Sab Theek Ho Jayega !

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Kochi / Ernakulam, Kerala, India
A Doctor who loves to Live, Love and Laugh with the World! Absolutely crazy about Cricket ! Other Qualifications: A Tired Bathroom Singer, Retired Gully Cricketer and Satire Writer !

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Tea with Salt, Some Pride and More Prejudices !

"All generalizations are wrong", said some wise man, "including this one !". But we all tend to generalize when it comes to what is right and what is wrong, according to us. We were chatting about the nice Tea served in our Hospital canteen. I casually told, "In certain parts of Himachal Pradesh, they drink Tea with salt". Immediately a sister shot back, "Ayyo God, what is that horrible taste ? Yuck. Thulasi sister gave tea with salt to her husband on April Fool's day !"

This put me in thinking mode. It is true that most people in the world drink Tea; with milk, without milk, with sugar, without sugar and with a lot of flavors. But not many drink Tea with salt. But does that make it wrong ? It just represents the taste of a population or perhaps an ethnic group. But very heavily opinionated are we and thus we think what others do is weird ! This has been discussed on this blog earlier.

People have no problem with Jasmin Tea, Masala Tea, Lemon Tea, Orange Tea, Iced Tea and many more flavors. With or without sugar has been accepted without much problem. But talk about Tea with salt and a lot of people go, "Yuck !". I questioned the wisdom of ridiculing something without tasting. I said, "We can't say like that. Taste differs from region to region, time to time and from people to people."

The sister gave me a lecture, "See Doctor, there is a proportion and combination for all ingredients in everything we consume. We can't add chillies to Payasam and we can't add sugar to Sambar. You can't prepare chicken sambar, it has to be chicken curry. Similarly, vegetables can't be eaten without some coconut grates. blah blah..."

I replied patiently, "Sister, you have got it all wrong. Udupi Brahmins add jaggery to Sambar and they believe Sambar is incomplete without that. You've never tried adding chicken to Sambar. Try that and then decide. I agree we need proportion but combinations can vary. Many people eat pickles with Payasam and you Malayalees eat pappadam with Payasam. Why is that ? You need something extra to the taste, right ? We can never say someone else has yuck taste. To each his or her own"

I must admit, I wasn't quite brave and didn't taste tea with salt when I went to Kullu and Manali in 1999. Looking back in time, I realize I have been terribly judgmental. One of my relatives used to eat jack fruit dipping in coffee and everyone in our ancestral home used to ridicule his tastes and I was one of the everyone. A little teenager I know, loves mangoes with yoghurt and her younger brother thinks that is sick and I did agree with him.

I always wondered how could Gujarati people eat 'jalebis' first thing in the morning and how could Malayalees start a day with 'beef and porotta' when "Idlee - Sambar" was the only thing worth eating for breakfast ! I also have never dared to try the Kerala pickles because they are 'damn too spicy' according to me !

Watching Fazil's "Kaiyethum Doorath" in 2002, I had passed my judgment on Shanu Fazil that this one is a dud. I had even blamed Fazil for trying to make a completely useless son into a star. Almost a decade later, the reinvented Fahad Fazil is on a roll today and being vegetarian, I hate the idea of eating crow !

I have come to understand it is extremely wrong on  anyone's part to decide what is right and what is wrong for others. Well, I am not talking about issues like legal system and such. But generalizing 'our' ways as right and 'their' ways as wrong is plain and simple, wrong !

This exactly is why I have come to distance myself from religions and moved towards free-thinking. I refuse to be bogged down by people who preach about gods and rituals. But I also refuse to interfere with their right to do what they love to do without bothering me. If something gives someone happiness and peace without infringing upon someone else' rights or freedom, so be it !

Satire and sarcasm are two things I have inherited along with the A-Positive blood group. I have often hurt people without intending to and looking back at such instances makes me cringe. But, everyday in life is spent in trying to rise above the superstitions, prejudices and stupidities without trading upon the toes of others. It is tough but I think it is worth trying than live with vainglorious pride and petty prejudices !

Dr. Punned-it

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