Curried pig and I: Part Three

by Gautam Raja

Continued from Part Two.

Pandhi curry in, pandhi curry out.
Wisdom you don’t want to acquire the hard way

Never eat pandhi curry before travel, or important meetings, or anything that’ll keep you more than ten seconds from a sturdy, well-ventilated loo.

A group of friends and colleagues learned this the hard way on a trip to Coorg. Our bus back to Bangalore was in the evening, and at lunch the same day, we had a hearty repast of rice and pandhi curry.

As the bus pulled into Majestic, Bangalore, the high-level negotiations with the lower end of my digestive tract were breaking down. We’d been debating for hours now, and just couldn’t see eye-to-eye. The revolution had begun. The insurgents were at the gates. (I was one of the fortunate ones. Some of us had breakdowns on the way, necessitating stopping the bus and wandering out onto darkened fields.)

If you haven’t travelled in India and don’t know how bad a train or bus station loo can get, watch the suppository-retrieval scene in Trainspotting. Luckily, the human brain is a plastic thing, and in times of digestive in extremis, it shuts down its squeamishness circuits. If you had to wade first, you would.

This is why eating pandhi curry is such a moving thing. It’s the start of the world’s shortest long-term relationship. With every bite, you are saying, “For you, my love, I would go anywhere.”