Idly

The Idly Affair

It started with a tweet of a British Professor, Edward Anderson. We all might be familiar with this issue; people who use social media at least. Replying to a tweet of Zomato which asked people to name a food that they don’t like and many people yet love it. Edward Anderson, using his twitter account, retweeted the tweet saying that he finds Idly as the most boring thing in the world. And the tweets that followed created this Idly affair.

Edward Anderson’s tweet got viral because of the replies that Indians gave to him. It is evident that Indians got offended by this British tweet. Indians are quick at their feet when someone talks about India, and that too when someone not from India does that. After spamming Edward Anderson with curse words and calling him an idiot and tasteless person, I present this pragmatic question : what practical difference did it make? Did Edward Anderson’s taste buds get a firmware update to love Idlis?

His reply to the enraged tweets.

After clapping hands to people who spammed him and feeling proud for defending Idly, what did we achieve? Why is no one asking this question? As a South-Indian, I grew up eating Idly more than half of my life. And I have met numerous people who found Idly boring, and they were not Brits, they were my classmates, friends and acquaintances who were very much Indian. So let us bash everyone who hates Idly? I have even met many Indians who told me that they hate the very infamous Dosa! Now shall we go to their house and ask them to leave India?

It is up to common knowledge that likings and dislikings are subjective, which vary upon each person. Not every Indian loves Idly, let alone foreigners. From my experience, I know that most of the Americans love CoffeeCoffee, and the English are obsessed with their Tea. The famous singer, Sting even has a lyric about it in his song, Englishman in New York. The first line of that song is “I don’t drink Coffee, only Tea my dear…” Many Americans loved that song. People didn’t make videos on Sting dissing him that Coffee is tastier than Tea because we know that he was singing a song about his ‘Englishness’.

Similarly, If I replied to Zomato’s tweet by saying that I find Mac N Cheese boring and I don’t know why people love it, I don’t think I would go Viral, and no one would call me tasteless. How insecure we are to react upon a person’s opinion! If we know that Idly and a Hot sambar is what we love to eat, why prove it to someone who doesn’t? Why the intolerance towards someone’s opinion just because they are not Indian? It is a basic thing to understand that everyone in the world can not love what we love. 

If we assume that what we love is the only beautiful thing in the world and call the other people with other interests as ‘tasteless’, how immature must we be? How insecure and intolerant must we be to react and try to prove someone that the object we love is superior to their interests and they are idiots. It just means that we won’t let any other opinion in our ears and we want to hear what we love in the mouths of all the world. Not only is that thought childish, but it is also erroneous and dogmatic!

Can we eat Mac N cheese for breakfast? Can the Brits ever embrace Coffee? Can the South-Indians eat only Roti for dinner? These are questions we can not answer because to answer that we need to study every one of those individuals and form a data analysis and interpretation to check the most popular opinion. And in the end, the pragmatic question again, what practical difference would that make? Would you stop eating Dosa because someone told you they find it boring? If not, why would you argue with them that you love it? They never will. Why don’t you enjoy what you love by letting other people love and hate what they love and hate?

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Manoj Sri Harsha

A filmmaker who's also a philosopher and I have always been a writer. My urge to tell stories have provoked and boosted me to write my thoughts out as words, sentences and essays! I treat storytelling objectively and would always try new things to tell any story in a different way. Big fan of the Avant-garde!

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