Skip the main course. I’ve come to this conclusion based on three buffet meals I’ve had in the recent and not-so-recent past – Khansama in UB city in early July, Barbecue Nation in JP Nagar last weekend and The Higher Taste at ISKCon tonight.
In all these meals, there has been significant variety in the starters. There have been various kinds of starters and salads (and anyways Barbecue Nation’s USP is the barbecues – which are starters). And significantly awesome desserts too – wtih a couple of Indian sweets, variety of cakes, fruit and ice cream.
The problem with main course in all these restaurants is that it’s too standard. There might be the odd innovation here or there but it is usually a close cousin of some standard item itself. The nature of North Indian main course meals (which is the main course of the main course in all these places) doesn’t lend itself to too much radical innovation and hence the main course ends up being not too much special.
So this is what you need to do at buffets – load up on the starters. They are usually the best part of the meal in these buffets. And if you combine all the starters judiciously, it should give enough nutrition (except maybe for calories). Maybe have a little bit of main course (something like rice) to fill up your stomach (density of food fundaes). And then thulpitmax on the desserts. I’m sure you’ll leave the meal feeling happy and contented and full.
Today is Shivarathri. It is a holiday for the National Stock Exchange, which has made it an optional holiday for us (there are 10 such days of which we can choose 3). And I’ve chosen to exercise this option today. Sitting at home and battling internal demons. And saying goodbye to winter.
My mother says that the fact that it has become considerably hotter today points to the greatness of God. “It is ordained that on the day of Shivarathri, winter will cry ‘shiva shiva’ and run away, and that it has suddenly become hot today is an indication that God still makes nature obey ‘the laws’ “.
I agree with her argument but not with her conclusion. I say that the fact that winter seems to be on its way out today, on the day of Shivarathri, points to the greatness of the people who made our calendar. That they managed to study the stars accurately, and came up with a sustainable forecast regarding the closing date for winter that is valid even thousands of years hence is a good indication of how brilliant they were.
Like that coffee bite argument used to say, the argument continues.
Today being Shivarathri also means that it should be a night dedicated to the lingam – the most commonly worshipped form of Shiva. I wonder how many people are currently looking at their hands and thinking of a form of Vishnu that is worshipped in Puri.
This morning, my neighbour went to a nearby Shiva temple, to take part in something like “linga abhishekam”. She took along a mixture of milk, ganga jal (water from the Ganga; not H2SO4 of Bhagalpur) and sugar to do the pooja. Later on, my mother was on the phone with her sister, and after a long philosophical discussion they concluded that women doing the “linga abhishekam” is not part of South Indian Brahmin culture.