Saturday, February 9, 2008
The following is a post I wrote around 3 yrs back on a different blog (That this was the ONLY post in that blog is another story!) The context of the post is relevant today, yet certain aspects are not. Yet I have kept it completely unchanged!
Avian Influenza, more fondly referred to as Bird Flu is the latest thing to hit the headlines. Each time me and my ‘pure’ non-vegetarian fellow beings heave a sigh of relief at its eradication, its back with more gusto. It has made it impossible for chicken -hearted chicken lovers to eat anything at all. One can’t even gulp down a glass of cold coffee with cream, in peace. Why, cream can have eggs too. So does delightful to look at, heavenly to eat chocolate cakes. And if one chooses to binge on some safer varieties of non-vegetarian, a concerned friend warns us about the unlikely chance of chicken being mixed with it. Here, we are not exactly questioning the sanity of the chefs, but accidents do happen!
At this point in time, I lose hope and turn to God Almighty. I ask him, “God, why do you always put us non vegetarian patrons to test? Us, who cant do with out it for breakfast, lunch and dinner, sometimes brunch, and don’t really mind snacking on their different varieties through out the day. Why doesn’t any one hear about deadly diseases that catch vegetables, which when consumed can churn out human intestines? ” Iam still awaiting an answer from above.
Post- tsunami was a dreaded phase for all the fish lovers of the world. People with faint hearts (and stomachs) had to think twice before devouring those thorny delicacies. Then there was Anthrax, which caught the cows and the pigs. I wondered why God dint give these four-legged creatures a chance to die a more noble death – by satiating some incurable non-vegetarian’s craving!!! Now who is responsible if they go to hell? And the latest to join the bandwagon is the chic fever.
I call it chic fever for very specific reasons, because anything to do with this deadly disease has become fashionable. This time the trendsetter was the Ministry Of Health and Welfare itself. In an all out attempt to win the foodies back, the Ministry indulged in a daily dose of very explicit ‘Go For It’ ads. For the benefit of the uninitiated, the chic fever did serious damage to the poultry business. So the national newspapers, obviously under the ministry’s demand, carried pictures of mouth-watering Tandoori chicken full and boiled eggs, with a copy convincing us that it is perfectly safe to consume chicken and shying away from digging into it is nothing short of stupidity. Next day we hear the news of another thousands of hens being culled!!! At this juncture, Iam deeply moved by the caring concern of the Ministry. They definitely felt that dying was a better option than holding back one’s urges. Or they probably believed that all of us had to die one day, so why not eat to one’s heart’s content and die a peaceful death.
The ministry’s ‘eat-chicken’ campaign was in the lines of ‘winning confidence back’ ad campaigns that Pepsi and Cadbury’s ran – Pepsi, when accused of containing pesticides and Cadbury’s to defend the presence of worms in their chocolates. Iam forced to think that Ministry lacks credible ideas. An ad featuring ‘Punjab da Puttar’ Virender Sehwag digging into Tandoori Murg and then hitting a sixer (If the Ambanis can, so can they) or better still, two nubile nymphets fighting over a piece of chicken, all the while ignoring the hot dude beside them, would have appealed to the audience.
It took an interesting or rather enlightening conversation with my maid to make a cynic like me probe beyond the obvious. She was understandably excited because for her, the chic fever is a blessing in disguise. She and her family, her three kids included, are thrilled because chicken is now available at affordable prices, sometimes even free. Then I think about many such people, who would prefer eating chicken, risking death to starving themselves to death. So like everything else, this chic fever too is a two-sided affair. Only I was a little late to realize. We might not always know how, but God definitely has a plan. Amen.