Monday, January 05, 2009

Tomato soup- 2 by 3

Security restrictions at airports don’t allow the entry of water bottles, a fact that many passengers discover to their considerable dismay when going past the Security gates

So, when the merciless guards ask them to leave the bottles behind, what do they do? Open the lid and gulp down as much water as their bladders can hold, before bidding a tearful goodbye to the bottle.

At any Indian airport, near the Security gate, you can see many such mostly-empty bottles piled up.

The Indian brand of frugality is well known. “Don’t waste food” we are told in our formative years. And most of us simply can’t, for the rest of our lives. A friend of mine is so obsessed with the idea of not wasting food that he will literally push unwanted food into his mouth and his overfilled stomach, if he had carelessly ordered more than what he ought to have. No amount of appeals not to punish himself would be heeded to.

But, in these difficult times, we may have something to teach the decadent Americans, says Anand Giridhardas in the International Herald Tribune.

As rich countries enter a new era of scarcity, the best practices of the “gurus of frugality” can serve as a textbook for frugality's new pupils.

The first tip of the Indian frugalist is to wear your money. One rarely misplaces funds when they are kept in gold and hooked through your nose or strung around your neck. Some Indian women wear saris woven with gold thread. The danger of nudity discourages whimsical spending.

The truly frugal segment friends and associates into two camps: those who merit their money and those who don't.

Cellphone calls may cost a cent a minute in India, but why call people who only rate a text? Why text when you can make a "missed call"? Millions of Indians dial and quickly hang up, hoping for the other person to call back and foot the bill.

Your upholstery is not for everyone. Sofas fray and stain; there is, in the final analysis, a cost per posterior. So cover your sofa with bed sheets and remove them for only the best behinds.

So, too, with crockery: Buy a set of expensive plates and keep it in a case where your friends can see them while they eat from the cheap plates you actually set before them.

When eating out, order soups fractionally: a certain number of soups split by a certain number of people. Start with "one into two," the realm of Indian beginners, then graduate in time to "three into five" and "six into seven."

For entrees, count the diners at the table, subtract one and order that many dishes - which, for a table of four, saves 25 percent over the one-person-one-dish norm.

So, the next time you order a “by two’ coffee or “ 2 by 3 soup”, or “2 extra spoons for the single dessert”, remember that you are promoting the Indian brand of frugality which will lead the world out of the financial mess it has gotten into.


CodeNameV said...

I would like to call it not just as frugality but also as "share and enjoy" nature, like the Sirius Cybernetics Motto in Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy!!!

Usha said...

It is indeed laughable when people cover their sofas and buy crockery for your eyes only, I am all for the habit of avoiding food wastage. I shed tears of blood when I watch people order expensive dishes, take a bite and then waste it because they are too full.

Anonymous said...

Long live Indian Frugonomics!!!

Anonymous said...

ayyo.. adha yen kekkarel? Starbucks-la coffee share panna extra cup thara mattengaran. naamma enna gundodharana? oru anda-naraiya kaapiya kudikkaradhukku.. kadangaran..Saravana bhavan size-la oru chinna lottala kudukka koodadho?

inime oru lotta-va baglaye eduthundu poga vendiyadhudhaan!

appuram kettelo? namma pakkathaathu Amy ella kaali dabbavaiyum chattunnu thookki pottudara.. nammathu basementla evvalo kaali cheese dabba, yoghurt dabba sethu vechurukken.. evvalo use aradhu? indha americansku namma naraiya kathu kudukkanum..hmm..

Raj said...

Deepa mami,

That was a hilarious comment, whoever you are.

Doli said...

heheh that is really true! I miss the one by two soups of India :) it was really good for a person like me who could eat very little, but wanted to taste everything