Sunday, April 28, 2013


South Indian wedding receptions - The Golden rules

Rule #1: Inviting the critical mass 
Reception is not about inviting the 'Kuppans' and 'Suppans' - they have already been invited. Reception is about starting with this base list (of a mere few hundred),and extending the invite to the very frontiers of what constitutes the great Indian social circle, a blurry concept with no clearly defined boundaries. When names like Omega-45 from Alpha Centauri are suggested to the invitee list, it is safe to assume that we have hit the limits of the social circle and the invitation exercise can be considered complete. By this time a critical mass of 500+ people will have been reached at a minimum, and in some cases a human settlement of 1000+ is a possibility. Any hands-on experience in games like Sim City, Caesar City etc. will definitely help, especially in the later case. Of course the bride or groom wouldn't have a damn clue about 95% of invitees on that list, but hey who are they to decide, they are not that important in any case.

Rule #2: Regulating the queue 
'Queuing is for suckers' is the most commonly accepted view in the Indian society. However a remarkable exception is made in wedding receptions, when people patiently wait for up to an hour in some instances, queuing up to hand in their gift to the bride and groom. The queue has a vital role to play in the grand scheme of things. Standing around  for a while is good for the body and does help build up a decent appetite to deal with the lavish reception spread. However for some, this sort of strenuous workout might be too much to handle and fast tracking them through the queue would be a good idea. For most parts the queue is self regulated, but always be on the lookout for the odd queue cutter who needs to catch a flight but has enough time to grab a 'quick bite' in the reception buffet stalls before leaving. Sometimes there could be an odd spike in the number of queue cutters especially in weekday receptions, when the sheer thought of missing out on their favourite late evening soap on TV induces a certain amount of asocial behaviour. 

Rule #3: Recruiting the right side kick
Standing on the stage and collecting the gifts as the married couple keep receiving them is a key role which can only be fulfilled by someone who is a very close relative or friend. This is not because the role demands any family code of honour, loyalty or specialised skill set but it is simply the fact that no one else would do this thankless job for no pay. Think about it, standing on the stage for a good few hours in the shadow of the married couple and being completely ignored by the guests and the photographer, deprived of a snack and the odd glass of sugary juice that is invariably brought around for the married couple, and having to lift and shift gifts ranging from paper-light gift vouchers, delicate tea sets, to heavy duty hot packs, utensils and bouquets without getting a moment's rest, clearly borders on violation of every conceivable good practice for health, safety and inclusiveness in a work environment.  

Rule #4: The buffet dinner of a myriad items
No South Indian reception dinner is complete without 'oil oozing' chaat items, 'rubber sheet' naans, a couple of standard red/green coloured North Indian gravy items (names are insignificant, colour is the only differentiator), 'grenade' jamuns and some token South Indian items on the menu, and etiquette demands these be served in 'food stalls'. Clearly, savouring good food is the primary motivation to attend a wedding, however all the walking around between the stalls and forced socialising necessitated by the buffet arrangement gets in the way.  Also to tackle the 'rubber sheets' and 'grenades' requires use of both hands and additional tools at times, naturally a difficult proposition to manage without a table and a proper sit down dinner arrangement. Not sure what the logic behind having myriad items on the menu is. Is it a statement of being modern and inclusive? Well its not exactly Über cool to be serving badly made North Indian dishes and neither is it convincing to buy into the logic of inclusiveness till the day 'Curd rice' stalls become a standard feature of non South Indian weddings. 

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Tuesday, January 01, 2013


The delusion of Change and Revolution through Likes and Retweets

Hit Like on this status message if you think there should be stricter gun controls. Yes, I agree. That's a Like from me. I will share the status with my friends (laymen slobs, need to be pushed to get involved) to solicit more Likes

Citizens against corruption. Hit Like to sign this online petition against corruption. This one is as old as time itself. But it's never too late to make a noise. That's a Like from me for  a graft free society. 

Cancer is a killer. Retweet and spread the message. Yes of course, my friends might not have the IQ to figure this out. Need to retweet. 

The list of movements that an online armchair revolutionary can join is potentially endless, and what I can't quite get my head around is the motive of all this. An outrageous event occurs, it is followed by a flurry of tweets and likes, the word spreads around and then....and then nothing. That's because the revolutionaries have moved on to the next event as they think they have played a rather important  part by expressing their views 'online'; mind you - in the strongest possible terms. Governments must tremble and corporations quake at this, surely.  

These e-guardians of righteousness can only hope that all this online noise will magically transform itself into something in the real world, like Neo from The Matrix leaping  out of cyber space to lead the way and sort things out. Of course only The Chosen One is expected to digest the red pill of reality, anything else would be too much to ask of the online instigators. 

Why bother fighting for a cause from the shores of Cuba to the jungles of Congo when getting #ReadMyMotorCycleDiaries to trend on twitter and signing a few hundred online petitions from the comfort of his office would have been an easy way out for Che, surely? #delusion might be a good way to sum it up!

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Wednesday, October 10, 2012


Economics and Indian Weddings

Age of austerity or not, big Indian weddings only seem to get ....bigger. If only governments followed this approach, everyday would be a stimulus day!

Thursday, September 27, 2012


Nebuchadnezzar rises....

Strong title to convey an half hearted intention of resurrecting my blog. Actually, reserructing is  a big word itself in this context, given that my blog page never had that many hits even during its brief glorious reign. Glorious reign...well that's a bit of a exaggeration, to say the least. I think I should stop this ramble for the moment and get to writing a proper post sometime soon!

Thursday, September 03, 2009


Arsene on the Stands....

A hilarious voice-over by Gordon Strachan on the infamous Wenger sending off incident
at Old Trafford.

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Saturday, August 29, 2009


Good riddance to Big 'Bore'ther..

Channel 4 is finally drawing the curtains on the reality show Big Brother. Thank God for that!

I have never really been a fan of reality shows and I guess Big Brother would top my 'Never watch TV shows' recommendation list. What perplexes me is how on earth Big Brother got the reality show tag - it is far removed from reality as reality can be. Think about it, is being cut off from rest of the world and doing some mad and moronic tasks for weeks together in a confined space the definition of reality?? I personally think that a series about the Loch Ness monster or UFO sightings and alien invasions would be much more closer to reality than Big Brother.

Channel 4 claims that the show still has an audience base of 2 million in the U.K! Why would someone want to watch this show day in and day out is something that I can never get my head around. Thankfully, axing this show would free up as much as 200 hours of TV time for Channel 4! I really really hope they don't find another 'supposed-to-be' reality show to fill up these reclaimed slots.

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Friday, July 31, 2009


Organic food: Is it worth the money?

Invariably right next to the shelf filled with normal looking potatoes or onions are their neat and well packaged organic counterparts. Both the conventional and organic varieties are sold under the same supermarket brand name, so there is not much to chose between the brand as such (hey, its only vegetables after all!). But the prices tell a different story, the well packaged organic cousin is at least a £1 or more expensive. You wonder whether the price is worth it, but the thought of the pesticide scarred poorer cousin being somehow less nutritious wins the argument (at times) and you snap up the expensive organic variety and head towards the checkout.

Well if nutrition is the key decision factor for shelling out extra bucks for the organic variety then its perhaps time to think again. A recent study commissioned by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) reveals that "there are no important differences in the nutrition content, or any additional health benefits, of organic food when compared with conventionally produced food". Ouch! Among others, researchers reviewed papers published on this topic over the last 50 years before arriving at this conclusion.

As of now it appears that the global appetite for organically produced food is rising and in the U.K, the market for organic food is currently estimated to be worth £2bn. The question is whether the findings of this study and possibly others along similar lines will dent the market for organic foods in the years to come.

Proponents for organic food cite many other factors, including taste, sustainable farming, benefit to the environment etc as reasons to switch to organic food. Needless to say, in the years ahead it would be these factors and not nutrition which shapes public opinion about organic food.

On a different note, a good re-read of this blog post makes me feel like I am doing a reading comprehension/critical reasoning passage in the middle of a really long exam. The only aspect missing is a daft question on the lines of - What is the tone of the passage? or What does the passage suggest about the author's attitude towards Organic food? :-)

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