Revels – Behind the Behind the Scenes – MIT Cafeteria

To all the students,

I’m not the guy whom you usually think about, you see me around, you talk about me only when you need me, which might not be for more than fifteen minutes in a day. I’m not as literate or evolved as you all are, for my world is very limited, only to my workplace. However, still I find myself in a position to be with you all, not working with you, not working for you, but still being there, in the background scenes, perhaps?

I am told a week in-advance that something big is coming up, and my work is going to exponentially increase. Given the time of the year, I know the gist of it, though I am not able to fully understand it. I can barely speak English, but I keep hearing this word buzzing around my workplace. ‘Revels‘, is what you call it, right? I’m baffled with how easily are you guys able to use such complicated words so easily and effortlessly, I think you being way more evolved than me greatly benefits. It is indeed really satisfying to see people half-my age doing things that I can’t even imagine. It’s been a while since I’m working here, and I don’t even know what it means, this word. All I know is the minute this word is buzzing around campus, it means that my schedule is going to become way more hectic than it is going to be.

My work begins early, way earlier than I can see you guys in the complex, I have to prepare for the day’s shift. I’m almost done with my preparation when I see people, adorned in t-shirts and jeans. Every year, I witness a plethora of colours, this time, I see you guys wearing black, wearing traditional clothes, which is the day I really look forward to. I am able to see every part of India on that one day. It is so intriguing, I try not to get distracted. I can think of myself as someone who is unfashionable, I just can’t comprehend what looks good on me and what doesn’t? But how am I supposed to make a choice with only three pieces of clothing? I get a complex when I look at my dirty and torn rag-of-a t-shirt. But I also see some of you guys wearing torn jeans, some way too torn that your knees are visible, so I don’t feel bad for myself. Is wearing torn clothes the fashion statement of this era? I’m really sorry, I hardly get the time to look upon fashion. I don’t think I ever have.

Things get bitter for me as the pressure to maximize output really kicks in, that is when we formally meet. Some of you patiently wait as I serve you, while some of you really get over my head, which kind of annoys me. It is not easy for me to serve you all at once. You all order completely different things, Sev Puri, Pav Bhaji, Dosas, it takes time and I do my best to serve it hot and fresh. My co-workers really need to coordinate and at times it is really stressful. Though I see that even you guys are really stressed too, and even though I’m not able to think much when I work, I feel that even you all are able to understand the stress that lasts for these three days, as you guys are on the phone half the time, shouting at each other, conversing in English at such a high pace, it is difficult to imagine you all belonging to the same nation as I do.

The day ends late at night, as we close shop My hands and arms, despite my experience, really hurt and all I need is a bed. Though, I still have to clean-up before I am allowed to leave. I see you guy, by the stairs, or by the trees, laughing and giggling as the day ends. Seeing the laughter and joy in you guys make me feel better. Even though I’m not a part of this event of yours, I can look myself in the mirror and say, “I was a part of Revels too!”

I’m the guy whom you call by different names, Anna, Bhaiya, Uncle, and despite the workload, I look forward to it every year as it keeps giving me surprises each year.

Every other worker,
MIT Cafeteria