An ode to the canteen vale bhaiyas and didis

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The relationship between college help and students is sacred and honest. Here’s a look at this unprecedented relationship from the eyes of a to-be second-year.

We enter college and the first thing we seek is our Canteen, a space where we can do and say what we want to without any inhibitions or judgemental prying eyes. For three years that corner of our college becomes a second-home. Around last week I overheard a conversation in the canteen where our ‘Maggi vale bhaiya’ told a third-year student “Ab toh aap jaane hi vaali hai”.

These words are not uncommon in this emotionally charged part of the year. Professors, juniors, family and friends keep reminding how the college life is coming to an end. The canteen staff is an essential addition to this bandwagon. They see the students grow in a personal space so, this relationship become way more than just a “chai aur do samosa” conversation. Bhavya, a third year B.A (Honours) Political Science student from Daulat Ram College shared her stories with the Canteen Wale Bhaiya with us- “My Canteen vale bhaiya is also from Bengal, so we used to often converse in Bangla. I always used to buy junk food from the canteen, be it spring roll, maggi or coke. Once, when I bought a poha, he asked “sab bhalo?” (all good?). When I asked why he felt I wasn’t well, he said it was because I was buying healthy food for once. Our relationship had become so comfortable that he could take a dig at my unhealthy eating habits and make fun of it”.

The impermanent cycle of college life becomes apparent while talking to the helps. “Har saal naye bache aate hai aur purane chale jaate hain, aisa kitne saalo se dekh rahein hain hum toh” (Every year, new kids come and the old ones leave, we have experienced this for many years now.) For the students these people become exquisitely important and essential for growth and development. Even now, when I go to my Nescafe vale bhaiya, he knows that I will end up buying one sandwich and cold coffee.

Just like Bhavya added in her comment- “The relationships you make with the staff are really important because unlike friends they are not expected constants in your life, they manage to make you smile one way or the other and you should be really sweet to them.”

So, years from now sitting with your families and telling your kids about your college life I am certain that your respective canteen vale bhaiyas will come up in one story or the other and bring a wide nostalgic smile to your face.

Image Credits: News 18

Sakshi Arora
[email protected]

Journalism has been called the “first rough draft of history”. D.U.B may be termed as the first rough draft of DU history. Freedom to Express.

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