Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Hello, All.

At long last, I return. Do people still come here- Blogger tells me they do. I must commend them on their patience, and thank them for still bothering with it.

Much has happened since the last post. I was selected (Thank you NALSAR, for the one good thing that you have done for me!) for an exchange programme- which currently means I'm not in Santa Clara, California. For those who don't know where this is- its a few miles of San Francisco. Those who know me well will know how fortuitious this circumstance is-Joy is me!

Whilst here, I've been having a ball. I'm staying (temporarily) with family, which means that I live a carefree existence, unconcerned with the prices of food d other essential commodities. What this also means is that I get to fritter my money on minor extravagances- read food, books, and the other B word which shan't be mentioned- this blog attracts and has the potential of attracting a varied audience, some of whom have WILDLY skewed notions of who I am. To them, I say: "Namaste Ji, Sab Changa, tussi dasso".

This brings me to my first observation- American food is awesome- in the sense of gooey, polysaturated-fat-filled-delicacies which bring cholestrol in their wake and will no doubt lead me to an early grave (And yes, I mean grave. Thank you, but I'd rather not be cremated). The helpings also seem like the aim of American kitchens is to increase the earning capacity of cardiologists and undertakers. Well, I'm not complaining.

The second- and related observation- is as follows: B---e is plentiful, and cheap. I wallow. I wade. I guzzle. Again, with the same consequences as mentioned above- this time, it's curtains, liver.

Besides that, the people are very friendly, academics seem ridiculously simple after the 7th semester in NALSAR, and so far, its a ball.

However, living in America has its downside too, and it can be pithily summed up by the following line:
The Unbearable Awfulness of American Chocolate

Now, don't get me wrong. I don't pretend to be a connoisseur of chocolate. I've had a wide and varied experience with it, and at best can be a discerning amateur. However, while private American companies may be good, America's biggest chocolate makers have clearly lost their way. Hershey's makes the sickliest chocolates one can eat- something that taste like sugar-substitute flavoured gooey cardboard. Certain other companies need to be told that icky goo,peanuts and coconuts are not, perhaps, the best things to quote chocolate on. Liqueur with chocolates, yes. Truffle, Yeah!. Hazelnuts, YES! Coconut?! Give me a break.

I vaguely recall a post by Aadisht, I think it was, a few years back that dealt with development or culture or something being measured by the type of chocolate countries produced. While some Indian chocolates can be pretty dire too- Pre-liberalisation Amul bars that had turned white in the Freezer spring to mind- Hershey's and Mars together take the cake. In future, I stick to Lindt and Dairy Milk, and not some vile chocolate that tastes like its been rubbed on nani's oiled hair. Along with closing Guantanamo Bay, President Obama must also target America's chocolate industry- who knows, it might even (as a complicated discussion I just had, pointed out) end the recession.

No, the discussion was too long for me to summarize here.

Sometimes, life has inconclusive endings. Blogposts, too. (With apologies to Mr. William Bryson, Jr.)

8 Comments:

Blogger Karan said...

haha, President Obama will indeed bring with him great upheavals in the chocolate industry.

Also, did you really mean to say "I'm not in Santa Clara" or was that a typo? It's funnier this way.

2:36 pm  
Blogger Karan said...

And dude, you were supposed to fix the link to my blog! It's http://karanmisra.com/journal now!

2:36 pm  
Blogger Sowmya Rao said...

p__ brother, i am greatly pained that you did not blog about our lovely trip.

you could not have had more fun with the patel brother, hrrrmph.

happy to see you are writing again. dont get all sombre-ish, keep writing.

hugs
sow.

7:10 am  
Blogger Vrinda said...

I believe the white layer that forms on chocolate on refrigeration is actually a good thing and a sign of something or the other in the chocolate that bodes well.

8:43 am  
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4:25 pm  
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Thank you for sharing your experiences. I've found it helpful to do blog tours or send out review copies to book bloggers. I don't do a long blog tour. In the past, I've done a one week tour or I've done a "release day" tour. I find that this helps to gain reviews, which is important in the first month of sales. People are more willing to take a chance on a book that has a few reviews. Some blogs use widgets for readers to sign up for your facebook, twitter, or newsletter, so I find that helpful for connecting with new readers. I have tried ads in the past, but they are hit-or-miss. I think it can help with name recognition, but it's not necessarily something that will get you a lot of sales (unless you're doing a Bookbub or Ereader News Today spot)

4:26 pm  
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4:27 pm  

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