Saturday, May 24, 2008

Soda - A Caustic Story....

Fourteen year old Pooja candidly indicated the shape of things to hear at Solapur.

She said : Pepsi and Coke and drinks like that have soda. And soda is what mom uses to clean the sandhaas.

Sandhaas or sandaas is the rather popular colloquial word used across all of India - well, most of it - for a dirty Indian toilet.
I mean Indian etiquette demands that sandhaas is one of the first words we jettison as we become 'cultured' - it is that 'dirty' a word.

A couple of days later, in another part of Solapur, as part of a different interview - for my PhD stuff - nothing corporate about these interviews - ten year old Naveen more or less repeated the same thing when he remarked rather casually - he was encouraging me to drink the cool nimbu pani his mom was offering me ( i really needed no second bidding for it, what with temperatures of 45 d. And no electric fans either since all non-metros face a scorching load shedding schedule... the size of the town in India is in reverse proportion to the number of hours of 'black-outs', and so what if the current Minister of 'Power' at the center Sushil Kumar Shinde is from Solapur, and of course by now I think I'm getting away from my topic or perhaps not...)

Aunty, I never drink Coca Cola, he said dismissively. That's the stuff used in the sandaas...

Oh Oh!

Apparently Ramdev Baba in his very successful recent visit to the town had addressed a session on the sprawling open grounds of his shibir, one day - with the students of various Solapur schools. His message had been simple - and as we have seen - starkly evocative. The need to stay in good health not just by vyayaam or exercise but via the ingestion of the right stuff.

Completely irrefutable logic as far as all the children were concerned.
Yes, soda is indeed the word written on the 'do-not-touch' powders used for the recalcitrantly dirty toilets.

At least we Indians do not use 'soda' as a generic word for colas as in the West.
Can you imagine the plight of Pepsi and Coke if that were so :-) :-)

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