Diary of a Rajma Nationalist: Forget Upma, Where’s My TV Debate?

One byte, one TV debate, one tweet and Upma is now set to become India’s National Dish?! A Rajma nationalist writes.

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One byte, one TV debate, one tweet and Upma is now set to become India’s National Dish?! A Rajma nationalist writes. (Photo: Rhythum Seth/<b>The Quint</b>)

Dear Diary,

Rajma Mata ki jai ho! I have been championing the cause of the Holy Dish of Rajma Chawal for a decade now, but never have I been as disheartened at my mission than today. Because I have been vanquished by an unexpected enemy in a most outrageous fashion — Upma is now set to become the national dish of India.

Here’s how it happened.

A National Award-winning director R Parthiban joked that “Upma should be made the national dish of India”. Some fellow at a TV news channel thought “wow, another way to avoid talking about political issues of the day” and made it a topic of debate. Then, some fellow on Twitter thought “oh wow so many RTs” and tweeted about making it a …. whatchucalit…trending hashtag.

And just like that, in two days, ten years’ worth of work (and Best Garlic Paste For Rajma conferences) went down the drain.

Diary of a Rajma Nationalist: Forget Upma, Where’s My TV Debate?
(Photo: Liju Joseph/The Quint)

No pamphlets, no meticulously written letters to the editor and no door-to-door canvassing for Banning Aachaar with Rajma. Just one joke, one tweet and suddenly five people are debating the nutritious benefits of the ‘humble’ Upma on TV. That too, without chutney! Imagine.

No, this battle must be won! So, I thought let me learn from enemy strategy. If Upma can make headlines with its sooji, we also have bhuna huya pyaaz yaar.

So, here’s my checklist for victory.

Mission: Make Rajma Great Again!

STEP 1:

Get a famous person to say something about Rajma Chawal. National Award-winning director R Parthiban didn’t even endorse Upma for a national dish. He just was talking about how he used Upma when he was hungry and poor, but look at how Upma became famous! So, all we need is a famous person to say Rajma Chawal is Best. Is Diljit Dosanjh available?

<i>Rajma ki prem kahaani, Diljit ki zubaani! </i>
Rajma ki prem kahaani, Diljit ki zubaani!
(Photo: Maanvi/The Quint)

STEP 2:

Use big words. As a Rajma Follower, I strive to learn something new every day. And when I was watching the TV channel debate on Upma, I had a revelation! There were six people on the debate — a chef, two reporters, a nutritionist and a TV anchor.

And bafflingly, they kept talking about “Culinary Chauvinism”. Now, what does Upma have to do with chauvinism?! I asked Mrs Singh but she was too busy with pressure cooker shopping for Rajma parties (Hail Hawkins!).

But it turns out, it doesn’t matter what you say. It should just be a complex word, preferably ending in -ism, and lead to people feeling like they are on opposite sides of an issue – North Indians, South India; Men and Women; SRK-lovers and Salman-lovers. Like feminism, Marxism or nationalism. More the -ism, more the outrage. (see step 3)

So, I have decided on ‘Rajma Nationalism’. Has a ring to it. Like cow vigilantism, no?

Diary of a Rajma Nationalist: Forget Upma, Where’s My TV Debate?
(Photo: Maanvi/The Quint)

STEP 3:

Just like how without Rajma masala, Rajma Chawal can never be worthy; what is a Breaking News without Twitter outrage, hain? How will TV news channels come up with...whatchucalit…trending hashtags without the tweets to sweeten their flavor? I am thinking #RajmaHumaariMataHai or #RajmaNationalism?

Hopefully, with the kripa of Lord Butter Chicken, I will be successful in ensuring that Rajma Chawal retains its pride of place in the dishes of India.

But now, I must go. A Twitter account needs to be made, and I must choose a beautiful onion-garnished Rajma as my DP.

Rajma-ily Yours,
Chawal Singh
President and Founder-in-Chief
Association of Rajma Chawal Lovers and Friends

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