Madhur Prashant - “Cafeteria, Tongue and Tummy-tied”


 Madhur Prashant

Madhur Prashant has graduated from Humber and is ready for her next adventure!

Have you ever been in charge of a large amount of food that is, ironically, not for you? 

Have you seen it disappear bit by bit while you struggle with a growling tummy? 

I have. 

When your job is to manage delectable food lest it land into unknown, undeserving tummies, including yours, you know it’s not going to be easy. Cafeteria is never boring and work here is never an ‘I-need-my-space’ kind. You have to work with shining and soiled plates, and trays and serving spoons. Your not-a-million dollar-smile must always be present, regardless of the gurgle and acid reflux in your belly. Your workspace may seem intriguing. A counter with sizzling food will be your desk. Disposable cutlery and Styrofoam plates will be your stationery. Gluttonous tummies and salivating tongues -your irate customers. 

With minimum wage in hand, I have ‘managed’ food and everything about it.


“A counter with sizzling food will be your desk.”

At the Cash Counter

Sizzling toppings over soft and cheesy pizza slices, crispy spiced potatoes sinking in dense chicken gravy with molten cheese dripping on the sides, and steaming chocolate croissant with layers glistening under warm flowing butter - at the cash desk you will see good-looking food disappear very quickly.


“Sizzling toppings ...”

If you are strong-bellied but with a weak-heart, you must learn to control, lest the aromas intoxicate and frustrate you and weaken your arithmetic ability. 

At the Food Counter

This one’s tough. Here, you must learn to detach and let go. This position requires self-control. The very delectable, enticing varieties will fill up and disappear in moments. While waiting to serve at the counter, your eyes will remain fixed on the beauties. Tantalizing images of you romancing your food will haunt you till you fall asleep. You’ll play with it and pick it up as if putting it on your invisible plate. Then, with a broken heart you'll drop it all into the dish. 

Your imagination will run wild until that one day when the same aromatic beauties will cease to entice you. You’ll buy once, twice or even thrice, but who really has the money or tummy to spare on restaurant food every day? The long days of self-control will finally turn you into a side dish, like a string of boiled beans, bland and boring. 

If you are observant like me, you’ll notice a variety of customers walk up to your counter with vivid expressions. 

The confused ones spend many minutes deciding what to eat. Finally, when the choice is made, they are still unhappy about what they did not choose.

The fools, like me, will walk with eyes stuck on food, as if that’s the only high point of their day. Food to such people is more than just aromas, calories and nutrition. 


“... the only high point of their day.”

The aggressors, who will charge at you like you are an obstacle. They’ll demand and won’t hesitate to expect a little more than allotted. You’ll curse them inside and smile outside. It’s not easy then to say, ‘That’s more than for what you paid!’