Some like it hot
Intolerance to air- conditioners and fans, even in India’s hot summers, is not just about behavioural eccentricities. It could be a pointer to an underlying health problem, experts tell
MDistressed décors add a rustic French charm to the space, giving the dining area character and body.”
The answer also lies in people trying to differentiate themselves like never before. Explains Singhal, “Conventionally, jeans meant standard indigo blue with some minimal differentiation in fit. For the millennial generation, distressed jeans have become a sign of not wanting to conform making it more acceptable as a fashion statement. For this generation, distressed fashion is all about making a statement and mirroring the wearer’s personality. This led me to wonder, is there a ‘ type’ of individual that the distressed trend appeals to over others? Or is it an overarching trend that every individual can relate to on some level? Says Khanna, “I don't feel there is a specific kind of person that appreciates distressed furniture but a specific type of person who hates distressed furniture and I feel nouveau riche people tend to like flashier things and would not like this kind of a finish.”
“Those who love things vintage and have an appreciation for art, old- world charm, antiques and artifacts are generally those that veer towards distressed furniture,” adds Alagh Nair. While distressed is very fashionable right now, will its popularity continue? Or is it a fad destined to fade? Says Mehta, “Well, as in any trend, you can't really say how long it will continue for. It all depends on personal taste and if people enjoy it then yes, it might just be around for a while.”
Singhal believes that the distressed look will around for a while. “Distressed jeans have been around for decades and is a long term trend. Most brands will have a few such pieces in their collection. At times, popular culture does make the trend very prominent with more styles occupying space in the collection.
Agrees Alagh Nair, “The distressed look never goes out of style, and only improves naturally as years go by.” alad residents Neville D’Sa and his wife Jeanne have been married for two years and were seeing each other for three years before that. Long enough, one would think, to get to know each other’s quirks. “We have an argument almost every single day,” complains Jeanne. The cause? “The air- conditioner and the fan all the time.”
Neville, who works as middle- level executive with a pharma major, hates the fan being on and sleeps with a duvet even in May. “You know it’s like a sauna. His clothes, the bed- cover, pillow and even the duvet get all wet with sweat and stink. I don’t know how he sleeps like this?” Jeanne asks.
Neville, who also prefers warm beers and hates ice- cream, doesn’t see the reason for the fuss. “It’s just a reflection of the kind of warm person I am,” he tries to joke and adds, “By the way I always do the washing at home, so I don’t know what the issue is.” On Jeanne’s insistence, the lanky Neville has even been to both a psychiatrist and an endocrinologist. Both said he’s fine. “That really got Jeanne’s goat. She was hoping the problem would be identifiable and treatable,” he laughs. “She’s even cutting down on my favourite non- vegetarian stuff, saying that’s contributing to the problem.”
*** Reema Das, 27, and Rinku Mathur, 28, are roomies living out of a 1BHK flat in Kormangala in Bangalore. Both Delhi girls, who know each other since school, work for the same BPO and thought it made sense to be share a flat. “The A/ C is barely on for a minute and Rinku will start sneezing. She hates cold drinks even iced- tea and cool fresh lime which she abhors,” complains Reema.
The cold- hating Rinku has chosen the couch in the hall as her bed. “We’ve had fights because I want to put on the ples of ‘ really hot’ people?
“No,” laughs endocrinologist Dr Jatin Shah, “Between 3.5- 4.5% of people can show such behaviour. The percentage for those with tolerance and preference for extreme cold of course is much higher. But we need to medically rule out thyroid problems which could also be causing this problem.” According to him, hypothyroidism patients often complain of feeling cold all the time. This is very important, he says, particularly in hypothy-
The traditional medicine system of Ayurveda makes a marked distinction between those prefer the heat normally and those who do so because of a health condition. Body types are classified into and
A/ C in the hall while watching TV, but she gets angry that I’m encroaching on her space,” says Reema.
Rinku doesn’t see what the problem is. “Once we decided that the bedroom is hers and the hall mine, I don’t see the point of making me suffer the cold. If she wants to watch TV, she should watch it without the AC.”
It’s reached a stage where Reema has decided to move out. “I think she needs help,” she says wearily.
*** So are Rinku and Neville rare exam- roidism since patients have very mild or negligible symptoms.
Psychiatrist Sandeep Jadhav feels that this could sometimes be linked to mild depression or its onset. “A detailed diagnosis needs to be done to find out if this is pushing the patient to prefer heat.” According to him, most patients of depression prefer the summer. “The long bright hours and presence of the sun lifts them out of depressive thoughts and the preference for all things hot may be an attempt to prolong that experience.”
The Indian traditional medicine system of Ayurveda too makes a marked distinction between those prefer the heat normally and those who do so because of a health condition. “We decide body types on vaat, kapha and pitta. The vaat- types are generally dark, lean and quite tall. These people hate any kind of cold and are known to use thick bedsheets even in summer and avoid fans and A/ Cs,” says Dr Amit Mishra, a renowned Ayurvedic practitioner.
He sounds a note of caution about those who maybe avoiding fans and air- conditioners because of a latent problem. “A patient of mine was getting low- grade fever and did not want even the windows open. She would need a blanket to sleep. When I began diagnosis I found that her arthritis was causing a low fever. Once we treated that she went back to enjoying the open air, fans and even A/ Cs.”
Homeopath Dr AN Shroff is in agreement. “There will always be a small exceptional part of any population who will show such behaviour. Instead of terming it abnormal, understanding whether it is being driven by any other factors and treating them can be very important. As for the others it could even be a learned behaviour pattern.”
Does this get Neville and Rinku off the hook? We sure hope it does.
Bhelpuri without finely chopped onions, kanda vada minus the kanda that gives it its name, mutton do pyaza sans the pyaz... where would life be without the sweetness and crunch of the bulb that adds flavour and texture to your dishes? We might soon find out if onion traders go ahead with their planned strike from July 10.
“Traditionally, India is a storehouse of recipes that can be made without onions. The onion came to Indian cuisine later as it is considered to be heat inducing. Kashmiri Brahmins, Marwaris and Jains cook their meals without using onion and garlic. South Indian dishes can also be made without onions,” says Rushina Ghildiyal, food writer and consultant. “According to the scriptures, onions have aphrodisiac like qualities and thus widows are given food prepared without onions or garlic,” adds Purva Davjekar, an engineer and keen cook.
Non vegetarians need not despair if onions disappear. “Mutton rogan josh is prepared in the juice of the mutton and onions are not used. Bhuna masala can be made by frying makhane ( lotus seed) instead of onions in the gravy,” adds Ghildiyal.
Onions provide texture, bulk and taste to the gravy. But innovation is the key to dealing with scarcity. “When preparing a typical mutton dish, we need onions. If we usually use four onions. we try to make do with just one- and- a- half.
sesame seeds or chana is used to thicken the gravy, says Jessica T Shah, a homemaker.
( coriander) powder is another option. Onions add a tinge of sweetness to the dish and so one can also replace it with a little sugar, says Ghildiyal.
can also be prepared in various forms without using onions. “Bengalis make paturi maach in which you wrap fish with mustard and steam it. Similarly bhapa Ilish, chorchori, labra, shoshe Ilish are some of the many dishes that do not require onions,” says Davjekar.
melon seeds, cashews and poppy seeds, according to Davjekar, can all be used instead of onions but the flavour changes. We also use kalonji ( onion seeds) by roasting them. They provide the flavour of onion but as they are black the dish does not look too appealing.
( asafoetida) is a good alternative to onions as it gives the same smell, says Himanshu Saini, a chef at Mumbai’s Masala Library. “Leeks can also be used to get the onion- like texture,” he adds.
Onions also provide a host of benefits, from controlling diabetes to helping with a sore throat. But there’s no need to despair if it goes missing. There was a time when it was not such a crucial factor — historically, the onion came to Indian cuisine later and options to using the bulb are present in almost every culture.
A cabinet set which is a part of distressed furniture available at home decor destination The White Window