Saturday, May 05, 2007

Confessions of a "Innocent" vegitarian .....



So I am a Brahmin and that makes you a vegetarian by default... But I think I was an exception. Mom used to tell me that when I was a toddler, whenever I see an ant (the ones that usually found in our homes thick black and about 1/4 in long) I start playing with it as a lion plays with his helpless prey. The poor thing fights bravely but... hey its only 1/4 inches and I was 2 feet and size matters in these kind of fights. So when it stops moving, I stuff it in my mouth. But Human stomach is not meant for digesting keratin, so the dead body of those helpless creatures appears in the poo... next morning. But that is the only case when I remember eating up another living thing alive or dead.
My transformation from a carnivorous to an herbivorous started when I got a little understanding of things and realized that vegetarian food tastes better than ants. Than at the age of five I got enlightened by an incident which changed my food habits for next 12 years ... I was playing football with a cauliflower (which has been stolen from the kitchen because we lost one which was actually meant for playing :D ) and suddenly one scrap of it started moving, a close look of it revealed that it was a caterpillar and than I decided I wont eat stuff that these insects are eating. So the cauliflower has been removed from our menu.

When I joined college which was out of my hometown I became semi-vegetarian( thanks to all those dishes served in Hostel mess which were named after vegetarian dishes but you can find everything from nuts and bolt, cockroaches, insects and everything that is present in Hostel ecosystem ). This stage was like a military training in my life, it makes you so tough that you can eat anything, can sleep anywhere and can live without any of those so called required things. Anyway this is not what this post is all about.
So coming back to the topic things changed when I joined my first company which was in southern part of India and everything there is cooked using coconuts and rice.
So for almost 6 months I had "Dosa" for breakfast, for lunch and for dinner and now if I am dying from hunger I can’t eat Dosa. (Not my fault ...)
than I ve to Come to the Land of Opportunities (read USA) for some assignment, at lunch time I went to the food court it was a decent place with some 7 - 8 different kind of stalls, but the only visible veggie choice available was "Veggie Burger". The Burger tasted funny but as it was "Veggie" so I ate it with no complaint. Next I day I got the same thing and while paying for it the cashier called it a cheese Burger. So I assumed a Veggie Burger is also called Cheese Burger.
And then I ordered a cheese burger and the first bite told me that something is wrong so I removed the petty inside it and ate the bread only. Everything was fine until here... but then I committed a mistake of asking the ingredients of a cheese Burger, the person replied ... it has bread, cheese, lettuce, and beef.............. Did you say Beef?? yes sir you know cow meat ...
damn it ......
I took a deep breath and consoled myself ... It was just a innocent mistake I dint know it had something which was not meant to eaten by a religious Indian..
So after that I stick to a veggie burger "with no meat" option for my further visits to this cow eating country.
After these horrible experiences I learned how to cook Maggie noodles.... I can also make tea but that I don’t drink so it was of no use...
so I make sure that when I go again to this country I take 2 3 kilos of Maggie with me... but things can be planned according to you so sometimes I have to stay late in the office and than these Gora folks comes with seafood restaurant menu and asked me what you want.... I scanned through the menu; the only thing that was not prepared from animal products was onion rings ...
so I asked for it... She said it’s a side dish.... (Oh... for god sake I know no body eats "Pakodas" for dinner ....) I smiled and said I am ok....
So next time she ordered pizzas... some veggie and some nonveggie... I took one slice which looked like one with cheese it was delicious...... Everything was fine and as I was approaching for another slice... the person sitting next to me started throwing up ... he was a born and brought up in US and was Muslim ..... He was eating the same thing that I was munching on...
I looked at him and than at the pizza in my hand.... when he came back after washing his mouth I asked what is it.... "IT was a pepperoni ....” Ok so now I tasted beef and pork good ............
the other day I was on highway and I felt like eating something... but I don’t wanted to be a victim of US food again... then I saw a McDonald ... that was something familiar. I went in and asked for something veggie with "No Meat" he said off course we do have... would you like to have something with chicken ... No something VEGGIE... with "No MEAT and NO CHICKEN .."
He said ok we have some Fish for you.... Oh god they don’t understand what is a veggie food ...
No something with "No MEAT, NO CHICKEN AND NO FISH..."
He looked at me upside down and gave a look as he has just seen an alien "We have French fries and onion rings.. FOR YOU SIR!!" Thank you, I ll have French fries please..
Than one day I dare to ask someone the ingredients of my favorite "Veggie Burger" and the answer was It has bread, lettuce, tomatoes, cheese and "CHICKEN" petty.................

A nice online Burger