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You can’t eat this Pongal

because it’s a type of rock found on Mars!

What I cannot understand is why, when one of the rocks was named Kohinoor, after the famed diamond, and another Nalanda, after the country’s oldest university, the third was named Pongal, a dish made and eaten during the eponymous harvest festival. If the namers were driven by a need to use a ‘South Indian’ name, they could have used something more inclusive, like Kaveri, the river around which South Indian civilisation developed. Why food?

Are we still being sterotyped as pot-bellied, dhoti-wearing, pigtailed gourmands? Is that why a South Indian (or ‘Madrasi’ to people like Dr. Ghosh) name will essentially have to be the name of a dish?

If not, why weren’t the other two named poori and chapathi? Or roti and paratha? Or, if Pongal is supposed to represent the festival, why not Basant Panchami or Holi for the other two?

Hmm… today seems to be a day of rants.

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