What is the boiling point of sambhar and other minor questions
Yes, what is the boiling point of sambhar (the lip-smacking lentil soup that is the most honourable consort to a South Indian meal) ? Well, do you at least know if the tamarind (essential component) that you throw into the sambhar raises or lowers its boiling point?
If you want to seek refuge in the obscure fact that you are/were not a science student, but a dyed-in-the-wool commerce student, like me, then tell me, do you know the history of idly? Yeah, idly.
OR, have you even asked these questions, though you did not set off on a Holy Grail search for the answers?
This time, I have not even a sliver of excuse to hide behind. I cannot ever remember having asked these questions. However, to absolve myself, I could say, I did ask the questions and merely cannot remember. That way, my crime is my memory, rather than a lack of curiosity, which is worse.
I remember how I used to sneak into the zoology and chemistry labs after class to see my friends in the science group cut up frogs or boil up colourful potions. I even had my sister bring a couple of frogs home that I could 'anatomise!' No mean streak, that was truly curiosity.
But, why am I asking these questions now? Truth to tell, I din't ask them. I just happened to be in a meeting yesterday when Dr.Ramanujam of the Institute of Matscience asked these questions to Corporation school teachers, just to tell them that learning can be great fun outside the text books and syllabus.
Not unpredictably, it was check and mate. The women were mildly curious, yes, but after some brief excitement, they knew they had no answers. That, like me, they could only hazard wild guesses that we will not even bother to prove.