Witerati: Who moved my chilli cheese!
While EU lawmakers battled it out about ‘veggie burger’ labels, the India Fasting narrative in pandemic’s #Pujo and #Navratri season scripted its own doughs and don’tsUpdated: Oct 24, 2020, 23:40 IST
While the European Parliament was preoccupied proclaiming the verdict that vegetarian fast foods can flaunt suffixes such as Sausages or Steak, desi foodies have been busy scripting pandemic’s ‘Non-Vegan Meats the Navratri Vegan” narrative.
Though William Shakespeare might be tossing in his grave at the meaty twist to his “What’s in a Name” adage, the long and short of EU’s veg ‘Footlong’ debate is -- there ain’t anything semantically incorrect in calling non-meat food a “veggie burger” or ‘veg sausage”.
Alas, coinciding with the Navratri season, the jollifications by European parliamentarians might’ve been hard to digest by India Fasting, especially with Swedish EU lawmaker Jytte Guteland erupting into epicurean elation, “I’m going to celebrate with a vegan burger!”
Come #Navratri and #DurgaPujo season, and the symbolic desi Aloo Tikki Burger versus Chicken Mac Maharaja battle gets amplified to assume epic proportions. Who better than our Lollitas, Lamba jis, Lally jis & Co to drive this culinary collision narrative.
We’ll meat again
Picture Navratri in the #NewNormal. Non-vegetarian lovers Lamba jis and Lally jis face two options as their culinary adventures are curtailed, lock steak and falafel. Option One, Lamba ji & Co are overnight expected to exhibit “withdrawal symptoms”. That is, withdrawal from bingeing on Burgers & Co boasting meaty ‘content’, and pretending to be ‘content’ with Chilli Paneer, Chilla & Co.
Option Two, if the taste buds of Lamba ji & Co are not programmed to survive such “withdrawal symptoms”, they are expected to transport their taste buds on a tour to outside eateries to cater to chicken cravings. Poor Lamba ji, Lally Ji & Co soon suffer ‘withdrawal symptoms” not of one but two kinds – they cannot “meat, plus they cannot “meet”.
Blame it on social distancing strictures and dine out’s curtailed commentary, Navratri in pandemic season is seeing Lamba ji & Co scripting not the India Wining ‘n’ Dining narrative, but an India Whining narrative.
They brave out the first few days of Lollitas’ Navratri fasting, but half way through, their ‘withdrawal symptoms’ see them withdrawing not just from meat, but even from Google Meet. Lamba ji & Co potter about like a Devdas pining for Paro, oops, for Pulao (keema pulao).
Taking pity on this poor gastronomically devastated version of Devdas, Lollita suggests that Lamba ji indulge his chicken cravings outside. Come Kake Da Hotel or Singh’s Chicken, and Lamba ji and Lollita can be seen sticking it out, inside their car. Lamba ji straddles the driver’s seat, while Lollita, for a change, takes “backseat’.
Blame it on ‘social distancing’ strictures of two kinds. One, the social distancing with the world outside. Two, the social distancing inside, between Navratri’s vegan and non-vegan.
Their conversation runs thus: “Oye, it’s after ages seeing such hot legs,” Lambaji gushes to his guy gang all agog on Zoom.
Lollita looks flabbergasted as she tucks into her takeaway Navratra thali in the backseat. She half chokes on her kuttu ki roti, until she sees him flailing shapely calves into the Zoom grid – KFC’s chicken legs. Lamba ji continues caterwauling like a Cat who has hitherto had to make do with cheese ‘n’ chips and is suddenly let loose among the pigeons.“Oye yaar, how I’ve been missing Reshmi!” Lamba ji is unstoppable in his pent-up prattle.
“Reshmi? OMG, has he been having a juicy online affair in Lockdown?” Lollita disquietedly digs into Arbi Dry.
“Oye yaar, nothing to match Reshmi!” Lamba ji looks askance at the “kebab mein haddi” plonked on the backseat while chomping and chirruping his boom on Zoom. “God knows when at home one can ‘meat’?”
Lollita chokes over her bland dessert of Saboodana Kheer, “Meet?”
The curious case of My Big Fat Leek Pudding.