Friday, November 3, 2017

A Khichdi of Thoughts

This is about the time when I had just moved to Bharuch. Someone suggested having Khichdi for lunch. The classic gujarati Kadhi-Khichdi being something I relish, I went along. Arriving at the joint, I was told there were two varieties of Khichdi’s – one, Rasa Wali, served with chicken gravy & the other, Tari Wali, served with the oil floating on chicken gravy. I haven’t found either at any other town.

The other day, our Hon. Minister for Food Processing was all set to declare Khichdi as the National Food. But she chickened out at the very last minute & not because she loves tikka & tandoori more. She didn’t want another controversy cropping up when election fever is rising in two crucial states. I tell you, these antinational, intolerant, left-leaning libtaards have been creating needless controversies for too long now. I still remember, as if it was yesterday, the noise they made when our government pushed yoga on a global scale. Don’t they feel proud now when the whole world does yoga on International Yoga Day? Thus, I request the Hon. Minister to just go ahead & declare Khichdi as the National Food.

A simple, healthy, easy-to-cook, complete meal as Khichdi deserves its rightful place at the global level. Today, it’s the burgers, noodles, pizzas, etc. that are recognised all around the world. What about Indian dishes? Except for Chicken Tikka Masala, the world is ignorant about our culinary delights. Had we promoted the Vada Pav outside, MacDonald’s would have been a Vada Paav chain that also sold burgers. We cannot let this happen to Khichdi too. Thus the government needs to go all out to push Khichdi as the go-to Super Food. And leave it to Baba Ramdev to set up the Patanjali Khichdi Ghar’s which are sure to outnumber the Pizza Hut’s, MacD’s & Starbucks put together, worldwide.

But the government should first ensure that we get the GI tag for this food. Else, someone in the US will get a patent for Khichdi & we will end up paying him a royalty every time we cook it. The GI tag will also certify Khichdi as the real thing & those like Porridge, Tyraahi (Egypt), Noorkali (Iran), etc. as mere imitators. Khichdi may have various versions & names in different countries. But our civilization is the oldest & our Khichdi is the original one.

Next, the government should organize Khichdi Fests to popularize this Super Food which has more varieties than the no. of states & union territories. In fact much more, if you consider that the small town of Bharuch itself has two. Within India, these will act as a tool for national integration. Once people in part of the country start accepting & appreciating the Khichdi of other parts, language, culture, traditions would soon follow. Outside India, this would ignite their palates & they would come in droves to savor Khichdi in the country of origin. It may as well turn out to be as big a reason to visit India as the Taj Mahal.

Each of us has been force fed Khichdi as a kid when we used to be ill. We can exploit the health benefits ( of Khichdi. There is another thing missing in the decadent west that we have in abundance – Spiritualism. Club the benefits of Spiritualism & Khichdi & we can sell the concept of Detox Tourism to the west. I believe they would be more than willing for something like this. A month’s visit for complete personal regeneration – physiological as well as spiritual. And an opportunity to take a selfie in front of the Taj too. Can it get any better?

And not to forget, getting UN to select one day in the year as the International Khichdi Day. That would be a day when the whole world eats Khichdi. Armed with the GI tag, Indians would be the only ones to make & sell Khichdi to the world. This would not only help in eliminating unemployment, we would also see the rise of a new breed of Indian entrepreneurs with a global footprint.

If only the government listens…

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