Monday, 28 January 2013

Salute the bell peppers

Prologue  :

Everything you read or write about nowadays could suddenly become the subject of endless controversies, with authors being evicted from literary fests and the targets of unwanted FIRs, so i decided to stay clear of all this, at least for a while and write about something totally non- controversial , like the bell peppers, commonly known as the capsicums.
and why not ?fruits and veggies( F&Vs) have enough qualities and virtues to elaborate on and extoll, like their delectable tastes & riotous colours. Even then I find their  humility and stoicism to be the most noteworthy. Though the humble beans may have been the subject of gazillions of offensive remarks about their offensive, odorous capabilities ( by ungrateful creatures who fry them anyway, day after day ), have we ever seen a bean take offense to this ? Me thinks , the humble F&Vs seem to be the only subjects who don't  have activitists or loud supporters , and wont take matters in the wrong spirit, hence  are the only things one can write about , to be   pretty safe..

We humans , who will oneday end just like the beans, bell peppers and F&Vs , have a lot to learn from these creatures, so bereft of ego, so ready to serve., and therefore, here goes a humble salute..

Salute to bell peppers 

I once met some interesting  characters called the bell peppers. They looked so crunchy and sunny, brightening up the vendors' cart with their yellow and red hues, that i instantly fell in love with them. and asked the veggie vendor to give me four .
I brought them home, washed and froze them, hoping that they were not too cold that night. Little did they know that they would be readied the next morning for the pan and wok treatment, to be fried , in a spicy, burning mishmash of gravy and  sauces , ending up in a curry, inching their way into the guts of many, and finally fading into oblivion, together with bacteria , fungi and others to further nourish mother earth. For such a sweet, short and meaningful existence, i salute the bell peppers.

Regards ,
Aina Rao
copyright @Aina Rao 2013. All rights reserved.

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Happy Birthday, Mr AAM ( Mango)

What's in a name ..?

Is it possible to find a single soul in this world who is completely in awe of his own name ? Find me one, my hats off to him.. most people will claim they don't know how or why they got the name, 'Ask my parents' is the most repeated response.. Its not strange, considering most names, even simple ones can be construed as something totally different when translated into some strange language like Swahili, for instance , so , what should the poor parents do? Name the kid a number 45678, just to be completely safe ? Or sit with a dictionary and translate each name into 100 other tongues to be sure , don't think the parents of Hardik* or any of the HAroons* ever did that , did they?

And so the name saga continues.. Even the folks with seemingly innocuous names dont seem to be too happy about them .Ask one Mr Alok Agarwal*( who happens to become Alex,Agro, Alag or Alu courtesy rechristening at various points in time, by hapless individuals struggling to twist their tongues around his common name ), for when some people could really read his name fully and correctly, as at the immigration points, was greeted with a stern warning” Doubtful case, do not proceed” . So considering that there are at least a 1000 Alok Agarwals in this part of the world alone, the perils of too common a name begin to surface too soon.Not to forget the many Osamas* habiting the other worlds. What can the poor chappies do , now that they are stuck with a combination that seemed innocent then, but is now proving to be so deadly that it is greeted with the greatest of trepidation?

Maybe they could change a couple of things, like the spelling somewhat. The clever newspaper ads are doing this all the time , I regularly see ( and actually read , yes , I do, not surprising considering i hope to get a PHd on names and naming practices ) notices on the lines of “I” “Mrs Krishna” am now to be called “Mrs Krishnaa”. Yes,we got the “a”dditional point, but it may not help much if other vile Krishnaas did the same ..

Other possibilities spring to mind. How about adding a Kumar, to make an “Alok kumar Agarwal'AKA “AKA”. Again that may not exactly work, as there may be a sizeable number of such AKAs floating around, much more than desired. An inclusion of : Junior /Senior' is possible, but again , it may seem too exotic to find an “ Alok junior Agarwal” , and hence impossible to ignore, and may therefore elicit unwanted questions about lineage etc. Who wants to open those Pandoras boxes now ...

So , finally one last try, why not borrow a leaf from the female books and add a double- barrell to the name , both for effect and exclusivity. Since the probability of finding an “Alok Agarwal- Mohanrao” may be close to one in a zillion, it brings the advantage of sailing past all the immigration/police/customs what have you checkpoints , faster than you can say the name, tongue- in -cheek .  And if the name itself were an issue, you could always display the marriage certificate , as the female members of the species do, uncomplainingly. We are in the 21st century, after all, and an woman is,( in theory or on paper at least) equal to a man. So by corollary, a man could be equal to the woman as well.

Happy birthday, Mr AAM**

* Names changed to protect identify
Haroon- means i lose ( hindi)
**AAM in hindi means mango also means common