Even though I do not look like one, but I am a big foodie and a hardcore non-vegetarian, a non-veg lover who has grown up in a kinda modified hindu family. Modified as in, you know the ones that eat non-veg but don’t do so on tuesdays, thursdays and saturdays? You know the ones that prohibit eating non-veg for that one month in a year just because god is supposed to be sleeping during that time? You know the ones that keep their non-veg eating practices hush hush, just because it may be considered a taboo in some societies? Yeah i am a part of one of those hypocritical families!
So i grew up eating the best egg preparations, mouth watering butter chicken, fish, prawns and what not, BUT.. but..only on ‘those days’! We, as in my brother and me, eagerly waited for ‘those days’, that is when we were a bit younger, but not so much these days, as abhi to pura dharm bhrasht ho chuka hain!
Let me give you a brief on how ‘those days’ went. Morning, I wake up having no idea about how awesome the following day is going to become and go to school. Afternoon I come back home, and as soon as I reach the stairs, the mersmerising butter chicken masala preparation fragrance hits me and in an instant all the happiness circuits light up in there. I run up the stairs and go directly to the kitchen and start dancing and celebrating at the top of my lungs, as if Diwali aa gayi ho! But mom, being mom, intervenes and tells me to keep it down as in her words ‘aakha gam ne nathi kehvanu ke aaje aapna ghare chicken banavyu che’! So we had to be silent about it till dinner. And if we had to talk about it in between, in front of other people or in the earshot of other people, we were given code words for each non-veg preparation. So any egg preparation became ‘gol nu shak’ and any chicken preparation became ‘piece nu shak’, not ‘peace nu shak’ but it very well be ‘peace nu shak’, have it and achieve eternal peace!
So like this and that, slowly and steadily, dinner time arrives. We sit at the dinner table and are served the deliciousness on our plates. On normal days, i would ear may be 3-4 rotis and i serving of any sabji but on ‘those days’, 7-10 rotis and innumerable servings of ecstacy! Sometimes, i even had to get up in between meal to wash my hands as they had become all greasy and I needed a fresh start! I wish it was that simple with life as well! After the dinner was over i would not eat anything else for a while, not because i have no space left in my stomach, but because i wanted to have that spiciness in my mouth a little longer!
I know I sound like a alcoholic describing his feelings for alcohol, but believe me, ‘those days’ were my first love. But now the scenario is different, my parents and I have both grown up! Though we still have ‘those days’, but after so many arguments and debates on hypocrisy and authenticity of religion and its practices, my mom knows ‘ke aa chokra ne have aa babat ma kai kehvay evu nathi’.
‘Those days’ still come, but they are just not filled with that juvenile excitement anymore!