So here’s the thing:
Women don't feel hungry.
One hears, in fact,
That among some
The culture of skipping tea and breakfast,
And going straight for brunch,
Look at my grandmother, for example,
In that day and age too
She must have been so obsessive about her figure that
Despite having cooked pots of food
For a joint family of many,
She and other women of the household
Would only have starch water.
Just as in clothes, in food, as well,
Women want to have something "different",
Compared to what the rest of the family has.
It is not unusual
To find on their plates
These varied styles:
Un-round, burnt rotis
Residual potatoes of the potato-pea curry . . .
Why on earth did they then nag their husbands
To bring the veggies
They never planned on having themselves?
Take my word for it,
All that attracts them
Are those advertised
Fingerlickin’ goods on TV.
They even mix with the family’s ration
The extra grain they get from the government
During their pregnancy.
Neither local or international news
Can hold their interest.
The only question they want their men to answer is:
“What should I cook today?”
(If men made a joke
On having to eat bhindi every day,
Or got a little pissed
And threw around
A few plates,
Does that mean
They have no concern in the world,
Apart from food?)
Come to think of it,
It may not be a bad thing,
That women do not feel hungry.
Because when they are hungry,
They become witches.
Depending on their religion,
They start feasting on infants,
Hogging young, juicy hearts,
Or going straight for the kill
And gulping down warm blood.
Those who call themselves intellectuals,
And criticise religion,
Do not comprehend -
Much intelligence has been invested
To safeguard people
Against this all-consuming hunger of women,
Religion has made rules
Requiring women to fast regularly.
They are able to grow indifferent
In case anyone asks,
They are always able to reply,
“No, I am not hungry at all.”
First published in The Daily Geba/Foods Politics and Cultures Project, Nov 2017.