When you are born into a family of vegetarians, it’s quite obvious that you end up becoming one (with few exceptions). If that wasn’t enough, I was a hybrid – a weird stubborn kid having the genes of a northern Indian father and a southern Indian mother. Needless to say, my food was always a feast (I can imagine the look on my friends faces now for calling a vegetarian meal a feast).
My first encounter with anything to do with non-vegetarian food was in the boarding. I remember sitting next to my tiny best bud Paradise who was busy eating something brown in colour that gave a strong aroma. When I asked her what it was, she first looked at me and said its ‘meat’ and then introduced me theoretically to a world of non-veg items that she regularly ate and preferred.
Time flew and both of us successfully graduated to the 2nd Std. This meant that we were now twice the amount more wise and knowledgeable (at least that’s what we thought). It was post lunch after school hours. We left the hostel for the school again a tad bit early for our dance class. After playing in the merry-go-round, we headed to our peon’s home which was behind the school to see and play with his priced pet or the live part of the meat – a white hen and a colored rooster. Even though I had crossed this cage several times I never went close to see how the birds looked and here I am, with my best friend standing right outside their cage, busy throwing flowers, wild black berries and sand at the hen for no reason without realizing that the cage was unlocked. A few seconds of stupidity led to the biggest shock of our lives. The hen barged right at us with the cage door almost slamming our hands. The whole experience culminated with us screaming on top of our lungs and running faster than P. T. Usha for our lives to the front of the school only to be rescued by our dance teacher. So now what was my takeaway from this episode, well – Never underestimate anyone – even if they are caged!