I might as well bite my tongue…

...for there seems to be no other way to taste meat this Ramadhan!
I might as well bite my tongue…

Once again Kashmir's favourite food stuff is playinghide-n-seek and driving the local population to desperation and that too in theHoly month! Eating meat is after all central to all holy days and in factthat's the only thing needed by some people to observe a particular day as aholy day. Indeed the on-going meat crisis is fast assuming alarmingproportions. People are getting desperate and what is more it seems to be badlyaffecting their mental balance as well. Like I had this dream last night thatturned into a terrifying nightmare as it went on… In my dream I was wanderingin this house which looked like my own (one is never sure in a dream!) and inone of the rooms I found a meatball (the delectable rista!) resting temptinglyon a plate on a table. In my haste to grab it I struck against the tabledislodging the meatball which fell down and started rolling. I started runningafter it but it remained out of reach as it kept rolling with an increasingspeed.  The scene shifted from the roomto the street in the blinking of an eye (as usually happens in a dream!). Themeatball kept rolling and I kept chasing it. Very soon it was rolling up-hill(Wonder why gravity never poses any problem in dreams!) and I was still runningafter it. Then a strange thing happened…

 As the meatballcontinued its uphill roll it started increasing in size! (Another discrepancy!Balls, like say snowballs that end up in avalanches, increase in size as theyroll down not as they roll up which they can't do anyway! But then this was ameatball not a snowball and more than that it was just a dream after all!). Iwas pretty breathless by the time the meatball reached the summit where ithalted, balancing precariously. I stopped a couple of feet away gazing at thenow gigantic, house-sized meatball. And then! It started to roll down, headingstraight towards me! Realizing the implications of the collision between myselfand this super-meatball I turned tail and started running downhill for all itwas worth. Only it was more of a tumbling and rolling and falling and skiddinginstead of just running.

The meatball was almost upon me when suddenly I fell into acrevasse and the meatball with a thundering noise rolled away overhead. I gotup timidly surveying myself as well as my surroundings. Thankfully there wereno bones broken because you see in reality I had just fallen off my bed! Indeedthe fall was a lucky one considering that it had saved me from being crushedunderneath the gigantic meatball in my dream and it was a lucky circumstance inreality too, having woken me up from what was becoming an increasinglyterrifying nightmare.

It is not that I am the only one affected. When I related mydream to a friend he drew a cold breath and said, "I myself had a narrow escapethe previous night. I was driving home from my workplace and it was alreadygetting dark. I had just turned a corner when my eyes fell upon this flock ofsheep. Since the road was completely deserted I was tempted to grab one ofthese four-legged mutton crates having been deprived of meat for quite a whilenow. Accordingly I got down from my car and started chasing the 'sheep'.Imagine my surprise (a pretty unpleasant one I assure you!) when instead ofrunning away the 'sheep' held ground and then letting off a volley of barks thedogs (for it was a pack of dogs that I had mistaken for sheep!) started chasingme. I managed a narrow escape though a mean canine did manage to relieve me ofmy left shoe as well as the lower one third of my trouser leg."

An outsider might find this entire hullabaloo about meat,the nightmares, hallucinations and all the stuff inexplicable but not aKashmiri. It is an established fact that unavailability of meat amounts to anational crisis in this land. People become listless and all they can do islament its unavailability and torment themselves as they get nostalgic or startfantasizing about meat.

Meanwhile, some kind-hearted butchers (now that's anoxymoron if ever there was one!) are braving all odds to sell meat to selectcustomers. Of course it means that this vital ingredient comes a tad heavilypriced. But then that is how it is going to be in the days to come becausethere are strong suggestions that meat is playing hide-n-seek, hiding awaybecause it is seeking a higher price for itself. It has happened in the past aswell, in fact this hide-n-seek tournament appears to be an annual event andsometimes even a bi-annual one and history is witness to the fact that theauthorities have always conceded a crushing defeat in these tournaments.Anticipating the same a concerned cardiologist has issued this advisory:Caution! Meat eating has been associated with heart disease but in coming timesmerely buying it might precipitate a heart attack!

(Truth is mostly unpalatable…but truth cannot be ignored!Here we serve the truth, seasoned with salt and pepper and a dash of sauce(iness!). You can record your burps, belches and indigestion, if any, atsnp_ajazbaba@yahoo.com)

Related Stories

No stories found.
Greater Kashmir
www.greaterkashmir.com