*updated* this is a benign post, garnished with a slight humour, not to be taken seriously at all. enjoy the food talk.
When do we eat the most?
When is that golden, greedy time when we eat like there is no tomorrow?
What is that time when we see a lot of delicious food together at one time, in one place?
When do we get free food?
One final question that is perhaps going to reveal the answer: What is the time when we waste food like we have oceans of it?
All these questions have one perfect example.
SHADI ( weddings)
I know its an old rotten topic read and talked about a zillion times now particularly for the bloggers who come from Pakistan. It is, however, ever green. No matter how much we write and preach about the way people wildly react when they see food, nothing changes. People continue to pay least attention to the issue. They keep going to weddings one after the other but thats not a problem. If you are invited its rude to decline the invitation. However, going to weddings ONLY with objective of eating is wrong.
The time when i am least hungry is at the weddings. Its the opposite for others. I see people running and jumping and salivating their way towards the food, my taste buds start to turn low. When i see them grabbing plates and spoons while pushing everyone aside, as if just released from a zoo, i become reluctant of going to the food table to fill my plate. The amazing part is how most of the guests fill their plates more than it allows with some of the chicken/mutton/beef kebabs slipping off it. While they are filling their plates for eternity, they never forget inspecting my plate and asking me in disbelief: ” aray tum itna kam khati ho?” ” you eat so less?”
while i think to myself :”aray ap itna khatay/khati hain, did u just replace your stomach with a mini version of well?” and then i think to myself, almost wanting to say it aloud: “..err i hope its not my last day on this planet, i can eat more tomorrow, or the day after tomorrow and so on.”
The time when i most want to shout out to the guests, sometimes even the people i know, in reply to their curiosty of why i eat so little is “..simply because i dont like leaving food on my plate..”
Horrifying part of all is when people dont bother finishing all the food on their plates and then immediately rush towards the desserts. With the meetha/sweets still on the plate, they keep an eye on where the waitors are setting up the Kashmiri chai/tea tables.
Weddings in winters bring along another item on the food menu and that is Kashmiri chai/tea. The idea is great. Soups and teas are ideal for weddings. there is a big BUT. The whole idea of serving tea becomes a disastrous battlefield, especially if you are not going to an elite wedding. I’m not saying that in elite weddings people are sophisticated enough to maintain their civil behaviour but the only difference is that they display their wildness over food in a subtle manner. They maintain their outward appearance of extreme mannerism but make their movements quick. The techniques? none that i can think of or that i picked up after my observation…but now that i think there must be some excellent basic tips for the beginners(like me) on how to grab, eat and waste food on weddings.
Coming back to the tea. The perfect chaotic scene over getting a cup of kashmiri chai from the originally big water coolers turned chai/tea container coolers is a nightmare. Everyone is in a jovial mood and take delight in pushing you hard and then giving you their humblest of smiles. The only distinctive part of the water cooler turned chai cooler i didnt mention is the tap. Yes the tap to let the tea flow out. The messy part. People are in such a frenzy that they get confused as to where the tap would close and where it would open. i remember attending a wedding of my cousin where her relatives came from a village. very nice, warm people. very hospitable. However,when they saw food and especially the water cooler turned chai cooler, they went crazy. The young girls i had exchanged salams/greetings and pleasant smiles with earlier, refused to recognize me as i waited by their sides/behind them( imagining a queue) for ‘my turn’ to get a hot cup of chai in the freezing december wedding.
There is some element of being-in-a-hurry-state every time guests are hovering around the food tables. i really dont understand what the rush is all about? are you going to miss your train? are you afraid there would be no food left if you are a few minutes late? are you going to die of hunger? is it some sort of a competition- who eats and wastes the most? the last one could be a possibility…
All i know is that Punjabis’ love for food is unconditional, ever green, very strong, deep and intense. However, i should not be prejudiced about this. Fair would be if i assume that Sindis and Balochis and Pathans are all equally mad about food, especially the food being served on weddings.