I have been a vegetarian for… 16 years of my life!
I know I had non-veg when I was a kid but stopped when I was eight and saw Maneka Gandhi on the TV telling people how cute animals are butchered for it. I loved animals and birds and seeing them go through all that pain was hard for me. It helped that my mom (or dad) never cooked non-veg dishes at home. I think majority of my relatives are vegetarian but my parents and elder sister never had any issues.
So many of my friends used to think my insistence on eating veg is due to “dharmic” reasons. Well it was not.
I survived school and graduation without eating even eggs. When I moved out of Indore and stayed in a hostel in Bangalore, the spicy masaledar look of chicken in our mess did test me a lot. I gave in and had a piece in the second month of my stay there. Our mess cook was not a very good one, so it didn’t taste as good as it looked.
But I had started eating omlette and anda-curry there after one of my friends convinced… no no… brainwashed me that no chicks are every gonna come out of these eggs.
Fast forward to the year 2010. I was in Pune and we were just a week away from a 5-day Goa vacation! I should mention Goa is jinxed for me, I have made plans and un-made them so many times, that I now think it’s just easier to plan for Japan or Sri Lanka. So at that time, I thought I am gonna do whatever people in Goa do.. booze, fish, fling and all that!
That trip got cancelled at the last minute, and I decided to go to Indore instead (I had already asked my boss for leave, and it’s against my principles to let go of such opportunities). My friends and I decided to do all those things in Indore which we had on agenda for Goa. So we went out, drank, danced… and I had fish!
Now see, its hard to stop when Pune boasts of some of the best seafood restaurants and believe me, Konkani fish recipes are still my hot favourite.
Sometime in the summer of 2011, I went to Raiwala (near Haridwar) to visit my boyfriend Akshay. There weren’t many places where you could go out and eat, but there was this resort which had a small eatery. So that day at dinner, we were sitting and chatting, waiting for our dinner to come. There was just another table occupied other than ours, where three families were enjoying a reunion sort of thing. Their kids, I think there were 6-7 of them, were running around playing their own childish games. I was watching a little girl bump into a table (sorry but I found it very funny), when Akshay said, “Shaadi ke baad kitna problem hoga na apne ko.“
I said, “ Nai yaar, we will have two kids, so that they can both play toegether and won’t bother us when we go out for dinner.”
Akshay didn’t know what to say. He burst out laughing and after what seemed like five hours, he stopped and said,” I was saying apne ko shaadi ke baad kitni problem hogi, agar tu veg order karegi and mein non-veg! Khana kitna waste hoga….. ha ha ha…”
I felt very very stupid! And he was right!
This was when I was living in Delhi, and my department was filled with beef-eaters! They had sucked me into their gang with chicken momos (the veg ones were terrible) and I thought there’s no logic in refusing chicken curry when I had already had thousands of chicken momos.
The vegetarian died a barbaric death. But I still intend to keep off beef. After all gai hamari mata hai. Mata ko kaise khaoon?
PS: A colleague of mine, the only remaining vegetarian, has started eating eggs. I can see where this is going!