Friday, February 13, 2009

No West

Some stuff from the West which are now a part of our lives - things that I struggle to live with.

1. Finger bowls : These days, even ondrai-aana restaurants have started giving finger bowls. After one number full meals when your hand turns masala-ish , your fingers are dripping with curd what purpose does a stupid finger bowl with three spoons of warm water ? You need a mug , don't you? You dip your fingers in a bowl, wash your fingers in the same oily water, add more water from your glass and 'try' and wash your hands... wipe it with a tissue and you rush back home to wash it with soap and water, right?

2. Buffet : Great for vella-toal's sandwiches and salads. What about us whose dinner / lunch has a minimum of ten items - roti, pulao, curry, dal , salad, yet another curry and yet another curry. How on earth do you put all these things on one plate? And you stand in one lon....g queue for fifteen minutes , and when your turn comes you wonder how you are gonna stuff all these items on one plates so that you avoid waiting at the queue when you come back for a refill. Oflate Tamizh kalyanams have started this buffet system for kannala receptions. It's probably one good way of cost-cutting for the bride's side where they are assured of people not (being able to) coming back for a second helping.

Poor senior citizens! They struggle with that stupid porcelain plate on one hand and try to eat dinner , standing in a corner. Gone are the days where kalyana reception means one kattu for sambar sadam, thayir sadam, appalam, vadam ... Thanks to stupid buffet system the fun of enjoying a good dinner at kalyanams is lost.

3. WC : Vella-toal's toilet habits are good and sure, they follow basic hygiene and all that. We peoples still struggle. Most places don't even have toilet papers. Even if they have one, no dustbin available. If both are available, its a bloody common toilet for both men and women. WC is a curse for Indian homes. My sole requirement when we began house-hunting was this - "I need a separate toilet!" and thankfully, I have one at home ! I miss Indian toilets :(

4. Cornflakes for breakfast : Ayyo.. one big bowl of cornflakes is not good enough breakfast. One is supposed to eat like a king for breakfast. Cornflakes, to me is picchkkara breakfast. Lasts for exactly ten minutes. Cornflakes = Saravana Bhavan Pongal , where pasi doesn't adangufy. To me , cornflakes is more like a 4pm snack. Cornflakes doesn't give you that 'cook and eat' feel and that's probably why it doesn't fill the stomach. Ditto, bread sandwich for breakfast. Purushan's cousin calls it Naai-Saappadu .Upma, Aval Upma, Rava idli please.

Glossary

Vella-toal : White peoples also called as Dorais

20 Responses:

venkatramanan said...

//Finger bowls//
A sardarji on seeing this remarked, "We have not ordered for Lemon juice!"

VJ said...

ROTFL !!
cant agree more about cornflakes !!

Artnavy said...

me with you on cornflakes

and i hate public WCs- u can never be too sure of the hygiene bit- men have ti easy though

SloganMurugan said...

Nothing like an Indian breakfast :)

Dilip Muralidaran said...

lol@cornflakes. i hate em!

B o o said...

I think finger bowls have died in the west. May be used in the Buckingham palace still! Dont know why we still use it even though we have a hand wash area too.
Cornflakes is my second breakfast everyday! :D

Saravanan said...

This stupid buffet culture has somehow entered our wedding receptions...
I still remember in my childhood (70s till mid 80s), where there used to be a huge Kalyana Mandapam with pillars around and a Mutram (open to sky) in between. After the Muhurtham, we all sit on the floor around in pandhi and the food is served on Vaazhai Elai. We love that only for the best ever Jangiris served on the leaf.
And this corn flakes.. donno who invented it.. i just hate them.. nothing like an idly or dhosai or hot ghee pongal... with some chutney or sambar... I hate corn flakes or oats kanji crowd... who are proud of it... When someone says "theriyuma? ippallaam morning naan verum oats illeyna corn flakes thaan" i wish giving one slap in a flash thought (like in Balachandar's movies) and instantly smile back at them.. 'appdiya?'.

ammani said...

Spare a thought to the one cooks. If you're lucky enough to afford a cook or eat out regularly, then desi breakfast is good. Out here, where one has to do EVERYTHING, a cooked breakfast is no fun at all.

If you knew the hassle of soaking, grinding, fermenting, cooking and then cleaning that is involved in making idlis, you wouldn't be singing its praise. I say, cereal is kadavul in my household.

inbavalli said...

Poor Ammani hasn't heard of God's latest gift -- Thayar readymix maavu :D

Hehhhh. said...

Down Ammani!

I totally agree with you. In my book, all this bread for breakfast used to be reserved for when you were ill. (even then I had a sneaking suspicion that parents were using it as a test to see if we were really too ill to go to school.)

(nice to read, hello and all that).

B o o said...

Inba - forget ready made idli maavu, we dont even get muzhu ulundhu where we live! So long live toast and corn flakes, I say!! :)

maxdavinci said...

My guess is that fingerbowls were a colonial invention, and shud have left with them.

Buffets help cuts costs and paavam for the maamas who have to sprint with sambar buckets!

3yrs in videsh and I still haven't managed to get the deal with cornflakes, podanga.....

Annan Guevara said...

Eating Chappathi with Fork

K.Prasad said...

I remember the day when my left-hand ached because I picked up a conversation with my teacher in a school-friend's marriage buffet-dinner. I had my plate full when I began the conversation and had to carry the porcelain+food for long.

The buffet-lunch culture is a good example of copying a culture despite its shortcomings!

Maddy said...

Eating Chappathi with Fork. Next, eating Paper Dosai roast with fork?

sittingathome said...

talking of toilets- I know of 3 categories of users.Bum washers,bum wipers and Chinese.

Faitoo said...

Hey i go with ammani for cooking breakfast. Having wonderful , active 2-legged dish washers at your home it might be easy . But not the same for all.
Buffet - i love this culture totally. Waiting for the Rasam-bucket-mama with hands going dry is the most irritating moment of life. I dont know if it is my destiny , but i always end up waiting for Rasam/curd , beg 3 different guys to bring it. when i grew older i learnt the tactics of eating along with Bride/Groom's parents , thus getting all the items on time.

Moreover the buffet culture in west demands you to serve yourself.This does not mean you have to Stand and eat. Every restaurant has tables/chair. you can fill your plate ,come sit and relish. then go again for refill. it is as simple as that. But i dont know where the variation of removing the chairs off came from.

ashok said...

how true!

anubhavati said...

Very true...I agree with the hand aching part for a buffet...There`s nothing like taking the time to sit at a wedding, and have the cooks one by one, asking and serving the parts of the wedding feast!!! Keep going!!!

The Psycho Blogger said...

I fully agree with the Indian toilets bit. Damn, one more related thing I can't understand how some places only have paper tissues. We aren't exactly going in there to wipe our noses!!!