X
COVID19
Follow Maharashtra Coronavirus Live UpdatesFollow COVID-19 live updates from DelhiFollow live updates on covid-19 spread in Telangana, Andhra PradeshCovid cases in Gujarat surge past 36k with 725 testing positive in a dayExplainSpeaking: Why govt-mandated price controls are a tricky business even for essential medicinesBengal: second straight day of record Coronavirus cases and deathsSchool shut, no mid-day meal, children in Bihar village back to work selling scrapExplained: Covid’s Kawasaki symptomsCovid causes hyperactivity in blood-clotting cells: studyAs cases mount, Kerala announces capital lockdownKerala: With strict Covid measures, drop in flu cases
Advertisement

Come, my sweet

Let us eat thee! Bengal consumes the coronavirus the best way it knows.

Now, with the advent of the edible coronavirus, this tradition of marking the great events of our times continues.

The city that cooked up rosogollas and revolution, and which ritually slays the demon in every neighbourhood Durga Puja, has taken on the big one. It has chosen its weapon well — the sandesh, a marker of its culture. Remember the little squabble that Kolkata got into with Bhubaneswar over the ownership of the rosogolla? Such trifles are now forgotten, as the city girds its taste buds to engage with the corona sandesh invented by Hindustan Sweets, and to annihilate the disease with gastric juices.

This is the ancient symbolism of magic, precisely like that of Durga Puja, which signifies the destruction of evil worldwide. But also consider the amoeba, which surrounds its prey with its pseudopodia and assimilates it. What could be more natural than to engulf the enemy? The corona sandesh is an angry red blob with knobs on, like a Vogon seen through the haze of rage. It is presented as a target to be immediately engulfed. Bet it’s tasty, too.

Kolkata’s sweet-makers stay with the news. The famous ledikeni was a nod to Lady Canning, whose husband was governor-general during the rising of 1857. It was a diplomatic gesture to assuage feelings ruffled by that chapati business, upcountry. The tradition stretches to the present — the inventors of the corona sandesh had earlier invented the pink ball sandesh to coincide with India’s first pink ball Test. Now, with the advent of the edible coronavirus, this tradition of marking the great events of our times continues. And you thought that we would be trotting out those old tropes about a dying city which nevertheless leads the country in Gelusil sales. But like Kolkata has left the quarrel over rosogolla behind to engage with the biggest global challenge, we too have risen above pettiness.

📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines

For all the latest Opinion News, download Indian Express App.

X