Friday, April 29, 2011

The 'Eating' Fast

I am a hopeless foodie. Hopeless because I can't cook for nuts, and foodie, well.... because I can gleefully tuck in anything that does not spring up and eat me first! I think that explains why 5 year old me (raised in a city without crows) ran after a very large, well-fed crow in my hometown so that we could cook up the 'chicken' in my strictly vegetarian ancestral home - much to my grandmother's horror.

I also believe in leaving the healthy eating to others! I am content with eating anything that looks and smells like its been cooked (actually, in some cases even uncooked will do!). My stint at the Hotel management institute I studied at, did wonders to my already confused definition of food. We passed off burnt, yet undercooked (we were talented at magically pulling off antonyms together!!) chunks of bone.. err...meat as food, unwashed pulse bits floating on water as dal, and rock hard, bounce-worthy blobs of gluten as bread. I learnt new levels of tolerance here, understanding that cooked food also included the exotic names with weird combinations of tastes we invented.

The circuitous routes in life took me through courtship where I made omelets with oodles of love and loads of turmeric, causing my amour's face to take on the same shade of yellow as the omelet while eating them; then through a period when I'm sure I was slow poisoning myself through all the experiments in my little, under stocked kitchen - they did say necessity was the mother of invention! Infact, come to think of it, I am SURE the cooking was what caused strange behavior in me - from thinking I could sing like, nay - better than, Lata Mangeshkar (much to the dismay of my neighbours), to kicking the stupid cat which used to pee on my foot mat, to deciding to get married...

If there is a food heaven, Delhi it is, Delhi it is, Delhi it is! You'll find find not one, but atleast two versions of the same cuisine - the original, authentic version; and a Pujnabi-Delhi version of the same, which would send the native owners of these cuisines into depression. (In fact, I know from reliable sources, that our tampering with the sacred Chinese recipes was what caused the Indo-China War!)

Thus, you will find Chinese food generously garnished with coriander leaves, and Italian food with garam masala. (But I must admit the darn thing smells and tastes heavenly!) Other wonders you can treat yourself to are Paneer masala dosas, and chikken tikka pizzas and many such "nouvelle cuisines" (this is a word that would bring a smirk on the faces of my acquaintances from Hotels !!)

But today, what prompted me to write this post is an incident that happened at work. I just HAVE to explain it verbatim, to be able to do justice to the incident. Any resemblence, to persons living or dead are purely hilarious err..... unintentional

Me : Its 10 in the morning! Why are you opening up your lunch?
She : Well..... I am on a fast today.
Me (with a really dumb look on my face):  So?
She (Exasperated at the dumb look) : I am fasting. So I cannot eat lunch...
Me (Still unable to fathom the connection): But can eat at any OTHER time?
She (snapping shut her lunch box to give me full attention AND to make sure I don't ask for my share) : Look, I can eat anything anytime as long as it does not contain grain... like rice, or wheat or pulses... get it?
Me : So you can eat fish? (hmmm..... I already like this fast... only fish and meat... wow!!)
She (gasping as though someone stole her priced lunchbox!) : NO!! No non veg too!! and no onion, no garlic, no salt....
Me : Why? Onion is not a grain, or a non veg .... neither is garlic!! And salt?? Oh come on... that's not even an organic thing - its mineral!
She : (looking like she could do with a long vacation) : Oh.... its like this - we can eat anything that reminds us we are fasting. Fruits, juices, potatoes, chips (yeah! can u beat it??), tea .... got it?
Me (kinda getting there) : errrr..... and you have to like, ummm..... KEEP eating the whole day, EXCEPT at mealtimes?
She (smiling) : Yeah... now you get it. Except, (she now pauses for dramatic effect)... I can eat at lunchtime too.... See, since I am on a fast, I will need to keep replenishing my energy no?
Me (now I could do with a long vacation) : Then how are you on a fast ?
She : See, I am not eating LUNCH, I am eating vrat ka khana ('food for fasting' ... as if THAT made any sense!!) ... so I am fasting. Also, my husband orders out dinner, or does the cooking himself today.....
Me: Because you suck at cooking??
She (with a coy smile) : All this fasting makes me weak na?

Well, whaddaya know!! Delhi is not all that bad.... I am kinda liking this fast game!


  1. I LIKE that .. I cant do fasting or dieting and so many people say ot me i shud do this or that .. but i jsut cant I eat what i like when i like though i make sure not to over eat ..

    and the chat and how to fast That type of FAST i can do everyday .. do you think the God will be happy and fulfill my wishes if i do such fasts every day for a year .. eat the Vrat ka khana and not lunch or dinner or breakfast :)


  2. I like it. I am on permanent fast because I do not like to eat grain or rice....I can live without carbs.

  3. reminds me of a friend who fasts on Friday and wait for clock to turn past 12 AM and eats lots of meat ..

  4. @Bikram ... hmmm..... good question - i too, wonder if God really does advocate the asli ghee fried food!!! And yeah i like that kind of food too!

  5. @A!! you must be a healthy guy!! No carbs eh?? i am impressed!

  6. @Anonymous.... hahaha!!! yeah irony, right?