Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Stop smothering and pestering me!

For us Indians, food plays a very big role in our lives. If I may, it’s our favorite technique of communication. In my mom’s generation especially, where emotions were unexpressed verbally yet inferred perfectly, fare did the immaculate job of interpretation. You never saw couples covet each other publicly; the man’s gormandizing illustrated his love for his woman. This method of expressing feelings -- using victuals as a medium, wasn’t limited to couples or nuclear families. I have the fondest memories of my childhood with my mom, few aunts and uncles cooking a delectable spread and us cousins, brazenly consuming copious amounts of it. There were times, when children were encouraged to binge. The persona of a chubby kid was the delight of the family. The premature finishing of food conveyed our appreciation. Now when I think of it, it feels retarded. The food used to be scrumptious but the embodiment of fat cells in the pear-shaped Indian body was not appealing.

Today, times have changed. Thanks to globalization and the robust media, my generation is more aware now than ever about “healthy choices” and “verbal grandeur”. Food isn’t the inevitable choice of showing that you care. It could be because lots of folks either don’t have the time or the inclination to cook, or maybe, my outspoken generation has found out other avenues to convey our emotions. I love to cook, and I ensure my cooking encourages longevity for my loved ones. I mean, contributing to obesity and concocting grub immersed in oil are not considered signs of endearment anymore.

Having said that, the one food-related Indian tradition still being carried out, like the regal Olympic torch, is the knack of harassing people to eat. “Why put in the fridge? It will go a waste”. “Didn’t you like what I made?” “Are you watching your weight?” “You are too thin”.

This whole act of coercing people into eating is rather exasperating. At one of the parties a few weeks ago, in this seething heat, I was pestered to devour something that I normally would treat myself to if it was snowing outside. I politely declined a few times. Of course, right after that the trail of gratuitous weight-related comments started as if I was a contestant at a Miss India Pageant—about how I was already “faultlessly thin—not too skinny and not too fat” (definitely a reality check issue but let me not digress here) and why I didn’t need to watch what I ate. Ironically enough, all these words of wisdom were showered by people of abominable girth—the Earth shook as they walked. It was almost like they would feel less guilty about indulging in the heart-stopping-artery-clogging-fat-laden-sodium-enhanced-junk food if the company around them became a part of the insensible eating cult.

I serenade food. In fact, I love planning my next meal while finishing the current one. However, food means different things to different people, so stop pestering me and making me an object of speculation just because I haven’t let fat cells travel to my eyes and covered my perspective with ignorance.

More until next time.
Xoxo

Copyright © 07.30.2008

“Food is the most primitive form of comfort.” - Sheilah Graham

5 comments:

Sahar said...

So true...god forbid, if u had skinny genes as a child ...u were considered ummmmm....miserable! All the childhood binge eating habits is catching up now in our 30's....hate the pestering!

T said...

Just read your twocents, and as always, an enjoyable read! :-)

Anonymous said...

I"t was almost like they would feel less guilty about indulging in the heart-stopping-artery-clogging-fat-laden-sodium-enhanced-junk food if the company around them became a part of the insensible eating cult."

so true.try fighting peopel when they try to shove refreid beans from own plate onto yours...

Anonymous said...

Hello

Great share, thanks for your time

Anonymous said...

Hi, very interesting post, greetings from Greece!