Monday, January 30, 2006

Non-Veg And Attack On Community

This is subject for a topic of discussion currently on one of my Orkut communities. (For the record, the community in question is “Deshastha Brahman”)

The actual thread started with a discussion on who eats non-vegetarian food (hereafter called non-veg). One of the persons came up with a series of posts on why we should be eating vegetarian food only, called “Food for thought (of course vegetarian)”.

Some of the reasons he gave were

“It is traditional. It is healthy for Brahman lifestyle. It is what our ancestors ate. If one continues to eat non-veg over a period of time, gradually his creative abilities and the metabolism on whole slowly goes on depleting. This is what we should do so as not to defame the name of our community. If you eat non-veg, you can get ridicule coming your way from other vegetarian brahman. If we start eating non-veg, the only traditional cuisine we will pass on to our children is Pizza Hut coupons. It is not natural choice of food. And you shouldn’t eat non-veg just because girls get impressed by it, as we should impress girls by our intellect.”
(All quotes sic. You got the gist.)

Now, I have nothing against traditions. Some of the traditions are very good, and we must keep them. Like the Swedish cousins I met were very impressed by the fact that her cousin’s brother-in-law came to pick them up at midnight from the airport. The values of caring for people, family etc. (just as an e.g.) are the traditions which anybody should value, and try to follow. But doing something just because our ancestors did it, is stupid for lack of any other word.

Also, why should you get ridiculed just because you have a particular dietary choice? And, I doubt hearing anywhere that Newton, Galileo etc were pure vegetarians. Of course, for a person who is doing intellectual labour most of the time, non-veg is not a good choice because of the fat content, but then, what about others? We don’t always follow the traditional callings of our community.

And who said non-veg diet means only Pizza Hut or McDonalds? Also, try telling a hungry lion that his choice of diet is not natural.

So I put all these things in reply, and added one just one at the end,

“Please introduce me to the girls who are impressed only by non-veg diet. I am sure other carnivores in this community will be very happy with the knowledge too. ;)”
(For those who don’t Orkut, ;) is converted into a nice symbol quite like YM, so that you don’t confuse it with two random punctuation marks.)

In answer, he came with a series of posts with the subject same as the heading of this post. His reply was,

“Fleiger, I making this particular point here on basis of some examples that I have seen myself… Still I can definitely say that there are considerable no of girls from Brahmin community itself, who mock at VARAN BHAAT Brahmin guys. From the above discussion hopefully we can find out that one (repeat “one”) of the reason for rising intercaste marriages by Brahmin girls is fast diminishing faith in Brahmanism and its food habits.”
(Again, all things sic. And I must admit the last line is a gem of reasoning and logic)

And I thought the time when girls were impressed by “वाघिणीचे दूध प्यायलेले” boys was along long. (Sigh, the good old days) Why go to hotel and eat what you want once when you can get married and eat your choice food for your life? Hmmm… I didn’t know Indian girls were so mature and long range planners (Sorry girls, no offense meant).

At this point of time, I am boinked (nice word, Amrut). So please help me with some basic questions:
• What do you call a person who writes “SAY NO TO NON-VEG!” (caps are not mine) at least 20 times? (I mean, even with all ctrl-c-ctrl-v-ing the effort will burn more calories than provided by 2 eggs I had for lunch)
• Should I send him this link (ह्याला मराठीत अनुरोध किंवा शुद्ध शब्दात खवचटपणा असे म्हणतात) or should I accede my defeat claiming that I have found one more type of knockout? (Well, given my level of workload now-a-days, I am leaning towards second option.)
• Why do people use keyboards where the Caps Lock key is stuck?

Well, seems like I have found a new candidate to be Minister's Junior Under-Secretary (seriously, I doubt this person would recognize a joke even if it is not wearing Dobby's tea cozy).

P.S. Looking back on the discussion, it seems I have been guilty of one more offense, of "putting forth the pretext of individual freedom / personal choice conferred by the constitution of Democratic India’" (sic). Guilty as charged, milard...

P.P.S. Do check out Aerie Institute's brochure on FNS, which this person must had contracted somewhere.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Back from Trip

So, the break is over. Did a lot of things in those 20-25 days, some of which are:

  • Went to San Jose to meet my cousin

  • Visited Disneyland, California Adventures and Universal Studios in 5 days trip. (More on this later, when I get some time)

  • Met a Swedish cousin (won’t go into exact relation, but still…), and heard/read about their Project India.

  • Finished about 10% of the activities I had planned for the break.

  • Visited University of California, Berkley and Stanford campuses. (Stanford’s is very good, definitely better than Berkley)

  • Went to see Golden Gate bridge, Fisherman’s wharf, Crookedest and steepest streets and Modern Arts Musuem (explanation coming up later, and believe me, it is good. And I mean explanation.) in San Fransisco. Ate great seafood, and had a Hot Fudge Sundae at Ghiradelli.

  • Saw Tech Musuem in San Jose, and had a great time watching Polar Express in IMax. (Believe me, it is a GREAT experience) Wondered how Harry Potter would look in IMax dome.

  • Ate puranpoli, pavbhaaji and other items of ghar ka khana for 10 days.

  • Schedule for New Year’s Eve: Met a friend in San Jose, and watched No Entry. Then went and watched The Incredibles, You’ve got mail, Sleepless in Seattle and some part of Kate and Leopold while eating a lot of chocolate fondue.(It was not my idea to turn 31st Dec party in chic flick marathon, but then, majority wins here too)

  • And last but not the least, heard the greatest reaction to meaning of my name, “Oh s#$%!!! Sorry, I meant that in good way. I mean, it is so mathematical!” (Watch out for San Fransisco post for details)

Ok, I know this post is just a space-filler till I get time to write about all the things I have promised to write “later”. But then, term has started, and I am turning into even lazier boy somehow (if it is humanly possible). So right now, I need to concentrate on starting to “get my act together” and start studying again.

So, till the time I get back to normal, watch this space. And here’s some idea of things to come.

P.S. Indiatimes has come up with a good chain of articles. Check this out for some good (very) short stories.