(Article written exclusively for FirstPost)
The theory of human evolution suggests that the earliest known form of homo sapiens filled their bellies by eating leaves. Soon enough they discovered more productive ways of consuming leaves like smoking marijuana. Just to add some diversity to their palate, they started hunting animals for food. The rest they say is history.
Recently a family in Mumbai was harassed for cooking and consuming non veg food in their apartment. The matter soon blew out of proportion with an FIR being lodged and political parties springing into action.
The victim Govind Chavan alledged that most of the people in the building were Gujaratis and Marwaris and wanted them to leave the building.The incident began when someone threw some water from one of the balconies and the wise souls standing on the ground floor assumed it must be the Chavan family disposing water after cleaning fish. You literally need to have superpowers to smell and decipher water droplets falling from a height. Bet Lord Voldermort would have spared Harry Potter in exchange for this skill.
The angry residents marched to Chavan's house demanding an explanation for the only to be greeted with an egg hurling session orchestrated by the family members thereby ensuring that all potential discussions were disrupted.
I am not quite sure of the part of the Old Testament which read somewhat like-
"Love thy neighbour unconditionally, unless it's a gujarati in which case shower egg yolk and love (always in that order) for neighbourly brotherhood"
To add to the nail biting drama, Supriya Chavan even tossed a glass at them & got a water bottle thrown back at her.
Soon enough members of local political parties arrived on scene to lend support to the harassed family and decided to launch a protest on the spot and give the whole incident a maharashtrian v/s non maharashtrian flavour.
Our lovely nation is just a few years away from initiating "dial -a-dharna" services. Can't wait to see adverts on billboards proclaiming
"Did the sizzling brownie at your local restaurant not sizzle well enough? It's time to beat the f**k out of the restaurant owner. Call 1800-DHARNA"
Gujaratis having issues with non veg food is nothing new. Having lived in Gujarat for 3 long years I hereby assure the rest of the nation that people snorting cocaine out there have a moral high ground compared to people having non vegetarian food. Restaurants give out non veg food take aways in conspicuous black coloured polythene bags which are ironically meant to camouflage the contents although the whole world knows what you are carrying in it. You're more likely to get hospitable gazes from pedestrians while carrying rocket launchers on the streets than a packed chicken meal.
It's ironic how exchanging stale food with garnished coriander leaves amongst neighbours is applauded & considered an act of goodwill whereas eating non vegetarian food in your flat becomes an issue.
Being a non vegetarian myself, I have utmost respect for people with other dietary preferences but have an issue when people treat each other as outcastes due to their gastronomic preferences.
Vegetarians are primarily of two kinds -
a) The "I-Am-So-Pure-Veg-That-Lettuce-Leaves-Attain-Moksha-After-My- Consumption" kinds
b) The "I-Don't-Eat-NonVeg-Food-On-Tuesdays-&-Thursday-Thus-I-am Absolved-Of-All-Karmic-Sins" kinds
Pure vegetarians are a separate breed all together and are in a constant battle against the universe to eliminate any & every minute trace of non veg food in a radius of 50 kms. Recently to test my hypothesis I put a KFC apple pie in the fridge & voila soon enough it was lying in the bin. One could possibly wrap a dead body in KFC wrapping paper and rest assured your pure veg roomie will get rid of it within a few hours.
God bless the Mughals for bringing biryanis,kebabs,tikkas etc to India. In my head I cannot somehow imagine a scene with Shah Jahan feasting on broccoli and bottle gourd aka the infamous lauki & the world is a happier place ever after.
Adios for now off to much some spinach for good karma.