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Where Is Our Canteen?

It’s a nightmare come true… A college (no make that 3 colleges) without a CANTEEN!!!

The canteen of Sir JJ Institute of Applied Art was shut down from July 11th onwards. The JJ Campus has three colleges in all – Fine Arts, Architecture and Applied Arts. There were 2 canteens in the vast campus. The Fine Art canteen had already been closed before the colleges began after the summer break. And now with the Applied Canteen closed, the students have to go out of the campus for food. This is more tough on the out station students who live in hostels or as PGs.
The Applied Art Canteen or the Ramesh Canteen as it is known has been in JJ for as long as 50 years! The Canteen has shut down to make way for the contract system. The Ramesh Canteen has created an emotional bond with the students of JJ over the years. Even ex-students like Nana Patekar stated in a recent interview how he still remembered chilling out in the canteen, sipping a chai. A lot of students never even had to pay on the spot and could always pay later and had an account if they had a money problem.
Another thing that the Ramesh Canteen was famous (or rather notoriously known for) was the smoking corner in the canteen. The canteen didn’t have a No Smoking rule. Many students related to the canteen as a second home. The students could keep their books, bags, equipment like cameras (SLRs), tripods etc for safekeeping without any worries of it being stolen.
The Misal Pao, Vada Pao and Sabudana vada of the canteen were easily the best. In fact the Sabudana vada would actually get over in the first few hours of it being made. The only place to hang out now is the college verandah…no more cutting chais to keep you awake for the morning lectures. Dinya, Kaki, Mama, Shiva, and all the chotus. We are definitely missing you.

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Pooja Pednekar, Sir J.J. School of Applied Arts

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