My introduction to beef, was something when even I didn't know what it is. I remember once in a conversation when I said, I don't eat beef and my mom broke the suspense.
It seems I was 3 year old or so when my mom and my uncle who was in military were traveling from Pune to Tiruvalla in Jayanti Janata Express. This train and the journey I think I always remember because it was right from my baby time till my high school days journey to meet grandma was always fun.
But this trip I don't even know unless my mom described it to me. My mom and her brother were going to meet their dad - my grandpa who was unwell and serious. There was a passenger on the next berth a catholic christian lady who was carrying her dinner with her. As a natural human behavior in India - we share whether we know the person or not - its a mannerism to ask at least the neighbor before eating yourself. Yes, that was the India I grew up. The lady offered the dinner to my mom - don't you want to know what was the dinner?
It was beef fry and parotta (kerala parotta) - my mom a pure vegetarian who doesn't even eat egg for that reason refused and said I don't eat and she made faces to my uncle. Yes, my mom always shows a vomiting face or as if she will vomit when we talk about beef :-) ...!
The lady offered to my uncle as military men are considered tough and eat anything and everything .. thats an assumption. After couple of refuses still the lady requested saying, you should not have any problem have it, I just made before leaving home.
My uncle couldn't refuse it and hence he took it and one by one he fed me the beef pieces. I don't remember any of this. But even before I could know anything I ate beef.
I am sure after that no one tried to feed me beef. But being in NDA, Pune luckily our neighbors used to be from Kerala and they used to be Christians. Now one think is a must to know that Kerala Beef Curry or Fry is very famous and ONLY Kerala Christians can make it so good and tasty.
Our neighbors used to know that we don't cook beef. Though mom is vegetarian she always cooked chicken, mutton and fish for dad. Thankfully, I grew up with parents who are totally opposite in many things and hence I feel proud that I got the best of both the world.
Dad never wanted his kids to be vegetarian like mom, because his teaching to us is no matter where you go in the world, you should not be tied up to a ritual or policy specially in the matter of food. I still remember dad feeding me fish, chicken and mutton explaining the importance of it and removing those thorns and bones away so I can enjoy the meat.
Our neighbors whenever they cooked beef, they would share it with us. I remember those Sundays very well where mom will say with a weird and ugly face, "for you guys there is beef so I am not cooking anything as I have my bitter gourd which I will eat with chappati".
I still love remembering those conversations. The thrill it used to bring to us and I used to tell my mom, that she is losing lot of good things in life. My mom was raised that way and hence I can understand. But since my neighbors shared their cooking, I never cooked beef until I married a guy who cooks equally good beef.
Nature has its ways to provide nutrients to us whether its through plants or animals - some things should be left alone to nature.
As I resume this post, dinner is ready on the table and today it is beef fry and chappati ...the name itself making me hungry...will be back later until then let me enjoy my dinner!!!
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