Wednesday, February 20, 2008

A little sun to make us sprightly

I was out for lunch this afternoon – to a little hole in the wall called ‘Spirit’. Met up with friends, one of who had got me to this place before. We had to crouch up one flight of scary, narrow stairs to enter a reddish hued alcove (and I use the term loosely here) that was begging to get raided. (On account of suspicious red-hue and nothing else.) On one wall stretched an advert-type image of cyclists and a person poised to take a dive. It proclaimed that “..your inner rage is called ‘Spirit’. If you must make changes, reach in there and harness the rage.” Or something equally somber to twitter at.

Food was unremarkable and conversation was light. What struck me was how difficult it is for people who’ve known me to accept that I’m a vegetarian still. I can’t explain it either. I don’t know how much longer I’m going to stay this way – but I’m going to see. As of right now, I am not in any terrible stage of withdrawal. I remember the succulent smells and tastes of grilled crabs, prawn curries, and fried rohu. I remember the spicy tenderness of chicken patties and pork sausages cooked with eggs. I remember phenomenal raans and I remember baked pomfrets and I remember hilsa cooked in spicy mustard sauce. I remember shucking oysters glazed in fig and champagne and I remember eating deep fried calamaris and I remember chewing through tubs of pickled mussels. I remember all that, but I miss nothing. That’s because when I ate meat, I ATE meat. I cracked open shells of crabs and speared through camel venison with my bare hands. I have chewed bones along with the meats. I pledged myself fully to the task of tasting every wafting excellence that ever went into cooking meat. I have never...as in never ever ever taken a ‘boneless’ option if I could help it.

And because I have eaten fully when I could, I can give it up when I want.

I may struggle to get this equilibrium in other areas of my life, but I have it sorted in the area of food. I think I do live by bread alone, and I’m so much happier for it.

In any case, after the meal, my friends and I parted ways and I had to walk back in the afternoon heat. I liked it. It was so much better than eating in a stuffy canteen and then just going back to a Stepford wives-like AC temperature.

The sun felt nice in Marol. I couldn’t believe myself when I thought that.

It’s nice to smile at such things sometimes.

4 comments:

di said...

What's rohu in English? Yew knowes?

Mukta said...

Hey di,

From what I googled, Rohu is called 'Roho labeo' in English. he he he! I guess there's some other more common name for it. Will try to find out.

di said...

And whilst you're being so oblinging, can you suss out what rawas, surmai and lepp are in english?
surmai is king fish one has heard. Now is kingfish the same as king mackerel? Or is it seer fish? Also, is the mackerel available here the jack mackerel/ horse mackerel?

Mukta said...

sigh...and all this AFTER i turned veg. :-)

Okay. will try to find out.