Thursday, April 2, 2015

'B' for Beef. A to Z Challenge Day 2.

When I first thought of this post, 'B' most certainly was for bread, for baking.. for who can resist the aroma of fresh baked bread?
But the recent ban of beef in Maharashtra changed it all.
The more I think about it, the more irked I get.
I lived in Pune, Maharashtra for the five years of my college life. I practically lived on beef. When I could afford it. You see, we lived those years on a dwindling budget. The beginning of the month saw us eating at cheap restaurants and by the end of the month we were reduced to one meal  a day of maggie noodles or eggs and bread. As one friend lamented, "We have two menus in college. You can have bread and eggs or you can have eggs and bread!"
Oh yes, those were the best years of my life. I also discovered beef. I say 'discovered' because although I had eaten beef often enough, it had always been in the sterile atmosphere of the Clubs in Calcutta in the form of steaks and the like. I had never cooked it, much less roamed the dingy meat markets to buy it! Beef is a very versatile meat. It can be cooked it many ways and it was the cheapest meat going around. With boneless beef priced at 16 rupees a kg while chicken was 35 and mutton 48, the thought of cooking chicken or mutton never crossed our minds!
And when we had our birthday money or our family members visited or we were celebrating, guess where we went? "The Place" and "Zamu's" for the yummiest steaks  and  "Jaws" for juicy beef burgers! 

So when I heard beef has been banned in Maharashtra, I felt saddened.
I just don't understand the reasons for such a ban. I'm sure there are many. Do they hold water?
One, I am sure, is faith. The bottom line is that I do believe that everyone should be allowed to exercise their freedom of choice when it comes to the food they are eating, no matter what their religious inclination is, or isn't. Beef is a meat consumed not only by Muslims and Christians in India but also Hindus. My father, who was one such Hindu, was of the opinion that the kitchen has no manner of association with the puja room. As a result, we were never told that we should never eat something or the other. Not for religion...

I wonder what the stats will be like. I wonder how many students, like me, lived on the meat because it was easily available and cheap. I wonder how many livelihoods have been affected. How many small eating joints will have to shut down and sell 'vada-pao' instead? Not that I have anything against 'vada-pao', but who wants a bun with a potato ball and mint chutney when you are in the mood for a juicy burger with cheese and mayo?

P.S. I found this article today, that is 3rd April and feel I have to share the link here. So relevant, so true.


  1. Beef!
    I'm a diehard non-vegetarian and beef was like a Sunday lunch necessity!
    Your post opened up a new thread of thought in my mind..(y)

    Fellow #AtoZChallenge blogger
    Mithila @Fabulus1710

    1. Thanks! If you ever wanna spice up your beef maybe I could share some recipe ideas!

  2. For most times, I am a vegetarian so I am not really affected by this ban. However, I do know that banning something is the surest way to encourage more consumption. It happens with any and every product. A timely and topical post. Happy A2Z!

  3. Those were the days! I just can't imagine being in Pune and not having beef - Jaws for the burgers (yeah, tongue roll too), Eddie's Kitchen - smoked beef with lettuce and the occasional saturday night 'steak' treat and The Place.
    First they ban beef eating and now you can't even read about it as the page at First post has been removed.

  4. Yeah, remember all those meals we shared! ? And yes, that drive to camp in the pouring rain for tongue sandwiches? ;) happy memories. Try this link again, maybe something wrong with that one there: