"Healthy urine goes from clear to pale yellow, dark yellow to amber," says consultant urologist Tim Terry. This depends on hydration levels, but if you're somewhere in the yellow team, you can breathe easy.
"Some antiseptics and anaesthetics give urine a green tinge," says Terry. This is thanks to methylene blue, a dye which kidneys sometimes struggle with. Nothing too much to worry about though.
"This is a sign of liver dysfunction," warns Terry. If your urine is this colour and you notice that your stools are white, it could be obstructive jaundice. Put down that beer – it's GP time.
Muddy-looking pee means kidney problems. "This can be a sign of serious renal disease, even a fistula," says Terry. That's when your bowel leaks into your bladder. Taxi to casualty now.
This is really bad. Blood in your urine can mean a haemorrhage or cancer. "In anyone over 40 we assume it's bladder cancer, unless proven other wise," says Terry. Get yourself to the doctor, pronto.
It's not caviar and champagne but the humble idli, vada and dosa that is going places. Muthuswamy, who once supplied milk in Matunga, has Mumbai's upper crust eating out of his hand, quite literally.Meet the man behind the batter.
When big-time diamond merchant and film producer Bharat Shah wanted to throw a party in Antwerp to celebrate the wedding of his son a few years ago, guess who he turned to for catering the food? Not the Hilton or Radisson but Muthukrishnan Reddy aka Muthuswamy of the Matunga Labour Camp, celebrated for his light-as-air idlis and tangy sambhar.
Muthuswamy, 58, accepted the order with his characteristic alacrity and flew down to the land of De Beers with an entourage of ten cooks and a lot of cooking vessels. He rustled up the pleasantly pungent rasa vadas, fluffy idlis, crisp dosas, perfectly spongy panniyarums. The aroma of freshly ground coriander, tamarind and curry leaves wafted in the party hall, and Muthuswamy had the guests, including the who's who of the diamond trade, licking their manicured fingers.
More recently, when industrialist Mukesh Ambani and wife Nita wanted to host a Diwali party at their Rs1,600 crore home Antilla in Mumbai's Carmichael Road, the self-effacing Muthuswamy was the natural choice. The five feet something caterer, clad in a white mundu and shirt, is a regular fixture at parties thrown by the richest couple of the land.
Muthuswamy is also sought after by other biggies of India, including the Ruias and Mittals.
The man who started his career 30 years ago by supplying milk in the Matunga Labour Camp-Dharavi area later graduated to selling idlis and dosas at the ramshackle Uma Shankar Hotel in Dharavi, he has since come a long way. His annual turnover runs into a few crores, but he doesn't like to discuss it. "You know why,'' he says.
Muthuswamy is truly bitter about the high rates of taxation in India. "Apart from income tax, I have to pay value added tax, service tax, etc. Almost 60 per cent of my earnings goes to the government. It is not worth it,'' he complains, much like anyone else in the corporate world.
Muthuswamy receives 50 to 60 catering orders every month for large weddings, anniversaries, birthdays and JLT (Just Like That) parties hosted by Mumbai's upper crust.
When asked which one was the biggest party he has catered, Muthuswamy replies diplomatically: "Well, all clients are the same for me. What I am interested in is the satisfaction of my clients and their guests.''
Indeed, gastronomic satisfaction is his USP and pride. Many who have consumed hundreds of idlis in Udupi restaurants, guzzled litres of their sambhar and tasted their fair share of chutneys and masala dosas validate Muthuswamy's food. His idlis are known for their fluffiness and his sambhar recipe beats the best in the business.
Ask for the secret of his recipes and he says, "I do not compromise on quality come what may. I source the best ingredients in the market and prepare the dishes in a traditional manner. I have done my own experimentation and apart from that I have learnt a lot from recipe books like Samaithupaar. I personally supervise the preparation of all items.''
His micro-management seems to have paid off. Muthuswamy presides over quite an empire.
He has catered to parties all over the world, including Belgium, Italy, France and South Africa. In fact, until sometime ago, he would export ready-to-cook idlis and other foods to a company in South Africa, which in turn exported them to Paris, Rome and other European capitals. He has stopped his export business because of logistical issues.
Muthuswamy has three sons, one of whom is an aeronautical engineer while the other two are management graduates who help him run the business. They also have plans to expand.
A few years ago, Muthuswamy purchased a fast-food joint called Relax opposite Matunga railway station and renamed it Arya Bhavan. It is no surprise that Arya Bhavan is a big hit with the Gujarati, Kutchi and south Indian community in Matunga. Interestingly, it sells idlis called the Brahmin idli and Iyengar idli. Muthuswamy also owns a restaurant in Madurai called Nellai Arya Bhavan.
Read More: muthuswamyindia.com