Skip to main content

Baker's Dozen

Bought a packet of popcorn from the cafeteria and brought it home after work. Santosh was missing and since I felt unusually famished, I helped myself to all of it with only a passing sense of guilt. Eating is hardly enough to keep me occupied and I consequently helped myself to reading what was on the cover. It went like this:

Freshly made
Just for you !!



Manufactured By
------------------
Mayura
----BAKERY----
4th Block, Jayanagar, Bangalore-560011
Unit Price : Rs. 10-00
Ingredients: Corn, Veg.Oil
Chilli Powder, Salt.


Spelling mistakes are common in India, even Pune University proudly flaunted a signboard with a rather glaring spelling error for years. In fact, it was still there the last time I saw it! Anyway, I'll forgive the bakery for inventing a new spelling. However, what's not so pardonable is the fact that the net weight (which is compulsory according to Indian law) is not mentioned anywhere. Yet another proof that we treat our laws like cheap whores.

I couldn't help thinking of a law in medieval England that has brought a phrase (Baker's Dozen) into common parlance. Since the world knows better, I'll quote Wikipedia instead of offering my own explanation:
The oldest known source and most probable origin for the expression "bakers dozen" dates to the 13th century in one of the earliest English statutes, instituted during the reign of Henry III (r. 1216-1272), called the Assize of Bread and Ale. Bakers who were found to have short-changed customers could be liable to severe punishment. To guard against the crude punishment of losing a hand to an axe, a baker would give 13 for the price of 12, to be certain of not being known as a cheat. Specifically, the practice of baking 13 items for an intended dozen was to prevent "short measure", on the basis that one of the 13 could be lost, eaten, burnt or ruined in some way, leaving the baker with the original dozen.

So what would Henry III have done with Mayura Bakery? Far from offering more than is stated, it doesn't even mention the amount in the first place!! I guess we would merit ad hoc rules to deal with our unparalleled dishonesty.

Addendum: Mayura Bakery has the ingenuity to use NBC's peacock logo as its own, only it's completely pink!

Comments

Anonymous said…
Haha I used to get such a kick out of reading food labels in India! Not only are spelling errors and weight omissions common, but some just had the most bizarre statements. I remember one Imli label in particular. "Ingredients: tamarind, sugar, spices, etc." What the heck is "etc."???? Is it even legal to say that?
Deepanjan said…
etc is de facto in India! We use it extensively to hide our dark secrets!

Food labels are a favorite with me too since they are a great source of free entertainment!!
Anonymous said…
Etc means--
Snips, Snails & Puppy Dog Tails.

Popular posts from this blog

The year that was

I'm wearing a rather striking shirt, one that makes me feel like a clown fooling around in a graveyard. Roving eyes latch on to me and make me too conscious of myself. Checkered in red, grey, black and maroon, I've excused myself into donning it and looking silly for two reasons. It's Friday and…more importantly, the last working day of the year. Tailored half-a-year back, I never had the courage to wear it, not until today. It's that time of the year when it's time to reflect on the events that transpired. Last year ended on the worst possible note. Dad had expired and I was numb with shock. The repercussions rippled halfway thought this year. Things were so abysmal initially that I had lost the will to live. Acrid in everything I did, I was immensely angered by time phlegmatically flowing through its cadence. It was as if Dad meant nothing to anybody. What right did people have to live the way they always had when Dad was no more? Why was much of the world still…

Searching for someone

I remember hearing a song by someone in a movie with Charlize Theron and Keanu Reeves as the protagonists. Charlize is a free-spirited girl who is terminally-ill while Keanu is an ambitious lawyer who is captivated by Charlize's ways. The most memorable thing about the movie, though, was the song. I tried to ferret some information about the song yesterday, and its unknown singer.


Searched for Charlize Theron via Wikipedia. Browsed through her filmography and zeroed in on Sweet November (2001), which rung a bell. I didn't remember the name of the movie and hoped this was the one.Clicked on Sweet November. The plot confirmed my doubt! This was indeed the movie I was looking for.Searched for Sweet November via Yahoo! Music. Managed to find the original motion picture soundtrack.Clicked on the link. Found the list of tracks. There were 13. Now which one was I looking for?Visited Amazon and searched for Sweet November. Gotcha! The list of tracks, however, gave no information about …