Google names major Android versions after desserts. Which is why, two and a half years ago, when the ‘K’ version of Android was scheduled to be released, Indians started campaigning for Android Kaju Katli. In a great blow to deliciousness, Google named Android 4.4 KitKat instead.
The year after that, Laddoo was bypassed for Lollipop. We now face a situation where at one major release a year, there could be a few years before another Indian sweet is in the running. Consider:
- This year should be Android M, where the best contender from India is Mysore Pak. It faces fierce competition like marshmallows, macarons, macaroons, marzipan, and marble cake. Its prospects are not good.
- After M comes N, and I can’t think of a single Indian dessert that begins with n. Whereas the west has nougat. Which is disgusting, but at least it has a name beginning with n.
- Next we have O, where again I can’t think of a single Indian dessert. Even Asian desserts, which I thought might have a chance, because apparently the preferred spelling is Umm Ali, not Om Ali, which is just Indian caterer spelling. So… Android Orange Marmalade?
- Android P next. We could potentially have Android Pedha, Android Petha, or Android Piste ki lauj. But if you can’t get Android Laddoo, no way are you getting Android Pedha.
- I can’t think of anything, Indian or Western, that starts with Q and is also a dessert.
Which brings us to R, where for the first time India has a serious contender: Rasmalai.
It would be wrong to call Rasmalai the king of desserts. For starters, it’s feminine in Hindi. But more than that, it has no monarchical pretensions, so you couldn’t even call it the queen of desserts. Go to a sweet shop – particularly Evergreen Sweet House if you want to have the greatest rasmalai in India – and you’ll find rasmalai lying placidly (in plain or kesar form) among the gulab jamuns, kala jamuns, and cham cham, not at all suggesting that it tastes better than anything else around. The laddoos may occupy the top shelf, the anjeer ki barfi may come at the beginning on an alphabetical listing, but the rasmalai is content to maintain a low profile until it comes to the crucial question of how it tastes. It is, therefore, the primus inter pares of desserts. It is a dessert for republics, not decadent monarchies. For reasons of deliciousness as well as reasons of politics and philosophy, we should therefore devote all our energy to campaigning for Android Rasmalai, even if this means taking away our chances for an Android Mysore Pak.
At one Android release a year, there are five years to go. This gives us enough time to build up our campaign. You might say it is too much time. You would be wrong, because we have to defeat the enemy within: Rasgulla/ Rosogolla.
There is a grave threat that by the time Android’s R release is coming up, the insidious Bengalee lobby will try to promote Rosogolla as an alternative contender for the name. This is all the more sinister, because if they succeed, not only will they have scuppered the chances of the more delicious Rasmalai, they will have further succeeded in promoting the originally Oriya Rosogolla as something Bengali. For the sake of both deliciousness and Oriya pride, we must not let this happen. It will be a matter of great shame for all Indians if the first Indian dessert to make it to an Android codename is an abominable, oversugary mess instead of a perfectly balanced, nutty and spicy rasmalai. Besides, the Bongs can always try for Sondesh.
Join me to promote R for Rasmalai my comrades!