Four months into my blessed adventure through this country of chaos and charm, India most certainly gets my two thumbs up!
My head races each day with thousands of things I could ramble and blog about. The people. The systems. The history. The food. The nature. The social issues. My fellow travelers. The cultural traditions. Even this list does no justice to what cycles through my head. I’ve been so busy experiencing, observing, understanding, learning, processing and connecting that finding time to write, getting in front of a computer, and narrowing it down has been a crazy little challenge for me.
It’s a new year though and I have lots to share – so I’ve decided to start with a POP! The best pop out there that is (or soda as some of you may call it.)
Seriously, I’m a bit obsessed, almost feeling a physical need for a daily dose! While I might make a dozen bottles of plain homemade seltzer each week back in the US, very rarely will you find me sipping a Coke (never ever a Pepsi.) But here in India, the land where ‘everything is possible,’ what better way to toast the positivity each day than with the most delicious, perfectly spiced, specially fizzed Thums Up, the local pop (soda) which puts Coke and Pepsi to shame.
Delectable pure sugar cane sweetness coupled by robust bubbles not only makes Thums Up the ultimate thirst quencher; it also drives home that powerful message of local being better. Yes, I know, I’ve seen those famous curly cursive Coca Cola letters atop the Thums Up bottle cap, but to me they just indicate there’s a story to be told.
Rumor has it that in the 1970s, big corporations like Coca Cola were unwelcomed in India unless control was handed over to Indian subsidiaries so Coke said “chalo" (Hindi for ‘we’re outa here’) opening the door for the local company Parle to craft the famous, mouthwatering, widely-worshiped Thums Up. In the 90’s however, Coca Cola and other giant companies made their way back to this holy land, only to discover the unbeatable flavor of India’s new local pick-me-up.
And so, as the story often goes, the big guy bought the local guy, capitalizing on the homegrown formula’s legendary status. Thankfully (though likely driven by dollar signs) the brilliant, positive, local Thums Up name remains on the front of the bottle, tantalizing me each time I see it.
Sadly, as the story also often goes, the cola wars continue and our beloved Thums Up is sometimes nowhere to be found. A true travesty! No folks, a Pepsi just won’t cut it.
So as this new year begins, I say Thums Up for all! Local is better. Even if local is 8000 miles from the big city I call home.
Thank you Thums Up!
Thank you real cane sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup!
Thank you India!
A social worker…..working socially, around the globe.