Saturday, October 3, 2009


So Tove is off learning how to judge Tae-Kwon-Do competitions, and the kids are roaming the neighborhood like jackals (or maybe they're upstairs reading a book. Who knows? I take a "hands off" approach to parenting).

So I'm stalking the kitchen looking for food, my trusted canine companion by my side. My prey hides quietly on a remote shelf, but I outsmart the cardboard packaging easily (along with the NASA-designed internal metallic pouch), and am soon ready to feast on the guts of some random Indian lentil stew.

And that's when it hits me.

A quiet rattling emanates ominously from inside the nutritionally uninteresting outer shell as I'm about to discard it. I go on high alert, and ancient instincts immediately raise my adrenaline levels. What's going on?

So I look inside, and in addition to the metallic pouch with the actual food, my meal has come with a CD full of (and I quote) "Authentic Indian Cuisine". No, wait! Underneath that it says "Indian Classical Duets".

Which brings me to today's title: "WTF?" Have I been leading an unusually sheltered life, and this is actually normal? What's next? Happy Meals that come with Beyonce CD's?

Now I'm intrigued, and considering going through our other indian ready-made meals. Was this a one-off? Or had I not just noticed before, and do all those $2.99 pre-made indian meal pouches come with these odd musical accompaniments?


Fred Blasdel said...

Sugary brand-name cereals now often come with promotional DVDs in the box — often with a lot of 'content' in an unskippable autoplay clip (normally used for the FBI warning).

The idea is that kids will beg their parents to buy the cereal with bundled advertising...

NoName said...

Interesting. I've never bought Indian food & I think CDs are not a common meal in Spain, yet maybe I should try it. Is it good music? :-D

Unknown said...

It's a product niche for Steve Balmer. Cornflakes plus a Windows 7 gratis trial version included. :)

Oreolek said...

Now Gentoo way is not only to make your food by yourself, but also to make its musical accompaniment.

Patrick C said...

Randy Pausch had talked about getting a free encyclopedia CD when he bought cheese. All the world's knowledge, free with... cheese.

Unknown said...

Hands off approach to parenting? Kids have it too easy these days. My parents mastered the "hands on" method; they beat the crap out of me... and then beat me again for crying.

I'd encourage you to reconsider your parenting techniques and realize that you should be doing everything in your power to help mold future generations. Also, when they're teenagers, they'll probably deserve it anyways.

Leonardo B said...

It would certainly be more useful if it comes with a GNU/Linux distro.

Andy Jeffries said...

When you talk about Tove judging Taekwondo competitions with a subject of "WTF?" were you referring to the World Taekwondo Federation ( :-)

Shawn Powers said...

So wait, you're saying the lentil soup is bloated too? C'mon Linus, music is a viable addition to the soup kernel. Next you'll claim the bowl and spoon should only exist in user space?!?!?!

(Sorry, couldn't resist, I love how the press blew your "bloated" statement all out of whack)

Alan said...

Be glad it was not corn soup or you might have had a kernel panic.

I need to find out where you shop. I never get non-drmed prizes in my food.

Mark O'Neill said...

Is the "duet" the usual modern Indian combination of traditional sounds with the worst bouncy pop music you've ever heard?

(WUSS-OUT: If you're Indian and read this, I like your traditional music and dislike most pop from any country)

Lucas McCoy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jim said...

They've been including music CD's in 24-packs of root beer for some time now. :-P

Linus said...

Mark: the CD I got is apparently "volume 5" in a series of these food accompaniments. It touts itself as a Jugalbandi of Shehnai (reed instrument) and Tabla (percussion).

At least that's what the packaging says. I couldn't tell a shehnai from a tree frog, and it sounded like the typical background sounds you might have at an Indian restaurant that tried to give you some "authentic" feel.

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Stormwatch said...

Is it Indian in the sense of "from India" or "indigenous peoples of the Americas"?

Unknown said...

Shehnai is an oboe-like instrument; people who don't like it might describe it as sounding like a giant mosquito. If it's a jugalbandi (duet) there also ought to be a second melody instrument (e.g., sitar) in addition to the tabla.

I've never gotten a CD with my Indian
food pouches, but I've bought plenty of them (both pouces and CD's)..

Bruce Fields said...

I first ran across those CD's a few years ago, and love them! All prepackaged dinners should come with their own dinner music....

There's some really good music on those, actually.

dsavi said...

In this weird country called Finland (Which you've probably never heard of) we get those crappy CDs in cereal boxes all the time, whether it be "Mix your own music!" in different genres like Pop, hiphop or whatever else there is, or a game that's got a very good reason to be given away. Yeah, it's pretty normal I guess, CDs are cheap.

l.turner said...

The exact same thing happened to me and my family when we went on a camping trip to Cape Lookout on the Oregon Coast this past Summer! We started laughing, and popped the CD into the car CD player... the ragas were so-so, kinda like the curry they came in.

John Bueno said...

Hi Linus!

That was a great tell all on your quest to munch indian food.. we have those things pretty much since we were kids but they were mostly toys. None of them went with CD's probably because they were not invented yet LOL... anyway, goodluck with that music because I heard BOLLYWOOD is coming... they might give away free movie DVD's too...lucky you!


Geeze, there are some nasty spam on your comments.. =\ thats weird..

Unknown said...

Apple didn't want to put their music in iTunesLP so they had to turn up somewhere....

Anonymous said...

Moderator should remove spam from this blog right away!

!Teq-uila Del Zapata said...

Jugalbandi is fusion.
sehnai is more like a flute, if that sehnai is by Bismillah khan, then thats the best from Indian classical music, everything else I wont even touch.

Tabla is percussion, but i donno any western equivalent of this instrument, its more to keep timing and Rhythm. Again Tabla by Jakhir hussain is best one.
But getting Jakhir hussain and Bismillah khan in some free CD is unlikely scenario.

Unlike Western Classical, Indian classical is __mostly__ not a team effort, most maestro would have their own individual skill perfected over decades of practice, and they all go solo.

And jugalbandi is when two or more musician(expert of their respective fields) come together to do some sort of fusion.

Unknown said...

The "Kitchens of India" boxes have a sticker on the outside indicating that they contain a CD. It looks like those boxes contain a random one of 5 different CDs in series of "Indian Classical Duets".

Nirmal Chidambaram said...

Just thought will post a link to real "shehnai"

CD with $2.99 is likely to be crap

dennacematthews said...

Yea man, it's crazy. The next thing you know, washing detergent will come with a free copy of GNU/Linux.

Steven said...

I live in rural australia, and it's quite ok except .. there's NO INDIAN
TAKEAWAY! But last year i found these amazing, authentic, packaged indian meals.... Saved my life.

And now i don't shout anymore ;>

Armando said...

in order to enjoy a indian meal one must have the indian music playing in the background, is something you learn with experience in Indian restaurants.
I wished one day i get that cd with my VINDALOO meals.
Do you recall who is making such a magnificent meals?

clara said...

Hahaha that's delightful.
You can't eat a lentil dish without some tunes to put you in the mood. The indian-food mood.

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Thank you..

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CoolTool said...

I've never bought Indian food & I think CDs are not a common meal in Spain, yet maybe I should try it. Is it good music?

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Jerng said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jerng said...

That's awesome. We don't get free CDs in Malaysia. :P

Nitin said...

It's the Bollywood plot to take over the world.

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文章 said...


Shantanu said...

The work "duet" for the recent movie music just means two singers; usually one male and one female.

For the classical CD, the word "duet" would be a very loose translation for "Jugalbandi".

FYI, the Shehnai is what would most probably be playing at the background during a wedding.

Unknown said...

I did the same thing when I found a hockey card in my bag of oranges.

I always associated this gimmick to children's cereal, never thought i'd see it in a bag of oranges.

At least you got music - I have a card of Sidney Crosby. meh, it'll probably get used to card busted up weed on my desk. Not a total loss.

Sorry if this seems kind of out of date, someone sent me this page in an irc channel.

unused account said...

i had a little chef meal that had a westlife cd a few years ago

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