If there is any eatery that remains away from the ever-ebullient MIT Manipal campus, it has to be the Sindhi Mess. The mess has an aroma of earthiness that’s quite a welcome relief from the hustle-bustle of the campus. It might not have the convivial gathering/chit-chat atmosphere that the food court flamboyantly boasts off, but when it comes to food, and more importantly the taste, there is no competition. As it completes 42 years, we go a bit down the history lane and present you some interesting facts about this place.
Sindhi Mess was inaugurated way back in the summers of 1975.
Manipal Insititute of Technology was affiliated with the Mysore University in those days. It was started by a group of 25 students who were originally Sindhi (although now the place has no connection with Sindhis whatsoever). That was also the time when MIT was full of various messes. It was almost a trend those days. There was the Gujarati mess, Sher-E- Punjabi mess, Maharashtrian mess, among many others. So opening a Sindhi mess certainly wasn’t a bad option. However, the question was- “Who would take care of the place after the students finally call it quits?”
The Sindhi Mess, quite like its competitors, would have died a slow death had it not been for Mr. Ganpati Naik. Hailing from Athradi road, Udupi district, he has run the place for over 15 years now. Mr. Naik was initially only a helper for the mess. “I was paid Rs. 20 per month those days. I didn’t know Hindi and it wasn’t an easy decision to make, considering the seesaw business prospects” says Mr. Naik.
But as it turned out, the demand for Sindhi Mess showed a huge boom in the late 1990s. The place was particularly famous with the KMC crowd. “We used to get innumerable orders from Indira Block and Nehru Block,” says Mr. Naik with a smile. This proved to be a huge stimulation and what was initially just a 2 room mess, was renovated and the result is for everyone to see.
Today the mess boasts off an enviable menu that serves the likes of Jeera Alu at as low as 45 bucks. The regular meal remains the favorite for every second foodie out here. The lip-smacking Daal particularly reminds of the home cooked food. Yes, the cost of the regular meal had been increased recently. But we should not forget it’s a private mess and not authorized by the University. In fact, the business hits a stagnant note on various seasons, particularly the summer vacations.
Find the Sindhi Mess Menu at Manipal!
Mr.Naik is one of the few people who care if you’ve eaten. You can enroll yourself on a monthly basis (At Rs.3400/- it works out cheaper than the Food court mess), or visit when you’re particularly missing home food. Eat all you can for an 80 rupees Veg Meal, and 90 rupees for Nonveg. The lime juice is to kill for, and the food is scrumptious and filling.
“Are you content? “-Was our last question to him. “Yes I am, as long as the students enjoy our food,” said Mr. Naik, signing off.