Friday, August 01, 2008

Are you what you eat?

Hmmm. Good existential question to flag off the 251st post of Pop Goes the Slop, eh? Time out, if you please, to let me chew the cud a bit before answering. Having ruminated to my heart's content if such a thing is possible, let me confess I don't know. But then when I was a pampered kid growing up at 233 Khetwadi Main Road in the late forties and early fifties, I used to be a very fussy and whiny eater. I hated almost all vegetables and loved mutton and fish. I guess in that respect I had taken after my mother. She too used to hate Mondays when we used to be vegetarians by her choice. By contrast, my father was not too bothered about what he ate. In fact, the ultimate imbecile who then was officiating as our family physician made him give up meat and fish and even advised him to have all his teeth pulled out in order to cure his urticaria. The net result? My father was left with his urticaria, a denture and a bland vegetarian diet for the rest of his life. Coming back to my own dietary eccentricities, there was an oft-told family tale about how I fell ill for no other reason except that my body could not tolerate the vegetarian-only meals at the hotel in Mahabaleshwar where we were staying one summer. Our usual hotel had no vacancy. Anyway, the upshot was that the family had to cut short the vacation and motor down to Pune. There, so goes the story, I had a hearty non-vegetarian lunch in the station's dining room run by Brandon & Company, if memory serves, and my health as well as my disposition were miraculously restored to normal. It was only in later life that I learned to eat vegetables with equanimity. Now while I enjoy mutton and fish immensely as before, the occasional vegetarian meal does not faze me. Given the food shortage that is staring Planet Earth in the mouth &, I reckon we should all learn to eat frugally whatever we get and be grateful for our good fortune in getting it. Also, we must put an end to all the gourmet razzmatazz forthwith. Water to grow rice is surely more important than water to grow grapes for wine.