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Food diplomacy

LoC was the theme of a unique food festival in the city

Pic. by S.Thanthoni

THERE WAS drama in the air as men in uniform toting tommy-guns paced up and down.

To charge the atmosphere further, there was the `no man's land' and the Pakistan and Indian gates at the Wagah border. But at this `Wagah', the call of duty was to the stomach. The occasion was the LOC Indo-Pak food festival at the MGR Institute of Hotel Management and Catering Technology, Valasaravakkam.

The theme of the festival couldn't have been more topical, considering the renewed spirit of friendship between the countries. The presence of Commodore Thayi Hari, Naval Officer-in-Charge (Tamil Nadu) and Brigadier B.J. Singh, Station Commander, Fort St. George, added appeal to the occasion. Commodore Hari, the chief guest, admitted that it was a new scene of action for him as he had never been called to officiate a food festival in his career of 35 years!

B. K. Prasad of Aavin, a special invitee, was all for promoting food diplomacy to spread the message of friendship and peace.

"No body likes war, even little school children as it means addition of another chapter to their history textbook," he added in a lighter vein.

The `border' gates were thrown open in a ceremonial style, signifying the start of the festival. On both ends of the field, there were huge vessels on shallow trenches filled with hot charcoal.

Jawans sat behind them ready to dish out Karachi kofta biriyani, bhuna gosht and deghi korma on the Pakistani side. In the Indian camp, the choice ranged from rogan josh to Indian jamun.

The MGR IHMCT principal, K. Damodharan, the staff and students kept the flags flying on both sides.

MARIEN MATHEW

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