How can you eat it ?

Sunita Giri 9:52 PM |

Now, whenever I watched Andrew Zimmern, tasting Bizzare foods from around the world; it pulls me back in my own memory lane. Although, I too make the face or switch the channel, if its so hard for me to watch more; when he is saying, its yummy or its delicious, when I see him eating foods, I will never ever try in my life. But then there was a time, I myself faced the question, how can you eat it ?

Junkiri asked me exactly when, I was about to eat it, “how can you eat it ? I have heard that, there is, this small black insect in it .”

“Yes I know, but Shova didi made this.” I said and took a spoonful of puwa in my mouth and then to ease it down my throat, I sipped some tea. She made her face with disgust, and then asked me again, “How can you eat it ?”

“I can, because its so delicious and tasty.” then I took another big spoonful of it and then again sipped some tea to ease it to swallow. See, Puwa is very dry food in itself and needs some liquid to have it, otherwise its not easy to swallow it down the throat.

I could have been studying in eighth grade and around forteen. It was afternoon time, time for a day time snacks. Generally we are suppose to go down in the main kitchen and finish our ‘khaja’ there. But because it was winter vacation time and we are big girls and in our teens. So, we used to smuggle the food in our rooms and then used to have it, there with our roommates, chatting and taking our time to finish it.

So, on this particular day, I was sitting on that small space in front of the window and eating my snacks. That window faced the front yard. That was the very small space, where only two of my age girls, could stay and chat. Just on the right side of me, there was a row of beds [bunker] and one was facing the window, there on the lower bed, Junkiri was lying on her belly and watching me eat my khaja, which of course was ‘Puwa’.

Puwa is a kind of food for which, flour is fried on high heated fat first and then, some water is added and sugar from on top of it but sugar had to melt in the food not be seen onece its ready, its still very dry food even after its ready. The flour is what American agency used to send NCO, as part of nutritious food and that used to rule almost all our snacks and breakfast, with very few exceptions.

“Why don’t you put all of it, in that tea and then eat it ?” Junkiri, suggested me, still making her face in a creased form.

“No, I wont do that” I retorted, “cant you see, if I do that all the black insect will float on top of tea, and this will spoil my mood to eat it ?” She nodded but her face is still in creased form, which made me smile and be angry at the same time.

I took one more mouthful of puwa and took some sip of tea, and watched Junkiri, made her face, creased. Watching her made this easy, for me to read her face, it was not easy for her, to watch me eating my food.

“Are not you hungry ?” I asked her, “I was....” she replied and said again “.... but when I heard about it, I lost my appetite.”
Again I filled my spoonful and about to reach it on my mouth but the look of Junkiri forced me to bring it down on my cup. “Look, I am eating my food and you are making that look, its not good.” I confronted her. “And you are eating all insected puwa, saying its made by Shova Didi, is also hard to believe, delicious or not; it still has those insects in it”, she had readymade answer for that.

Now, it was kind of war between her and me, she was amazed that I could eat it and I was shocked, that she did not respect the fact, I was eating it without any complaint. “Look food has to be delicious and tasty first, then the insect or other things is secondary matter, can other didis make this good food, without any insect in it ?” I asked her. She nodded her head meaning ‘No’. “So, her times comes, once in a week only, and if I give it a miss, I have to wait for this good and tasty food for whole next week.”

And then, I took a last spoonful of my puwa and watched her face again. She was really surprised that I finished my meal, knowing it had all the small black insect in it.

Needless to tell, for her, no insect made more importance; than the taste of foods. You know what, that food which I devoured was a lot more delicious and tasty, than other didis may have made, without any insects in it. So its clear, for me, its the taste of a food that matters; not what is inside of it.

I am sure, once in their life, everybody must have faced this question, how can you eat it ?

Note: you can read about locked up to know more about Junkiri Tamang and Me on I am not Alone to find out how we landed in Bal Mandir.

2 comments:

Puru@ShadowsGalore said...

That just broke my heart

Sunita Giri said...

I am sorry it broke your heart. In fact it was not written in that line to break your heart. In fact may be you have not realized it, but that line comes as an insult to me. I know, you don't intend to do so. But it just did. Perhaps you did not get the zest of it.

Post a Comment