Veggie resolve

Being a Bengali, I have always been an avid consumer of fish, chicken and mutton. But I am an animal lover, so one day when the irony of the situation struck me, I decided to quit non-vegetarian food. My family swore by fish and chicken so it came as a surprise that one fine Sunday when I announced my decision, my parents did not even raise an eyebrow.

I had walked into the living room to find my father’s nose buried in a newspaper while my mother had hers inside a book. I cleared my throat, as was my custom before making any life-altering declarations, and they looked up at me. “I have decided to become a vegetarian,” I said. Pat came the response, “Very well,” said my father, “We’ll make her some palak paneer and we’ll have the prawns to ourselves.” “Prawns? Did you just say prawns?” I mumbled. I couldn’t believe it! Prawns were my favourite and prawns were on the menu just the day I decided to become a vegetarian. But I recovered quickly, and steeling my resolve, I said, “It’s okay, green is good for health, isn’t it?

 As I was walking away, I heard my father ask, “So for how long do you think this resolution is going to last?” “Three hours max,” my mother replied with a smirk. It is true that I’ve never been able to stick to any new year resolution but this time I was determined. Eating animals had to go off my menu. If Edward Cullen could resist Bella’s blood, surely I could resist prawns.

Soon my mind began to wander off to the various vegetarian dishes that I’ve had and liked—malai kofta, shahi paneer, gobi parathas, potato chips and what else? Oh yes, salad! Finally it was lunch time. As my parents heaped the prawn malai curry into their plates, I couldn’t help but stare and drool. I suffered throughout lunch while my parents exchanged wicked glances while complimenting the food. When I was almost finished, my mother said, “You sure you don’t want to try some?” thrusting the bowl of prawn curry under my nose. And then began one of the most fierce internal battles I have ever had. I was worse off than Hamlet, to eat or not to eat that was the question. I sighed and said, “Mum, I am stocked. I cannot eat even a peanut now let alone consume so much of life force. I shall take your leave now and let you enjoy the rest of the meal in peace”. Then I made my exit.

 As I was leaving, I heard my father say, “At least we can be assured of at least one thing now. We will not have to worry about her career anymore.” “Yes,” added my mother, “She can always join a drama company.” They were right to be doubtful.

Even I wasn’t sure if I could stick to my decision but I decided to tackle each day as it comes and thankfully it has been over six months that I’ve had non-vegetarian food. So there was a lesson learnt, where there is a will, there is a vegetarian.

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