Ever since I have come to LSE, I always seem to be swamped with work and more work. I’ll always be found either in some classroom for a lecture/seminar or in the lovely library. I love the library and no, I am not a nerd, but I love the fact that you have these wonderful beanbags on the lower ground floor and you can lie, sleep or loll around on them. For lazy people like me, it is the ideal place to curl up and spend time and also stay indoors from the chill outside. When you lie down on one of those bean bags and look up at the ceiling of the library, it creates an optical illusion and you feel like you are gazing at the stars.

So coming back to the story behind the title of the post, when I arrived here, I had mentally made up my mind to get over my phobia of the kitchen and start cooking. In typical style I went and stocked up as many Indian spices as I could lay my hands on. Sadly, with the amount of readings we have to do, my culinary desires need to be kept on hold while I manage my other more pressing activities. All those mental visions I had of myself being a Master Chef whipping up these delicious looking dishes in a jiffy have been closed in my cupboard with my spices and pulses.

I dislike Fridays because I have a tough 3 hour lecture in Personnel Economics from 2-5 pm. The timing and the day is enough to drain out my soul and mentally sap my energy. So my friend and I spent a terrible 3 hours in the morning trying to figure out Econometrics when we decided we needed a break. We were cutting across campus towards the New Academic Building (NAB) when we saw people queuing up. We didn’t even know why they were there but we decided to fall in line for wherever there is a crowd, something good is bound to happen. So we patiently waited our turn and oh the joy when we saw what awaited us in front. Oh! It was wonderful piping hot food.

Now when the temperature outside is 8 degrees and you’re covering yourself from the wind and the skies are grey and gloomy and are also accompanied by a rumbling stomach, there is little else but food that can make you smile. Especially food that is free and cooked by someone else. I took my plate which was substantially filled with rice, dal (a kind of curry) and some bread. It was one of the simplest yet one of the best meals I have eaten in a long time. Curious, I asked around as to why these people were giving out free food only to be told that the Hare Rama Hare Krishna Foundation provides these meals everyday between 12 and 2 pm at various locations around the city. I know I am not going to get these free meals everyday because I realise there are people out there who deserve this meal far more than I do. I know that I am a student and therefore on a budget, however my budget does include lunch money and I am sure it would do better good to someone else who can’t get a meal.

With warm food in my stomach, I felt this sudden burst of lightheartedness in my heart and I practically skipped towards the NAB. Full of vigour I felt that I could conquer everything the Econometrics lecture would throw at me. Life has many ways of springing surprises when you least expect them and you find pleasure in the simplest things. And yes sometimes it also throws in free lunches.




MSc International Employment Relations and Human Resource Management.