Saturday, 26 September 2015

The Bakasura Files

     I am Baku, and I am basically a foodie, love all kinds – non veg, man veg, cow veg and some veg.  And I feel hungry all the time. I stay quite far from the hustle and bustle of the village, for two reasons. One I would like to enjoy my meal in peace, without a crowd of giggling children ogling at my food. Then, I also usually ended up eating more than my share in public that the village folks pleaded with me to move out, lest they run out of food for themselves. They said if you stay here, you will continue to eat whatever you lay your eyes upon, whereas if you stay out on your own, they would ensure delivery of the right quantity of food at the right time and the food would never run out. I agreed to move out, because my heart beats my stomach hollow when it comes to being large.
     I was happy in my new surroundings.  I was single, staying alone and getting food delivered at home. What more could a man wish for! The food cart never failed to arrive in time, loaded with goodies. It was ingenious! I could just flip the cart over and devour the goodies. The sight of the flip-cart never failed to elicit a tune from my heart. I used to hum “I was living in the love of the common people and far from the heart of the family man” I loved that line.  It described my situation aptly. Maybe sometime in the future, someone would use it in their song and become famous. The villagers were generous with the quantity and gracious with the variety. They never forgot to top up the goodies with a meal-man who was delectable after his delivery.  Life was actually on a roll.
     It was then that this bloke turned up from nowhere and settled down in my village. An up-start trying to start-up his own food business in the village.  I heard that he was also a foodie with an appetite to match mine, the only difference being, that he was a strict veggie! He had started turning the villagers against me, campaigning against all forms of meat, to further his own vegetarian food business and getting them to ban meat from our plates. He posed a serious threat to me.  They said his name was Bhim – a hugely popular guy with the kids and the grownups alike. I knew he would be a fake. The only Bhim I knew, who was popular, was Chota Bhim who lived in the neighbouring kingdom of Dholakpur, and as far as I knew, he was not a foodie. This guy must be a wannabe, who is using a popular name to be popular.
     It was time to set up a meeting and sort things out with this guy.  It was either him or me. It was Meat Ban versus Freedom of choice to eat anything.  The villagers arranged the meet-up. The next day, he came in with the delivery cart.  I glanced at it. No meat, only veggies. It was deliberate. I refused to touch it. We sat facing each other, waiting for the other to blink. My stomach started growling, putting the rumbling of the dark clouds above, to shame. And then he burped. I suddenly realized he had come prepared. This was going to be a long wait.
     The siege continued. I stared at him hard and long, and as the minutes dragged by, the look turned pleading. His eyes softened and he laid down two conditions – One, that I would accept the Meat Ban in the larger interests of the village people and Two,  that I should leave the village and head for the mountains.  He said there were not enough veggies in the village for two foodies to coexist. If I agreed, he would give access to the cart. It was only a matter of time before I surrendered – a total and abject surrender.  He moved away from the cart and I pounced on it, gobbling up the veggies. They didn’t taste that bad after all without the meat. I smiled in content, and burped in gratitude. I left the village never to return.

     I am now spending the rest of my life in the Himalayas, dieting and living on herbs. I have made my peace. History may judge me differently. After all, history is written by the victors and not the vanquished. The future generations may read an entirely different tale of Bakasura- but who knows, one day someone will have the courage to declassify and release this diary to the public.

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