Wednesday, June 30, 2010
A Recipe for Redemption
Untrimmed fingernails and a hasty ponytail seem so justified when I walk into The New Lazeez Meat Shop. The people fell silent when I walked in. One kilo. I didn't feel like checking the weights. I frowned when the butcher cut right through the goat's privates. I didn't hear any scream in my head. I just chose to keep looking. It was a split second decision. He cut off the fat as much as possible. Everytime the chopper came down, I closed my eyes. But that was only because of the loud sound that I anticipated. Flecks of flesh flew. Sweaty customers around me, waiting in a makeshift queue. Neat discs of meat in shelves surrounded by dirty flies. Keema? I didn't ask. The chopper came down, again and again. A hollow, black laugh inside my head made a feeble observation. "That's a goat. And so are you." The hand that took the money from me had a ring on the index finger. Faith? Passion or religion? Why did it hesitate? One more experience that forced me to breathe. Later that night I dressed up the truth with onions, tomatoes, bayleaves, ginger, garlic, cardamom and a pinch of salt. Marinated it for 15 minutes and left it to simmer. I was hungry and gobbled it up pretty soon. It wasn't a sin anymore. Just a delicious dinner I had cooked for myself and something I felt like I deserve because I was there with it all along. Or was it just the feel of the flesh against my fingers as I mixed the vegetables with the meat? I guess one shouldn't question the food chain.