Hey McDonald’s, Leave My Dosa Alone


Hey McDonald’s, Leave My Dosa Alone

Illustration: Juergen Dsouza

They say, deep inside all of us, a Raj Thackeray thrives. Well, mine came roaring out last afternoon when I heard that McDonald’s new breakfast menu might feature a new variety of burger, a Masala Dosa Burger.  My immediate instinct was to take to the streets calling for a ban on McDonald’s, burning down a few outlets, and demanding that the fast food chain be shifted to Pakistan immediately. Seriously, what is McDonald’s thinking? Bloody anti-nationals. Propagating corrupt western culture through their small buns and revealing salad dressings, and ruining the sanctity of our country. You might be thinking to yourself that I’m overreacting right now. OF COURSE, I’M NOT.

As someone who was raised in Jayanagar, an old-world part of south Bangalore, my blood boils when I hear that someone wants to mess with the love of my life, the masala dosa. To understand my love for the dosa, it’s important you understand Jayanagar. Jayanagar is perhaps the most non-hip area in the whole city, where everything is dull, boring, and organised to a T. It’s like the town-planner crafted with great passion one block of Jayanagar and then lost interest, only to Ctrl C + Ctrl V the rest of the blocks in the neighbourhood. Every block of Jayanagar looks the same. The roads. The trees. The bungalows. The parks. And after a point, even the people start looking the same – dull, boring, and organised; resembling the locality they reside in. They wake up on time, go for a morning walk on time, and then head to work. On time, of course. Only to get back home in time to go to sleep by 9 pm every day. Basically, if Rahul Dravid decided to become an area in Bangalore, he would be Jayanagar.

The only break from this routine was another routine. A trip to the nearest fast food darshini to put (south Indian for “to have”) one masala dosa. Almost every road in Jayanagar had a darshini (again, Ctrl C + Ctrl V). And boy, those dosas were something else only (South Indian for full stop). They were crafted with such godlike skill – every dosa had the perfect texture and the right amount of crispiness. They came in all sizes and shapes. The plain dosa was placed like a rocket that was about to take off from the plate and was called aeroplane dosa (perhaps the only time it was alright to forgive a terrible pun). It wasn’t just Jayanagar, every place in Bangalore made dosas with so much love and passion. Nobody in the city could make a bad dosa, even if they tried. It was the dosa for the purists.

If you insist on trying your stunts on South Indian food, go for upma alias uppittu alias khara bhath. Or, as I rechristened it with my favourite name, concrete.

Things took a turn for the worse when I moved to Bombay. A little part of me died when I heard people order a “dough-sa”, and not a “doh-sa”. Another part of me died when people ordered something called a “schezwan dosa”. I strongly believe that “schezwan” in India is an elaborately planned and well-orchestrated Chinese retaliation for coming up with gems like gobi manchurian and paneer chilly.  Although, a bigger part of me died when I called for a schezwan cheese dosa, but that was because of the cheese. I seriously thought I had seen it all when it came to shitting all over my beloved dosa.

But Ronald McDonald proved me wrong. He was not done. He took his time to plan his revenge for all the times I have taken pictures with him outside his outlets, while giving him a lap dance, a nipple twist, or for shoving my arse in his face. He never said anything then, just kept smiling back while plotting his comeback. And then he went for my dosa! I mean, if you really want to ruin something South Indian, try your hand at Sreesanth. Marinate him in pigeon semen and fry him with some horseshit to make your south Indian fantasies come alive. It can be therapeutic. Ask Harbhajan Singh. But leave my dosa alone.

If you insist on trying your stunts on South Indian food, go for upma alias uppittu alias khara bhath. Or, as I rechristened it with my favourite name, concrete. I’m yet to meet a person who likes this dish. But it’s every South Indian mom’s favourite weapon against errant kids. If you’ve been bad and haven’t got a whack on your head, it’s because upma is coming your way tomorrow. And maybe, even the day after. Nobody will outrage if you make a burger, milkshake, or a commode disinfectant out of upma. But leave my dosa alone.

Ronald McDonald, I really wish I could take one of your dishes and make something disgusting and inedible out of it, just to show you how it feels. But then I realised you’re doing a damn good job of that anyway. I would urge you on behalf of all offended South Indians that you should continue to serve your crowd the usual favourites: obesity, diabetes, and heart attacks. But leave our freaking dosa alone.