Here's another egg memory, served with a slice of hostel-life as I lived it.
For two years (1989-1991) I lived in the Lady Brabourne College Hostel with a group of hip, hot (that's what we thought we were) and hungry (that's what others thought we were) friends. The meagre portions of indifferently-cooked hostel food barely sufficed. But we were allowed to supplement it with, among other things, eggs which we would have to buy ourselves and hand over to the kitchen staff to boil.
Now, eggs came at a fixed price (this was way before organic/free-range eggs made their debut) but in different sizes (depending, I presume, on the size and stamina of the hen concerned). The kitchen staff took all the eggs, boiled them in one huge saucepan, and left them on a large tray for us to collect. If we were lucky enough to get a large egg, we were loath to let other people eat our bounty simply because they had come down before us while we were stuck with a tiny, pebble-sized egg. The early bird would get the worm (or, in this case, the largest egg).
So, we devised a fool-proof system for establishing our ownership of any egg rightfully belonging to us. We would write our names on the shells with a ball-point pen (gel or ink pens would wash away), and then pick up our exclusive, personalised eggs, smoking hot and delicious, from the delivery-tray.
Some of us (including myself) would merely scrawl our names carefully - a utilitarian assertion of abdominal property rights.
Some creative souls would decorate their eggs with elaborate borders and patterns, taking a leaf out of the tradition of Easter eggs. These designer-eggs would be doomed, like sand sculptures which wash away in the tide, to crumble away in a bite.
A few athletic-types would crack the delicate shell while forcing their imprint on it. A similar fate could befall those who autographed their eggs with a careless flourish. (They could use the raw egg for a face/hair pack, I guess).
Whatever their size or sign, these marked-eggs were all destined, like Humpty Dumpty, to 'have a great fall' and end up in the pit (of our stomachs).
DO YOU HAVE AN EGG-CITING RITUAL TO SHARE WITH US?