Boiled Bean Town

Written in


This post comes to you from Boiled Bean Town. More specifically Whitefield, a suburb suffering from serious Multistorey Apartment Disorder. Work brings me here for a couple of days and I am looking forward to Sambar with extra sugar for a change.

But metaphorically,

One walks into school. Class X. Idli/podi packed in tiffen box. One mentally runs through the time table. No troublesome classes today, one persuades oneself. Then holy mother of the guy in the sky, surprise tests in Mathematics and History!


I sign into my blog and find that I have been tagged. 25 of my favourite things, I am to write.


Tag Exam#1 conducted annually (200 times) by the Velai-illaadha Enthusiastic Tag Tag-nu Imsaipannuifiers. (V.E.T.T.I)

Time allotted: 25 minutes

Marks: 25

1. I like dusky Malayali women with short curly hair.

2. I like Heavy Metal music. I hope to one day assemble a band and play Carnatic classical songs with a muscular shirtless drummer, thin evil looking bassist, a bespectacled guitarist (Your’s truly) and lots of long hair. Our first music video will involve 20 young girls singing “Sree Gana Natha…” in Malahari ragam for 10 seconds before we arrive, scare them away and play a heavy metal rendition of the same song. The backdrop will be a dark cave with Milagu Kozhambu (Pepper Tamarind Gravy) dripping from everywhere. Simply for heavy metal dark effect. Eppidi?

3. I like the Cello. Although I am a violinist (of sorts),Β  I find the sound of the Cello unbelievably sensuous. My favourite is Cello Suite No.1,1 in G, Prelude by Bach, played by the incomparable Yo-Yo Ma

4. I like Colocasia esculenta (Arbi in Hindi, Cheppankazhangu in Tamil, Taro root in English) boiled and deep fried with chilli powder and turmeric.

5. I like disliking going to temples for purely religious purposes. Puliyodharais, Curd Rice, Vadas and other edible items must figure in the agenda. Musst Figures (I refer to the erotic sculptures) are also interesting reasons for going to old temples.

6. I like crows. In a very Hitchhikeresque way, I think they laugh at us everyday. Soon, they will leave us behind on this polluted planet and leave us a message – “So long and thanks for all the paruppu saadam”

7. I like Vincent Van Gogh. As a kid, I thought the eccentric Dutchman was a user of bad quality crayons and had a poor sense of perspective. Then one day, I saw Starry Night. Those stellar swirls in the sky still continue to pull me in.

8. I like Pepsi cola. Not the Plachimada spoiling or the pesticide variety. I refer to the 50p cylindrical polythene tubes filled with coloured ice. It’s a tragedy I don’t get them in Chennai any more.

9.Β  I like cryptic crosswords. The Hindu/The Guardian newspaper variety. Those who can appreciate the sheer, jaw-dropping elegance of gegs (9,4) will know what I mean. (Answer at the end of the post)

10. I like the final serving of extra paani after Ive eaten the last panipuri.

11. I like Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams. They are not mere writers. They are the literary equivalent of evil gnomes using crow feathers to tickle the bottom of one’s feet. For 24 hours.

12. I like my younger brother’s casual irreverence and my youngest brother’s irreverent casualness. My current 72 heart beats per minute (instead of 0) is testimony to their immense tolerance and patience.

13. I like Chacha Chaudhry and Obelix. I don’t like Sabu and Asterix. If somebody could take care of copyright issues, I would write the adventures of Chacha Chaudhry and Obelix. I would get Mahendra Palsule to illustrate them.
14. I like my grandmother. She is of the belief that people ought not to be paid so much for sitting in front of a computer all day. She is right. She is also of the belief that Sri Lanka has problems because, at the end of the day, it is a land that was once ruled by Ravana.
15. I like Origami.

16. I like my dowry. It’s a white, fluffy dog with a bushy tail. His name is Chinnu.

17. I like traveling. To places with waterfalls, snow or middle-eastern food (Feta Cheese and Hummus especially)

18. I like airplane meals.

19. I like Rajnikanth and Kamalhassan. One for being able to laugh at himself. The other, for making a movie like Anbe Sivam

20. I like Vijaykanth, and his low wear-and-tear approach to physical violence. (Twirl moustache. Bad guy falls)

21. I like gadgets. Preferably made by Apple, Bang & Olufsen or Onkyo. A Gibson Les Paul would be nice too
22. I like collecting musical instruments. Especially balloon-wala flutes from every part of India.

23. I like star gazing. Every time I get worked up about something that I think is important, I am reminded that we are an insignificant species in a pale blue dot revolving around a mediocre yellow dwarf in a remote corner of a mid-sized galaxy in a universe whose size and grandeur we cannot even begin to imagine.

24. I like liking. Disliking is not as much fun.

25. (for bonus teacher impression maroing points) I like my blog readers (Ayyooo. Too much ice pa). This is the only blog where the wit and brilliance exhibited in the comments section far outstrips anything in the posts.

Answer to cryptic crossword clue (in point nr. 9) : Scrambled EggsΒ 

And I tag Bikerdude in turn.


23 responses to “Boiled Bean Town”

  1. Les Pauls Avatar

    You have to go with #21… Gibson Les Paul is something sweet to get!!!!

  2. Karthik Krish Avatar
    Karthik Krish

    I prefer the gibson SG though. See link below.

    btw does wordpress support html tags in comments ??

  3. Voracious Blog Reader Avatar
    Voracious Blog Reader

    Hindu crosswords………wooowwww….Was crazy about them once upon a time.

    TIP: Skin deep attraction (6)

    Voracious Blog Reader

  4. GG Avatar

    #24 is a good reason to accept tags πŸ™‚

  5. Soundar Avatar

    #3. Yo-Yo Ma. If ticket to his concert bought for you by parent, you can thank Yo-Ma Ma or Yo Pa-Pa.

    #17. Middle eastern food.
    Amen to that. Sat morning breakfast for us is a trip to the Lebanese bakery-cheese pies for the kids and spinach pies with lemon and chilli for us. The only time when my kids’ ma-ma does not gripe about them not eating well.

    #19. tathaastu to Kamal. Admire the middling erudition of his scripts. Eg. Hey Ram with its reference to Mohenjo Daro-Harappa, Mortimer Wheeler, the concept of retribution for disturbing the dead, the use of the sanyaasa mantram and so on. Random nuggets such as the use of truth serum Sodium Pentothal in Kuruthi-ppunal.

    #20. Vijaykanth! Hahha hha. Oru paddathilae-ppa, kudisai pootti irukku. ANNan summa thottu kuduppaar, poottu odenju sithari poyidurathu theriyumo?

    #23. Stargazing. O-podu to that too.

  6. rambodoc Avatar

    OMG, that must have been a staggering list!
    Karthik, as one of the world sore-most experts on word pressing, I assure you that html tags are supported in the comments section.
    Krish, in significant blog Universe-la, you are a BIG star! I can’t tell you how awesome I find the combination of the typical South Indian and the Western sophisticate. Shall I call it *****?
    (brain fails, head-shaking fails, retreats with substantial English tail between Indian legs, exit to thunder-less applause)

  7. krishashok Avatar

    Voracious Blog Reader,

    Yes. His ability to throw in these small nuggets of pure genius amidst the muddy morass of commercial cinema is invaluable.

    Too much praise πŸ™‚ Thank you. In the world of twisting words and minds, I am but a junior apprentice to thou.

    Les Pauls,
    Amen, Om Shanti Shanti Shantihi, Wallaahi to that πŸ™‚

  8. Priya Avatar

    hey! you wrote it up so fast? how mean!

    me has to go and write.. say, if I dont write, would a cranky pigeon crap on me or something? Me is the thinking of silently the bunking.. is Su very violent? would you know?

    and thanks for point 4 – me is the going to kitchen to make the cheppa k fry and stuff my face.. πŸ™‚

  9. Diviya Avatar

    Starry Nights – I’m totally with you on that one! But airplane meals? I mean, seriously?

  10. Siva Avatar

    #2 : OMG… Pepper Tamarind Gravy effect.. that was awesome..btw, are we seriously going to see you soon in a recording… the himesinging podcast was a decent one theriyumo? πŸ™‚

  11. mahendrap Avatar

    Colocasia esculenta – you too?!

    ‘Gegs’ was brilliant!

    Thanks for the link.

    And I shut up now, in fear of disproving #25.

  12. Voracious Blog Reader Avatar
    Voracious Blog Reader


  13. Su Avatar

    @ Jalsa guy : Thanks for responding to the tag with a super interesting post πŸ™‚ NO THANKS for calling me VETTI.
    My mom says the same thing about Ravana too. And I loved your Rajini and Kamal parts. And even the one about the airline food. What else to do in flight other than thinking what food will be there, when it will come to our aisle, admire it and then quickly gobble it.

    @ priya : This is not a concentration camp exercise ma. Please be bunking. Me tagged for the heck of it

  14. Priya Avatar

    phew! apparently, she is not the very violent. but me hates bein’ a spoilsport, so me will the tag. πŸ™‚

  15. Marc Avatar

    8. Oh yes you do. Gotta know where to look for it.

  16. krishashok Avatar

    Hyderabad cheppa k is quite muddy in texture and taste and does not meet the requisite quality requirements for making cheppa k fry. The Chennai variety is the world’s only form of Taro root that makes the cut. So, by all means πŸ˜‰

    You are welcome

    Address, latitude, longitude, geocode, landmark, driving directions, mobile nr please. Now!

  17. clarissa Avatar

    Regarding 25: Kiss ass!

    Regarding 23: Me too! My not-too-reflective older brother calls me ‘cynical’ because I find comfort in that feeling of insignificance.

  18. pok Avatar

    verry cool! putting on the kaka hat…

    “goodbye and thanks for all the parrup sadham, but please note uppu konjam kammi.” πŸ™‚

  19. sanjib Avatar

    At the risk of perhaps being a minority non-Tanglish speaking commenter, just like to add that this is a pretty neat list, especially since you had just 25 minutes to come up with it! The cooler Boiled Bean Town climate surely must have helped.

    Also I must confess, that though I have been a Chennophobe (inspired primarily by the welcome provided by auto-drivers there), the insights provided by your blog are in the process of changing that.

    Dusky Malayali women with short curly hair? Whats wrong with the ones that have long oily threads with the characteristic posterior joining knot?

  20. Bikerdude Avatar

    Aiyo- what I will write I say. Ok will hash something up in the next few days.

    About the Cello: Why don’t you take lessons? Considering Chennai is the only city in India, Pakistan and Srilanka that has 3 Cello teachers? It is a seriously cool instrument. And this woman called Saskia de Haas plays Hindustani on it. Quite nice.

    I started Cello lessons in Bangalore but the teacher ran back to Chennai in rubber chappals.

  21. krishashok Avatar

    Welcome πŸ™‚ Reg the specifications on Mallu women, nothing wrong with the other types. Just that I am married to one that fits my description πŸ™‚

    Any contact details avlabel aa?

  22. Bikerdude Avatar

    Yes I will osk my music school principalini and send you contacts

  23. Kitcha Avatar

    Came into work this morning but with a weaker ethic than usual. Googled the word “Tam Bram” for no particular reason, and ran into this brilliant on-going conversation, and have been reading enthralled for hours! This ex-Chennai boy loves cheppankalangu fry, vettha kolmabu-paruppu usli, and can rip through the crossword on the NYTimes, but always came a cropper when it came to the “Hindu”. Having tapped into this conversation, I suspect my already weak work ethic has just met more than its match!

Leave a Reply to Siva Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: