ABCD is a colloquial term for American Born Confused Desi. Anyone who is ‘ phoren return’ will proudly attest the above fact.
But in India, I find more Indian Born American Desis
( iBAD, if I may :-).
We have taken the Americanisation of our own culture so seriously that it is almost impossible to keep away from western influence and still sound cool.
This is most evident in the kind of food we enjoy.
I am not talking about the taste of the food, but its ‘cool quotient’.
In general, a trip to KFC/ Burger King/ Pizza Hut/ McDonald’s/ Subway/ Starbucks attracts far more Instagram hashtags than a stroll to Yewale chai/ Ganesh Bhel/ various Biryani houses or Chole Kulche and Kabab joints.
Deep down, we may devour the medley of flavours that seduce our tongue, ending with finger licking satisfaction.
But we still don’t find it fashionable to flaunt the love for desi cuisine.
Indian food is still to gain the ‘ #foodstagram‘ status in our minds.
But here is some food for thought, if you plan to read further.
India has always been blessed with fertile land. Till date, India, the agricultural nation, manages to feed at least one-fifth of the world’s population single-handedly. History says that there were days when spices were exchanged with gold, by traders from the west. We have a tongue-numbing variety of cuisines. From South Indian to Moghlai, to North Indian, to fish and rice of the East and Dhokla, and Wada Pav from the West.
Food is the identity of Indian states.
People bond over delicious meals.
We have turned cooking food into fine art. There are so many ingredients, flavours, combinations, cooking methods to work with that Indian meal preparation is not just a chore. It’s like painting a new masterpiece in the kitchen every day.
It is not just a means of providing nutrition to the body. Or a product for to meet sales targets. Food in India has evolved into a sentiment. It is an outcome of years of evolution.
Compare that to the fast food system. Like most things of the industrialised world, their food production too follows an assembly line format. It is meant to fulfil a ‘ market demand’ at the highest profit margin at more or less ‘whatever’ the ethical/ quantitative cost to the corporation.
So this food is simple, xyz combination of things between two slices of bread, of various kind. A dough flatbread topped with assorted ingredients cooked in a clay oven. Deep fried anything with some salad and sauce. Their focus is to provide the identical taste world over. A whole media machinery is at work behind the scenes to make that sound cool and healthy.
Look at a simple Indian thali. It has at least 3-4 different kinds of preparations. Each has its own nutritive value, flavour, and important in digestive chemistry too..! its baffling to not be proud of this!
The notion of ‘non-veg‘ being superior to ‘veg’. It’s silly.
I will not say that the westerners have just been lazy. A lot of European countries are too small to have the land for growing their own food. Or too cold for farming. Hence their bias towards non-vegetarian food.
But we as gullible humans think that spending money on ‘ vegetarian food’ is a waste. Or being vegetarian is only cool if you call it ‘Vegan’ and flaunt it at the drop of a hat.
The fact is, that Indians are spoilt for choices when it comes to cuisine. And inadvertently, we always end up choosing the ‘greener grass’ from the other side.
Thanks for sticking around.
Would love to know what you think.