The reason why we cannot eat rice without curry was told to me by one of my friends when I was in primary school. I did not forget the reason until now due to the sheer illogical explanations which I dared not protest, at that time.
He was a big bully. Not so big in size but he was like a grown up man among the children. He was leader in everything not because he was good but if his orders were not followed you will be bullied. He was the captain of the ‘bagtang’ ball football team always. He was good at it because his coordinations were more developed than the others. He had a mouth like a fish, perhaps due to constant talking as no one dares to talk in his presence unless he allows you by looking at you.
I saw him once after a decade and half or so and he maintained his size but his hair became lesser or rather it shifted its place from his head to his chin, cheeks and upper lips. The hair on the upper lips and chin provided a jocular kind of frame to his fish like mouth.
During free time he took the dominating position and narrated the story about why we require to eat curry with rice.
‘Once there was a man. He was fed up with working especially because it was the stomach that needs to be filled. He thought that if he had no stomach he could relax as he will not have to go looking for food to fill the stomach. So he told the stomach to leave his body. The stomach went out of the body without second thought.
‘The man when he tried to stand straight after stomach had left his body, he was not able to do that. He was in fact folded into half bending towards the front. He called the stomach back and requested it to come back to its place. When stomach refused he promised that here after not only a simple rice but he would also provide curry along with rice.
‘The stomach agreed and took its original position and the man was able to stand straight. But thereafter he had to work double time to provide the stomach with rice and curry. That was how we have to eat curry with rice’.
He looks up after telling this story as if, seeking for appreciation and everyone seems to agree with his story either out of fear or ignorance. I also did not protest to his logic, though I felt funny because even at that age I knew that it was the backbone that helped the man stand straight and not the stomach. However, he captivated the children more than our teachers with his illogically logical story.
Seriously. He must have meant and believed what he was telling as he failed twice and ultimately dropped out of school along with many other bagtang ball players. He went on to become a truck khalasi, after that he became a truck driver. As of now he is a driver in one of the departments and doing pretty well and surviving, providing rice and curry to his stomach and to the stomachs of his wife and children.
Some people can make a great impact, with stories and other stuff lasting life long.