Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Does Rani make it sadder?

So the ad for the new product from Coehlo’s is on heavy rotation. Every time I hear the jingle, which I think borrows melodically from a popular chutney song one line sticks out, “no more an' tawah”. My initial reaction to the line was anger. This is because I like tradition. Buisness, however, is about innovation and increasingly more so. The new best practices for businesses are found in the world of technology.

I think, though, we can all agree that the line from the ad leaves us divided as we consider that yes, store bought sada roti is convenient and an innovation but at what point do we start to value tradition over those things?

We all but lost public phones. Which came first the chicken or the egg? Is it that TSTT wanted us to buy cellular so they stopped maintaining those now relics of the past? Or did they foresee the market going cellular and so diverted resources to the development of that area of business? What about the person who lose they phone but still can’t wait to get to a land line as we used to? If I don’t have a cell should I not be able to make a call unless I’m at home or somewhere that would allow me to as they did back in the day given it had to constitute an emergency? Or maybe we were nicer then and generally less concerned about money and so you could have been allowed a call that wasn’t a matter of life and death. And no, I haven’t forgotten that some places allowed strangers to make calls for in some cases as much as two dollars if memory serves me right.

So now we have sada on the shelf. Did the writers of that ad think that saying “no more bilna an' tawah” is a desirable state of affairs? Maybe they did a focus group and nanis and Ranis across the country say they tired sweating over the hot stone jus so the family go have fresh home made roti. I hear the product in no way compares to the real thing. So now we have what is being called by some a sub-standard product and if all goes well for Coehlo, a day to come with no bilna and tawah.

We have long known that the price of progress is high but it raises a difficult question, does Rani make it sadder?

Disclaimer: The writer of this blog enjoys whole wheat sada, a hot shower, a cup of hot water in 60 seconds and other modern conveniences.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Segue - Joni Jackson

many flowers have met untimely
deaths at the hand of the lovelorn
during attempts to ascertain
in a most unscientific way whether
he loves or he does not
the thread of thought curves round
income statements and balance sheets
to a poem about the rain in Ireland
that due to a clever line break takes you, in
a word, from illicit images to the mundane
walking home from grocery shopping
with someone you love in the rain...

Taken from So Much Things to Say - 100 Calabash Poets

Choices - Edward Baugh

You chose to leave; that's fine by me.
"One's country," John Milton said, "is wherever
it is well with one." You're still my friend.
Is true, poor people catching hell
and the middle class sleeping
with panic button under their pillow;
but when you fly down to visit
and enjoying the old veranda lime
after dinner, don't spend the time
trying so hard to get me to say
you did right, only a loser would stay.
I wouldn't say I would never leave,
but if that's what they call ambition,
then right now I sticking with love.
River mullet still running in Grandy water,
and the busu soup simmering, keeping warm till you come.

Friday Night - Sally Henzell

why don't you come to me
as calculated as the regulated ticking
of a clock
the love of a quiet man
a weekday man
a man that brings me roses
but not orchids
a kind man with friendly eyes
and regimental habits
but I have been seduced
by Friday Night
neon lights
and muted jazz seeping up
from dingy doorways
car horns
and lovers quarreling
loud and unashamed
a streetbulb reflected in a puddle
garbage cans
and yesterday's newspapers
and love
given widely
chance meetings
and flirtations of the night
asking nothing more
than that Friday night may end
as Friday night began
taking with her
all she gave
and leaving nothing
for tomorrow

Taken from So Much Things to Say - 100 Calabash Poets

Breakfast - Makesha Evans

With you I'm over easy
sliding down
spreading sunshine
for sticks of toast
golden then gooey
on a protracted Sunday morning.
You are chef and connoisseur
preparing and consuming
because you can
because I let you
because I want you to.
See, I was scrambled before
adulterated by other than
what I am,
confused by complex recipes
for what-should be
on rye
drawn to exotic and farwaway flavors
that dont quite fit
with eggs.
But you
break me open
see me as I am
and love with me
a little heat
so that I can simply be myself
over easy
and with you.

Taken from So Much Things to Say - 100 Calabash Poets