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About Amit Varma

Amit Varma is a writer based in Mumbai. He worked in journalism for over a decade, and won the Bastiat Prize for Journalism in 2007. His bestselling novel, My Friend Sancho, was published in 2009. He is best known for his blog, India Uncut. His current project is a non-fiction book about the lack of personal and economic freedoms in post-Independence India.




Bastiat Prize 2007 Winner

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03 April, 2007

“Just you and the cheese”

Cheese is fascinating. It isn’t witty, sexy, erudite, affable or mysterious, but it is fascinating nevertheless. What else can explain CheddarVision.tv, the website where you can watch cheese as it matures?

Yes, it can take months.

Alexandra Topping, who must be tired of jokes about pizza, writes:

Something strange and slightly troubling begins to happen when you spend more than about two minutes watching Cheddarvision, the much-publicised website set up by the cheesemaker Tom Calver, which broadcasts live footage of a single 44lb truckle of cheddar as it imperceptibly matures. First, unsurprisingly, you feel bored and irritable. Then, after a while, and without really meaning to, you slip into a peaceful, meditative, quasi-hypnotic state. You start to breathe more deeply. Peripheral distractions - traffic noise, ringing telephones - fall away. There is you, and there is the cheese. Nothing more. If something should actually happen to the cheese while you’re in this state of mind - every week, the cheese is turned over; on one occasion, the label fell off and had to be replaced - it has an impact utterly disproportionate to the event. It is inexplicably hilarious; astonishing; gasp-inducing. Then the drama subsides, and once again, it’s just you and the cheese…

I must confess the block of cheese didn’t quite have the same impact on me, but maybe I’m just boring. Anyway, if you’re one of those who doesn’t have the patience to sit and watch this great drama unfold over months, you shall find a time-lapse video of the first three months of this block of cheese below the fold.

All those of you who thought “tu cheese badi hai mast mast” while reading this post are requested to cut off a body part and email it to me. Thank you.

Posted by Amit Varma in Miscellaneous

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