At the stroke of twelve noon, as you climb the BIS staircase,
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you might hear whiffs of interesting conversation.
“Its Sindhi curry, aloo tuks.”
“Never. Today will be rajma rice.”
“I just heard a mom say aloo parathas.”
A crowd of hungry kids makes its way up to the lunchroom, pondering the menu,
each child hoping that his or her favourite dish will be served that day.
As you near the fourth floor, a mouth-watering aroma of home-made food
emanates from the school kitchen. The children rush in and impatiently
wait their turn to be served the day’s meal by the ‘serving’ mothers.
This scene is replayed day after day, the only change being the menu.
The BIS kitchen functions with amazing precision.
Run by a hands-on committee
of nearly 50 committed volunteer
mothers, a wholesome meal is provided
to 350 children and the
entire school staff on a daily basis. Each day,
about twelve moms,
working in two shifts put together a predecided meal.
It is the head mother who takes full charge, while others chop, peel, dice, roll or serve…
with the auxiliary staff lending more than a helping hand. They are responsible for
the more tedious work like grinding, boiling, shredding, roasting and frying.
Keeping the kitchen spotlessly clean is also an art they have mastered over the years.
The final product is unquestionably the tastiest food you have ever eaten,
with unadulterated love being the most abundant ingredient.
Planning a well balanced and nutritious meal while avoiding repetition
and incorporating variety is the biggest challenge for the kitchen coordinators!
After all, catering to 350 different palates is no small task…
but the satisfying smiles on the faces of the children say it all!
Gorging on the school lunch for a decade and more, as our little toddlers grow up
to be strapping young teenagers who step out into the world beyond BIS,
it is indeed heartening to hear them say,
“One of the things that we miss most about BIS is the SCHOOL LUNCH!”