Friday, April 14, 2006


Blending with the new year

I am yet to recover from the shock of getting warned by a cop. The offense is no more than the sinless appetite for 'idlis'. Idlis and dosais are my staple diet. I have this natural ability to smell sambhar from a distance of a couple of miles. Long story short, I am a typical Tamilian. Most of my friends/acquaintances here are north Indians who ask me to make idlis/dosas for every get together, be it weekend travel, potluck, dinner party or just-like-that. So, for our tomorrow's travel to San Antonio too, my assignment is fifty idlis.

Grinding the ingredients with the blunt Black & Decker blender could be more painful than grinding them with the conventional "kal ural". While I was doing the painful preparation, which took approximately an hour, I heard sturdy knocks on the door in-between the din made by the blender. I was caught unawares by the cop who showed up on the door. Even though I was sure that he had knocked the wrong door, I froze at his stiff upper lip smile and a brusque, "How are you doing?" "Good..." I said, clearing my throat. He didn't wait too long to announce the purpose of his visit - "your neighbours have some problem b'cos they feel you are too loud. "Me, loud?" I thought in utter disbelief. "Noisy vacuum cleaner or blender or..." he paused meaningfully. Unsure of how to react, I said, "could be the blender. But, I don't think it is so loud that it disturbs the neighbour..." He outspoke me - "well, you don't think so, but your neighbours do." He smiled a 'look-I proved-a-point' smile and I returned with a 'should I-or-should I not' smile and bid adieu.

While I have made up my mind to stick to rava idlis henceforth, I still cannot help thinking about who to blame - the fussy neighbours, my loud blender, the jobless cop or my appetite for idlis. Thus started my New year. Puthandu vaazhthukkal to you all!:)

maybe u should take up curd rice instead of idli :-)
Ha ha!
The best solution: give the neighbours a taste of your idlis and dosais - they will be queueing up to grind the rice with a pestle and mortar!
Black and Decker blender...why blood? same blood!
The Sumeet mixie in my home gave the impression in my home that an air-raid was on.
After reading the posts by Americans on this link, got the view from the other side and decided to be quite careful about what I do. It doesnt matter coz my neighbors are desi, he he!
Hey..i too cant live without idlis and dosas, guess i'll have a tough time in canada - ss
Thanks thennavan. I hope you had a great one!

Kaps, enna kovam en mela? eduva irundalum, nera pesi theethuklam. inda madiri ideas ellam kuduthu 'avenge' panna kudadu.

Welcome, Wild reeds. I only had a warning from a cop. With your suggestion, they might actually turn me in saying I tried to choke them with my idlis!:))

TTM, you are a lucky soul to have a desi neighbour.
"The Sumeet mixie in my home gave the impression in my home that an air-raid was on." true! thnx for the link:)

SS, although it took me sometime to figure out who you are, I finally did. Hmmm, I hate to say it, but you do have a tough idli/dosais times ahead:(
Good one. And puthaandu vaazhthukkal to you too. The last time I made idli, the neighbours were queueing up to use it to build their back wall. Nejamma!
I agree with wild reeds. Offer some idlies to your neighbour and you may get an helping hand to grind. A fallout could be you may have to grind for idlies too often.
Ammani, thnks. I've been following your chai pani blog with some hope to better my culinary skills. Now, the "Nejamma" you added after your comment, makes me think twice:)

Mahadevan, is there anything I wouldnt do to eat idlis in peace, including the fallout you mentioned!
lol...They don't teach "Love thy neighbours" in this country.
And they teach that too much in our country...thats why all "eloped" cases are always with neighbours' son/daughter/wife!:))
I had three thoughts :

- Its good that we have ready-made idli mix available in all Chennai shops. No blenders or grinders

- Can't neighbours have a word with you first, before calling the cops ?

- Do cops really turn up so fast when someone complains ? Wow!

We do have ready-made idli mix available here too...but, they cost you a fortune.

That's the whole point. These guys freak out at the slightest of things. I would've have defly appreciated if the neighbours had a word with Mahadevan and Wild Reeds said, I would've given them a taste of idlis too:) I later learn that I wasnt the only person who faced this. A friend of mine has two boys - noisy ones, needless to say. Suddenly a cop shows up and says that her kids are being very noisy and she could face serious charges if she doesnt do anything about it. She has now put them a 'Day Care' and constantly lives in the fear of another warning:))

Even I was surprised that the cop made it in less than forty minutes. I've seen this speed only on FBI files and Detective Diaries!:P
We had a party and the cops showed up - someone informed them on hearing the noise and thinking a brawl is going on.

It's not that they are rude - its just that the culture is so different. And you cant do all the "Indian" things without affecting someone

Check this out.
I guessed someone would say that (love/neighbour)and it was you.:-)
I agree with TTM.
neighbours ku edukku idly kudukanum?adhoda arumai theriyadha pasanga!

but neenga idly andha cop ku

unda mayakathile complaint kuduthavanai neega solamale avaney mirattitu poirupaan

(enna irundhaalum 'idli kudutha mahaaraasi achey' nu oru visuvasam irundhirukkum)! :)
LOL@PK. Unakku udambellam moolai pa. Enakku adu tonama pochu paren!
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