Friday, October 14, 2011
Article first published as Religious Eating! on Technorati.
Indian people have certain religious rituals associated with eating. But due to resurgence of modern times and thinking people are getting secretive about such rituals.
The crux of religious eating is simple to decipher. Just before embarking on your dish you think of God and thank Him for being so kind to provide such benefits.
I witnessed my grandfather doing those rituals elaborately whenever and wherever I had the privilege of having meals with him. He would always sit on the floor and make a circle of water drops around his plate of rice and other items. Then he would offer grains of cooked food on the water drops at the central point. This simply meant he was offering to God whatever he had access to eat. I used to wait eagerly for the rituals and enjoyed a lot. Everyone present started eating just when he was ready.
These rituals are disappearing fast with the onset of modern lifestyle and people who know are becoming secretive lest others laugh at them.
Once having a dinner on transit at a railway canteen I accidentally saw one middle-aged person sitting on a table in front of me moving his hand around the rice plate and touching his forehead. He repeated this several times looking suspiciously around and in the process he discovered me staring at him—to his horror and mine too.
I instantly withdrew my look and concentrated my attention on my food knowing fully well that the person would keep on looking at me before he really ate. In a deliberative mood I started telling my wife about it cautioning her not look that side as if we were discussing some investment plans. I sensed that though the man started eating finally he still paid furtive glances at me trying to make out if I was making a joke about it.
If you are so noble and want to pray to God before having your meal why be secretive about it? I wonder!
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