There are a few things I haven’t told my mother yet.
1. I know how babies are made. I knew it since I was in std. IV.
2. It was me who broke her favourite cream ceramic teacup, and not the innocent little rat she later killed with the mosquito squatter.
3. I am a non–vegetarian.
She might forgive me for the first two sins, but the moment she knows the third, she’ll kill me with the same squatter. Or throw me out of the house. Or worse, take me to an exorcist or something.
In our clan, consuming non-veg and joining terrorist camps belong to the same level of sin. You can murder and be forgiven, but lick a bone and you are untouchable as shit. I remember when I was a kid and we were really poor, my mother talked about the old Saint in Bhagalpur, and how he has listed non-veg consumption as a crime. We lived in a dimly lit room, the kerosene lanterns casting flickering shadows on the dingy walls. It was a small world where Samosa visited our taste buds twice a year. And Paneer arrived when arrived guests. We had a small TV that showed two channels. DD1 and Nepal TV. On DD1 came a Korean show called Ghar Ka Chiraag. It was about a lady who cooked delicious dishes. My love for food began with the show, when I saw those tiny slit eyed people lifting momos with long chopsticks. I knew I wanted to have food. Lots of food. Every kind of food.
When we shifted to European Colony, Purnea, we were invited to a wedding ceremony. It was the grandest wedding ceremony we had been invited to. The royal buffet and the majestic lighting were something we had never seen before. I was surrounded by a hundred stalls, each of them offering food that I gobbled only in dreams. There were servers wearing toque blanches and aprons, and rich guests wearing gold watches and expensive suits and bloated tummies. The sight was dazzling.
I had never seen chicken lollipop before. So there was no way I could identify it when the guy put that thing in my plate. It was already laden with 6 types of Rotis, 4 aromatic vegetables, salads sprinkled with spices, pickles, chutneys, Pulao and Tadka, pakodas, Raita, Gulabjaamuns and Barfi. All of it went to the wastebasket the moment I realised what the alien object in my plate was made of. I regretted it later.
In Ranchi, I was free and rich. I had non-veg friends. But still, for one and a half year, I abstained from non-veg. Then one day, I decided to read Scion of Ishkvaku. In the first page, Lord Ram killed a deer, which he would consume later. The next moment, I took Lord Evans with me, and reached The Vok – a foodtruck in NOP. I ordered Mutton Chops. Twenty minutes later, I was proudly savoring mutton chops when Lord Evans took the first bite and revealed that they were actually veg chops. There was a huge crowd that day and so our orders somehow got swapped.
I ate chicken the next day. A treat from Lord Evans.
Doctor wasn’t happy to hear that, even though she herself becomes a monster when it comes to chicken.
“You didn’t have to. “She said.
“It was in my bucket list. “I replied. And she started feeling hungry after that.
I didn‘t make it a habit anyway. I ate non-veg only when I was depressed. Like when I got a 0 in accountancy test. And after each of my board papers.
My mother says humans aren’t supposed to consume meat. Moral causes. But being a history student, I now know how wrong she is. We all started as hunters and gatherers. Even Lord Ram hunted deers.
But you don’t reason with my mother. So she doesn’t have know.
Don‘t tell her.