Studying the Assamese Thali

Visual Appetite

The matrix of the Indian cuisine is quite complex and beyond satisfying one's appetite. A serious effort needs to be made to make a person conscious and sensitive about the associations a dish can have within that culture.

Manacles of Language

Every “name” has its own inherent strength to express what it signifies. With this strength, the name tries to encapsulate its meaning and picture in the viewer's mind. It often happens that we know someone by his name, but actually have never met him. Unless we meet him in-person, we keep on trying to visualize / guess his personality, which sometimes meets our expectations or leaves us surprised. This is quite applicable to anything, be it, a place, person or a thing. A diner normally encounters oneself with similar situations when he / she visits Indian restaurants and is greeted with (bilingual) Menu cards. 
The english word chopsticks is a terrible and ugly distortion since you don't chop anything ever with them. In China the word is “kuai-zi”, which sounds like “fast fellows” because their use results in swift and agile handling and eating of food. Roland Barthes, in Empire of signs, eulogises the use of chopsticks: ”... the instrument never pierces, cuts, slits, never wounds but only selects, turns, shifts, separates, unravels; they never violate food”.
Source:
Asit Chandmal, 2004, 16th May, The chinese book of rules
Indian Newspaper: Midday (Sunday), pg. 18