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The Indian Love Affair With Guinness And Limca

August 2007
The Indian Love Affair With Guinness And Limca

No, we're not talking about beer or other beverages here. This obsession has to do with setting world and Indian records in sundry feats that range from the famous and obscure to the truly unusual. Even 15 years ago, the Guinness Book of World Records was receiving more than 10 percent of its mail from India. One wonders what it is now. The Limca Book of Records, in existence since 1990, focuses solely on the exploits of Indian citizens.���

We have some local aspirants, too, for a place in the Guinness. Kennesaw-based Ramila Lodaya almost won an entry in the Guinness this year, when she painted 243 hennas in an hour at the Jain Society of Greater Atlanta. Remarkably, she even created a different design for each of her hennas. Unfortunately, though she broke the existing record of 214, Lodaya got disqualified on a technicality. Instead of doing the hennas around the arm, as the rules stipulated, she did them vertically. Well, there is always next year for a determined contestant like Lodaya.

Many record-breaking feats are noteworthy, no doubt, attracting wide attention; but occasionally, in a bid to win fame via Guinness, some Indians can go to extraordinary lengths. In a tragic case recently, an India-based doctor couple got their 15-year-old son to perform a caesarean operation under their supervision. Their aim may have been to get him listed in the Guinness, but they got arrested instead. This is an exceptional case, of course.

Vijaypat Singhania, on the other hand, is an admirable example of an Indian who set a world record. At the age of 67, he reached the highest altitude (69,852 feet) in a hot air balloon. Bhut Jolokia from northeastern India, as Khabar noted last year, is officially the hottest chili in the world. More interestingly, here comes Amindita Tamuly, an intrepid chili-eater from Assam who's not afraid of taking on this super spicy pepper, which scored over a million SHUs (Scoville Heat Units). Guinness has invited Tamuly to Britain to see how many Bhut Jolokias she can put away in a single sitting.

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