While passing by the tea-board, bhOndOO saw a fat guy with a big mouth eating two potato buns together like a sandwich. bhOndOO was amazed to see that, mainly because, there was still enough gap for a third bun.
bhOndOO was hungry and the sight of the bun-train entering the tunnel made him feel the hunger more. There was almost an hour and a half for snacks to get served in the mess. For a moment, he tried to alter his direction of thinking by looking at trees. But the mocking laugh of a monkey sitting on the tree and enjoying a bun-piece did not allow bhOndOO to get distracted. He looked at the fat guy again and saw the immense satisfaction on his face holding the remaining piece of the sandwich. bhOndOO thought: Hasn’t he eaten since ages? He looked down and thought: A better question would be, whether he is eating since ages.
bhOndOO checked his pocket: two one-rupee coins. A potato bun costs four rupees. He was not surprised. He took out the wallet to check emergency money. Another rupee came out. bhOndOO remembered that he used five rupees from emergency money to get his bicycle-tyre-puncture cured while returning from a bicycle trek.
The rupee from the emergency money increased his urge to eat a potato bun. He looked around but did not see anyone familiar. He heard a large burp from the fat guy. I must eat a potato bun NOW!.
bhOndOO marched straight to the department and entered the computing lab. He went directly to BenJi. Before bhOndOO could speak, BenJi declared, “Lets go.”. “Where?”. BenJi looked at bhOndOO in such a manner as if bhOndOO was asking the stupidest question of the twenty-first century. “Algo lecture!”. Oh! How did I forget? I was coming to the department to attend that itself! bhOndOO then asked himself three questions: Shall I? Shall I? Shall I? His mind finally said: Okay, eat the bun fast and rush to the lecture. bhOndOO declared to BenJi, “I will come later.”. bhOndOO felt very bad that he was going late to the lecture because of a potato bun and in this feeling-bad business, he forgot to ask BenJi for money.
He looked around and saw Shami. No, no! I should not take money from her. He came out of the lab and started walking towards stairs to go to Litec Lab. On the way, he met Prof Krishnamurthy. Ignoring bhOndOO’s greeting, he said, “bhOndOO, can we meet now in my office for five minutes?”. “Sir, actually I have a class right now.”. “Oh! Okay. Can you meet me after the lecture?”. “Yes, Sir.”.
bhOndOO reduced his speed to let his advisor go ahead and then changed his direction to enter Litec Lab. He looked around and saw Gullu. Asking Gullu for one-rupee did not sound like a great idea, but the remembrance of the bun-train entering the tunnel made bhOndOO approach Gullu.
“Gullu, do you have one rupee?”.
Gullu looked at bhOndOO from top to bottom as if bhOndOO was begging. He took out a coin from his pocket and dropped it in bhOndOO’s hands. “I will return it to you in the evening.”.
Glad, bhOndOO ran towards the tea-board. Algo lecture had already begun and the queue at tea-board contained five customers. bhOndOO went restless. He saw two of the ladies in front carrying hundred-rupee notes, and realized that they would be taking time. He heard the boy at the head of the queue asking for “potato bun.”, followed by the shopkeeper shouting at his boys, “one potato bun!”, followed by the tone of one of his boys serving a plate containing a potato bun to the boy customer, “Potato buns are getting over, only one is remaining now.”.
bhOndOO dreaded at the statement. There are still four persons in front of me. What is the probability that at least one of them would ask for a potato bun? bhOndOO’s studious mind started calculations: It is one minus the probability that none of them would ask for a potato bun. He realized that he had pretty less chance of eating a potato bun. bhOndOO thought something, to which his mind reacted: No, no. You should not do this. bhOndOO listened to his stomach instead, left the queue, went the other way directly to the counter and put forth his hand containing four coins to the shopkeeper, with a hasty tone: Potato bun!. He heard a whisper of uneasiness among the other people in the queue, ignored, took the last bun and went to the table where formerly the giant was enjoying the sandwich of potato buns.
A smile appeared on bhOndOO’s face. By showing a bit of illegitimate behavior, he had managed to get what he wanted. Moreover, he had used probability theory to solve a real world problem. Till now, he used to think that probabilistic methods are useless when it is a do-or-die situation. At the current moment, bhOndOO was the happiest person in the world. He was not minding going to the Algo lecture ten minutes late. He looked at the potato bun and felt a soothing sense of satisfaction.
Just before bhOndOO’s nervous system ordered his hand-muscles to lift the potato bun from the plate, the monkey on the tree jumped, took the bun and flew away.
As if whatever happened was not enough, Prof Krishnamurthy passed by and saw bhOndOO seated at the tea-board.