Updated: Sep 7, 2020
Four slices of white bread, a double omelette, a cube of butter, and a bowl of corn flakes with milk and some seasonal fruits - that used to be the breakfast in almost every military messes - the source of the abundant energy that was essential for various military tasks of the day. Sunday used to be an exception, when you get something desi - like ‘Aloo Paratta’, ‘Dosa’, ‘Pav Bhaji’, ‘Kulcha Channa’ etc. Once an officer move in to his official quarter after marriage, the bread & butter vanish from the menu. They get to eat the homely breakfast, prepared by their dear wives – mostly the traditional Desi items, except on the days when you pick up a fight with her! On such days, the kitchen remains mostly closed and you don't have a choice but to fall back to the two loaves of bread that comes as part of the weekly ration. It is a bad time for the maids too – as they would not be able to take home the unwanted bread in the ration! But for many, the bread tradition continues even after marriage – either because of the addiction that they developed over the years of eating at the mess or simply because they don’t want to give away the ration free!
A breakfast at an Officer's mess during a recent visit to the garden city, gave me an opportunity to reminisce the olden days. Yes, the bread remain the staple diet of the forces even today. Though, I never preferred it while in uniform, I relished the toasted slices this time. It tasted delicious.