The Pasta fetish and the Macaroni reality

2/5 (1)
Pasta

Recently when I went for a stroll, like always I bumped into my usual space of visit, which is the local vendor from whom I always purchase household goods. These local vendors have almost everything, that too in abundance to give their consumers. The chances of hearing a ‘No’ from them seems to be a very rare phenomenon. Whenever you go with a list in hand, they provide you with almost everything in the list which most of the times even the so-called “hypermarkets” have failed to realize. All that the vendor himself/herself ensures is to adhere to the list you have in hand and provide you with the commodities as per the list. A better way of putting it would be that there are no strings attached for the purchases you make (offers, free etc.), rather in this transaction between you and the vendor all that you enter into is a face to face fair deal through paying the exact MRP or most of the times paying less than the exact MRP. 

Look inside your kitchen, you just might save the world!

Pasted on to Pasta

While exploring my eyes along with the list in hand I came across big sacks of varied essentials and food products. However, in this exploration, I was stuck onto one particular sack which as far as I was concerned was a very costly affair. This was something which I always used to have with my friends in cafes (especially in Bangalore) and also from other costly stylish spaces. Obviously, as a person who has fallen far away from reality into this trap, I asked him if it was pasta/macaroni. The vendor with all his amusement seeing my amusement, pathetically but full of conviction along with a grin replied “Yeah Boy!”. While the behaviour behind the purchase needed to have a lot of amusements, the deal that I entered into for purchasing that much of macaroni was even more amusing.300gms of Macaroni was below Rs 15/-.

While I understand that this is a normal phenomenon and there is no scope for a ‘shock and awe’, it is the culture that we have been exposed to and continuing the ‘beggar thy neighbor’ market policy that has forced people like me and I am sure a lot of you into arriving at a situation of this kind. It confirmed that the reality has been brutally rude to me and you and precisely because of an inbuilt feeling that we continue to carry along with us constantly, which is “my being is moulded out of the pasta that I eat from a stylized space and not from a local vendor who sells the means to prepare my own pasta”.  In other words, there is pasta polished and decorated for a huge sum on one side while there is on the very same side ‘the other side of pasta which is yet again equally polished and decorated but less held on to. Priorities and means to assigning dignity for a commodity have become clearly visible here; it is not the pasta that you are eating rather it is a failed system that is continuing to eat you.

The German poet Goethe was somebody who witnessed the pasta boom first hand. He wrote “It can be bought everywhere and in all the shops for very little money. As a rule, it is simply cooked in water and seasoned with grated cheese.” While this seems to be the ‘be all and end all’ in the making of a history of this ‘ alternative food ‘which emerged as a substitute to wheat and rice in India, the dignified space and value that we as a strange community give for this commodity continues to go unparalleled. Perhaps it’s high time for all of us to try making our own kinds of pastas and stay less pasted onto just one type and one place. Move On!

Reference

The Twisted History of Pasta- https://www.nationalgeographic.com/history/magazine/2016/07-08/daily-life-pasta-italy-neapolitan-diet/

Featured Image: Pixabay

Sankar Varma
Sankar Varma is a Research Scholar with the Christ (Deemed to be University ), Bengaluru. Most of the studies involved are on the phenomenon behind 'Othering'. His research interests includes but not limited to Political Economy, Urban Development , Cultural Criticism.

REVIEW CORNER

Not at all Somewhat Fairly Very Extremely
Not at all Somewhat Fairly Very Extremely
Extremely Very Fairly Somewhat Not at all

Share your views

Get your writings published!

Most of our writings are contributed by our readers. You can write too. Check out our writing guidelines.

Subscribe to The ArmChair Journal on Telegram!

Related Articles