Sunday, November 13, 2011

When vegetables went on a strike

When vegetables went on a strike

(To Vishnu Sharma, creator of Panchatantra
& his disciples: Aesop, Fontaine and Borges) 

Using kickbacks and foxy, crowy, mousy, doggy diplomacy
the chicken, goats, lambs and meat-producing cattle union 
got a bill passed, which institutes special culinary laws
prohibiting the use of "only vegetables" in any dish. 

"The dying wish of every meaty-bone, fattened comrade
is to go glamorously on a gourmet plate.
It is said that the soul of a brother is never at ease
if its meat is not eaten, or eaten with too much peas."

"But think of a purely vegetarian platter! We'd live rather than die. 
Its insulting to be overlooked, while the lowest caste of the living get picked!
If the absence of a bloody sacrifice attracts diners to their vegi-curries,
our corporate propagandists must spread 'lack of protein' worries.” 


All the vegetarian cattle expressed their support for this move,
"We must be the priority, as long as the roots move less than the hoofs."
Parleys were held, dynamics of proteins was discussed in conferences,
slogans of "Meat is good, Good is meat" appeared as research inferences.

Imagine the politics of taste. Odysseus rose to praise the roasts,
and toasts were styled and rhymed like Goddess Kali's prayer,     
Buddhist non-violence was asked to abdicate power over platters
and tandoori ovens were worshipped the world over. 

Then okra, cauliflower, cabbage, gourd and pumpkin began
a nationwide campaign for the vegetarian nation.
They were soon joined in by the Culinary Institute for Cole Slaw,
Salad is Sensuous Association (SISA) and the ghost of GB Shaw.

"Nature gave humans neither claws nor canine teeth, 
and their stomach is not designed to live on just meat,
without roughage or fiber, the toilets will go out of use,
and constipated ideas cannot be rescued by any Muse.'


Fruits and flowers decided to stay away from these protests,
and near-extinction, carnivorous beasts tried to get some press.
Then hens and sheep met the representatives from the sea,
while the fish supported them, shrimps and crabs sought amnesty.

Then the cereals called a strike – bandh: "We too feel repressed,
always on the plate, but never as the main dish, 
we are like the MPs without the ministerial office."
Some vegan voices chimed in, but these were soon suppressed.

Then peppers, zucchini, asparagus, lettuce, shifted camps,
announced: "We no longer support the vege-tramps.
Bah! Who eats okra or beans or cabbage or gourd or pumpkin,
except the penniless pagans with non-Western idioms of sin?"

Mushrooms underwent an existential angst. "We are rooted, but color
of our skin is our undoing. We can hallucinate the best of men,
but we fail to synthesize food from sunlight. Everything decays or
is eaten, by humans or us. But we are the devourers more ubiquitous."


Then potatoes, yes potatoes, and tomatoes, yes them tomatoes,
organized with chillis, basil, spices, oil-producing plants and nuts,
a hyperspace of boycott, a non-alignment movement, the middle guts
of truly wise, arguing no matter who is eaten, everyone is put to knife.

The slogan "No matter who is eaten, everyone is put to knife"
soon rose as a gloat from every living thing. As the lament spread,
death became a living threat, and chicken and cattle sighed,
"We wanted a vain status – a vice! Its better to just survive."

Only a sage with divyadrishti and vivek could follow this talk.
Divyadrishti: transcelestial vision & vivek: transcelebral acumen --
acquired by study, right karma & yoga, enriched the Sage
with knowledge of those idioms and ideas that never hit the page.

The Sage addressed all living species with his trans-celestial powers,
"All die, all disappear, but we all carry the seed of immortality within,
that life-force creates more like us. Every seed is first just pollen – dust,
all creatures begin as eggs or babies. Live fully now, that is all there is."

The toady, mousy, cattle crowed in unison, "O holy person,
we know this, "No matter who is eaten, everyone is put to knife,
and know this how can we live fully now? Tell us what awaits us,
in our after-knife? What does live fully now mean? Ah is life only strife?"

Every capillary of the plants, every veins and every mane of animals dilated
each organism initiated the biochemical mechanisms for absorbing information,
the Sage composed with practiced slowness, to match the kinetics of osmosis,
and after the living world subconsciously prepared itself, the fasting Sage stated:

"All atoms and molecules, kindness and ridicule, and every emotion, insult,
ionic content, electrostatics, life functions, the chaotic loves, instinctive antics,
the nonlinear dynamics of sex, the philosophy of universal acts and results
are dictated by misunderstood religion and science. But forget what I just said.

Now listen: To live fully now is our manifest destiny, to die is to bring closure,
what value would breath, beauty, food, babies hold for us, if nobody died?
If nobody ever aged, why would we value what stages and seasons we see?
if nothing changed, our existence would be gargoyle-like wait for eternity!

Everything reruns, in new rhythms, in new colors, before changed eyes.
The audit of a good or bad life, is neither made on earth nor in skies.
The answers are within, the force & the source is within, Tat tvam asi: Thou art that." 
All living beings heard his words, few understood, but all concurred, "Knife is good".