Chit-Chat about 'Chit-Chaat'


Well, not twelve years. Or Azkaban (thankfully). However, the four years without chaat at Ashoka seemed just as long and just as soul-draining. So, the day that the orange-and-white boards of the food outlet appeared in the mess, the student body was beside itself with excitement. Packed with bhel-puri and samosas, Chit Chaat held for us the promise of hope on the days when the only thing we needed a detox from was the detox menu at the mess.

Our expectations took a ‘sharp’ blow from reality when our notifications pinged to give us a capitalized warning that the paapdi chaat at the outlet was a bigger disappointment than **insert censored joke here**. But in a world where “Anything is better than mess food,” Chit Chaat still makes for a decent option. It offers a wide array of eatables at college-student-affordable prices that satisfy our stomachs, if not always our hearts. Broke college students understand that for the greater good of our bank balance, it is wise to pick not what we love but what our pocket does.

But the two of those do intersect at Chit Chaat for the several groups of people who wait for the evenings when they can finally collapse into plastic chairs and lay back on grassy grounds with a comforting plate of bhel-puri after a long, exhaustive day. They gush over the sandwiches and fan-person about the burgers. The positivity of these reviews also extends to the nature of the staff, who are pleasant and cooperative, as well as prompt with orders (always time to grab a quick bite in the twenty minutes between the end of class and assignment deadlines!).

This strong diversity of opinions about our new resident source-of-chaat is interesting and often amusing. Within the span of three minutes, you’re likely to hear one person say that she had taken one bite of a samosa and lost all hope in Chit Chaat, while another will swear to the Gods above that the samosas were the very reason he liked the place. It would probably be easier to arrive at a conclusion on the Pani Puri vs Golgappa debate than it would to reach an agreement on Chit Chaat (it’s Pani Puri, y’all). Even if not the best place to eat for everyone, at least it does make for a fun conversation peppered with comments like “It’s like midterm grades, the moment you think it’ll get better, it gets worse” and “If I put as much thought into my studies as they put into the name, I’d graduate two years earlier”.

So, criticism and conflicting opinions aside, after four years laced with the absence of the flavor of street food, there is finally chaat at Ashoka. And whether you call it Pani Puri or Golgappa, when you need it, it’s there for you.

Edited by  Nayanika Guha