Thursday, September 08, 2005

Delhi - IV

Ok I didn't get to meet Cherie Blair, but my sister did and even got an exclusive quote which had Reuters and AP running after her, but her silly editor deleted it and mangled the whole piece to the point where she was stuck at work till the wee hours and finally doubted whether she even deserved a byline. I am learning about the travails of journalists.

And activists - have had a couple of interesting and fruitful conversations with queer rights activists and hope to meet more today.

And have been eating the simplest, most classic, Mughlai food - butter chicken, daal makhni, parathas - I'm so sick of the stuff they serve in English curry houses, all that Sylheti-inflected cuisine, all that Zadie Smithified food. Hybridity is all very well and exciting and progressive and yes it is how newness enters the world, but sometimes, manytimes, it's good to get back to food that's cooked the way it has always been. Butter chicken in Ludhiana, I'm sure, is even better.

[But I'm doing that awful awful thing that NRIs often do - hybridity and newness wherever they happen to be, but 'home' must always stay the same, the way it was when they left it. Home must never change, for better or worse (or rather, any change is seen as 'worse'), and when it does, there is shock, disappointment and nostalgia - all of the past bathed in some sickly sweet sentimentalist glow. dear god, please help me not to become like this, love me.]

Spotted, yesterday, in a Barista in South-Ex: man wearing a CCCP cap and carrying a satchel with Nazi insignia on it. Complicated political statement, wot?

oye, whats wrong with sylheti-inflected food eh?
we sylhetis are fine cooks, i say. grrr.
i don't see why one can't wish for both hybridity AND butter chicken. and speaking of sartorial statemetns in the cosmopoli: last night a man walked down Istiklal Caddesi in a colourful T-shirt bearing the message, in Coca-Cola style script, "Cock: Taste the Difference!"

Not your average middle eastern metropolis. God, I love this city.
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