Somewhere in the western sector, a buffet restaurant recently offered a heavy discount to commemorate, of all days, Kargil Vijay Diwas. While reading their ad, I remembered India's victory over Pakistan on the harsh, high-altitude battlefield and the supreme sacrifice made by our brave soldiers. But I wondered what that bloody conflict had to do with chicken lollipop and mutton rogan josh, or with haryali kebab and methi malai mutter. I racked my brain but couldn't find a link.
Out of the blue, my stomach spoke up: "Dumbo, can't you spot the connection? National security is inseparable from food security. You can't eat to live if you don't live to eat."
"What the hell does that mean? Are you out of your mind? What did you have for dinner last night?" I enquired.
"You've gone brain-dead," he hit back nastily. "Even a blind man can see that our country is under great threat from its hostile neighbours. It has become China's weekly pastime to intrude into our territory, while Pakistan is always itching for a misadventure. Both want to munch this huge sandwich called India. In this scenario, there's no guarantee that we will get our breakfast, lunch and dinner tomorrow."
The tubelight inside my brain lit up. It finally dawned on me what my vital organ was driving at. "You're right," I admitted. "Anything can happen. We should quickly build a bunker in our house and stock it with essential supplies."
"You leave all the planning to me," my stomach shut me up. "Right now, I'm as empty as Sunny Leone's wardrobe. You better get dressed and take me to the restaurant for some super 'pet-pooja'. I'm dying to devour a bummy yuffet."
"I think you mean a 'yummy buffet'," I said intelligently, but the correction fell on deaf intestines.
Egged on by my ever-hungry paunch, I ate and ate till I felt like exploding. "Have mercy on me," I pleaded with folded hands. "I'll die if I even dare to try the dessert."
"Come on," he insisted. "Don't desert me now. The nation's honour is at stake. This could be your last meal before Chinese Aggression 2.0."
My brain kept saying no, but my hand reached out for the pudding and put a teeny-weeny piece into my mouth. This was the last straw. I instantly blew up like a suicide bomber. Amid the deafening blast, I heard my wicked stomach say, "I'm proud of you, my boy. The world might call you a shameless glutton fond of mutton, but in my book, you are a national martyr." And before I passed away, I hoped that the restaurant owners would hang my garlanded picture on the wall and offer a mouth-watering discount every year on my martyrdom day.