The Downfall Of My Trusted Lieutenants

Friday, May 17, 2013

They are still the most loved and cherished members of our family. In the past, they have always moved with us to various cities around the globe. Even now, one of them always accompanies us on our camping trips as well as to other outings where we stay in log cabins or family suites. We can not imagine our life without them.

But a recent incident—none of their fault in the least—have given them a bad rap. Now we can not even speak aloud our beloveds’ names at public places, nor can we Google them. I was even a bit apprehensive to mention them here, but then decided not to be a chicken any more. It hurts to know that they are treated like pariahs. These handsome dudes have fed me dal-chawal all my life, and I can not ditch them when the going has got tough for them. I would be the last person on this earth to be accused of being a fair-weather friend.

These lieutenants must have saved tons of energy over the years, and if they are embraced by everyone including the Americans, they would help us leave an energy-sufficient world for our future generations. Currently, I have five of them. Only I can understand each one’s behavioral nuances, eccentricities, and capriciousness. Once a newly relocated friend borrowed one of these, and it blew her lentil soup on her kitchen walls and ceiling. I handle them with extreme care and never scrub them harshly. If you are not finicky and superficial, you will also fall in love with their inner beauty.

My oldest one is a 5-litre Prestige. It is from my husband’s premarital days. We now use it when we have guests over. I have always wondered what a bachelor did with such a large pressure cooker. I suppose Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s wife must have had similar feelings too.

Two 3-litre darlings were given to me as gifts on my wedding day by considerate neighbors with their names etched on the metal for eternity. I have used them to cook, rice, dal, and vegetables regularly all these years. I bought the fourth one, the tiniest of all, after my daughter was born to make khichdi for her during those pre-Gerber days. The fifth one, a Hawkins Futura, the black beauty, is a recent addition. We brought it from India on our last visit.

I was mulling over to adopt one more from India, when I read this horrifying news that a Saudi man was arrested at Detroit airport for carrying a pressure cooker in his luggage. He said that he had brought it as a gift for his nephew, who was a student. And then the man was accused of lying when, at first, he said that he believed pressure cookers were not sold in the US, and then later added that his nephew had indeed bought one but it wasn't of good quality. The US officials would never understand why we need to fly pressure cookers from our native countries, when they are readily available here.

The incident which has caused the downfall of these marvels of science was an act of cowardice by two depraved young men called Tsarnaev brothers. They made bombs from pressure cookers to target innocent people at Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013.
Remains of the pressure-cooker bomb at Boston bombing site (via CNN)

Having a personal moment with my oldest one during our last year’s camping trip

Dear terrorists and FBI-ists, please understand that pressure cookers are meant to cook food, not to kill people, so malign the crooks, if you please, not the innocent cookers.

Related:
1. Huffington Post: America's Newest Public Enemy Number 1: The Humble Pressure Cooker by Sandip Roy
2. what-if.xkcd.com: Pressure Cooker Explained

23 comments:

  1. wow! wonderful satire! in such a clean subtle way you vented your feelings about bombings making our own lives less of human in every small way. I absolutely adored the sense behind the words :)

    lovely read!

    www.subzeroricha.blogspot.in

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  2. What has the world come to? Pressure cookers are now used to cook people? The guy who invented them must be turning in his grave.

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    1. The person who invented belan must be feeling a bit vindicated :-/

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  3. You know, this is exactly what I thought of when I read about the incident. Now the desis will have to stop carrying pressure cookers from their homeland, lest Homeland gets its knickers in a twist.

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    1. Not only from our homeland, but we have to be careful when we carry them around to potluck parties :-)

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  4. Oh! Bachelors require the larger versions - they prefer cooking all at once for a week :) Ask me about it :)

    Paranoia seems a companion of security services :)

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    Replies
    1. Finally, someone explained the mystery of a large cooker :-)

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  5. terrorists are always logical and innovative like MIT.they always come up with a new idea when it comes to carrying out blast. LeT guys carry rdx and ied in tiffin boxes attached to bicycles and mobikes which is common among middle class families day to day life.whenever a blast takes place in hyderabad,police harass office going people by checking their tiffin boxes and end up exposing their food.

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    Replies
    1. So true...the terrorists and criminals are always a step ahead of security forces. The tiffin-box scenario you mentioned is too scary!

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  6. I love the pressure cookers. I feel antsy on my trips abroad and yes the first thing I bought when we moved to US was a Hawkins. I possess two of them now. I guess these firangs need to know more about saving energy than wrongly channelizing energy.

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    1. You have only two? You should buy more to use in emergency when the kamwali bai doesn't show up....

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  7. For decades I havesen cookers bieing used at home for cooking.
    It is that these innovative terroists have found adestructive use of cookers

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    1. Sigh! People with destructive mind will kill others even with most innocuous objects.

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  8. Good lord :)
    I am currently having a 3 litre one ( for daal ) and a 5 litre ( for chaaval ) one as well- just to make be comfortable if we have a flash mob of sorts someday. But the fact that you carried them over, with the history of course, is intriguing :P
    But really, don't they sell good ones there ?

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    1. Sri Tatsat, you should make Chawal in the 3-liter one and Daal in the 5-liter one. :O
      I suppose the pressure cookers sold here must be of good quality. I plan to buy one from a local store.

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    2. Now that I come to think of it, you are right :) This might be the reason why I almost breached the 100 barrier :P

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  9. Imagine Rajmah, chholey, pulao without pressure cookers! And I'm seriously mulling on buying a 6 litre monster from the Indian store. Life feels incomplete without its whistle.

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    Replies
    1. Happy pressure cooking to you, Purba!

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  10. Pressure cooker which is an integral part of every kitchen,used by terrorists in their nefarious activities!! This is the first time I heard this. .It is atrocious!

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    1. It is true, Usha ji! This was the biggest terrorist attack after 9/11 on the US soil and pressure cookers were used to make bombs!

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  11. I still have mine and I keep them well-hidden...couldn't bear to part with them!

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    Replies
    1. Let's keep them hidden in our kitchens :-)

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