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March 30, 2010

All you can eat Buffet

Filed under: agriculture, social change — neosurya @ 19:40

Jyostna and I were watching the Discovery Travel channel last night. Why we are watching travel, you ask… We find most channels doling out rubbish; Even National Geographic has become voyeuristic at times, or a fear fantasy (assassination this [1], behind the bars that [1], hot rods, boys toys etc). Travel and cooking seem to be the only sane things on the TV. That will change soon, I guess.

Anyhow, we are watching Discovery Travel one Monday evening, and they had this special on “All you can eat buffets” [1]. Pretty harmless, one may think. Until my wife muttered – “What a country we left behind”. I realized that such buffets are possible only in USA. I have not traveled a whole lot, but within India at least I have rarely seen an all you can eat buffet except at weddings. And even then, the buffet is frowned upon in traditional South Indian weddings.

Then there were a few other things that I recalled about buffets: (1) Any food left at the end of business has to be thrown out. (2) There is immense wastage if the business makes an error in predicting their estimates. (3) Cooking different foods under one roof is a supply chain nightmare, and comes at a huge carbon footprint. I mean – think of crab legs for a few thousand people in Las Vegas. Nevada does not have such a large population of crabs, and they definitely cannot get them from the Grand Canyon.

Looks like there are other locations around the world where all-you-can-eat Buffets are available [URL here: 1]. These are, however mostly in the “developed” countries. I do not like such large-scale wastage. Not to say that I do not enjoy food; I do enjoy it… And I wonder what a food connoisseur ought to do in this case…


March 26, 2010

Rabbi Shergills song – Jinhe Naaz hai Hind Par Woh Kahaan Hai?

Filed under: social change — neosurya @ 18:13

A singer sang then (1957, Movie: Pyasaa, Director: Guru Dutt, Lyrics: Sahir Ludhianvi)….

A singer sang now (2008, Private album)….

The lyrics have changed, and the context of these songs are completely different but the despair and feelings behind the songs remain same. Except, when Dutt pictured his song, he talked only about the prostitution that was apparent. Rabbi talks about something that is a lot more subtle and a lot more potent at danger. Several blogs have elaborated on what Rabbi Sherigll says about Bilqis Yakoob Rasul, Manjunath Shanmugham, Satydendra Dubey and Navleen Kumar [1, 2, 3]. Issues have certainly changed, but the artists observation about the callous nature of people remains true, and in the modern times it is even more grave.

A related song is “Ganga Behti Ho Kyon”, by Bhupen Hazarika:

The song by Bhupen Hazarika has a very nice history [1]. The song had been inspired from Robeson’s “Ol’ Man River”, whom Bhupen Hazarika had met while studying at Columbia. I wonder where those poets are now? Maybe working as BPO operators, or worse, Engineers (and IAS officers)… who are busy in building a new, concrete tomorrow.

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