Sunday, 29 July 2007

Mousetrap - 112

Green stuff
Vegetarian Times
“Great Food, Good Health, Smart Living” says the site’s tagline. I inspected it somewhat dubiously, because though I haven’t been a must-have-meat eater for a decade or so, and I am a staunch tree-hugger, I can’t imagine going totally vegetarian. But this site, the online presence of a magazine, makes me think that I could, perhaps, maybe, possibly, if pushed, stop eating bits of dead animals. There are many, many recipes to choose from, and you can make your search even tighter by selecting options for egg-free, dairy-free, lo-cal and lo-carb, and of course the absolutely tightest, vegan. (Apparently the answer to my perpetual question, “what the heck do vegans actually eat?” is “lots!”) The recipes are skewed to a western audience, though, so you may have difficulties getting all the ingredients, even in this age of supermalls. Never mind if that happens. There are essays and features to read, which you can quote at your carni pals, newsletters, and a community.

The Burra Sahib and the Mem are in the verandah,
A friend sent me a link to this electronic version of a 120-year-old dictionary, which I had never thought to look for, since I have a copy of the book (a more recent edition, though). Its more formal name is : A Glossary of Colloquial Anglo-Indian Words and Phrases, and of Kindred Terms, Etymological, Historical, Geographical and Discursive. Naturally, only the shorter name is remembered. It is a dictionary of the Raj, of distinctly Anglo-Indian words, many of which took on shades of meaning or spellings quite different from their origins. “Bungalow” is still in use, of course, but what about “bobbery-bob?” And there’s “dumb-cow,” meaning to cow, or scold someone, for instance, derived from “dhamkao.” It has detailed etymologies and citations, and is an easy book to get lost in, and the digital version is even more diverting. Just by the way, “hobson-jobson,” thanks to the book, now also refers to the process of adapting words from one language to the cadences of one more familiar. I’ll let you go look up the original meaning. [Courtesy Chandrachoodan Gopalakrishnan]

Au courant
This Is The New That
The world moving too fast for you? You haven’t kept track after pink became the new black? This is the blog for you, amigo. May you never be short of party small talk.

Reader suggestions welcome, and will be acknowledged. Go to for past columns, and to comment, or mail The writer blogs at

Published in the Times of India, Mumbai edition, 29th July, 2007.

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