Empty school cafeteria. Photo credit: Wokandapix
Text by Parashie Sidhwani
It was 12:40 when the cafeteria started filling up with students who had just come from their classes. Most of the high schoolers went and sat on the ledge while all the middle schoolers were sitting on the tables. All of the students sat in a group of 4 – 6 people, mostly divided by their gender as the girls took most of the tables on the left while the boys took most of the tables on the right, although, the centre was taken up by a larger group of co-ed students.
After they placed their bags down and reserved their spot, the tray stands to grab a tray and then stood in the line to get their food. There was salad, lady-finger, rice, pulses, pizza, and fruit custard. Suddenly, a huge line of middle schoolers came to take their food and every single one of them took only pizza and fruit custard although, the high schoolers that came after them took a variety which consisted of mostly dal and pizza. After collecting their food and going back to their seats, the noise in the cafeteria suddenly increased as most students started conversing in their friend groups until someone burst out singing happy birthday for one of the boys Akshan and everyone suddenly joined in.
At about 12:50 o’clock, most people left the cafeteria and 2 cleaners came in to take everyone’s trays, one of them was extremely short while the other had an average height. They piled up all the trays on one and another on the ledge, and they started a conversation with each other, both with a disappointed look.
After piling all the empty trays, they then had to take the unfinished ones. There were so many with food left that instead of keeping them in one pile of about 20 trays, they now had to pile them up in 6 piles. After piling all these trays up, they then started scraping all the leftovers out of them which mostly consisted of dal, grains of rice and left-over vegetables from the pizza.
At about 12:57 which is when they had finished scraping about 3 piles of the trays, they then had to empty the dustbin in which the leftovers were being scraped in because all the food had come to the brim. Then, the bell rung at 1:00 and all the remaining students and staff started heading out to other parts of the school.
About our writing program student:
Parashie Sidhwani is a Grade 9 student at Oberoi International School, Mumbai. She is greatly passionate about tennis, art, piano, and writing. Although she dreamt of being an astronaut at NASA, she wishes to pursue journalism or architecture in the future.
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