Saturday, March 03, 2007

Ingestion and Egestion : The fundamentals of survival

Life in Russia is turning out to be quite an adventure... The major factors I guess has been the harsh climate and paucity of english speaking individuals. There are so many things different from India..I am reminded of the asterix comics (dont remmeber which one) wherein every subsequent race said the other race was crazy...I guess it started out with the syrians accusing the assyrians crazy then the assyrians branding the gauls crazy and so on and so forth...anyway as I was saying the russians are crazy(in a different way)...for starters the steering wheel is on the left side ala american way.. thankfully the voltage is still british at 220 volts.. for switching on the lights u have to switch them 'off' or atleast thats the off position in India...Our first biggest challenge was trying to get accustomed to the use of the proverbial tissue paper :)...yes u got it right.....try as I may i really cannot appreciate the cleanliness achieved through tissue paper.. In fact both me and my friend were so uncomfortable with the use of tissue paper that once we shifted to an apartment we just made a make shift plastic container out of the water bottle.. i am reminded of the scenes outside mumbai suburban rail network:)... the crude make shift containers substituting for 'lottas':)..yeah we had our own 'lotta' to solve our discomfort wth the tissue paper..First challenge successfully surmounted ;)..Now that the problems with egestion was solved next came the problems with ingestion i.e. food...this seems to be one of the biggest challenges abroad anywhere i guess...and if u are vegetarian..God save You :)...The challenge was quite interesting in a sense i had to convey a vegetarian choice of food..given that it is a rarity.... to ppl with whom there is no common language of communication..quite an iffy challenge( guess i will soon be a champion in dumbcharades...cant wait to beat all the young college turks at thier own game) ...for doubters i guess u should try it out :P...anyway this i guess it has been one of the primary motivators for learning russian..at least names of food items...Within a few days of hotel stay we shifted to an apartment near to the office..It was a reasonably furnished apartment.. but this led to the next big challenge namely 'Cooking'.. Now ppl close to me would know that my exposure to cooking barely even covers Maggi, and Boiling Rice..which would have been ok if at least the friend with whom I am sharing an apartment did know something.. but then i guess that would have been asking for too much.. So me and and my nearly equally ignorant friend launched ourselves into the culinary journeywith next to zero knowledge but with full enthu (after all its a matter of survival :)).. I can tell u that everyday is a new learning experience...The thing abt cooking i guess is that there is not too much theory but its all practicals:) i mean there is gnerally no way of conveying if anything is cooked...its just that 'u know' if something is cooked or not...Not too much of an exact science if u ask me..This i guess bring us to the next question. Is cooking really a science or is it an art...In fact this was one of the interesting debates that me and my friend while trying our hand at cooking :)...We even decided to categorize cooking into various activities and guess what we came to the conclusion that cooking doesnt involve too many activities as such but more of a monitoring job.. Its a constant overseeing job rather than u actually havinbg to do anything.. I mean more often than not its ur resources like heat, oil etc which are the actors.. u just have to ensure that all the interactions between the resources are just right..Now this act of monitoring resources and getting the results is but an all too familiar name for us MBA grads i guess...ergo Cooking was categorized as a Management Activity.. So there after another terrible day of cooking exploits (well actually lets just say we were hungry enuff to appreciate our own cooking) we came awa with a brilliant conclusion cooking is a mini management degree in itself...A brilliant research work for a night spent at cooking if I may say so myself.. But after this surmise our initial question still remains unanswered i.e is cooking an art or science...By this time we had finished our cooking exploits for the day.. so we decided to investigate this question for another day.. but for the uninitiated there is still a huge debate going on abt whther management is an art or science...So the jury is still out.. do watch this space for the results...I hope to update this space soon with more finer insights abt rudimentray tasks and strong opinions abt toilet manners :)

ps: I have a pic of our lotta... in case u do need a reference model;) lemme know

6 Comments:

Blogger E Pradeep said...

I understand the lota problem. that's a standard problem everywhere; we all have our own ways to counter that.

Food, agreeably, is a major concern and if you are a vegetaraian, you know that you have been cursed and ostracized but you have no option. Since my trip is about to terminate shortly, I should have no issues.

Climate is fine here in KL, can't think of -16 degrees...Best of luck for your sojourn...

9:16 AM  
Blogger Sara said...

Sudharshan, I exactly know, what you are saying about the tissue paper issue.

And about the cooking debate... therilaaiyaepaaa( I have not tried itt)..My first hunch is that is an art ( it involves more of the senses rather than the intellect")

Its gift in disguise, you always have an edge when you are looking out to get married!!

11:19 PM  
Blogger Jaya said...

Food as a veggie is a challenge in almsot every place.. The US is reasonably better... When I was in malaysia, I thot we wud die of eating bread n butter! Well, as far as cooking goes.. its an art and a science. Given a recipe, u can hardly go wrong but u need that art to tell if its done or not and a few burned dishes or half-cooked meals later, u r a pro! Have fun

5:30 AM  
Blogger Kavi said...

Nice makedo arrangement for egestion...

Wish ingestion was as easy as well, right? I agree with Jay, cooking is definitely a science & an art, for not only do you have to follow the rules, you also need to have tons of gut feeling abt proportions etc...not that I am experienced on that front but anyways!!

8:15 PM  
Blogger Jeyamurugan said...

dude....ur nuts frozen yet????

11:10 PM  
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3:24 AM  

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