Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Does size matter?

I like some things about the USA. The size of their helpings, for one. The down side is that I usually have to leave some food on my plate, thus missing out on the satisfaction of a plate wiped clean at the end of the meal. My mum was always big on “FINISH what’s on your plate!”. Yes, the usual line about ‘Think of all the poor children who don’t get enough to eat”. And no, I never did see the point of that. For one, I was never sure that there were children poor enough to want my left-over spinach or neem begun (fried aubergine with bitter leaves, very much an acquired taste). Furthermore, where was the supply chain that would take the left-over spinach to the poor hungry kids? As far as I could see, it went into the fridge or into the lady who cleaned the floors (and she didn’t take it home, she ate it ALL right there right then. And stayed reed-thin. So much for justice, thought a fat kid)

It IS nice, however, to be served a humongous platter of dead animals. (Even though Americans seem to serve fries with EVERYthing. Any day now, I’ll get tiramisu with fries on the side.) Except that the American fixation with size (no, you smutty-minded brats, I am NOT going THERE) applies to other aspects of life too. Case in point, the New York Times.

Consider this. A newspaper that has more sections than most other papers have pages. A newspaper where you’re not even expected to take the whole paper, just the sections you want. Or just the sections you can read and finish. Basically, you’re expected to leave stuff on your plate!

I’m OK with that. I only get some selected feeds from the NYT (yes, that’s the way they plan it). But what do I do when Indian papers go the same way? At home, I don’t have to read too much of my two daily papers because 75% of their matter concerns either the Kolkata Fashion Week or the Lakme Fashion Week or the Alternative Fashion Week or … well, SOME event or the other which involves men with make-up and malnourished women. Neither of which interest me. So I usually get to office with the satisfaction of Having Read the Papers. (What, the front page and the sports section DO count as the whole paper!)

But now, in Delhi, a bulging bag hangs on my door handle. ONE paper? Item, the Hindustan Times, Delhi edition. It’s like a young telephone directory! (And less informative? Well no, it’s getting to be a good paper. With some notable lapses, but hey, this is Delhi.) Four sections. Or is it five? How do I even begin to read this? (I know, in the smallest room, but don’t be facetious!) I give up. I’ll watch the news on television!

So I shall have to leave for work with a sneaking suspicion that I am Not Informed about the World. So be it.

But is there any way we could persuade these guys to Give Us Less?


Samanth said...

You should read "Mint" instead.

Lazyani said...

Think of the resale value at the kabariwala, sir.

TalkingHead said...

Were you in the US recently...? Ah- what would I ever to without the NY times.

Phantasmagoria said...

Except when you have a long, lazy brunch at the Village by yourself followed by a long bus journey, and pretty much all you have to read is the paper. THEN you are grateful

m'mita said...

Quite an observation with the size or rather the number of pages/sections in the newspapers in the US. The local newspapers eg. Dallas Morning News has more ads. than real content. Aaargh!!!

Love NYT though... nothing against it.

Regarding fries -- you can always ask for grilled veggies instead, with your tiramisu :)
And yes, get a doggy bag next time for the extra food -- next day lunch is taken care of.

km said...

Are you suggesting they start delivering news over Twitter?

Wait, that's already happening.

J. Alfred Prufrock said...

Samanth, druther write for it.

Ani, think of the storage issues.

Talking Head (is that who I think it is?), haven't been in the US in some years. But I get the NYT.

Ph, stop gloating. And in your place, I'd have been taking photographs. So there.

Mita, doggy bag good, grilled veggies bad. Steak for me every time. Even with tiramisu!

KM, Twitter is a whole different world. And I do NOT belong there.


Anonymous said...
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neha said...

Terrible giggles on the tiramisu and fries.
Oh, and have you seen TOI's new Weekend paper, Crest? THAT should scare you!

Priya said...

Glad to be able to read your blog again, Sir.
In general, size does two ways about that ;-)