To complete a triptych of food-related photos, the other day I popped down to the local Malayalee sandwich juice guy and ordered, among other things, a chicken fillet sandwich. Upon getting home, I was happy to see that they had labelled the boxes so I didn’t have to open them up and test them.
Of course, what he had written on the box did strike me as a little disconcerting at first:
There’s no accounting for taste.
Speaking of Malayalees and food, yesterday I was at the airport seeing someone off, when who should walk by but that uber-star of Malayalee cinema (not counting Shakeela, of course!), the media magnate of the meeshe and mundu, Mohanlal.
I had half a mind to shout, “Hey, your restaurant sucks!” but seeing as I was surrounded by literally hundreds of my more southern Malabar-coast cousins, all of whom swarmed towards the star the nanosecond they caught sight of him, I decided against it. I wouldn’t have lasted more than three seconds anyway. This was not the time to be going toe-to-toe with the (rather hefty) Mohanlal on the matter of how the prawn curry was inconsistent (not to mention the fact that his restaurant is called “Mohanlal’s Taste Buds” — I mean, what da fug?).
The Bangalorean parts of my genes told me that the proper thing to do was to write to the Deccan Herald, in a prolix letter that must begin, “Sir, Esteemed Yourself is being hailed by Humble Myself to bring to kind attention of All-Selves the matter of…etc, etc.”
The Mangalorean parts of me wanted to forget such trivial matters, and to discuss the price of gold in a lengthy inner monologue.
The Mumbaikar part of me told both of them to shut up.
This reminds me of the time I saw Nikhil Advani in Oxford Bookstore, Mumbai. I didn’t recognise him at the time (“Hmm, that guy looks familiar.” “Of course he does, he looks like Droopy!” “No, I mean, besides that…”), but I’m pretty sure I would have wanted to say, “Couldn’t you have just killed Shah Rukh quick and saved us all from a bitch of a migraine?”
Today in the supermarket I passed the condiments aisle, and legions of little Mohanlals grin at me from their branded pickle bottles, the contents of which could probably eat through steel in less time than it takes to toss an appam.
He may have millions of fans, and a restaurant, and his own brand of pickles, but I have Chicken Fellate Sandwich.
And on a final note, I drove by Simran’s Appa Kadai, and tell me, why on earth would I want to go to a restaurant that serves some Punjabi girl’s father kadai-style?