Friday, May 08, 2015

Soda Waters of Tamil Nadu, In Review

from Small Stories from My Enormously Spiritual Life

In a town as holy as this one, some sins are hard to come by.  No meat, no liquor.  Eggs, too, are a sin -- though I know a couple places you can get one.  The truth is, it doesn’t bother me when multiple venues for sin and distraction have been closed off.  I’m versatile.  I can always find something else about which to obsess.  

Soda water, for example.  In the extreme heat of May, with alcohol prohibited, juice questionable, and sugary sodas nauseating, plain soda water is the best chance for a fleeting sensation of cool.  I sometimes walk, amid the sweltering heat of noon, five blocks along the mad swerving blaring street just for a bottle of soda.

Of the four brands of soda water available here in town, I find that each is entirely different, though it is difficult to say exactly how.  Nonetheless, an attempt has been made.  It is my fondly-held wish that the following will prove useful to other drinkers of soda water, both in Tamil Nadu and beyond. 

Kali’s Club Soda, product of Kalimark (Sipcot, Pallipati)
Small, sharpish bubbles.  A tendency both drying and pebbly.  An unmistakeable though lemon-less sourness.  Highly transient.  Brings to mind a one-night stand with someone who looks good, but with whom you have nothing in common.  Though it really seems like it ought to work, halfway through it is already flat.

Lehar Evervess Club Soda, product of Pepsico (Palakkad, Kerala)
Evenly-spaced bubbles, like small amenable thorns.  Brings to mind delicate blue-green glass beads and the hour of noon.  You can really taste the water!  A sense of reliability one does not generally expect from bubbles.  If this soda water was a tanned teenaged boy, you wouldn’t hesitate to entrust your lawn to him.

Kinley Soda, product of CocaCola (Vellavedu, Tiruvallur)
Insistent bubbles, but with a hint of inconstancy.  Milky and tongue-heavy.  Sustained bitterness, even to the point of gourd-ishness.  Brings to mind a decent man, but with almost no chin, or a sensible person useless in emergencies.

Bisleri Soda, product of Bisleri Intl. (Bangalore, Karnataka)
A net fine enough to catch the smallest fish.  Sandpaper too smooth for the task at hand.  Miniscule bubbles spaced too far apart.  Vegetal notes.  Brings to mind a reputable college and the boy you are supposed to like.  Contains too much water.

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