Thursday, 22 March 2012

Foodistan - India vs Pakistan

I happened to watch the final episode of the food competition 'Foodistan' aired on NDTV Good Times, which is a great culinary competition between very talented Indian and Pakistani chefs. And I discovered something about myself...

Unlike most reality shows I have seen, one of the finalists was a woman. A rare sight amongst Indian reality shows, I was really pleased. And even though the woman finalist was in fact Pakistani, I found myself rooting for her. She didn't win though, and it was a fair defeat which she accepted very graciously, given the Indian finalist produced culinary delights that were beyond excellence in terms of technique, texture, taste and presentation.

So what did I discover about myself. Instead of hoping India would win, I hoped the woman would win. Clearly, the India-Pakistan divide is more political than anything. From the people perspective, we are the same. In fact, given both finalists were of Punjabi origin, I saw no reason to differentiate between them. And I don't consider this as being less partiotic.

But hoping that the woman would win came instinctively to me. I tried to analyse why. Those who know me would agree that I always tend to support the underdog, even if they are less talented. I supported Abhishek Bachhan, Tusshar Kapoor, Fardeen Khan and Emraan Hashmi when people hated them! And I think this is why I was supporting that rare female finalist, even when I could see that the other contender was doing minutely better. (Cautionary note: That doesn't make me feminist)

So I guess till the woman remains an underdog (for another few years still), while all top chefs, singing superstars and directors continue to come from the opposite gender, I shall continue, sometimes at the risk of being unfair, 'hooting for her'!

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