Is life to live, give, or give up? [Food for the mind and the body: Project 365/6]

Food for thought: Living life and ending it

Life is given to us. We earn it by giving it, Rabindranath Tagore says in his compilation of stray thoughts, or as the poet in him would have it, ‘Stray Birds.’

Every day, over the past many days, or even weeks – or is it months – I’ve been following news briefs reporting suicides. I am not talking here of suicides due to dowry harrassment, failure in exams, or debts – the sociological bases and consequences of which are already the concern of researchers. The suicides that I’m concerned about here are of those like Roopa, a 23-year old woman who committed suicide on Sunday [Feb.26, 2012] by hanging herself after a verbal altercation with her husband, a realtor.

Leave alone ‘earning’ the life that has been ‘given’ to us by ‘giving’ in return, it appears that life has become such a burden, or so cheap [and there could be other ways of looking at it]that it is not even considered worth preserving!

Though it may seem morbid, I think these suicides provoked by the simple process of conflict in every day life need to be monitored too, as much suicides by farmers, students, and harrassed women.  So, starting today, I also shall be posting, in food for thought, reports of these suicides that are apparently caused by momentary aberrations that come with the business of living. The question that I would like to ask at the end of the year is: is there a pattern to these suicides too?

Food for the palate: Coriander masiyal

Cook 3 ounces of split red gram till soft. Grind to a paste a 1/4 kilo bunch of fresh coriander leaves with green chillis [the spicier the better, though taste and health considerations are paramount]. Soak a small lime-sized ball of tamarind in 4 ounces of water and squeeze juice. In a pan, heat oil, splutter mustard, a few fenugreek seeds and add ground paste. Baste till raw smell goes. Add cooked gram and tamarind water. Let boil well for about 10-15 minutes, till the masiyal gets thick and smells good. Season generously [this is crucial, not optional] once again, with hot oil, spluttered mustard, 2-3 red chillis and asafoetida. Eat with rice, roti. Best with poori. Also goes with idli or dosa.



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