We don't need no Chutney Sandwiches... Indiblogger's Indimum Meet

I wasn't going to write a post on this. I was going to be polite. Then I read this post on the blog Rising From the Ashes which the guys at Indiblogger had sportingly Tweeted. The lullaby of the Monsoons weren't working for me. I fired up the laptop.

I waxed eloquent about the Food Bloggers Dinner a couple of night's back. Got rather carried away and wrote an encyclopedic post. Well that was not all the action on the Blog socialisation front this weekend. There was the Indimum Meet organised by Indiblogger on the unearthly hour of Sunday afternoon. ('Mum' stood for Mumbai, not hot moms as some perv suggested)

I reached fashionably late at 2.30 PM. Which is apparently when it all started. I walked the red carpet with the amazingly trim and live wired Agent Green Glass. She was my ride back. She was sleepy, hungry and hungover (her words). So we left soon. She also thought that it was lame to sit there and Tweet about the meet.

I duly Tweeted that.

We caught snatches of messages from our sponsors. And then everyone introduced themselves. Which went largely, "My name is Khan. I am a recovering Blogger".

We were the bad kids on the last bench. Too old and cynical to take the earnestness around seriously. I speak for myself here when I say 'old'.

AGG muttered about how cold and hungry she was. Cold was not a problem for me. Like a good Bengali boy I wore a red full sleeve Panjabi and a sando genjee (kurta and vest) below it. Felt like we were in a Star Trek Fans Convention. Guest starring in the Big Bang Theory.

Talking of 'Bengali boy', I have a bone to pick with the guy who introduced himself as "My name is Kalyan. I am Bengali. I blog". Hey, as Mithunda would say, "apoon ka dialogue apoon koi deta hain kya?".

I dryly told AGG that snacks would be chutney sandwiches. Thirteen years at Mumbai have taught me that any congregation of more than six people involve 'chutney' sandwiches here.

But what's with chutney sandwiches? Growing up in the British county of Calcutta, we had learnt that sandwiches are made with boiled egg pepper and butter, boiled chicken pepper and butter, cheese pepper and butter, tomato cucumbers pepper and butter. You occasionally use just sugar and butter. But never chutney! Chutneys are the stuff grandmoms make with tomatoes, raw mangoes or papayas or pineapples and are meant be had with papad after a meal and before dessert.

What's this odious Martian green thing which is slobbered over limp bread and served here? No Calcuttan who read The Statesman and Wren and Martin would be caught dead with it. In fact of all the condiments and dips that I have come across, the crushed coriander based green chutney is the most insipid. In fact, while I am being politically correct let me say that my vote goes for the Bengali mustard based Bhaapa Eelish (Hilsa steamed in banana leaves) over the Parsi coriander and coconut chutney based Patrani Machhi (pomfret steamed in banana leaves).

Well the hosts, Sea Princess Hotel, served chutney sandwiches as I had predicted. What's wrong with serving good old artery clogging, blood pressure inducing butter? If I ever find out who invented chutney sandwiches then I will personally smother a slice of bread with a thick coating of green Wasabi paste and will feed it to this Food War criminal.

Well the chutney sandwich break was the highpoint of the afternoon. I caught up with some Food Bloggers from the previous night. Sunshine Mom, Curry Spice and Purple Foodie, the size zero baker. They stuck to each other and during the break hung on to their dear Knife. Ideasmithy  was there of course. She had earlier taught me to 'spread the love' at Blog Camp. No, nothing lewd. Just link people you mention in a post. Then there was young Chipro from Tony's Vietnam who came to Mumbai while travelling. Liked it. Decided to stay back. And Keema from Mizhoram. With a name like that he had to feature on Finely Chopped. I was rather tickled when Mahafreed, a young Iraani journo, came up to me and said she had used my post on Parsi wedding dinners as source for one of her articles. Imagine a Bong blogger teaching Zoroastrians about their practices.

A part of the Sunday School afternoon involved putting  chart paper on our backs so that people could write things there. Would the young lady who wrote that I reminded her of her 'Biology professor' please clarify whether she meant it in an Amitabh Bachchan in Chupke Chupke sense? And no young lady, I won't put vegetarian recipes. I speak to vegetarians only thrice a year.

I never did find out the answer to my question. Agent Green Glass, the woman of mystery, swept me off my feet, shoved me into the hotel lift, threw me into her car and dropped me to my car which had a flat

Yes, I was carrying my camera.

Well enough of being the Grumpy Giant, good show folks at Indiblogger and good turnout. I guess the world of Bloggers is too diverse for a one size fits all shindig. But while at it, what's all this excitement with GulPanag ?


Unknown said…
Now I know why you have stopped talking to me. I promise I will go back to my meat-eating self after I deliver this baby.

We were introduced to Chutney Sandwiches by Ranga Pishi, she has lived in Bombay for decades and almost a Bombaiyya now, except for the days that she makes shukto!
Gulfanclub said…
excitement with Gul Panag?

Try moving beyond food sometimes - check out life on the udder side

Chutney Sandwich - Kalyan ? Haha! That was hilarious! Do I dare say that I like that chutney sandwich too ? Ate loads of it during college days (in North India) and I guess now have fond memories of it...
Sharmila said…
had got an invite but missed it ... & meeting u guys. :-(
am not from cal but bhery much a bong and am with u on those soggy froggy looking chutney sands ... er ... witches ... errr ... whatever. ;-)
Archana Bhui said…
So I finally see 'Home cooked Oriya food' thanks to ur recco at the meet!! Nice read!! :D
Bombay Foodie said…
I was still in the Sula induced wine haze and obviously missed the meet.

But now I'm not feeling too bad about it :)
Mizohican said…
Hahahaha :D Thanx for featuring me here dude. lolz. Hope I don't get finely chopped. :P Cheers! :)

- Kima :)
Daniel D'Mello said…
Hmmm...must try to attend the next meet.

Btw, green chutney s/w's were the de facto snack at our picnics back in the old country.
Love your style of story telling ... - the story teller : ))
The Bride said…
I like chutney sandwiches - they can have a kick and they can have butter in them too. Tomato and pepper also if you want. Chutney need not always be green also, though in sandwiches they usually are. Chutney sandwiches vary in quality though... I like the plump ones.
Kalyan Karmakar said…
@Gulfanclub Well this is a food blog after all.

And I assume that was just lazy English on your part and not a pun
Anonymous said…
Agreed with you... for a bong, chutneys are definitely not meant to accompany sandwiches... Not until, you remain outside bengal and there's nothing else that goes with it..
And hey... your finely chopped card is awesome.. thinking of making a blog card for myself too..

(-the guy in mauve shirt, if you want to put a face to my comment)
Sunshinemom said…
Well, I like chutney sandwich too as long as it has some cucumbers as well but lucky me got away with just black tea:). I like that they tried bringing bloggers together but it is the format that flopped the show! I hope you walked in after the HP guy finished boring us for about 15mins. We left soon after you:). Even before we reached there I had my apprehensions since I knew there had to be chaos with so many of us around. The way some people introduced their blogs was SAD!!
ba-xi said…
and whats wrong with chutney sandwiches?? have u ever tried travelling across the vast plains of india in a railway bogie with piles of plump green chutney and tomato 'wiches and lots of tea? and being a bombay import i am sure you have tried the 'bombay sandwich' at least once - green chutney, butter, tomato, potato and onion or beet [depending on city or 'burb']. and green chutney [cilantro dip to those from the county of calcutta - that was brilliant btw] is the easiest condiment to make at home!
Kalyan Karmakar said…
OK to start with I have nothing against green chutney. Except that I don't like it. But if green chutney is your thing then go for it and chomp them with gusto :)

@Pree would never stop talking to you. Where will I learn how to make shorshe chingri from otherwise?

@Archana...you are welcome. Somoo's blog is one of my favourites.

@Simran... that's a wonderful place to be in :)

@Somoo: I am a big one for childhood memories so fix yourself a chutney s w

@Sharmila...next time hopefully
Kalyan Karmakar said…
@Illusionnaire...Hey I often Finely Chop things I am fond of :)

@Daniel: Superb. Picnics

@Disha...hey thanks, that was some yarn you spun too :)

@Sailin: thanks

@The Bride: good for you. I personally like the simple uncomplicated taste of butter

Hey Abhishek, thanks...can't take credit for cards though :)

@Sunshine Mom: well it was a good effort. Glad we caught up at dinner on Friday

@Baxi: would often fortify myself with cheese, chutney, alu, chilli sandwich before entering Nirmal :) Don't give up on me
AldyWaldy said…
Hilarious stuff! Loved the description! :) Tough luck with the chutney sandwiches! Seriously who came up with that! They taste awful!!!!
Phoenix said…
I guess I'm the only odd-man out as almost everybody else you mentioned in the blog had some sort of personal connection with you or the food (which again mean you.).

Anyways, thanks for acknowledging my 'unpolite' post. :P
By the way, liked your way of describing stuff. Interesting. :)
Mili said…
hey remember me, it was one of the three days n u spoke to me a vegetarian :-).

well i like ur portrayal of the meet more realistic thn sme of the others i'v read. apart from bringing complete strangers who had only one thing in common, it wasn't the best way to spend a precious sunday.

nyways, as one shud never loose hope, i hope tht one day u'll discover what all vegeterian delights mumbai has to offer n enighten us. chao
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mahafreed Irani said…
Hey thanks for the mention. Outsiders are usually the best observers of what is inside. Always a good way to get an unbiased view.

I owe you one in return for your favour. You can always ask for my outsider's view on all things Bengali. :p
Kalyan Karmakar said…
@Minstrel Incognito...was hoing for samosas at least

@Phoenix: was not planning to write about this. Then read your post. And felt like writing. I owe you one

@Mahafreed: that's true. So what do you think of Bengali food. if you do 'think' of Bong food that
is :)

@Mili: Actually quite enjoyed the green sprouts parathas at Samovar
AldyWaldy said…
Indidel would have had samosas for sure!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :P
Sunita Mohan said…
Found you finally! Met you during the break but like a scatter-brain, never got around to finding out your blog handle. What can I say? I'm more voluble with the written word than the spoken. ugh!
Or maybe the chutney sandwiches dulled my wits?
Linhy said…
Interesting blog and thoughts you got going on there!! Check out my blog sometimes when you get a chance. If you like my writing and what’s on there become my follower!