I gave up eating non-vegetarian food a while ago. It is not the first time I have given it up though. Every once in a while something happens that makes me realize that it is a cruel act of violence. But then eventually that feeling subdues and I go back to eating chicken. I would like to make it clear that I am not a crazy chicken lover. And so I don’t have cravings for chicken during my periods of abstinence and hence it is easy for me to give up chicken. For me chicken is like any other vegetarian food item. Just more filling.
I don’t know if you are used to the ways of a hostel mess. The thing with mess food is that you are bound within a given number of options as to what to eat, however shitty it might be. So I reach this mess, really hungry and see what is being served. Now comes the dillema. There’s this shitty gravy potato curry that I absolutely hate the sight of and then there is this chicken curry. Now I don’t know what to do. Its been only 3 months since I gave up chicken. I had to make a choice there and then before the 3 guys infront of me in the queue moved. You can’t really contemplate at long lenghts standing in a mess queue. There’s a reason Newton thought of gravity when an apple fell on him as he stared into space under an apple tree and not when gravy spilled over from his plate while he was in line in a technical university’s mess queue. It would have been easier to discover gravity with gravy all around by the way. Shit joke I know.
So here we are chicken. Shall I eat you or not? 3 months ago my mother had sent me to a poultry farm to get chicken. This was my first time doing it. Standing inside Ranawat Poultry Farm, all I could see was blood and sick chicken bred only for the sole purpose of consumption. Rich in flesh but poor in strength. There was this one hen which was wobbling up and down while walking as it tried to flee from the cage but eventually fell down and was picked up by the butcher and slaughtered. The cries and the blood – poultry farm is for sure not a place for healthy upbringing of a weak hearted man and a weak legged chicken. That was the day I gave up eating chicken.
So here we are chicken. What am I to do? Eat the filthy looking potato curry and feel miserable in the stomach or eat the edible looking chicken curry and feel miserable in the heart ?
Fuck you chicken. You ain’t my son. I am eating you.
Now I dip the spoon inside the container and stir it hoping to cup in a chunky piece. I was very hungry. Naa! Not this one. Looks too bony. Aaah! This is perfect. Juicy and tender. Yet not very slimy. I pick three pieces and take a seat.
So here we are chicken. No hard feelings. Just for survival. I tear a small piece of my roti (Indian bread, as you – my blog’s foreign readers call it) and take a piece of chicken and put it blissfully in my mouth. There it is! I have broken my pledge of not eating chicken… or NOT!
You know how people have their moments of realization in lives when something changes the way they look at life and then their life is no longer the same. This was one such moment for me. I realized how I don’t have any belif set in life and that my decisions are mostly governed by what is convenient at that moment. Before I come to terms with my shortcomings I wanted to rant against the way the universe decided to reveal it to me! Newton gets an apple tree. Buddha gets a Mahabodhi tree. What do I get? A freaking Pakoda! Nice one Universe! Well done showing me how little my life and contribution to the world will be so early in my life.
What am I gonna do with my life now? Now that I know my life isnt worth much to look forward to I started thinking about the present. How do I continue living my life like this? Even though it turned out to be a pakoda, in my head I am a carnivore who just ate chicken. I feel guilty. I told a friend about it and he said I was over reacting.
Over reacting? Over reacting my ass!
Try spiking a vegetarian’s Paneer Tikka with Chicken Tikka pieces and see him freaking out like a mad donkey on fire. So for them a crime committed in real is more grievous than the crime committed in the head. I say both are equally bad.
So the whole experience boils to some deep philosophical questions.
- Is a crime committed in the head crime ?
- Is fantasizing about a hot model/actress, cheating on your wife/girlfriend ?
- Is eating Pakoda thinking that it is chicken breaking your vow ?
- If you die in the Matrix do you die in the real world too ?