Thursday, April 2, 2015

The Roti Chronicles...

There is a hidden malaise in this country, a quiet struggle being played out at every level of society that needs to be addressed and ventilated once and for all.

Few things impact the lives of so many people as positively as roti, and this must be taken into account whether choosing either a life partner, embarking on a new relationship, or deciding who to vote for at election time. 

Many people make choices based on things other than love of roti, and these decisions are doomed to fail. It makes no sense to hide it, and my greatest pity is reserved for those who have to hide to eat their roti and deny that the love exists in the first place. What type of existence is that? I suggest being open and honest from the beginning, and see if your new partner shares your feelings for roti; you may be pleasantly surprised.

In his book "Seeing is Believing," Harvey Glasses remarked - "ahhh, curry mango, are you sweet friend or spicy foe?" to which i respond "neither, my good man!" This confusion is systemic of a devious group dedicated to the undoing of the roti movement, and their most notable triumph to date has been the removal of roti from Religious, National and State functions, with the introduction of knives and forks to the consternation of many.

We must not let this prevail.

I have written to the head of most churches and religions on this issue, strongly suggesting the word roti, or better yet roti itself be included in the actual marriage ceremony as the unifying symbol of love it is, but to no avail. 

The closest I have come to success in this is in a thinly veiled attack on my love of roti by the Archbishop's Office in a letter that ended with the confusing "for the love of God, Jesus and Mary, Please stop writing to us."

As I am not sure what they are trying to say I will keep writing to them until they make themselves clear.

On the political scene, at least two ex-Prime Ministers publicly displayed their affection for roti on the campaign trail, only to distance themselves once in Office. I am not saying anything and people are invited to draw whatever conclusions they choose, but maybe that is why they are 'ex' Prime Ministers today. 

We live in enlightened times, and the High Courts of the land intervened on behalf of those who felt slighted by the highest national award, and it has been replaced by the 'Order of Trinidad'. With no apologies I say to the Government 'not good enough!' We need an award that exemplifies love of all things Trinidadian, and I humbly suggest the creation of the 'Order of Roti', to be given in recognition of people who have reached the highest level of national contribution while openly admitting to their own roti love affair. (Please note the 'Order of Roti' should not be confused with 'ordering' a roti, because then everybody will want an award).

In closing, and I do not believe for one minute that this is the end of this very contentious issue, I would like to encourage all citizens to wear green (and a kinda pale biege with brown spots) in solidarity with roti lovers throughout this land as we call for a national Roti Day holiday to recognize the importance of roti once and for all.

The significance of this movement will grow to be seen for what it is, and if the Government refuses to lead from in front, we may have to have a roti march every Friday, around lunchtime, from your closest roti shop.

In the immortal words of Dr. I. P. Freelie - "Never underestimate the power of the people to change the world, and never eat buss up shut in long sleeves".

Stand strong, brothers and sisters, we struggle on....

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