By Mayank Dixit
The main reason for anybody to go festive this season should totally be food, the love for food. Be it feasting or fasting, both of them see an amalgamation of culinary innovation and enterprise. In such a vast and complex country like India, it’s more than necessary that abstention and excess should coexist.
Navratras and the Pujo
If Navratre are a period to shy away from certain cuisines eating only the likes of aloo ki subzi and kuttu ki poori; Durga puja lifts all the dietary restrictions. From Palong shak bhaja, Jhinge poshto, Bhapa chingri, the ever famous Bhuni khichuri and many more pop Kolkata dishes are part of the pujo.
On the other hand, Eid
On the other end of the spectrum, Eid-al-Adha brings with itself a different chest of delicacies that can give the taste buds of any foodie a serious run for their money. From the Nalli Nihari to herbal, and from the evergreen biryani to the holy grail of all the Eid dessert, the Sheer khurma, it is a like a food riot out there.
But Eid or Pujo, it doesn’t matter
Come September, and you can smell the aroma of rich authentic food filling up your lungs. From Chandni Chowk to Lucknow, from Kanpur to Kolkata, food transcends across all these places and binds them as one.
A foodie is similar to an atheist. He doesn’t care whether the food in his plate belongs to an Islamic Eid or to a Hindu Durga Puja, he eats without any such thought or differentiation. His love of food is his bhakti.
His love of food is his bhakti.
As a Hindu, I have eaten stomach loads of biryani and sheer korma at the homes of my Muslim brethren, and they have attended numerous Durga Pujas with me just to eat the food, with all of us having a minimum interest or none in the religious ceremonies of our respective festivals.
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, this is what food is doing. Making us feel together even on being apart. How many other things you can say that about.
Now one may wonder, with all the delicacies of each festival being as different from some other dish of some other festival, how exactly is food the savior?
The ultimate answer!
Well to answer that, different dishes give rise to curiosity, the single most important thing that drives people to know more about a certain festival and its traditions. The food satiates their taste buds thus hooks them onto the festive spirit. This is the main reason why there are equal numbers of non-Bengalis at Durga pujo pandals or Non-Muslims at Eid celebration at some mosques. Love for food binds all. The answer to all of these is food and food only.
The answer to all of these is food and food only
Food is what makes us rejoice our closeness, at the same time helping us to gracefully accept and respect our differences. Food is what will take us across the lines of division because, at the end of the day, we all are people who stay hungry and stay foolish. So why not fill those empty stomachs this festive season while keeping the religious prejudice in check, and eating till the last drop of the chashni in the Roshugulla.
Image Credits: Google Images
You would also like to read: