A Whiskey-Sambhar Memoir

A Whiskey-Sambhar Memoir

A memoir that tells the story of an entire community

Charukesi Ramadurai
February 09 , 2017
01 Min Read

Right at the outset, I must admit that I was totally hooked by the word Madrasi in the title. Being a Madrasi myself (person of Chennai, erstwhile Madras origin), I have only heard it used in a pejorative sense; south of the Vindhyas, rice eating, brown-skinned. Was Narayanan making a point using it in the name of her book?

I am afraid I don’t know the answer to that. Apart from her Tambram (a word Narayanan uses frequently through the book) origins, there is not much Madrasi-ness about the content, unless the author was using the word in the sense it has come to convey.

This book is the story of a community—the more progressive individuals among a still conservative community—told through the story of her own family. The way her parents and their own parents dealt with the thorny issues of caste, class, religion, education and widowhood find a place in the narrative.

As someone from that very socio-cultural background that Narayanan describes in the book, the story touches an occasional chord. The most interesting parts of the book are where the struggles of balancing a Western/modern/rational mind with one’s Indian/traditional/ritualistic heart are addressed. The whiskey-sambhar amalgam, in her own words.

And there are little moments of delight—like finding out finally that peengan, the Tamil word for porcelain is derived from Pyongyang, which Narayanan describes as an ancient centre of fine ceramics in Southeast Asia.

However, I could not personally move beyond the question of whom this book was written for. I mean, what is it with the short, squat format? And the language used through the narrative—a deconstructing Indianness for Westerners approach—that compels Narayanan to explain payasam as a rice pudding and call appalam “poppadum” (a spelling I have only seen in the UK). This book works, at best, as a slice of community history. As a memoir, or the personal story of a family, it fails to grip.


Rotary all kinds of sensor must be mounted on the shaft. An integral slip ring assembly is used to transfer the electrical signal from rotating electronics to Nagano keiki Pressure sensor stationary electronics. The slip ring consists of brushes which rub on rotating ring, providing an electrical path for the incoming excitation and the outgoing signal voltage. At low to moderate speeds the abs speed sensor electrical connection between the rings and brushes are relatively noise free, but at higher speeds noise will severely degrade their performance.FORD SERIES LAND ROVER SERIES Typical max speeds will be in the 5000 rpm range for a medium capacity torque sensor. Finally, the brush ring interface is a source of mazda 6 suction control valve torque that can be a problem especially for very low capacity measurements where the driving torque will have trouble overcoming the brush drag. Proximity and displacement suction control valve can also detect torque by measuring the angular GM SERIES displacement between shaft's two ends. By fixing two identical toothed wheels to the shaft at some distance apart Speed Sensor the angular displacement caused by the torque can be measured. Proximity Pressure Sensor or photocells located at each toothed wheel produce output voltages whose phase difference increases as the torque twists the shaft.FIAT SERIES
Stanislav Kryuchkov August 19 , 2019

Many many thanks for the great article here looking the online free firefox download latest version of the app to batter browsing.
pokemon pikachu July 15 , 2019

Here to there

Explore Directions(Routes) and more...
to Go

Other Editions

Outlook’ is India’s most vibrant weekly news magazine with critically and globally acclaimed print and digital editions. Now in its 23rd year...

Explore All
Got a question?Ask Marco
  • Check out our Magazine of the month
  • Offbeat destinations
  • In-depth storytelling
  • Stunning pictures
  • Subscribe

Check Out Our Latest Issue