A long time ago we guys had to go all the way to Thrissur, a town 40 kms away from my home to indulge in that once in a month exercise of painting the town red. We used to find an excuse to do it and mine was to give my mobike for service as the nearest authorized Hero Honda service center was in Thrissur. I used to hand pick one of my dearest friends, bunk classes and set off to Thrissur early in the morning so that we could give the bike for service early and then wander here and there, shop, watch movies, eat something really nice at a good restaurant and smoke in the open without worrying about anyone finding out. I never used to miss this monthly â€œlifetimeâ€ opportunity and used to make use of the day to the utmost extent.
My dear friend Amjad used to accompany me on almost all those Thrissur town expeditions as he was well versed with the placeâ€™s geography, smarter than me in riding through the city traffic, managed to get tickets for all the new movies, knew all the good restaurants and what to eat etc. But on one particular day, Amjad was fasting as it was the holy month of Ramadan. At lunch time, I didnâ€™t want to let go of the rare opportunity and wanted to hog on something tasty and heavy. Even though I had all respect for Amjadâ€™s situation, I was like â€œwhy should I also go through the same thing; as fasting was his own personal choiceâ€.
Poor Amjad had to sit with me through out my heavy non-vegetarian meal without him even able to drink a drop of water. Later that night I couldnâ€™t sleep properly as I felt really bad that I was so insensitive towards him. Even though I didnâ€™t have to join him in the fast, I could have just satisfied my hunger by having something insignificant. I considered my act to be the most terrible thing ever and I promised myself that I would never show such an act of insensitivity to anyone – ever.
This has always been in my head after that day and once I actually shouted at an elderly person who was talking about the tasty chicken biryani he had for lunch in front of someone who was just recovering from a stomach surgery. I was also awed at my friend and his family when they stopped eating non vegetarian completely for the reason that their aunt was not well and couldnâ€™t consume anything solid. I donâ€™t think I would have been able to do that myself.
Today Iâ€™m on my month long Sabarimala abstinence and my parents have also decided to join me in refraining from having non-vegetarian food. By godâ€™s grace Iâ€™m also able to hold back any kind of craving of sorts. I definitely cant expect everyone near me to go vegetarian for the only reason that Iâ€™ve chosen to do so, but when my near and dear talk about having non-vegetarian food, choose to eat it in front of me and then tease me by highlighting its fantastic taste etc. I remember Amjad and I understand how bad he would have felt when I did the same to him years ago. I donâ€™t know if he remembers the incident but whatever it is Iâ€™m sorry, Amju and I mean it.