****ing Up

Much  Amoo about Nothing

Much Amoo about Nothing

I accept the banning of Beef.

Sigh.

I cannot say I am overjoyed but I can live with it.

But beeping out the word itself with 4 stars on National television ? Now that is just sadism.

For three consecutive episodes of Top Chef I kept thinking – Whoa!! Expletives seem to be the underlying theme for the New Top Chef season until I realized that the poor chefs were just saying –

“I would like Beef ” (when they were asking for their protein of choice) and not something completely inappropriate!!!!

I have spent the last few years patiently decoding the **** on TV. It has been no easy task for someone who does not abuse much in the first place. It has been a taxing process but some tasks are so noble and so important that they HAVE to be done.

3 stars for Sex (But thats pretty simple. Also Luckily this is not always blocked out)

After that it gets a bit more complicated.

4 stars for F£@k or Shit or Piss. Also several other unmentionable 4 letter words.

Now considering that there are 5-6 or more of such 4 letter words and all are designated by the unimaginative 4 stars – it all gets rather murky and blurred.

Oddly the Holy cow for some unknown reason seems to have found itself a member of this disreputable four star club of undesirables on television. Now I personally think it deserves better than to be thrust headlong into this melee of confused profanities but it shall be no easy task for the sadly uninspired word-beeper-outer people on TV.

Let me give you an example of what we are dealing with:

I had the ****. And it was incredible.

My companion had the **** which was tender and savored with enjoyment.

I made ****. It was out of this world.

I am paraphrasing of course but all the above has been said in one form or the other on the cooking series. I belatedly arrived at ‘Beef’ after eliminating the other less desirable possibilities but you can see how scarred I must be after all the baffled and shocked decoding.

It is imperative to ensure that all of this state and maybe India remains in the dark as to what exactly the rest of the world is eating quite heartily but we need to find some better and more distinguished way to represent it on National Television.

Confusing us all with **** is just wrong.

I suggest the ‘Whatsapp’  – 2 folded arms Namaste emoticon to block out the word showing a suitable amount of reverence and far more clarity thus preserving its substantial holiness while concealing its heinous wholesomeness as a meal.

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Sawaadee Pi Mai

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If you tell anyone you are going to Thailand you are bound to draw those predictable  ” Oho.. going alone to Thailand ? Have fun..wink wink… stay safe..wink wink..” comments.

I received my fair share. I accepted them graciously and made a few corny jokes of my own.

I had heard so much that I expected an orgy. I got one. Don’t gawk. Read on.

Frankly the real orgy that I witnessed and quite whole heartedly approved of was the one the country seemed unabashedly to be having with food. The moment you take your first breath of the city you’d know.

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The come hither looks were from the satay sticks… The indecent proposals came from pork balls….The invitation to lose self control arrived from an innocent looking apple Danish ( sure that is not a Thai dish but it may as well have been considering how extraordinarily well made it was).

Every waft of air brings with it the potent aroma of grilled sausages…and pad Thai.. and fresh fruit and sometimes thingsthatshouldnotbenamed.  I do not know what it feels to be a strict vegetarian – so obviously this cannot be generalized – but for a non vegetarian with no qualms whatsoever in eating anything that looks delicious enough, the streets of Thailand make for a heady cocktail. I do not remember feeling this hungry – this constant desire to eat – anywhere else in the world.

It is like the whole country is cooking. Simultaneously. In their houses. On the street. In your face. Right under your nose.

When I came up for air every so now and then, I managed to steal a glimpse of the Grand Palace and the Temples. Food is not allowed inside the Wat Pho ( The Temple of the reclining Buddha) so I preferred to stand outside slurping on my coconut ice cream stick in 40 degrees Celsius till it was done. The largest reclining Buddha statue in the world couldn’t make me part with a stick of coconut ice cream.

I think I remember Thailand landmarks by what I ate and drank.

Pratunam street shopping – Pork balls

Wat Pho – Coconut ice cream

Erawan National Park – Pad Thai

Chao Praya river cruise – Tab Tim Grob

Rajprarop station – Hot and sour soup with snake head fish ( The heat in which would put the Indian summer to shame)

Bridge on the river Kwai – Fresh coconut water ( and what we like to call malai)

This could go on endlessly I am sure… and I already hear my stomach whimper with nostalgia.

As if the food mania was not enough reason to have a great time, we landed smack bang in the middle of the Songkran festival ( The Thai New year). Locals and tourists alike take to the street. Drenched. With ice cold water thrown on them in buckets. They will hose you down, dunk you in a tub of water, burst water balloons on your head and fire water pistols at you from a moving vehicle. Nobody is spared and in 40 degrees with the sun roasting you slowly – nobody wants to be.

There were a lot of fun days. But my enduring memory of Thailand will be the evening we walked down the road in laid back Kanchanaburi covered with white chalk and wet to our skins, grabbing a hot meal by the road in a little shack where the lady took cooking classes as well. As I slurped down hot tangy comforting rice noodles and broth, I watched as people around giggled and danced and got wet.

And the air filled with people wishing each other ” Sawaadee pi mai” (Happy new year). And it sure felt that way.