An ode to vegetables…

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Behold, thou frail cucumber, be ye eaten cold
Be thee yonder spinach’s brother, or so Popeye has told
Carrots, beets, potaytos, potahtos, minced in veggie stew
All that’s yummy and fills the tummy is…
bah… I can’t do this!!!

Sorry about that… I thought, rather too late, that some people may have mistaken the title of this article to mean this is ACTUALLY an ode to vegetables. I thought maybe I should try and please that segment of the audience, despite how incredibly dumb they are… Sorry, I can’t do it. As you can see, I DID try.

This post is of a more sinister nature, actually… For those of you who’re in the dark, I am a recent survivor of a fever attack; a virus working incognito that had baffled doctors in two major cities before I finally got better. The doctors still don’t have a clue about the identity of the alleged virus. (Personally, I’m calling it The Bourne Viri.) This only frustrated the medical community even further. The way they saw it, they failed to

a) identify how or why I got sick and what the sickness AND
b) explain WHY I got better.

They were pretty grumpy about it in the end. They finally left me with the be-careful-for-a-while-cos-your-body-can’t-handle-it speech.

Doc: No booze.
Me: Check.
Doc: No smokes.
Me: Never was, check.
Doc: No strenuous exerices.
Me: Are you kidding me? Double check
Doc: No non-veg food
Me: ……………….

Doc: I said… no non-veg food… Be vegetarian for a month
Me: Hmm… I don’t think so, doc
Doc: Eh???
Me: I can tell you ‘ok’ now, and I’ll probably mean it too, but it simply WON’T happen.
Doc: ……………….

Me: So what about a compromise of some sort, eh?
Doc: ……………….

Me: Come on… there must be SOMETHING we can come up with…
Doc: Well, try to reduce non-veg consumption???
Me: Hmm… Ok, deal.
Doc: And no red meat… please?
Me: Wokie, doc. Let’s shake on it.

A pretty satisfactory conclusion, I said to myself… Unfortunately, when I’m in Cochin, I am NOT the master of my own life. For the rest of my stay in Cochin, dad and mom took turns blasting my food habits and slackened lifestyle. They didn’t even take cognizance of the fact that I HAD reduced my non veg intake… a bit…When I got back to Bangalore, I thought hey, at least I’m my own master here. As it turns out, I’m not.

My brother, Lewin, resumed the lectures started by my parents back in Cochin. It was as if he was the new guest lecturer taking over from dad. He even began leading by example… he said he’ll be vegetarian for a week as well, a worthy sacrifice to reconcile the differences between Health and Hamish.

Now, Lewin alone, I could handle. After all, there’s only a few years difference between us… and he IS the younger brother… but there was another lecturer in this Let Hamish Eat Grass College of Veggineering… Swetha.

Swetha used to be Lewin’s classmate back when they fought the demons of Information Technology, armed only with pens and rulers. Since both of them are stationed in Bangalore, they frequently stop to recount old war stories (“Remember when you forgot your admit card for the fourth semester ‘IT Protocols’ exam? Ha ha ha.”) and share news. When she heard of my impromptu negotiations with the doctor, she fumed.

Swetha has reason to fume. She’s an all-out vegan of vegetarian descent and vegetarian ambitions. She simply cannot digest the notion of someone not being able to refrain from eating ‘dead animals’ for merely one month. According to Swetha, there is enough variety in Vegetarian cuisines to last a lifetime. For example, she keeps rotating her breakfast between dosa and chutney, chutney and dosa, dosa with LOTS of chutney, chutney with LOTS of dosa, dosa smeared with chutney, dosa with chutney on the side… infinite possibilities, really…

So now I have Lewin and Swetha incessantly attacking my fragile desires for a modest poultry snack. To top that, my parents call from home to a) check on my food intake, and b) applaud Lewin and Swetha’s concern for my health.

It finally became too much… I relented. Drew up a white flag; yielded to superior numbers; called for retreat; withdrew from munching duty; cried like a baby… errr, ok, I’m not that far gone yet…

Stardate October 16, 2007… Vegetarian’s log… On day 5 of a 30 day exile from meat. Vision is blurry. Tongue feels perennially dry… drool is rampant and incessant. I see chickens everywhere. Juicy morsels of dry fried delicacies. So close, and yet… so far….

Everybody looks edible…

If you happen to have a habit of walking around with a bottle of ketchup in hand, now is NOT a good time to walk into my line of sight…

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10 Responses

  1. Bharath says:


    Considering the lectures you received so far (which, by the way, are becuasr your brother and your friend are interested in you living for 171 years blah-blah, and NOT that the world is conspiring against you…..that happens to me), I am thinking….can I join in the no non-veg lecture?


  2. Hammy says:

    Sorry, dude…

    I do not condone the no non-veg lectures, and I will NOT allow it to spread. The happy non-veg munchers shall munch on without the Hamish Intervention. This is the mission statement… You have wasted your extra ‘e’s in your ‘please’ for nothing…

  3. Peripherial Thoughts And Feelings says:

    shameles donkey i had told you to reduce your consumption of meat, of poor helpless, harmless, head-less chickens and thier brother and sister species, but no!! why wud u listen to me ? , and so this gr8 veggie friend of yours [ points to herself ] is now praying that this month long sojourn of yours may help you wash off some sins that you and your paunch have accumulated from eating poor chickens and thier relatives ….

    ok that was pure shit, but seriously goin veggie isnt that bad, trust me i have been veggie for what now 20 proud years…

    psst:- u dont go green after consuming vegetables, if you are scared of that happening 😉 till then enjoy being a veggie [ snickers]

  4. Hammy says:

    Looks like neither your thoughts nor your feelings are really peripheral by any means…

    You have been veggie for 20 proud years. Good for you… but it’s not my cup of tea… (Not saying my tea is non vegetarian. no. my tea is completely vegetarian… unless you count that most sugar is processed via bones to get the white feel to it… but that’s another story…)

  5. silverine says:

    For example, she keeps rotating her breakfast between dosa …. dosa with chutney on the side…

    lol!!! I think the doc was bribed by your bro and his veggie friend!! :p

  6. Hammy says:

    That is certainly food for thought… and completely vegetarian food for thought too, to add insult to injury. But you may be right. I’ve always known I was the victim of a mass conspiracy. At least that’s MY theory on why I didn’t become a multi-billionaire by age 21.

  7. Arun Jose says:

    Man! First of all, my Condolence! ;-)) (Pazhutha Ila, Pacha Ila story…)
    And as usual, it was an awesome piece… Could not stop laughing seeing the last sentence about someone walking around with ketchup… :-))

  8. Suzanna says:

    cool blogging, dude.
    and i like your template too…

  9. djinx says:

    i see, this was the reason i missed you spotting online.

    how successful is your vegetarian diet so far? i safely predict 50% rate. :-p

    now pal, try not to get sick again, unless you want your parents to follow up on their agenda for your matrimony. 😉 beware, i’m citing from a living example (my brother’s life).

  10. Hammy says:


    Hope you are not as jinxed as your name proclaims… cos you paint a MEAN scary picture….


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