Asit Kumar Sanyal
One Family Thirteen Chullhas - Poem by Asit Kumar Sanyal
I am Bengali Bramhin …
Not from south or north India
I own the traditional culture of Bengal
where no Bengali is vegan
Only widows take veg. food
for keeping their sex in control.
From childhood I have seen
Four chullhas in our family kitchen
Two coal-feed, two wood-feed
One chullha for veg, one for non-veg
One was specially for grandmother (widow)
And fourth one for puja purpose.
There were two portable chullhas too
One coal-feed and one wood-feed
One pumping stove we had for emergency
Grandmother also had a janta stove
In her room for personal use.
There was a wood-chullha
At one corner of our courtyard
For preparation of chicken and birds
Mutton was permitted to enter in the kitchen
But chicken and birds not.
There were two special chullhas
In a separate room
For preparation of fry-rice,
Making laddoos and special items
And two chullhas were kept in store
For the occasional use by firm workers
From the tribals and Muslims.
There were different sets of utensils
For veg, non-veg, lower classes and Muslims
Week days also were specified
For veg and non-veg food
Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday
Was fixed as vegetarian day
on which even onion was restricted
It was punishable for eating non-veg
On the vegetarian day
And special wash was mandatory
If veg utensils would touch the non-veg one.
Many times I got punishment
For this activity.
Later on I wanted to overcome it
So I became vegan, broke all the chullhas,
Brought LPG gas and a four-stove oven
Now I am happy. I felt from inside …
Eating non-veg food is an addiction
Just like smoking, drinking and having sex.
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