Voices Thursday, June 12, 2014 - 05:30
The News Minute team| June 12, 2014| 9.15 am IST UpMa There can only be two explanations.  One, Amma was trying to send a message to her household in Chennai that her breakfast Upma was so salty that she would make them all eat subsidized salt for the rest of their lives. For the heathens, Upma is dosa’s aunt and idli’s cousin, a south-Indian breakfast made of uppu (salt) and maavu (in this case semolina). Spoken fast, it rolls off the tongue like UpMa.  The second theory which we have sort of made up to add pepper to salt is that Amma was sending a message to Narendra Modi. In Gujarat, a handsome man is supposed to have a “saltish face.” Don’t look at us. In addition, in Gujarati tradition, salt is the first thing a family buys before a wedding. Now don’t go imagining anything – we think it’s the wedding of two development models. And we have got this from the trivia section of none other than the Desh ka namak campaign from the House of Tata. Amma’s Salt will be available in three varieties – double fortified, refined free flow iodized and low sodium. Since UpMa speaks to her people only through advertisements – and pictures don’t answer questions – we were left wondering where all the money was coming to pay for this scheme. The bad thing about the Tamil Nadu government is even when they do something good, the bureaucrats are afraid to speak.  Iodized salt is very critical to the mental growth of children. Iodine deficiency can lead to mental retardation including cretinism and the best way to prevent this is through iodized salt. Historically, while people living in plains had access to iodized salt, it was difficult to transport it to hilly regions of the world – one reason why for long people thought mountain people were “slow” till salt iodized salt reached them. But, after Amma canteens and Amma water, we think UpMa is a good investment in public health. But something tells us that Amma has a chip on her shoulder about Modi. Now, how does one figure that one out, given Amma’s sartorial tastes?  White, blue and …waiting We are ahead of times, though behind in our bank balance.  We painted our office white and blue before TMC leader Mamata Banerjee announced that all homes that paint themselves in colours of the sky will get a reduction and discount on many things. As a start-up, we are in need of many things so this pesky reporter in our office who constantly shops online decided to shop for this reduction too. She painted the walls blue and the windows white only to realize that Mamata di had ordered that the windows had to be blue.  Not to be demoralized, we are standing in line, a blue line, hoping goddess Lakshmi will smile at us. No, we don’t think Mamata di is being dictatorial at all – she is just trying to save on colours so he can have it all for her paintings. There goes the cheque!