Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Curry Worries


Transport for London takes public service very seriously – especially if it involves pasting preachy messages all over the trains and tube stations. But I am worried that this latest public service message (see picture) may have some cataclysmic effect on the real estate market of London thirty years hence.

Let’s examine this message again from the perspective of an Indian kid on the tube.

Cute, nerdy child = Me.
Frizzy, darkish hair = Me.
Smelly food = oh my god curry, again Me.

Now, Sid grew up as a cute, nerdy boy with frizzy black hair eating curry in Melbourne three decades ago along with a small but select group of equally, nerdy Indian kids with frizzy black hair eating curry. They all loved curry. They were all traumatised by the fear of the smell of Indian spices sticking to them as they stepped out with odourless, colourless skip (read: White Aussie) friends.

And as they grew up to become nerdy engineers, doctors and lawyers, the latest trend in the tightly-knit community is to build two kitchens in their houses. One a barely-used, clinically clean, odourless model kitchen to convince their skip friends that they have never heard of curry before. And then, the real kitchen ferreted in the back redolent with the smells of spices, daals and flavoured meats that they can’t live without.

But Melbourne has a lot of open land to indulge the smelly food paranoia of its rich Indian immigrant kids. Can London afford the same?

***
For more on curry-infused fears of Indian kids read Anon's review of the book Leaving India.

2 comments:

anonandon said...

I remember an Italian friend having a similar fear: of smelling like garlic all the time. Closer to home, my mum, who grew up in an entirely vegetarian household,gagged at the smell of my dad's very non-vegetarian household.

globalbabble said...

oh dear, your mum's sounds like Sid's mom's story. In retaliation, Sid's mom started a vegetarian restaurant in Melbourne with the aim of turning every passing Melbournian vegetarian.