My mind was, however, preoccupied. I'd ate a McAloo Tikki burger from McDonald's the night before, and my mind was boogling at the the sheer range of stories where I could use "McAloo Tikki" as a humourous aside, handy segue, or even as a metaphor that encapsulates the commercialisation of India in one neatly oversimplified little package. Absolute gem.
This is a fine post, Keith. But review the burger, dammit.
Brilliant post. Can you get hold a camera? Mind you the domes in the windscreen of the suv, needs no pic.
Yeah ... I'm not sure what exactly works with this post, but I'm with Russell - a great piece of work.
And Happy Birthday for tomorrow.
Being in India would make any journalist reassess their definition of news - particularly coming from a New Zealand news and current affairs environment. Certainly news of a protest and riot on this scale for national domestic consumption would be considered a minor story. As I have noted, there is no such thing as a slow news day in India. I would be interested to know what level of coverage the regional newspaper The Deccan Herald gave the incident. And happy birthday, by the way!
McDonalds India featuring the McAloo Tikka
Fried breaded potato & peas patty that is flavoured with a special spice mix, fresh tomato slices, onion, and veg. tomato mayonnaise between toasted buns.
It actually doesn't sound so bad ...
It actually doesn't sound so bad ...
No, and then I saw the picture.
Keen observations Keith. I am just wondering what would be your reaction if you had to live in Bangalore for, say, a year?!
Two points re your post:
1. McAloo Tikki doesn't signify commercialisation of Indian life. "Aloo" is means Potato and "tikki" is patty. It is one of the most common snack foods available even in the smallest towns of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, etc. What McDonalds seems to have done is put that inside a burger bun. Many Indian restraunts/Sweets and Snack food shops in Auckland offer "Aloo Tikki" on their menu. I am just wondering if McDonalds has offered "Smosa burger"?! When I was boarding in the College hostel during my graduation studies, we used to put a smosa between two bread pieces, and eat it like a sandwich. [Just to caution, the smosa I am talking about is quite different from the bite-sized ones I have seen here -- not only in size but taste and texture as well.]
2. About the shiny upper layer and the smelly underbelly of Indian society, you will be surprised how closely the underbelly is monitored by the elite. If there is one country where it is absolutely impossible for a revolution of the "proletariat kind" to occur, it is India. 10 to 1, the pro-Saddam rally was the handiwork of a political party in opposition at the State government level or the Federal level to embarrass the incumbent political party. The elite has many tools to control those who actually indulge in the Bangalore-style violence. And those who organize this kind of violence do so in an area where the police is headed by "one of our own". That is why you will find that since 1947, when British left a truncated India to its own designs, there have been hundreds of riots but not even a 100 people have been convicted for crimes committed during these riots.
Thanks everyone! I'm sitting in a pitch black internet cafe at the moment. The power's been out for half an hour. The UPS closet down the back with a dozen car batteries is keeping this baby going. Funny how the internet connection is still up.
1) Burger was alright, actually. The sauce was vaguely Indian. I still missed the fried cheese burger (as in a burger with a slab of crumbed, fried cheese) in the Czech Republic.
2) Had photos, but they sucked.
3) You're right Charles, it was minor news for everyone else. The Bangalore papers took it very seriously, though.
4) Yeah - fingers are being pointed at the communist opposition. Like the good Orwellian that I am, I don't believe in actual "proletariat revolutions". I guess I'm only suggesting that there are many angry people out there, and as you say Verpal, there are always people ready to take advantage of that.
Re prol. riots: It's done here, only they use the internet and middle class angry persons that come across like echo delay units.
No photo sucks, really, if you look at them long enough there's always something there.
Didn't they try to have McD's banned from entering India?
You know a democracy sucks alot when so many leaders get assasinated.