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|Curry Goat and Calypso (standard:travel stories, 2432 words)|
|Author: Juggernaut||Added: Feb 17 2008||Views/Reads: 2073/1341||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|The story is about a person that born into a brahmin family in south India always want to experience eating meat (which is prohibited in south Indian brahmin caste). Later on he travels to Trinidad, an island in the Caribbean to pursue Ph.D., in the proce|
Curry Goat and Calypso By Subba Rao Juggernaut family hardly went out for a dinner from fear that the restaurants in their town used the same utensils for cooking both the vegetable and meat dishes, though these were served separately. Or the cook my not be a Brahmin or at least a Hindu. Some restaurants specialized exclusively in meat dishes. These were called military restaurants, perhaps because most military men ate meat, and the message was for general patrons to expect meat dishes in the restaurants. The word non-vegetarian was too sophisticated for common folks then. On the way to school, Juggernaut walked pass a military restaurant on Main Street but never gathered enough courage to enter because of the fear of being recognized as a Brahmin, as much as he wanted to taste a meat dish. He was not even sure what dish to order--chicken, goat, or lamb. In his early teens, he visited a nearby town with his family to attend a relative's wedding. While everybody was busy watching the wedding, he slipped quietly onto the main street and wandered around, looking for a military restaurant. The one he found was not fancy, but it would be safe to order the untouchable dish. The restaurant had no menu or any thing like that. A shabby looking man came to his table and almost screamed a list of items to choose from. Confused, Juggernaut ordered the last one the server mentioned, which sounded something like “liver curry.” The dish tasted so terrible, he hurriedly left after paying the bill. On reaching the wedding ceremony, he thoroughly washed his mouth several times so that nobody could smell it. On occasions, Young Juggernaut clowned around his paternal grandmother pretending as if eating meat dishes, muttering various animal names. She would close her both ears saying ‘Rama' ‘Rama,'. ‘Rama,' is one of the incarnations of Hindu gods. In later years, he moved to the neighboring Province of Orissa for higher education. The last names Panda, Misra, and Acharya are common last names of Brahmins in that region. Juggernaut, coming from a neighboring Province with a last name that gave no clue to the locals to guess his caste, except they knew he was from the South. This anonymous caste status presented him with opportunities to expand his eating habits, particularly trying the forbidden meat. During the first few days of dining at the college cafeteria, he noticed to his pleasant surprise and delight that the some Brahmins in Orissa, unlike many South Indian Brahmins ate meat and fish. His classmate, Vijayanand Misra, a Brahmin, sat next to him on several occasions and ate meat and fish. A few days later, Juggernaut engineered a kind of coupe to overcome his fear and at last ordered lamb curry in the college cafeteria when very few students were around. The meat was rubbery and hard to swallow, the taste of the spices was overwhelming. After chewing the meat like a cow ruminate its food, he somehow swallowed it. The dish had more bones and gravy than meat; the restaurants made more money this way. He went back to dormitory with a feeling of excitement for breaking a long-standing tradition. In the early seventies, Juggernaut got a fellowship to pursue graduate studies in Trinidad, a small island the in the Southern most part of the Caribbean, very close to South America. Very few people in India have heard about Trinidad. Most of his colleagues at the college where he was teaching discouraged him from going there. Some even frightened him of possible drowning along with the whole island after a hurricane since the size of the country appears so small on the map. The people of India are not explorers. For the most part, they were either conquered in their own country or extreme poverty drove some to other parts of the world. Juggernaut didn't read much about Trinidad before he left hometown. On arrival, he was surprised to find many Indians. These Indians are descended of those that came in late 1800's and early 1900's from India, as agricultural laborers to work in sugarcane fields. They are referred to here as East Indians, perhaps to distinguish them from the few native Carib Indians still living. For the first few months, he boarded at Mrs. Lakhan's home near the University campus. She was an Click here to read the rest of this story (164 more lines)
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