Days change, weeks do and even Seasons do, but the one thing that never wished the same was my tongue. The 4 inch long thing comfortably resting in my buccal cavity often peeked outside to complain whenever it felt a change of taste. Ranging from the famous ‘Sweet Land Bholis’ to the spicy thattukada Puttu, it had the essence of a ‘spicy’ life time. Yes! It grew well, discerning the churning mixtures of Kerala’s finest spices and condiments. Till my late teens my tongue learned about a melange of south Indian dishes. Born in an orthodox Vegetarian family, my kin tried with utter wariness not to harm the animals. Considered sacred, we just munched the leaves of plants with such ravishment and nourishment relishing it with great zeal. My stomach, a tiny little thing (who never wished to grow, saving me from great efforts not to stand with my back upright in photos, not to expose his ugly protuberance) was very contented with what my tongue passed on.
Things were fine till my college days, when the whole digestive system enjoyed the occasional inputs of what I gave them, morning breakfast consisting of a wide variety of homemade dishes encompassing the dining table either with white circular dosas, neatly stacked on an aluminium plate with mustard oil dripping from its pores, or a bowlful of puris lying on top of each other, showing their great bellies boasting about the wheat content in them. Lunch was a great deal for my tongue. He eagerly waited for the stomach to ring the ‘Hunger Bells’ sounding the warning of a prospective acid flow making the lethargic me walk to the College food court. He knew I served him numerous bowls of tangy dishes comprising of bubbly sambhar to loose rasam with one or two ladies finger floating on it (oops, sorry I din mean it literally , Okra was called ladies finger in India, I still don’t get the etymology behind it ).
South India, famous for its wide variety of dishes, my poor stomach was never at rest. I think it had a huge factory built in there ready to grab every chunk of food passed through my alimentary canal mixing it with copious amounts of intestinal and pancreatic juices. Well! Digestion was well taken care of lol…. With Exceptional gastric problems and unbearable stomach aches my system functioned quite well, even during my short vacations. Well! Things had to change and my tongue knew that he can’t have his great companions, his taste buds along with him forever. Adaptability and Adjustability were the two abilities that my tongue learned new, when I started my Career in a software company in Mysore, a picturesque town in southern Karnataka. Things seemed different when my tongue meticulously figured out things are quite different than he had anticipated, my tongue witnessed famous ‘sweet’ Kannada Sambhar, tangyyyyy Andhra Biriyani, and of course ‘Balle Balle’ Pani Puris to the mouth-watering Delhi Durbar Delicacies. Hmmm He had to finally give in to whatever food I bought.
My poor stomach on the other hand had to install a new biological clock for my body. He did not get timely foods which were pertained to the heavy training sessions in the company. He used to instigate my hunger and anger by his assiduous nature producing more acid. Perhaps God saw his mishap and granted him a boon which made me shift to my home town after finishing my training. Both tongue and stomach heaved a sigh of relief and thought, finally their ‘happily ever after’ was coming true! But to their dismay, I had to relocate again due to inevitable backache and to pursue a new career.
This time, it was an International trip; crossing the seven seas and climbing many tortuous mountains, I finally reached America lol… My poor tongue took some time to get accustomed to the wide variety of dishes my eyes saw. Hmmm People say all roads lead to Rome. With the same insight I too tried Mexican, Chinese, Italian and American food. Yeah all food lead to stomach lol…My mouth started to pronounce Parmesan, Cheddar and Mozzarella with great ease, while my tongue erased ‘Idli’, ‘Pongal’ and ‘Dosa’ from its lexicon. Lettuce was a new leafy vegetable my stomach learned about and He knew that Cilantro was nothing but Coriander. After all, genetics taught us that we adapt easily, and we are adept at it. The only loathsome vegetable that my tongue fussed about was ‘Broccoli’ . According to my tongue, it had no taste, bland and flavourless. Thus my tongue had tasted the variegated food in short span and it finally learnt that mustard and custard are not the only food in this world!!!
After all, you eat to live and not live to eat lol…..