Nandy: The world's first non-alcoholic alcoholic drink
Please do not be under the impression that RS has employed a lunatic for a writer. This is because he has come up today with one of the most important creations after the aglet- the plastic tip of a shoelace. Marvelous thing it is.
Presenting nandy, the world's first non-alcoholic, yet alcoholic drink. It is not to be confused with brandy, because that is illegal. Bottles of nandy will someday adorn the bars of the elite. This will be a drink that is cheaply expensive. This is because here is the biggest trade secret; while brandy is distilled grape juice, nandy is distilled Nan roti!
Yes, nan roti! While you love to have this soft, fluffy bread with kebabs and tandoori chicken, your humble narrator was delving into its chemistry- to find out what truly made it such a people's favorite. By delving into, he naturally means logging to the Net and finding on Wikipedia. Wikipedia showed that yeast culture is required to make the nan dough rise- the very reason behind the bread is so soft and fluffy. This rise is because of carbon dioxide being produced as a result of respiration by the yeast. But the highly analytical mind of your narrator does not stop there. He thinks; if this is so, are there any other products formed during this process? Further researching (typing into Wikipedia while playing Minesweeper), showed that when yeast respires, within a limited amount of oxygen, alcohol is produced and so is carbon dioxide, but as a by-product. There was the key to the great invention! If there was only a way to have huge amounts of nan rotis turned into a solution, which in turn could be distilled and preserved for flavor, they really would have made a new drink indeed! The entire experience will be new, alcohol content would not really be high (have you EVER heard of people being all tipsy after a huge nan roti feast?), nan rotis are not harvested like grapes, so that saves the trouble of creating huge vineyards or having a large Chateau (which would be cool, though). The best part of all- no confusing French names!
He thought if really most European countries and now India are so snobbish about the so-called delicate art of wine brewing, we, as Bangladeshis must truly think out of the box, or the wine crate- whichever one goes. Hence, to show that he indeed was a patriot and loopy, he started building the world's first nandy brewing plant. It would have been an otherwise historic day for the world, had not his friends and family (yes, Mom too) were laughing uproariously about the entire matter. “Laugh”, he shouted out aloud, 'laugh all you can, non-believers! For all great inventions, like the aglet, were laughed about- but see how their inventors and creators prospered! This is the Dawn of a new Era!” Sadly, the reply was nothing but more laughter.
Any product first needs an active ingredient. So nan rotis were bought from the local eatery. A huge order takes time; and judging by the expression of some of the cooks, this quantity was a surprising amount indeed. 70 were bought, to be exact. 65 were for the process, and 5 were for lunch- the process could be very long and tiring. Next all 65 of the rotis were brought into a huge vat (in his bedroom, of course, away from prying eyes), and so the distillation process was initiated. Vital conditions such as catalyst, temperature and pressure are a secret, since your narrator feels he has already said way too much.
Anyway, after much toil, and all 5 rotis for lunch finished, it was time to look at the vat- which was sealed during the process. The vat opened; and a most appalling odor was released. But this writer was not one to be deterred. He looked through the swirly fumes of carbon dioxide and whatnot release, and so a curious grayish-white mixture. Curious, it was indeed.
Like most techniques in wine brewing, the nan solution was stored in containers and allowed to cool for flavor. Since original wooden barrels are so hard to find in local hardware shops, your very humble narrator humbly stole his friend's huge plastic water storage drum. The things creators do for their creations.
This writer could not any longer. His impatience, like his infinite wisdom, cannot be stopped to any extent. The writer looked at his watch; it's been an hour since the Elixir (the name he fondly calls nandy with) was stored. One hour! That's years in his time! No, this has to be done. The drum must be opened and the solution must be tasted. And so happened- the very first nandy tasting.
Just to complete his own great persona, and also to sound classy when he gets called on Larry King Live for his invention- the writer nicks one of his Mom's fancy drinking glasses, Dad's robe and his Grandfather's pipe. He brings his video camera (somehow this actually belongs to him) and starts shooting.
The solution is ladled into the glass, and this great individual sighs heavily- if only he had someone to share this moment with. Then again, he swirls the now mucus-coloured drink around, and breathes in the foul odor heavily. Screwing his nose, he drinks his Elixir.
He nearly throws it up, but hastily ladles in more…just to be sure. The same taste, only weaker, but slightly refreshing too. Yes! He is the world's first NANALCOHOLIC! The very thought makes him swing. He could not last more than two glasses before falling.
So was the beginning of Nandy Drinks International, the world's first and largest nandy brewing plant. A Forbes Fortune 10 listed company, a popular drink, and a closely guarded secret recipe- the beginning of a wonderful story meant for another day.
If only realizing dreams were that easy…
By Wahid T. Khan
BRAC University cultural club annual program
UPDATES on the traffic situation in Bangladesh has become quite like the weather updates in Britain; everyone talks about it and everyone is frustrated about it. Certainly a very good conversation starter and sometimes I do wonder how many people actually use topics of traffic as pick up lines (preferably lame ones like Hello, we seem to be stuck in traffic. Why don't you use your angelic wings to fly us out? Wink). Keeping that as a side note, yes traffic, the maestro as it is, was inevitably punctual in delaying the punctuality of the annual program of BRAC University's Cultural Club (BUCuC; not to be pronounced as Boo-Kook).
When the program began, time started moving at its usual pace again and I must say it was impressive to the length to which the club went to book the National Museum auditorium for the location. Apparently every annual BUCuC program has a theme, and this years theme was going green in respect to the recent environmental degradation; more on this later on. The program began with the inauguration of BUCuC's own internet radio: http://www.radiobucuc.com, the return/enter button being pressed by the Pro-VC of BRAC University, Prof. Md. Golam Samdani Fakir, who was the chief guest. Although I haven't seriously looked at the site to make a statement, be sure to check it out; a university website should be bubbling with enthusiasm and can have a lot of potential to disseminate illuminating news and content if guided adequately.
One thing BUCuC made explicit with their annual program is that the club definitely has a showcase of diverse talent. The program included classical and choreographed dances, amazingly sung Thakur and Nazrul songs, some weirdly varied versions of Artcell, Black, Ornob, LRB's Sei Tumi, (I have to point out, each with a squeaky keyboard addition which didn't help the ear) to some contemporary, and some nicely selected folk songs, to name some of the items. The notable item missing was a good Lalon song. Noteworthy of the program included elegantly sung Amar o poran o jaha chai by Keka, beautifully sung Porodeshi meye jao re phire by Mifta (who was literally a jack of all trades in the program, changing from electric to bass guitar to tabla to keyboard to electric drum kit; impressive albeit a bit off showing off), a charismatic recitation of Shukanto Bhattacharya's poem Charpotro by Shagufta, a strong yet graceful solo dance by Tamanna to a mix of the original Nitol Paye and passionately sung Dekhi ki take oi nil nodir dharai by Tahia.
One major critique I have of the program is regarding the almost outward façade of going green. When I heard about the theme I was expecting at least a mesh of practically educational items along with the entertainment; maybe some updated news and tips and cleverly put advice between each performance. Maybe a short video on the present state of the environment or a guide lined pamphlet or maybe something about the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference coming up in December; maybe something about the recent advances of religious green movements or even a short continuity of the 350.org campaign. Since the club had adapted green as their theme of the annual program, just mentioning that 'change comes with you' certainly does not suffice and is bound to get treated more like a joke.
Putting that aside however, BUCuC certainly revealed the strong bonding and unity that they have, including the hard work that they had put in over the semester to make this show possible, especially since BRAC U does not yet have their own auditorium which I am sure made the rehearsals much more difficult to coordinate. So hats off to the organizers and performers and let's hope we do hear and see some good news put to action about the environment in December. Keep up the great work BUCuC, and hopefully we will soon see an annual program in BRAC U's very own auditorium!
Do you know that there are six people with the same face as you running around in the wide open world? Scary.
Time for a joke: two friends went to see a movie. The movie was Transformers 2, so the friends were BORED. One of them decided to play a game to entertain them. He said to the other, “If you can slap the bald man in front of us, I will give you 100 bucks.” “Okay,” said the other and immediately slapped the said baldy's head saying, “My, Abdul, mate, what are you doing here? Long time no see, huh?” When the assaulted man turned to him he hurriedly apologized to him saying, “You really look like my friend Abdul from behind.” The man forgave him for he was gentle in heart (no doubt he is one of our readers). The first friend obliged to give him the promised money and again challenged the other to do the same thing as before for 500 bucks. Guess what? The friend did the same thing as before and managed to get the money. Now the first friend got serious. He promised to give a thousand if the other could slap the bald head a third time. This time the bold one hit the bald one and said, “Hey Abdul, mate, do you know what happened today? I slapped a man twice thinking him to be you? Imagine that!”
Okay, I admit, that was lame. But still you cannot deny the existence of look- alike in the world. Almost every celebrity has one, at least. You can find tons of such photos on the Internet, so I am not bothering to write. This time I shall tell you what the press doesn't tell. Muhahaha.
Some people say that when you meet your look alike both of you are… destroyed. They may have a point. I could not manage to meet up two of my friends who look exactly alike even after trying for 2 years. They have everything in common. They laugh the same, bending their backs at an angle 109 degree with the horizontal and closing their eyes to slits and baring all their teeth. It ought to have a nice view of them standing next to each other.
Doppelgangers also have similar characteristics. Perhaps the characteristics are the ones that make two people look alike. I saw such a look alike walking in the same 'lady-like' manner as another friend. He even tucks his hair behind the ears mirroring my friend. Trust me, the scene is weird.
If you try you may find a celebrity look alike in your families too. My uncle's father in law looks EXACTLY like Sean Connery with his beard. He has no intention of joining in the local film industry, (what was its name again? Deshiwood?) Otherwise we could have had an older James Bond in Bangladesh.
What will you do when you meet your own look alike, provided you are not destroyed first? I think I will take a leaf out of Dr. Doofenshmirtz's book and try a wedgie on him. After all “I would want to be wedgied by someone I trust” as he had said in an episode of Phineas and Ferb.
P.S. my friends say that they have found a look alike of mine. I have seen him. He has a face like an idiot. I have a strong urge to kick something whenever I see him. Oh right, I am not destroyed yet. That means he is not a clone. All right!
| Issues | The Daily Star Home
© 2009 The Daily Star