(The writer Vikram Bhawani Singh is my brother and a guest contributor. The picture is his with my older one, Adiraj)
Soon after her marriage, when my sister was visiting us, I had a conversation with her on the topic of vegetarianism. Her name is Lulu and she calls me Baigani (our nicknames for each other). She had turned vegetarian at an early age and went back to non vegetarian foods soon after her marriage (Hubby’s influence, huh). At 10, I left vegetarian food and I am still a vegetarian. I did eat eggs in between as I was not sure whether eggs should be strictly considered vegetarian.
I remember that talk perfectly. I have this special knack of recalling conversations vividly and I just love to debate, correct, counter and irritate someone. I am called Mr Precise by our family because I hate any kind of exaggeration. Little wonder then that I write my age in years, months, days, minutes and seconds (lol…I am kidding!).
Well, on that fateful day, she was my ‘target’ because she had the audacity to rouse me from my deep and sweet sleep. I just wanted to pick up a fight…so here goes the conversation 😉
Lulu: Wake up you sloth!
Me: Go away…I slept very late.:(
Lulu: Then be ready to take a nice cold bath right now on the bed.
Me: Oh wait… What’s the matter? Why are you waking me up so early? You are really irritating. I thought we have got rid of you after marriage…but you came back so soon to drive us nuts.
Lulu: I have especially come back to bug you. Seriously, get up. Exercise, eat eggs. I have also brought frozen kebabs, try it in lunch. Then you can have mutton for dinner. I want to see you strong and active Baigani. For that you need to eat non vegetarian food.
Me: Hahaha…are you joking? Even the vegetarian foods have the necessary vitamins, proteins and minerals. I like to eat pure vegetarian meal.:D
Lulu: Why don’t you give up eating leaves and plants, they are not half as wonderful as non veg! I am trying all that now. I want you to try it too. Ok…tell me why did you leave eating non-veg Swamiji?
Me: I hope you remember that incident when we were kids. I had seen chickens being killed for our food. That revolted me. The sight changed me from within. I felt pain for the animals that were killed just to serve our taste buds. And over the time my conviction of not eating these foods has only grown.:/
Lulu: You are sensitive and silly, grow up. You are saying as if no one should eat non-veg for philosophical reasons…
Me: I don’t say that. Poor people in Africa, Asia and in other parts of the world whose livelihood depends on them should and must eat. We cannot force poor fishermen to quit eating fish. Their children need proteins to survive. Half the world’s stunted children are born in India. It is because they do not get nutritious food during their childhood. Also the people who are not educated must not be forced to take up vegetarianism. The decision to become vegetarian should come from within.
But the rich and educated should definitely curb their desire. I cannot just believe how you all can eat after killing animals just for the sake of taste. Don’t you feel for a life? Is this human? Is this the true growth of our civilization? Think on it Lulu. Just pause for 30 seconds. Think of it from your heart and not from your “tongue”.
Lulu: How you love to argue and debate! Ahh…I am just remembering those tasty kebabs now…I want to be evil!
Me: Stop kidding…just think for 30 sec now. I am serious, think from this perspective just for a while.:/
Lulu: Well…I agree with you to some extent.. Baigani. But you have half baked knowledge. Doesn’t a plant have life? You eat them happily without any sorrow. Just because they are immobile…it doesn’t make them lifeless. Do you know curd is full of bacteria? Take a microscope and see it. You take so many lives in your daily routine, Mr. You kill mosquitoes, ants and do not feel guilty. Does their small size and short lifespan make their life less precious?
Me: I knew, you will bring up all these arguments. I really do not have answers to it. I only feel that eating corpses of animals doesn’t seem right to me.
Lulu: Haha…you speak so strongly. The imagery of eating dead corpse is so revolting. Dear brother, become a baba ji and go to a higher philosophical level, then give me a proper reason as to why I should be a vegetarian.
Me: Unfortunately, I am not at that level, Sis! And at my current level of spiritual/philosophical advancement, eating animals for the sake of sensory pleasure is nothing short of a criminal offence. And I do not wish to be a party to such offence. Just because a species called Homo Sapiens have evolved and became intelligent doesn’t give them the authority to kill and rule over others.
Lulu: Aha…Baigani and his arguments. You have your own sense of right and wrong kid. It’s good…keep faith in your own beliefs and I will keep in my own. You must be aware that Swami Vivekanand also enjoyed eating non veg.
Me: Listen, I have to sleep…I hope you will not come again to convert me into a non vegetarian. 😦
Lulu: And I hope you will not call me a criminal and so on…
Me: Sorry, in my opinion, you will remain so 😉
Lulu: I will not speak to you, you are a nut case…philosophical fool. Go to hell!
Me: I will prefer going to heaven. i.e. sleep 🙂
Well, we did not talk to each other for a full day and a half. But I had a favour to ask from Lulu so I was the first to break the ice.
Since then we have not brought up this topic of vegetarianism. She is happily into non veg foods, and I am a blissful vegetarian. I am writing this guest blog to infuriate her a bit and with the hope that she might consider giving up her sins…lol…!