Friday, May 09, 2008
Food Crisis..or a Crisis of ideas?
The picture of food riots in Mogadishu, Somalia made it to the headlines in leading dailies a couple of days ago. The context was the worsening global food crisis and the picture on the front page was I presume to drive home the seriousness of the situation.
Of course, without a shadow of doubt we are in the midst of a serious food crisis, but I wonder how the Somalian story fits into the scheme of things. At the risk of sounding blunt (or perhaps ignorant), I don't think Somalia had a regular and equitable distribution of food anytime in the last two decades, even when the rest of the world was doing perfectly fine. The media does want to draw the readers attention, but using photos such as these does not help, it in fact dilutes the seriousness of the problem. At best, a reader (not so aware of this problem) in the western world would look at it and say, "Ah..what a pity, our government must do something to help these countries out".
The irony is that the policies adopted by governments in the west, especially with regard to bio-fuels has in part added fuel to the fire in this crisis (uhmm..quite a few 'fuels' were burnt up in this sentence, must decrease my carbon footprint ;-)). Coupled with this rather daft policy is a genuine bankruptcy of ideas to get to the root of the problem. Condoleezza Rice even went on to attribute the skyrocketing prices of grain to the 'increased prosperity and apparent improvement in the diets of people in China and India'. Great, so these countries with 'just' a couple of billion people, should stop eating to save the rest of the world. That would surely solve the problem, at least in the eyes of the U.S administration.
Anyway, if the crisis continues to spiral out of hand, Condoleezza 'Rice' would be better off if she changes her surname, lest a hungry person eat her up :-)
Monday, May 05, 2008
Well, ideally the blog should be titled 'Mary's treat' but since I was the only beneficiary of it, hence the title. Without too much deliberation we zeroed in on the venue for the treat and off we went on a sleepy Sunday morning to an Indian restaurant. For a change, food at this restaurant tasted genuinely Indian and did not turn out to be one of those non-spicy, sweet and slick disasters, typical of Indian restaurants in this part of the world (run invariably by Bangladeshis). The only problem with this place was their strict interpretation of Indian food (I guess that's the restaurants USP), hence no Gobi Manchurian, Tomato Soup and the likes. Sigh..miss good old Shanti Sagar :-).
Well matters of gastronomy aside, here's a toast to Mary's resilience and spirit to see through a rather difficult phase. I need to learn all this and more from her as I embark on my quest for employment.