage that was served on the name of food. Made a trip to Natural’s Ice cream after it. Needed to get some real flavor.
An before I sign off, I know I’ll get someone or some people saying that it’s natural to eat with hands and that you get more flavor bleh bleh. I do know how to do it. I had to learn during my travels at certain places I visited. But when in a supposedly formal situation such as what was there today, there wasn’t a remote chance that I was going to be eating with my fingers. It’s just not etiquette to me. It would be fine to a lot of people especially considering where I’ve been living for the past few years an I’ve got no qualms with that. But as I mentioned earlier for that I blame my upbringing with a knife, a fork and a spoon. Sue me. Something as basic as spoon is necessity in my book especially in such an occasion. This was unacceptable by any standards.