Friday, September 30, 2011

Headwinds or Tailwinds?

This was quite a week for aviation.
ANA took delivery of its first Boeing 787 Dreamliner at Boeing's facilities in Everett, Washington on September 25, 2011 following which the aircraft flew to Narita, Japan to commence scheduled operations shortly.
It is believed that initially, Boeing had planned for the maiden flight by the end of August 2007 following a roll-out ceremony on July 8, 2007, which matches the aircraft's designation, 787, in US-style month-day-year format (7/8/07). That never happened, as there were many many issues - shortage of aerospace-grade fasteners, incomplete software, labour strikes and supply chain issues.

But all's well that ends well. The Boeing 787 Dreamliner is here, definitely. It was nice to see the the Boeing 787 Dreamliner being brought into the launch function by enthusiastic Boeing employees, much like a bride being led to to the altar!

Photos on aviation spotting websites like and other news reports suggest that the 787 production line is now well oiled. A few Air-India Boeing 787 Dreamliners - to be designated as VT-ANA, VT-ANB, VT-ANC and VT-ANG are nearly ready and should be delivered soon. It is a different question whether Air-India would have the financial wherewithal to take their delivery. It would be tragic if the Dreamliner does not fly on Indian skies.
Then came a bombshell. This news did in a sense prove that life does come full circle. On September 28, 2011, it was announced that Kingfisher Airlines would exit its low cost business, Kingfisher Red, and instead would reposition itself as a full service carrier. When Kingfisher Airlines started operations in 2005, it was premium full service carrier, that, as many felt, relied on titillation - stewardesses chosen personally by the Chairman (that's cheesy enough), stewardesses clad in bright red short skirts - that was enough to set testosterones racing. But what started off well, leave aside the gimmickry for a moment - great food, great service on board, soon took a tumble. Air Deccan was acquired and the airline adopted a hybrid full service and low cost model, and then got caught up in economic headwinds and fuel turbulence! Things got bad - finances crippled in light of massive orders with Airbus and fuel costs, refuelling became an issue, punctuality reduced and menus shrunk (and became pathetic). I recently travelled on the full service version of Kingfisher Airlines on a morning flight. I was flabbergasted when the breakfast tray had no butter. Things had gotten so bad! But, this new announcement on recasting the business model proves that managers in India Inc. have become as tentative as those in the West.

A very seasoned senior corporate executive I have known for years now recently quoted Dominic Barton of McKinsey on Twitter - "The most striking difference between East and West is the time frame leaders consider when making decisions. Asians typically think in terms of 10 to 15 years. In US & Europe, nearsightedness is a norm."
That was true for a long time, but now, as the Kingfisher Airlines example proves, we too have started following short-termism. Perhaps, existence for the airline was the paramount consideration for cutting costs atrociously or now moving whole-hog into the full service domain. But is it not true that somewhere, the management neither had the patience or the conviction to stick to one model. Will they stick on, will they sell out? My bet is Virgin Atlantic and Sir Richard Branson which had lobbied with the Government of India for permitting investment in Indian carriers has a good chance - the head honchos are equally flamboyant, the business models would be similar. Let us wait and watch!
One airline, once known as Bloody Awful unveiled a new campaign this week that promised a return to the quality and efficiency that once existed in the aviation business. I am talking about British Airways.

The campaign is slick, impressive and to me, appears honest. But do European airlines stand a decent chance of competing with premium carriers from the Gulf or Asia is a fair question to ask.
Back home Jet Airways introduced a Boeing 737-800 with a new decor - Sky Interiors, with cove lighting and a curved cabin architecture that looks contemporary, gives a sense of openness and space. New flights connecting Bombay and Manila have been announced. I have heard the next announcement would be that of reopening the India-Shanghai-San Francisco sector. Truly they have benefited the most from the decimation of competition notably Air-India and Kingfisher Airlines. Today, this is the only full service Indian carrier that has some kind of brand loyalty to speak of.
But how long is Jet Airways to command that respect is another question. They are withdrawing certain privileges to Jet Privilege members effective October 1, 2011.
Their cabin crew, undoubtedly the better of the lot need a serious dress makeover - their yellow coats look like those of courtiers in the court of the Chinese Emperor, the pants and aprons looks funny. I have also observed a big differential in the basic courtesy extended to Business and Economy class passenger. Some Jet staff treat economy passengers like cattle. It seems they have taken Shashi Tharoor too seriously. That is not good indeed.

The carrier that impressed the most recently was Indigo. I travelled on the Bombay-Hyderabad and Hyderabad-Bhubaneshwar sectors recently. Being a low cost airline, I did not expect much from them. But from the moment I stepped into their A320, I was impressed. The cabin crew seemed to be genuinely welcoming, the cabin spic and span and smelt very fresh. To my surprise I was offered free beverages and snacks on all sectors. I needed cotton for my ears (always get blocked ears while landing), but since they did not have cotton, I was given endless supplies of water. The stewardess then noticed that I had a cold, she got me a big glass of warm water. I was impressed. I never felt like a king at Jet Airways, where I have been a frequent flier for the last 6-7 years, but I sure did at Indigo!

Another airline which impressed me recently was the no-frills Go Air. While the cabin crew had an atrocious artificial accent and looked like over painted mannequins, the flight was on the runway 5 minutes prior to departure time and landed ahead of schedule!
I also came across an interesting comment on - a comment posted on a picture of Air-India's yet-to-be-delivered Boeing 787 Dreamliner VT-ANC which said "Asians have all the money! India buys airliners like we buy candy. Indigo for example orders Airbuses like they grow on trees. Air India is deeply in debt though and is borrowing money from India govt to fund all these fancy new jets like 777 and 787."
That is true, especially when sees Emirates or Qatar Airways expand. Benchmarks in the airline industry will be set by Asian carriers going forward, for this is where the business is, this is where the volume is.

Are these trends in aviation headwinds or tailwinds?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

BMC, Don't Kill This City!

Once upon a time, there was a great city in this country where hard work was rewarded with dreams coming true. This was a city that stood out as a beacon of hope when none existed, a city that respected talent, time, honesty and capability. This was the city that got a certain glamourised aura because of these inherent characteristics.

But sadly that city is almost dead now, gasping to survive and bursting at its seams. I am talking about Bombay or Mumbai here.

Over the last two centuries the city has attracted a lot of wealth and talent to give it the character that we see today. All this was supported by a great infrastructure - great roads, efficient local trains, BEST buses, which unarguably are the best in India, efficient electricity supply.

But all that is crumbling today. I have seen that happen gradually over the 7 years that I have been here.The roads are in pathetic shape. We can only guess if the craters that miraculously appear after every downpour outnumber those on the moon or not?

This is not funny at all, especially since BMC is the richest municipal body in India. Where does the wealth of the BMC go? It certainly does not find its way to our roads, but it surely does make BMC employees rich, as the frequent newspaper and tabloid exposes suggest.

In this city, cars need servicing 4 times a year because of the state of the roads. An autorickshaw ride is a ride to hell! There was a joke doing the rounds on Twitter around 9/11 that BMC should be charged with unleashing terror on the city's roads. Another person on Twitter has become a legend for always signing off with a cuss phrase - "BMC ki MKC"!

At times BMC's incompetence or indifference assumes tragic proportions - recently the papers had a carried a story on a cop who was riding a bike, at Powai, with his pregnant wife behind him. He went over a crater, lost his balance and his fell off, only to be crushed to death by a truck that came in from behind. I cannot say more on this except that BMC is full of corrupt nincompoops.

The cab and autorickhaws which were efficient and reasonable in the past have now resorted to rampant meter tampering. At places like Bandra Kurla Complex, which is the nation's premier financial hub, it is a nightmare to hail a cab or an autorickshaw. If you are lucky indeed, you could get overcharged by about 40-50%. Recently when the local RTO launched a drive against tampering, these operators had the audacity to go on a 3-day strike. Then we had a certain politician who spoke out in favour of the operators saying that they were being targetted because they are from Bihar and are of a "certain minority community". Isn't that cheap?

If the city is to be a global city, we cannot have all this crap. We need a vision, something like what Shiela Dixit attempted for Delhi - notwithstanding the corruption following the Commonwealth Games, the city is certainly zippier than what it used to be earlier - lower pollution, efficient metro rail, new flyovers, new airport terminal and an overall beautification.

No one in charge of governance in the city has a vision of any sort that extends beyond their wallets. Everything being done here is with the sole objective of milking the city. But we must remember that you cannot milk a cow beyond a point without feeding it, if you do that you will kill the cow. That is what is happening to this city today.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

வணக்கம் தூத்துக்குடி - Vannakam Thoothukudi

It was time to say வணக்கம் தூத்துக்குடி - Vannakam Thoothukudi or "Hello Thoothukudi" yesterday.
Thoothukudi is a port town located nearly 590 kilometers south west of Chennai. On reaching the town, did it dawn on me that officially the much known Tuticorin is actually Thoothukudi, much like Calcutta is Kolkata, or Bombay is Mumbai!
Tuticorin, as I had read in history school books was an important trading port for the early Europeans venturing into India. The port was an important centre of trade with South East Asia in the medieval ages, before the Portuguese colonists usurped it from the Pandyan kingdom in the 1500s. Next came in the Dutch in the 1600s and finally it was the British who took control in the 1800s. The colonial influences can been today also in few churches sprinkled across the city. The town became the hotbed of Indian nationalists like the noted Tamil poet, Subramaniya Bharathi, who kept the beacon of independence alive in the area.
The sea around Thoothukudi have an enchanting, lovely bluish-green tinge. Though the coastal belt has the usual coconut palm plantations, as one goes a few kilometers inland, the stark aridness is noticeable. Since agriculture had never been of prominence in the area, trading, fishing and pearl harvesting assumed significance.
Today the city is centered around the modern Tuticorin port, which is a major centre for import of coal, wood and other commodities.
My first meal in Thoothukudi was an unforgettable experience. We North Indians have stereotyped the land beyond the Vindhyas as "Madras", every South Indian as a "Madrasi" and a South Indian meal as dosa (தோசை), vadai (வடை), idli (இட்லி) and sambhar (சாம்பார். While travelling across South India it does come as a revelation that the cuisine is much beyond, much richer that than the stereotypes.
We stopped by at a roadside restuarant, nestled in a oasis of coconut palms and greens. As expected, the buffet had an array of local delicacies. Now the South is a place where I take to vegetarianism by choice, simply because the wide array of vegetarian cuisine has a certain allure that no other cuisine does.
I started off with tamarind rice (Puliyodarai - புளியோடரை), a classic Tamil speciality, that has the killing ability to turn a chapatti-eater like me into a rice-eater. The sourness of the tamarind complemenrted the mild spiciness to give a unique flavour to the dish. Next on the menu was a spicy yam dish - yam slices were crispy fried or sauteed with spices, curry leaves and whole red chillies. String beans with coconut and mustard seeds, a classic Tamil dish is unique - lightly fried, the string beans retain their natural colour and crunchiness, but gets a distinct taste from the cocunut and mustard. Obviously, endless bowls of sambhar and rasam (ரசம்) were downed, before I could take no more. That was then the ideal time for curd rice (Thayir sadam - தயிர் சாதம்), in true Tamil style - obviously it has to be "when in Tamil Nadu, do as the Tams do!" Here the curd rice came with a traditional novelty - crispy whoile red chillies - red chillies are soaked in buttermilk, sun dried and then deep fried. The spiciness of these chillies is unique and goes very well the blandness of the curd rice! That was the grand finale to the lunch. Desset had to be skipped!
After work, we were taken on a guided tour of the port by a portly, quintessential Tamil, a local shipping agent, in his car. The guy was playing the latest bhangra hits on full blast in his car. Surely he could not understand a thing, but was swinging to the beats as he drove through the quays. He admitted he did not understand a bit, but enjoyed the music a lot. So isn't this living proof that with each passing generation, India is increasingly getting homogenised, with North Indians freaking out on South Indian food and South Indians gyrating to bhangra beats and adopting salwar kameezes as a dress of convenience?

Today, it was time to head back. We left Thoothukudi early in the morning for Madurai to catch a flight back to Chennai and onward to my base. The highway from Thoothukudi to Madurai is an impressive 4-lane highway which was smoother than any other Indian road I had experienced before, thanks to Mr. Vajpayee's highway development initiative.

A few kilometers before Madurai, we stopped by at a road side eatery for breakfast. Madurai (மதுரை) is quite unlike Thoothukudi. It's lush green. The eatery was surrounded by coconut trees on three sides. It was barely 7AM and the bright sunrays filtered through coconut leaves into the eatery, giving it quite a magical feel.

The eatery was small and there was nothing fancy about it at all, but it was splotlessly clean and smelt fresh! That is distinctive in the South - hygiene is paramount, unlike many other parts of the country. Eating out at the smallest of outlets would not make you sick - I can guarantee that.

We ordered breakfast - pongal (பொங்கல்), vadai and filter coffee. Pongal is a simple breakfast dish made of rice and moong dal, with porridge-like consistency, lightly salted with a hint of spices, served with steaming hot sambhar. The pongal was heavenly with the spicy sambhar. Next came the vadai, which was crisp on the outside, and soft on the inside - the insides quickly dissolved in my mouth - that's what defines a good vadai.

It was time to head to the Madurai airport. I first visited Madurai in Jaunary 2007. At that time, the terminal was a tiny little building - barely 4,000 square feet or so. Now there was a spankingly fresh chrome and glass terminal that stood in front - traffic had surely increased multifold to justify this. The interiors were smart, a couple of aerobridges were getting commissioned. I was told Madurai is soon going to get international traffic with flights to Singapore and Dubai! Wow! It would be so much more convenient and cheaper for people to fly in and out, bypassing hubs like Bombay and Chennai!

Chennai, the transit halt for the next four hours, was bustling with activity. But my agenda was clear. A visit or even tranit through Chennai isn't complete without a pilgrimage to Sri Krishna Sweets to pick up a box of Mysore Pak. Luckily for me, Sri Krishna Sweets has an outlet at Chennai airport. The sweet which originated in the royal kitchens of the Mysore, is a melt in the mouth, gold-hued sweet is power-packed to make you go crazy and crave for more.

For Neeti and me, Mysore Pak is best enjoyed with ginger tea after dinner. This is one sweet that has the capability to tempt Neeti into binging! We have really acted crazy to get Mysore Pak at times. This January we passed by Mysore city on the way from Coorg to Bangalore and we spent a couple of hours searching for Mysore Pak. The search made us criss-cross Mysore a couple of times like crazed maniacs!

And with the Mysore Paks bought, it was time to head back home!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

From the city of Nawabs, with Biryanis!

If there's one city in India that I love to visit, over and over again, that's Hyderabad.
This is one city which has shown how consistent investments in infrastructure can transform the very feel of a place.
I flew in into Hyderabad this morning. As always the city's swank new airport (it is not new anymore - opened in 2008, but it still retains its freshness) is as welcoming as ever.
The drive to the city is smooth, a good 40 kilometers were covered in less than an hour. In Bombay, such a long drive would be endless, and would be sufficient to give a normal person acute hypertension. The 18 kilometer long PV Narasimha Rao flyover is a real treat, significantly cutting down travel time. The naming of the flyover could not be better, it's such a brilliant tribute to the man of will, the architect of reforms, the man who envisioned an economically strong and resurgent India. Sadly, his invaluable. contribution has not been regarded as worthy of honour in the rest of India.
Hyderabad for long had shown India the way. Timely investments in much needed infrastructure helped Hyderabad steal a march over Bangalore, in attracting infotech talent, as Bangalore got increasingly unliveable by the mid-1990s. The hands-on Chief Minister, Chandrababu Naidu and a friendly centre headed by Mr. Vajpayee helped the city evolve this vision. I just hope the Telengana strife doesn't affect the city adversely in the long run.
After the meetings got over, it was time to head back to Hyderabad Airport, but not before picking up a few biryanis for home.
Now the biryani is the perfect example of how India has become richer with foreign influences, over centuries. The biryani is a Persian dish evolved over the ages, primarily as a convenient and nutritious dish, of rice and meat, concocted to feed armies at the end of a daylong battle.
Brought to India by medieval Persian invaders, the dish evolved into nearly 20 or so variants in Indian sub-continent. So today, you have biryanis in Calcutta, Kerala, Burma, Lucknow, Sri Lanka and many other places. But undoubtedly the best known of all these versions is the Hyderabadi biryani. The Hyderabadi biryani is moderately spiced, with barely few traces of oil, yet is an explosion of flavours. The secret of that lies in patiently cooking the meat and rice, in layers, over extended periods of time, over low heat. The flavour of the tenderising meat is absorbed by the aromatic basmati rice gradually, the seal of dough between the vessel and the lid keeps the flavours inside and intact for long, while the hot vapours from the meat cooks the dish.
The result is magical - the melange of subtle flavours that the Hyderabadi biryani has to offer is bound to spin you off into a heavenly orbit of absolute bliss.

I was first introduced to the biryani in 1988 at a joint called Biryani Story at Hauz Khas, New Delhi's Aurobindo Place shopping centre. But I never knew what a true biryani was till I had a Hyderabadi biryani which was much later in 2006!
We passed by a takeaway outlet of Paradise, a chain specialising in Hyderabadi delicacies. My wishlist was long - vegetable biryani for Neeti (that's one of her favorite dishes) and a whole lot for myself - mutton biryani, haleem and bagare baingan!
Now the Paradise takeaway was faster than McDonald's, which was impressive. But unfortunately, they did not have haleem and bagare baingan. The biryanis came along with mirchi ka salan, the look of it was not too impressive at all, afterall Neeti does an exceptionally good job with the dish at home!
Haleem is a thick broth of mince meat and cracked wheat, slow cooked in stock turning it into a sticky consistency and then tempered with onions and spices. This meaty broth is comforting on a cold winter day. Bagare baingan are fried baby aubergines cooked in a spicy-sour gravy made of coconut and groundnut.
So I had to buy just two biryanis - mutton and vegetable which I am gleefully carrying back home like well deserved treasures. I just cannot wait till evening to dig in to the heavenly biryanis, blissfully like a Hyderabadi Nawab!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Life Has An Expiry Date!!!

I received this short story from a colleague today. The message - life does indeed have an expiry date, so live on fully!
In Washington DC, at a Metro Station, on a cold January morning in 2007, this man with a violin played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, approximately 2,000 people went through the station, most of them on their way to work. After about 3 minutes, a middle-aged man noticed that there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds, and then he hurried on to meet his schedule.
About 4 minutes later, the violinist received his first dollar. A woman threw money in the hat and without stopping, continued to walk.
At 6 minutes, a young man leaned against the wall to listen to him, then looked at his watch and started to walk again.
At 10 minutes, a 3-year old boy stopped, but his mother tugged him along hurriedly. The kid stopped to look at the violinist again, but the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk, turning his head the whole time. This action was repeated by several other children, but every parent - without exception forced their children to move on quickly.
At 45 minutes, the musician played continuously. Only 6 people stopped and listened for a short while. About 20 gave money but continued to walk at their normal pace. The man collected a total of $32.
After 1 hour, he finished playing and silence took over. No one noticed and no one applauded. There was no recognition at all.
No one knew this, but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the greatest musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, with a violin worth $3.5 million dollars. Two days before, Joshua Bell sold-out a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $100 each to sit and listen to him play the same music.
This is a true story. Joshua Bell, playing incognito in the D.C. Metro Station, was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste and people's priorities.
This experiment raised several questions:

- In a common-place environment, at an inappropriate hour, do we perceive beauty?

- If so, do we stop to appreciate it?

- Do we recognize talent in an unexpected context?

One possible conclusion reached from this experiment could be this: If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world, playing some of the finest music ever written, with one of the most beautiful instruments ever made!
How many other things are we missing as we rush through life? Enjoy life NOW ..... it has an expiry date!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Scars of the Kalinga War!

A few days back, I had visited the eastern state of Orissa. About 2000 years back, the state was known as Kalinga. It was a progressive democracy, surrounded by a sea of monarchies.
We landed at Bhubaneshwar early in the morning, at about 9 AM. As we were landing, the sea of greenery below the glide slope and till the eye could see was absolutely enthralling. The varying hues and shades of green were soothing for the soul. But the weather put me off instantly. The heat was intolerable, actually made worse by the near 100% humidity.
We then drove for work through the interior of the state for about 3 hours, or nearly 150 kilometers out of Bhubaneshwar city. We passed through areas with bright orange soil - undoubtedly the state has unparalleled mineral wealth.
Every few kilometers we passed through dense forests and occasionally paddy fields. The soil is extremely fertile. Given the amount of rainfall the area has, little wonder that lush vegetation thrives.
Typically the buzz on the highways, the visible economic activity (or the highway economy) is a barometer for the health of the economy. Alas, the highway was bereft of that buzz. And that is tragic for a state blessed with such immense wealth. As if that was not enough, the interior is plagued with abject poverty.
So then, when we have anti-industry outfits who vociferously oppose any kind of economic activity, under the guise of "protecting" the interests of locals, it is but obvious what the real game is, and what agenda is being played out.
But then over 2000 years back, this region, Kalinga, was fiercely independent, progressive and forward looking. Kalinga was a pioneering democracy, it elected its leaders. And then Ashoka's invasion happened - did it change the course of the Kalingan civilization and push them to fringes of Indian history?
Ashoka got away, he had a change of heart after the war, but it seems Orissa is still suffering from a wounded psyche! Ashoka embraced Buddha's teachings, became a messenger of peace, became "Ashoka the Great", but the Kalinga of today still shows the scars.
Perhaps this a manifestation of the duality in nature, the endless cycle - there is good and evil in every being (as was with Ashoka) and what rises must fall, and the reverse (the fall of Kalinga and a possible rise(?) of Orissa in the future).

Sunday, September 4, 2011

The Bhut Jolokia Omelette

Yesterday, we did our weekly ritual of stocking up our refrigerator. We were at Godrej Nature's Basket picking up vegetables when I noticed neatly stacked packets of unusually fat red chilies.
Out of curiosity, I took a closer look and I was pleasantly surprised to see those fat and weird shaped chilies were the Bhut Jolokia chillies. The chili is a native of the North East and is a critical ingredient in Naga cuisine! The Bhut Jolokia are one of the hottest chili peppers available. They had been certified as nearly 401.5 times hotter than Tabasco sauce, by the Guinness Book of World Records! I understand that the "hotness" of chilies is measured on the Scoville scale, i.e. Scoville Heat Units (SHU), which quantifies the concentration of capsaicin in the chili! Capsaicin stimulates the nerve endings in skin and mucous membranes causing a burning sensation.
While capsicums and bell peppers rank in single-digits on the Scoville scale, jalpenos and Tabasco sauce have a rating ranging between 3,500 to 8,000 SHUs. Now, "hotness" is a cultural factor. While Westerners sweat their guts out with jalpenos and Tabasco sauce, they are fairly mild for us!
The Indian standard for "hotness" is defined by Andhra cuisine which is sure to blow anyone's brains! The Guntur chilli which gives Andhra cuisine its distinctive spicy flavor is ranked at 50,000 SHUs! But the for "hotness" of the Bhut Jolokia is at a million SHUs! Now that is incredibly hot indeed!
As my quest for the exotic in food is never ending and insatiable, with a dash of excitement, I picked up the pack.
"What's that?" asked Neeti.
When I told her what was special about it, pat came a disclaimer "Be careful, if you want it! But I am certainly not having it, count me out!"
"Okay" I said with a plain face and I proceeded with the purchase.
The excitement climaxed today morning. Sunday breakfasts are usually egg breakfasts with eggs in various forms - omelettes, sunny-sides up, hard-boileds, scrambled eggs, etc.
Today, my imagination raced at the speed of light when we were deciding on what to have. I concocted the "recipe" of a Bhut Jolokia omelette. But the excitement was a bit mellowed by the thought of a million capsaicin molecules burning and tingling my taste buds. To avoid an "accident" I decided to tone it down, albeit, a bit - a block of finely chopped cheese was added to the beaten eggs - lactose is said to moderate the "hotness"!
Then it was done - the fat Jolokia was thinly chopped and thrown into the beaten eggs, with salt, ground pepper, oregano and cilantro. The mix went into the pan generously smeared with olive oil. In a few moments it was all ready.
The omelette tasted heavenly with toast and ketchup. But "hotness" came in piercing through the sweetness of the ketchup, though it was tolerable to begin with. After all the morsels of the unique omelette were downed, the real effect showed up. The tingling on the tongue intensified, my nose started running and my scalp started sweating profusely. No wonder the Defence Research Development Organisation is developing non-lethal weapons out of the Jolokia.
But the Jolokia really had me! It would be fun to try more of them, and hopefully one day in traditional Naga cuisine!
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