In 1993 the “real thing” made a re-entry into India and soon changed the dining habits of many Indians. It was not that we had no carbonated sugar water earlier, there was the Indian answer to Coke “Double 7” and of course the many loved drinks from the Parle stable including the behemoth Thums Up. The difference then was that the drinks were refreshment and usually a time pass, you know what I mean, but Coke became part of meals and there started a revolution.
I grew up with the “real pepsi cola” the coloured drinks stored in thin plastic tubes and frozen in the refrigerators. Sold for 50 paisa or so they were a delight and lasted as long as the frozen drink took to melt and be sucked out of the tube. Small pleasures then but that and the other drinks called “colour” in the friendly neighbourhood Annachi stores were an indulgence and usually an occasional indulgence.
The advent of Coke and the many junk food counters into the country ensured that junk was paired with cola despite them never matching. Every junk offering comes with the mandatory fries and a huge glass of cola with the mandatory ice cubes. After such meals you sometimes feel uneasy either you feel empty or you feel like your tummy is doing laps but rarely do you feel satiated like say after a half plate biriyani. The combination of oils and a cold drink can be deadly as it slows down digestion but you already know it don’t you?
Even biriyani hotels offer the cola combinations and even if you don’t I have watched with amazement when people order a cola telling me very confidently that it aids digestion and I nod in agreement thinking …
When the cola majors are losing their markets in lands of their origin, we are gulping them with various justifications after all it is the real thing. A tip for those who enjoy their biriyani like me, accept the white rice and the hot rasam afterwards, even better get a cup of the rasam and drink it. You may not burp like after the cola but you can be sure that the food will be better savoured. Personally I go for hot tea after my biriyani. Since junk food places may not offer hot drinks, you can always skip the cold stuff and hop over to the chettaa’s shop nearby for a nice hot cuppa.
P.S. ever wondered why the lovely jasmine tea served in some Chinese restaurants works with your heavy meal?
(Images and Video courtesy the internet)