Problem of plenty idiots
You can’t really talk about environmental degradation if you own a car and haven’t planted a sapling in over 200 years. Similarly, you can’t take a higher ground (if you are a guy) on Sunny Leone’s morality while you enjoy her porn. Similarly, you can’t lecture on feminism (if you are a girl) when all you want to do is upload DPs with your cleavage on show. These are the tricky spots of taking a stand. You can’t be swinging when the issues at hand are of grave nature. If you do, you are fundamentally making a fool out of yourself and delaying progress as well. One such issue happens to be the wastage of food. Nearly 40% of all the food on the planet goes to gutter. If you reading this, i’m sure you’ll be well aware of the scale of wastage. I’m sure there has to be somebody in your group of friends who is known for wasting food. But what about you? Does wastage have to be of grand scale to be noted? It begins with morning tea when you choose to leave those last drops of tea in the cup. You never bothered to ask yourself why exactly you do that. Is it a matter of establishing your status? Especially when you know that the tea is strained and doesn’t have tea filaments settled at the bottom of the cup. So, what makes you do that? Does it have something to do with your narcissism that you want to have a mirror inside the cup too?
OK, this was breakfast.
Let’s move on to lunch or dinner.
I don’t understand two Indian aspects of eating:
1. Why take more food on your plate than required?
2. Why waste it?
How difficult is to avoid these two conditions when we all know there are not only kids but also adults dying of hunger in India (no, you don’t have travel all the way to Africa when there is a shameful reality closer home)? I don’t think we as a nation have reached that stage where we can pretend to face the problem of plenty. Not yet. The reason why i take a stand here is i haven’t wasted food since the age of seven. Whoever i grew up with or spent considerable amount of time with over the years can vouch for me. I neither waste nor let others do. The credit goes to my dad who turned into a villain when it was required. I was in second grade and i remember once taking more than needed on my plate. Because of my insouciance, he did something drastic: he didn’t let me get up from the floor (yes, we didn’t have a dining table back then) without me eating my food. “Anna da maryadi…blah blah…” [Where’s your respect for the grain of rice?] I stuffed myself as much as i could before breaking down and weeping. At the end of the drama, the plate was clean and i received a lesson for life while my ma smiled at my not-so-funny status.
NB. Years later, my friend Rojel expressed his hedonistic opinion that food is going to waste whether you eat it or not. He was taking a microscopic view — metaphorically as well as literally — of the situation because he could afford to. Those who go to sleep hungry won’t take a peek into his microscope.