The practice of tipping and its motivations, and how it might be promoting a culture of bribery and corruption
Around 1990, a colleague shared a real story of a bank branch manager in remote rural Punjab. A borrower wanted to give the manager a gift. It was expensive. New to the job, he resisted. But, the borrower rationalised that he was only sharing in the happiness of having become rich thanks to the loans the bank sanctioned his firm. The incident points to the progressively fine divide between gifts, donations, kickbacks, bribes, extortion, and so on. Tipping is a related, though socially accepted and frowned upon, practice of sharing a monetary equivalent of perceived excess of value over and above what you paid for. Continue reading “To Tip or Not to Tip”
William Shakespeare was pointing to the cruelty that mankind meted out to animals, while writing these lines in the second part of his historical play, Henry VI, based on the life of the 15th century King of England:
Thou never didst them wrong, nor no man wrong; And as the butcher takes away the calf And binds the wretch, and beats it when it strays, Bearing it to the bloody slaughter-house, Even so remorseless have they borne him hence; And as the dam runs lowing up and down, Looking the way her harmless young one went, And can do nought but wail her darling’s loss.
This is the first post in a series of brief cooking notes that I started writing for a friend, who was at a loss at the beginning of the Covid-19 lockdown. He had lost his mother, his ailing dad was 92, his maid had stopped coming, no food of any kind was available, and he had not clue about cooking.
For a food loving Malayali in Chennai, the number of eateries serving Kerala cuisine has increased over the years. But, my favourite to-go places have changed. For many years, from 1986 when I first came here, till around the mid-90s it was Kalpaka, a small joint in the first floor of a nondescript building, on TTK Road, behind Music Academy. It was known for serving excellent and homely Kerala food at affordable rates. For some time, it was Kumarakom. If I am not mistaken, the name was chosen sometime around 2000, soon after PM Vajpayee made it famous following a holiday retreat in Kumarakom in Vembanad Lake, Kerala. Continue reading “Kappa Chakka Kandhari: Food for the Gods”