What would RTH do?

That is the question.

If I were in a highschool yearbook, they would vote me most likely to die of a lynch mob. That does not prevent me from opening my mouth and serving a warm hearty cup of STFU to people who deserve it. My dark scathing humor will leave no matter of existence untouched. My innocence will touch your soul.

Welcome to a warped world turned inside out and upside down. All sorts of discretion advised.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Bringing Desi Back

One of my favorite lunch box items back in my school days were chappatti rolls. Chappatti is an Indian unleavened bread. They are very much like tortillas, but made of wheat instead of corn. Normally chappatti is not served as a roll. However, moms would spread jam or curry or pieces of meat/veggies and roll them up to make handy rolls on the go. As we grow older we wean away from rolls to the more traditional ways of eating our desi food. But the nostalgia of old times remains.

This nostalgia was always revived when our American friends would come over. They love chappattis. After all who would not love soft hot of the stove warm chappattis, with a little drizzle of clarified butter. Made from whole wheat flour they are mighty flavorful and delicious on their own.

Now Americans are unable to eat with their hands, let alone break off bits of chappattis to eat them in the traditional manner. So they would do to chappattis, what they know best. They would roll it up with our curries, rice etc just like burritos. In many parts of the Caribbean this is a traditional and popular meal on the go. Several road side carts and small cafes will serve rolls stuffed with curry called 'roti'. In fact so popular is roti as a whole dish, that people are unaware that roti or chappatti is just the Hindi name for the outer shell that holds the stuffing.

My dad has always joked that we should quit our jobs and start selling such rolls on the go as fast food in the mall. While we laugh and brush him aside, at the back of our minds we have always secretly desired that someday – someday these desi rolls will be just as common as Chinese take out or Taco Bell.

So imagine my utter delight when I discovered that some Indian brands of foods have started selling frozen desi rolls. There are so many stuffing flavors to choose from like chole, paneer chilli, achari aloo, palak paneer, chicken tikka. Of course not as delicious as mom's hot homemade delicacies, this is heaven in a roll for desis. What I loved about it is that the proportions in the roll are just right. Delightfully flavorful, yet not soggy or mushy.

Someday, some Indian entrepreneur, as crazy as my father will rent a cart in the mall and sell rotis just like they do in the Windies. Someday, I know I will stop by an Indian fast-food place and order a Number 5 with a side of mango lassi. The guy at the counter will slide my plate over and beam, his heavy accent joyfully echoing “Thank You! Come Again!”

Now about the very same time that I was reveling in desi rolls and fantasizing about exotic desi eateries, another aspect of me was fuming. My mind was seething, and I wanted to go over and bitch slap this stupid woman I met.

A customer I had been working with on the phone had stopped by at our office to pick up a plant order for the City. I went up to help her load the plants. She was a regular hippie type of plant lady. I thought she was batty but nice, until she opened her mouth. She told me that I was not how she pictured. Apparently, she imagined me as having long hair, wearing long flowing colorful skirts, patterned clothes and in her own words 'more exotic looking'.

Ugh! Bitch! I am from a different country, but I am not some exotic creature. Besides, I've lived here for years. I'm just an ordinary American what else did you expect. Fuck you exotic plant hippie, with your delusions of being worldly aware. What the fuck do you know? Who are you to assume how I should look? You do not even know me well enough to share that.

I'm one of the most politically incorrect people ever, so it's amusing and amazing that someone touched my raw nerve in this manner. I've been told various things about my appearance that I should take offense to, but am cool with it. I think I'm not offended because most people draw conclusions from my appearance. This one was an assumption. A very incorrect assumption. I'm offended that someone in this day and age pictures an Indian to be 'exotic looking'. Sans the mocha skin, an Indian looks like just any other person. Forget in the states, most Indians back home too will dress casually in jeans and tees. Indian women will cut their hair short and wear masculine clothing. See if someone assumed a 'saree' or 'salwar kameez', I would not be as offended because at least they are aware of what traditional everyday attire in India is, but then again how many young Indians stick out in the states unless it is a special occasion.

Ugh! This totally frustrates me so. Worst thing is, instead of sounding off like I usually would – I have to burn within with my anger and rage. Unfortunately, this is a customer and not a lay person I could bitch slap or chew of to death. Someday, though someday I will get my revenge.

PS: I am not completely averse to being 'exotic', if you get my drift. I'll be bringing Desi Back.

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