"A profound unmitigated loneliness is the only truth of life"
- R.K. Narayan




"That's how it mostly is, Amit," said professor Vinod in a consolatory tone, "only a few very lucky ones get to research in the area of their interest. The rest of us just have to make do with wherever we get scholarship."
 
"But pure mechanics?" rued professor Amit, "who works in that field anymore? Just because nobody else took that up, they are assigning it to me. It's a dead field Vinod. I don't find any excitement in working in it. There are so many happening subjects out there, and I deserve to get one of those fields yaar."
 
"Arey understand na yaar. This year they have released funds only in that subject Amit. Our dean is a kind man. You should trust that he is not being prejudicial," said Vinod.
 
"Maybe I will just let it go and try next year. I can't digest that dry subject sir. It is just not palatable. There is a limit to how tasteless the department can be," quipped Amit.
 
"I hope you don't do that. Why don't you use your creativity and try to turn that dry subject into something interesting?" said Vinod with a wry smile, "Okay leave that. C'mon sit down. Let's enjoy our lunch now and worry about your doctoral research over tea in the evening. Okay?"
 
Amit agreed and they opened their lunch boxes and began to eat. Vinod let out a groan as soon as he saw the lemon rice that his wife had packed for him. "Ugh!" he reacted, "who eats this food? Tastes like junk from a restaurant's garbage bin."
 
"It's home cooked food Vinod," said Amit, "and bhabhi cooks so hygienically. Sometimes taste and hygiene don't go together."
 
"Sorry man," said Vinod, disgusted, "I cannot digest this. I have seen the food she cooks for my in-laws. It's like, me, the head of the family, gets the leftovers."
 
"Hey c'mon man," Amit tried to defend, "bhabhi will never do something like that." 
 
"No, I am not going to eat this man. There is a limit to how tasteless a food can be. I will throw it in the bin and will go eat in the canteen. Do you want to join me or not?" asked Vinod
 
Amit, melancholic over his own bad luck, was in no mood to join. He gestured Vinod to go ahead, while commenting, "why don't you just fast today? It will serve two goals - like a punishment for wasting good food as well as a health exercise for reducing that tummy of yours!" And Amit smiled wryly.
 
"No way I will fast. I have a right to tasty food man," replied an upset Vinod, "when there are alternatives and I can afford it, I deserve to enjoy my right yaar." And Vinod stormed towards the canteen.
 
 
 
 
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