Monday, October 19, 2009

Diwali .... but where is the 'mithaas'?

Diwali Dhamaka… but where is the ‘mithaas’?

Sorry. But this Diwali, my personal mithaas is under tremendous pressure, and I’m afraid chocolates are just not hitting the sweet spot. There is a serious shortage of mithaas all round, starting with the Chini at our doorstep. No matter that Arunachal Pradesh can boast of an impressive voter turnout ( who can possibly laugh at 72% ), we could do with Chini Kum in that area, as S.M.Krishna will agree. It is a pretty grim situation and distributing laddoos by way of a peace offering is not likely to help matters, when the enemy is baying for blood. Nothing sweet about that. Beijing Duck, anyone? While we get indigestion over this chop- suey and wonder how to tone down the red hot levels in that classic desi dish - Chicken Manchurian - our domestic kitchens are working overtime not to burn the bubbling rabdi.
Brothers Ambani are not quite ready to share a bowl of basundi this festive season, even though Brother Anil has sent out a tulsi branch to Brother Mukesh. Not that investors are complaining – the Sensex reacted to the khush khabar by hitting 17k and beyond, adding much needed mithaas to an otherwise unpalatable share bazaar bhojan.
Bollywood is celebrating Diwali in its own unique fashion – by adding mithaas to the catwalk and modelling for assorted causes, starting with Sallubhai’s Being Human. Couture just got cuter with dinky Aamir Khan strutting his stuff and looking cho chweet as he smiled coyly at front row supporters . Sridevi looked yummier than a hot jalebi as she sparkled on the ramp , her smile reflecting her inner mithaas. Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor , his lady love, are mithaas personified as gulab jamun show stoppers. There is such an overdose of sweetness in their love kahani, that fans are worried about the saccharine overdose. The ones feeling entirely left out of the Diwali hi-jinks are the neglected professional models, who have been reduced to decorative props at fashion shows ever since the Bollywood Brigade hi-jacked fashion. The bitter taste in our willowy mannequins’ mouths will require more than a kilo of choccies to neutralize…ooops, size zero models don’t do choccies, how could I forget? There goes their mithaas for the season.
In Maharashtra, we have warring cousins who are in no mood to exchange ‘karanjis’ or ‘anarsey’ ( traditional marathi manoos sweets). Sharad Pawar has made matters worse by declaring Raj Thackeray as the winner of the ‘‘Charisma Awards”. This has instigated Uddhav to hit back at the NCP by pointing out there is no real leader left in that Pawar play. These exchanges cannot be called ‘sweet nothings’. They are ‘bitter somethings’ with a nasty after- taste. Meanwhile Praful Patel is trying his best to sweeten the mood of Air India’s angry unions. Chances are they won’t settle for anything less than their pound of flesh, and not even a mound of mithaas will cool down tempers. Away from the obvious political ramifications of the assembly elections, the Maoists in Maharashtra are celebrating Diwali as only they can – by butchering innocents. Not all the mithaas in the world can alter their mindset, or influence their bloody-minded agenda.
The ‘aam aadmi’ is bewildered and upset this Diwali. Sick of being taken for granted, year in and year out, he is unlikely to be appeased with a box of commercial mithai when what he wants is the entire mithai ka dukaan. With spiraling prices and sugar itself in short supply, he is left holding the howling baby, wondering how to pay the neighbourhood kiraanawalla. Forget bonus-shonus, the aam aadmi wants reassurance that by this time next year, the economy will be back on track. Pranab Babu isn’t saying that convincingly enough… perhaps he is enjoying his Diwali mishti a bit too much to pay attention to the aam aadmi’s grievances. No problem. The aam aadmi’s patience has not run out entirely so far. He is looking hopefully at the Good Sardar, whose sweet temperament wins over most critics – did you not notice how well he and his wife are bonding with Obama and his wife? This goes beyond merely breaking bread together - this is called indulging ones diplomatic sweet tooth. If only the Chinese premier would let them eat cake…. Poorey duniya ki mithaas badh jayegi! Happy Diwali. Diya jalao… ek doosron ko nahi.


It is the last day of Diwali, and I'm feeling rather sad - the festival is over before it began! After Bhaubeej tomorrow night, I'll take the lights and aakash kandeels down... throw the marigold garlands away, remove the rangoli at the door, snuff out the diyas.... you now the drill. It has been a beautiful and meaningful Diwali. I just completed the 'Padwa' rituals with my husband. These involve an elaborate aarti, a fragrant oil bath, seeking his blessings, and exchanging gifts. I had observed my own parents scrupulously adhering to this age-old way of heralding the new year, and I have maintained the tradition in the hope that my children will imbibe it. Fingers crossed.

We treated ourselves to a movie earlier, after spending a couple of days at our home in Alibag. Those lights were reluctantly switched off as well, as we got back to make it for ''Wake up, Sid." Midway through the film, I sent a text msg to Karan Johar congratulating him for producing a spot- on movie that captures the 'badey baap ka beta' syndrome so accurately. Ranbir is adorable as Sid, while Konkona is well... Konkona. She plays herself in every film, and I find her acting most monotonous. If you as ask me , it is the dialogue of '........... Sid ' that scores over all else. The story is pretty flimsy, it is the treatment that works. Good scenes are carved out of material that is pretty mundane. With a lesser actor, the film would have tanked since there are no dramatic highs to hold it together. Ranbir is as fresh and taaza as a farm -picked bhindi. Supriya Pathak as his mother who struggles with her english is sweeter than a roshogulla. Definitely a feel -good, cheerful film, even though I didn't care for the cliche ending. Kashmera Shah as Sonia was delicious. But the film belongs unambiguously to the entirely natural and almost edible Kapoor bachcha. Well done, Sid!


sajjad.axe said...

its really a joy to read ur post,
itotally agree there is less mithas this year!

Sree said...

lol loved best the "sending out Thulsi branch'!
Mithas still intact on your writing though.

maglomaniac said...

mithaas was sumthing that never was.The onus has always been us to find the chashni even in salty seas.
(And i got the word verification as DUFFER,really aint that amazing:),wid me being 1)

Jogeshwar said...

Really enjoyed reading this post. The way you write it's awesome, yeah a lot of 'mithaas' is missing in this world. Definitely got to watch Wake Up Sid. Hey, BTW have you seen Obama's Diwali message? here's the link
I think this gesture adds more 'mithaas'.

Alex Engwete said...

Obama celebrated the Diwali at the White House last Wednesday. According to reports, Obama even lit the diya "amidst chanting of mantras and bowed respectfully before a Hindu priest." This is the first time ever that Indian tradition has been mainstreamed in America. As everyone knows, without Indian "technocrats," America would come to a screeching halt: all the great doctors at American hospitals, for example, are Indian!... It was about time...

kala said...

Navratri, Diwali, Sankranti are three beautiful festivals with less emphasis on gods and more importance for celebrations though steeped in various religious practices. Diwali is becoming universal festival like Santa claus and Xmas. While the poor wonders at the splurge indulged by the rich, the middle classes(not the upper ones) try to balance and enjoy cautiously.

ms said...

greetings, mz de. nice to see the traditions live on. diwali could have been greener if we were satisfied with the fireworks in the media! "phuljaris may come and phuljaris may go, but the gaalis live on forever!" what a world - family feuds influence our stockmarket and also our survival rate in the jungles.
loved your "konkana is konkana in every film", if she continues this way, she will end up a caricature of herself - like rajesh khanna! have you noticed how ranbir resembles the very young and slurpy randhir kapoor? the hair, the forehead, the dialogue delivery. if you don't believe me, just watch "rampur ka laxman".

Gajendra said...

sweet post :)

Anonymous said...

Ranbir - The superstar???

ஷ‌ஃபிக்ஸ்/Suffix said...

:)Interesting!! Happy Diwali to all.

cmpershad said...

"There is a serious shortage of mithaas all round, starting with the Chini at our doorstep."

But, dont you know these are the days of CHINI KAM:)

neeraj said...

SMS charges trippled... groceries becomeing more expensive, floods, terrorism, dirty politics all around, pollution and more.... Diwali has got no meaning for sure...

Theyoginme said...

Your comment "Diya jalao" ek doosron ko nahi is so true. Diwali is about not just shining light through diyas, but perhaps a day to absorb yourself in tradition and practice of shining your own light on others as you absorb theirs.

Diwali inspired me to break my own writers block and write something we all indians experience universally on this day on my blog
Happy Diwali...

Bohu said...

Hello, I really love the snippets about shravan and padwa rituals - would you explain them a bit more in your blog for the non-Maharashtrians? They sound really interesting! Thanks.

kala said...

Every other actor repeats the same gestures. It cant be helped. In Konkona's case, she is limited by her looks. Given a chance, she can carry off most of the roles which does not require her to be a dancing doll. Ranbir has to prove in roles like Karz where his father has done a tremendous job. He has miles to go. WUS is DCH in a nutshell. But DCH created history. Congratulate Farhan Akhtar who created it.

Another Kiran In NYC said...

Kala, I totally agree about diwali becoming more of a secular celebration. I like that shift. Something for all to celebrate if they want to.

pooja raathore said...

Dear SD,
Happy Deepavali to you and your family!
your post has the mithaas and the numkeen(spice)..i liked it.

Sameer said...


Diwalichya anek shubhechha. Loved your 'where is mithhas' post. I think Diwali's one message is also of hope and honestly I am counting on that message like never before. I really have high hopes for a good government that will provide for 'aam aadmi'. I have high hopes that the global recession will come to an end soon. Our ancestors have seen much worst days and poverty and it is the 'hope' that gave them strength to overcome those days.

Wish you and all the blogdosts a very happy and hopeful Diwali. Thsi year has been a very stressful year for lot of us but let's hope for better tomorrow. May all of your dreams come true and you get what you want and deserve in life.

Latha said...

Hey Jogeshwar,
Thanx for that YouTube. Obama is simply superb.
He knows for sure how to capture everybody's 'Dil' by going that extra mile.
I loved him in this.
You made my Diwali.
Happy 'Diwali' to all here.

Sidhusaaheb said...

While we are at it, we might as well also mention that there is not much mithhaas in the relations between India and any of its neighbours. Not even the Bangladesh that India helped create or the teensy-weensy Nepal that India has played big-brother to for so long...

Or perhaps I forget...The minuscule Bhutan is the only exception, though it is difficult to say until when.


Suneera said...

Dear Ma;am,
This is in reference to a story I am following up on the Federal Trade Comission's guidelines on monitoring blog comments and online endorsments of products, for Business World Magazine.

I wish to seek your perspective from a blogger's point of view. How does such a regulation impact the domain of web endorsements, this "restriction" is clearly taking away from the liberty of individual opinion. It might be arising also from a need to monitor biased information from taking rounds on the web. This will shortly be implemented (1st December) and will be closely monitored.

Following is the synopsis of the guidelines.

FTC Publishes Final Guides Governing Endorsements, Testimonials : Changes Affect Testimonial Advertisements, Bloggers, Celebrity Endorsements : 05\10\09

"...The notice incorporates several changes to the FTC’s Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising, which address endorsements by consumers, experts, organizations, and celebrities, as well as the disclosure of important connections between advertisers and endorsers. The Guides were last updated in 1980.
Under the revised Guides, advertisements that feature a consumer and convey his or her experience with a product or service as typical when that is not the case will be required to clearly disclose the results that consumers can generally expect..."

These examples address what constitutes an endorsement when the message is conveyed by bloggers or other “word-of-mouth” marketers.Thus, bloggers who make an endorsement must disclose the material connections they share with the seller of the product or service".

mahatru said...

Nice video. Mr. President said so sweetly "mithai n saal mubarak" shayad wahan mithaas thi.

And yes Wakeup Sid completely belongs to Ranbir. Sick of seeing Ms. Konkana in those same repetitive roles. "Its time for change" mam

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really enjoying the blog...

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