I don’t get it; for all my limited knowledge I thought we won our independence back in ’47. People laid down lives for the cause; the cause of making our voices heard, making our opinion count and being citizens of the world.
Somehow, when I look at things around me, all that sacrifice seems futile, even lost. Never ever have we been bigger suckers for Western approval than today. Everything we do seems a lot more ‘doable’ if a Western authority (or Western anything) commends or endorses it. We look down upon our own language and a sceptic would easily be inclined to think that we would sooner trade our culture in for a designer hand-bag; I so hope that is not the general case.
But let me not sound so general and long-winded, I upset enough egos with my bluntness as it is. But you see, brevity and softness of delivery are things I am yet to learn the virtue of. What I am really on about is how we, in our naivety, subscribe to views and opinions of people who don’t even know we exist. What Milan considers fashionable may never be considered so in the Indian context. From physical build to our cultural build-up, we are a different lot the world over so it is only natural that what applies in one place may hold no meaning even a few hundred kilometres away.
India is (finally) shining. It may not seem like a complete even sheen but it sure does have a certain lustrous appeal about it. It’s the beam of a satiated belly, a good Indian meal downed with some good wine.
No, wait, I am not going to rant about Indian food and wine pairing for 2 reasons: I have bored too many too often with it and secondly, I charge for it.
What I am on about is how restaurants in the capital have upped the ante thus taking local competition to a whole new level. Having reached a certain sense of peak with respect to decor and dining props – cutlery, crockery, freshly flown-in fish et al – the stripes now belong to the one who can slickly and superbly pair off the food with some wine. Gone are the days of Punjabi Chinese and stale Sushi. The new places take every precaution to make sure that you get great food and superb service – supreme satisfaction. But they are still not cheap, who said anything about cheap.
So here is a list of restaurants which I feel are doing a fairly good job of choosing the right food and wine and then making sure that the two come together at the right time on the right table to culminate in unparalleled culinary delight, or big tips, whichever happens first or more often.
Of all the things I am accused of, there is one I just don’t seem to be able to get around doing much about: commenting on Indian Wines.
The problem starts from the wide-spread ignorance that Indian wines are good with Indian food. Sounds logical right. If Italian wines pair with pizza and French fit Foie Gras, why shouldn’t Indians wines do justice to our vast Indian cuisine?
If you want a simple answer: because Indian wines aren’t good enough to drink, let alone pair. Outside of 2-3 brands I can’t think of many Indian wines that I would wish on my enemies. They are inconsistent, over-priced and just plain insipid.
I seem to have gone off on one without explaining why. Let me share the reasons for my grief. Trouble is there’s so much to lament I don’t even know where to begin.
English is a constantly evolving language and that is perhaps what makes it so beautiful – even if what you utter today is considered wrong or incorrect or just pure rubbish has a chance of making its way into common parlance over time, and, if Indians catch on to it, into Webster!
So, after phrases like Jumping the shark and Nuking the fridge, get ready for the latest simile on the block: as dry as a hotel.
More precisely, as dry as a hotel owned by a rich Sheikh but that’s just being puritan. In case you haven’t heard, the Hyatt in Cairo recently poured about a million dollars worth of liquor into the Nile. The Saudi Sheikh who owns the place wants to put in place a code of conduct in line with his religion. So the local English pub now serves teas and the likes and the nearby Hard Rock Cafe is the only watering hole in the desert.
Of all the things i have so far tried, trying to look cool on camera is perhaps my Icarus. I don’t think I will ever quite understand the finer nuances of this art but I have to admit that my prospects at my day job aren’t exactly promising either. Every vino needs a break, even a wine man gets the blues, or reds…
So folks, in vain and in curiosity, I present you, visually, Lisbonnnnnn!
If you reading this, well then you are here. It’s perhaps where you intended to be. But there is no porn reward at the end of your perilious search. There are however videos. If any even in part turn you on, seek medical attention.