August 14th, 2008

boy with dog

Why Spoons?

I have recently switched over to eating idly and vada with hands instead of with a spoon. This has been done for some general cheap thrills, until and unless there are extreme case scenarios where I am unable to wash my hands, which case spoon usage is the only way out.

But whenever I see people eat idli-vada, I notice that they always use spoons without exception, and in most cases it is two spoons, in a manner similar to how people use forks and knives to eat food in the west. I am sure that idly and vada dishes have existed since a long time, which means that it is a recent change that has prompted people to use spoons to cut, dip and eat the idlis and the vadas in the slightly clumsy manner in which they do.

Dosas, which are also staple fare, despite also being served with sambhar and chutney are not eaten using spoons. Its probably because its not convenient for them to be consumed that way, although I have seen peculiar characters who do manage to use knives and forks to eat dosas.

As a teenager, I used to eat with a spoon all the time, and I guess my sister picked up from me as well. I did manage to get myself ridiculed for this habit of mine, but I managed to up the ante thereafter when I mastered the fine art of eating with chopsticks.

I'd start eating lunch with chopsticks and since lunch consisted mainly of rice and some sambhar or dal to go along with it, and some curry, by the time I finished eating my lunch, dinner would be served. Despite eating all that I could, my weight still remains what it was when I was 4 years of age. My width has decreased to give way to an increase in height.

Evolution has resulted in me coming back to square one and eating with my hands again. Somehow, I guess, instinctive behaviour is always the right one.

Also, next time you are at a darshini, do pay attention to the way people eat with two spoons. Just makes you feel more superior when you gorge on food with your hands.