Confessions of a Foodie

Arshid Malik

I love good and great food. I am a foodie and I have no hassles about that. Well, in this life, one of the best things that you have been bestowed upon is cooked food. Had we been animals, things would sure have been different altogether. The point is that one of the greatest delights hidden in the sincere existence of man (and woman) on this planet is food. Had there been no food or no desire to eat food which, in other words, means that we would not have carried an appetite which would inversely mean that a whole lot of things that occupy our body cavity would have gone vestigial and we could easily have dispensed off these organs at a local hospital. And that directly means life would have been no fun at all. What would we do after getting up from a good night’s sleep? Brush our teeth and take a bath and then what? Sit around and loathe your miserable life? We would not have to wait till lunch time as there would be possibly no lunch time, and rather there would probably be a “contemplation time” which would mean getting bored to the skin and start working again. Then in the evening, when you enter your home, you would not smell any good food being cooked as definitely no food would have been cooked as all you had to do around dinner time is loathe around the television and wait till you fall asleep and all that on an empty stomach which had turned vestigial over time.

No food is no good and little food is worse, and I mean it. And that is somewhat the state of affairs of the country’s establishment at present.

I hate the very sight of that red lump sitting across the kitchen demanding a refill. This thing needs a refill almost every twenty or twenty five days which in comparison to the spending in any Indian household is average. But since I confessed that I am a foodie, the utilization is much more. I am talking about my big appetite LPG cylinder which has been laying there for a few days now waiting for a refill. What am I supposed to do? If I do not feed him, I myself go hungry as the options for cooking in modern homes are meagre and pretty costly and when you do not have a filled LPG cylinder, you are in trouble and that is what the government has not understood. People must be going hungry for days together now as the government has put a cap on households availing subsidized LPG cylinders. You get only six cylinders per year and that means a single filled LPG cylinder should run for two months at least and that given when you are not throwing dinner parties and luncheons for your loved ones. I am talking twenty days per refill here but who would understand? The only course of action, which in fact benefits me since I have been planning on cutting down on food, is to go on a dieting spree along with my entire family. We would be cutting our cooking by more than half and then there would be peace. But what about the present since the red lump of a an empty cylinder is not getting a refill as I am supposed to re-register with the dealer with complete proof of residence, photos and all – in my opinion getting a passport issued is less difficult than re-registering your LPG cylinder.

Now the issue at hand is that the authorities high up have given us a choice which, in a nutshell, means that joint families should go nuclear so that they can get a better share of the LPG “racket”. If I start living separately, I could avail an LPG connection since the existing one is registered in my father’s name. We are “attempting” to change the characteristics of the social order here and it is not about gas cylinders anymore, I guess. Good, rocking joint families may have to quit being a joint family and break up into several possible units since all the people need to eat and LPG is the only budget worthy option. And yes, if we are looking for additional refills it would cost you more than double since these refills would not carry the privilege of subsidy from the government.

What do we do in such a situation that we have landed in? I am quite pestered since I am afraid that I would have to go to sleep on an empty stomach tonight. I might perhaps try Chinese which they say doesn’t grow stale for months together.
There are lakhs of LPG connections in our state and re-registering means standing in extra long queues and when it is your turn the dealer closes the shop and you go home “empty handed” and indulge in petite squabbles with your wife who happens to think that you are a nincompoop and can’t get the smallest job done. Now, I figure, marriages might break because of the ego tussles and that means more deformation of the social order.

One more thing, if you plan to go “nuclear,” you have to purchase a new LPG connection and that costs you around five to six thousand bucks as you are “entitled” to the facility of getting a LPG kitchen burner and without that, you get nothing. You happen to have two spare burners, what do you a need a new one for!

The whole system is complicated and for a foodie like me, it is encapsulated “demise”.


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