Monday, August 24, 2009

OF THE DIVINE AND HUMAN ENTERPRISE



The media has been pessimistically predicting a lack-lustre Ganeshotsav this year because of the swine-flu scare. My mother-in-law (who keenly follows each and every TV news report directly or remotely connected to Mumbai, or Maharashtra, or Western India, ever since we shifted here) has been frantically calling us up almost daily with swine-flu updates, trying to persuade us not to venture out among the vast crowds teeming with germs, because we might all catch the dreaded disease. Or, of course, in case somehow the germs miss us, there are terrorists lurking in nooks and corners, hoping for some target-practice. Mind it!

My M-I-L is single-handedly responsible for pushing up the TRPs of all news programmes which showcase Mumbai-related “sansani tazaa khabar” (breaking news).

But although many seemed scared of venturing out, there are other people who are welcoming the elephant-headed God of enterprise through their own, surprisingly original ventures.

There is a fairly newly-opened soda pub near our home, you know the kind that sells 50 or so flavours of soda for ten rupees each. Since I never soar beyond the SOUR-5 (imli/kokum/kachchi kairi/kala-khatta/jeera-masala), I cannot vouch for all the flavours, but there is often quite a crowd in front of the shop.

That day, in honour of the festive season, my mother and I took our daughters for a soda-treat (I can almost see my M-I-L becoming all pale and panicky about their health, so please do not tell her this, she is a sweet soul actually). As we were sipping our cold, coloured and contraband sodas (Me-imli, Maa-kokum, Lil cat-orange, Copy kitten- lime-n-lemon), the smiling man serving us said,

Madam, naya flavour aanewala hai kal, Ganpati ke liye.” (Madam, a new flavour will be introduced tomorrow, in honour of Ganpati).

In answer to our obvious curiosity, he said with a flourish and a proud smile, “Swine-flu flavour.”

My first horrified and sick-making thought was that it would taste of blocked noses and phlegm. But Maa made a better, and closer, guess. “Maybe they will put tulsi (basil) and haldi (turmeric) and other such natural remedies for coughs and colds.”

A panacea for swine-flu-panic at ten rupees? Should sell like hot cakes, or at least like the masks dotting/clotting the cityscape.

Remember the much-publicised 1995 miracle when the Ganesha drank up gallons of milk in front of millions of astonished devotees all over the world? Maybe we need another miracle. Will the Divine Trunk sip a swine-flu soda this time around?



P.S: What with the Vighna-vinashak (God who destroys all obstacles) teaming up with indefatigable human innovativeness, looks like we can beat the H1N1-demon. Till then, enjoy the drumbeats. Have a happy and safe festive season.

25 comments:

Suma said...

i love the enterprising 'common person', he/she always manages to turn every situation to some use

a swine flu flavor? :)

SJ said...

LOL!!!! Genius no? Swine flu flavour, whatte imagination I say! I would try it though!! I have a feeling it might be fluorescent green with some hot pink thrown in!

Ranu said...

Honestly hilarious post!!!

I can already see your MIL reacting to that bit of news!!!!

Hehehehehehehe!!!

Have a great festival!!!

Aparna said...

Where is this place?
Let me know fast, dying to taste that imli soda.

Nancy Yos said...

I have a friend (no really) who gets her hair done at a salon that also serves a lot of doctors. My friend's hairdresser therefore has it on good authority -- don't worry about swine flu. You've already had it.

Reassuring? Or spooky?

Vivek Patwardhan said...

:))

Swine Flu flavour in soda is interesting. But like a certain brand of alcohol comes mixed with juice, I wonder if this Soda recipe gives an idea to the barman to make a Swine Flu cocktail!

[It may actually sell well!]

Vivek

Tomz said...

well..but I heard that most of the Swine Flue panic has been manipulated by some other countries as they possess the whole ability to made medicine and masks for them..anyway ur writing has many elements connected..good read

Jyothi said...

I am thinking of your version of the soda. I don't think I will ever drink a soda again. :)

I was in College when Ganeshji's other Miracle happened. Lets hope for another one!!!

Meira said...

wow! package it and export it! great economic opportunity in the times of drought! But seriously, wow!

ZB said...

wow, what an idea.....LOL:)

R. Ramesh said...

good blog congrats

Anrosh said...

no ganne ka ras these days ?

Babli said...

Thanks a lot for your lovely comment.
I liked your post as you have written very beautifully and it is also hillarious. Now everybody is panicked and scared due to swine flu as it is spreading rapidly. Even in Townsville also swine flu has spread and 6 people died.

Ugich Konitari said...

Dont know whats in it, but you have to admire the fellow's creativity and selling ideas. Your Mom may be right. It will probably have all kinds of good stuff like ginger,ajwain,jeera,pepper and stuff...

I need to catch the next bus to Borivli....

Nona said...

Very innovative name for the flavor! :)

sujata said...

these guys know their trade, as they say in bangla "0ra jane kon bepaar ta loke khaabe". Loved your imagination abt the phelgm..I would have come up with something like that and ensure that my mom and daughter cannot take another sip of their sodas. I am famous for such hideous vocal thoughts.

Swaram said...

ROFL :D Nw I wanna taste the new flavour ;)

Suchismita said...

So now they are marketing "swine flu".. always expected some one would..afterall, if there can be swine flu parties, why not drinks??

lopamudra said...

Dying to know what is in it! Taste it for us.

Sumandebray said...

The ladies of the house (absolute majority in the house) having a different flavours and still you call the little one a copy cat.... Bahut na insaafi hai!
SF Flavour is kind of repulsive for me .. would rather prefer a Tami Flu flavour .. ....
But definitely great concept! use what is making news!

manju said...

Lol! Swine flu flavour!

I hope that your mother's guess as to its ingredients turns out to be true- and not yours!

chitz said...

henceforth.will always remember "the swine-flu" flavour whnever i see a soda..:D

Roshni Mitra Chintalapati said...

mmm! You're making me drool reading about all those sour flavours!! Not the swine flu flavour though..I think I'll pass on that one!!

nsiyer said...

Sansani is terrible. I fone watches it for a long time, you actuslly start believing what is shown.

Ajit Singh said...

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