Thursday, 17 September 2015

Fussy About Food

It is mostly at home that we tend to complain about the taste of the food, and sometimes by just looking – without even tasting it. It is normally resorted to by the kids in the presence of patents or someone who cares. This normally becomes a habit which carries on even later in life if not curbed at the earliest.

As a child we do not have any idea of how the food is coming on the table; we were more concerned about how it should taste and be presented, and given a choice, that time, we would have not minded having ice cream for all meals.

Like all Bhutanese families in the past, before the invasion of dining tables and chars. We used eat together sitting down, forming a circle around the pots and pans containing food. It is normally the duty of mother to serve food to all and she knows exactly, how much each person gathered there would eat, including the occasional guest.

Once during such eating session, the food was real bad and I complained about it which was seconded by my other siblings. The economic condition of the family at that point of time was in not good, as the construction of a house was going on. I refused to eat the food which was followed suit by my other siblings.

My father who used to be so particular about the taste and presentation of food was surprisingly, not complaining at all. He was eating the pathetic rice with curry consisting of boiled chili and some dry veggies with little trace of oil. I think I saw tears in his eyes. He retired from the job two years back with no pension and little income, the man who used to fuss about the food a lot was mute. He being the sole bread earner for the family, that food was the best he was able to afford for the family.

I wanted to start eating after seeing him but it was too difficult to do that. I went away and sobbed seeing the man change, trying to show example without saying a word. After that incident I have decided to not to complain about food and try and eat whatever is provided within circles of consumers and on the table, later;  remembering my mom’s famous saying, “….After all, everything is going to turn into shit right after we swallow.”

Going to the boarding schools further taught me how worse the food can be. The sticky kharangs and the recyclable bulgur (recyclable because the bulgur comes out as it is without breaking down by digestion) with floating potatoes curry kept us slim and trim without having to exercise. The pure rice, once in a while, was consumed without curry. Such were the lessons learnt, the harder way. When I see a waste bin overflowing with pure rice, I get the feelings of long way that we have come on the journey of development – personally and as a country.