A nice cozy home. Dim lights. Good food. And a bunch of eclectic set of people – right from someone studying psychology to a photographer to a copywriter to a lifestyle blogger to a semi-retired food enthusiast to a food entrepreneur. All connected by one thing. Each one’s common yet unique relationship to food. What do you think was the event??
Well, when Ms. Harshada Patil of When Women Talk fame approached me courtesy the reference of a friend, solely because I happen to write this blog, I was pleasantly surprised. The event – ‘Thought for food‘ – happened to be just right for all the people gathered there to have a healthy discussion about food and related issues with women, over a potluck and a couple of amazing performances!
The discussion which started with a question – ‘Why are we addicted to something as simple as Lays?’ with varied answers like ‘Because of its taste’ or it’s advertising gimmick – ‘No one can have just one’; quickly shifted to how people face Body Shaming, specially girls.
With girls programmed to understand from a very early age that ‘thin is beautiful’ and media & television not helping much in the case either, it is high time that girls across the globe understand that being thin has no co-relation to being beautiful! The loss of self-esteem and confidence which comes when a supposedly ‘fat’ girl is subjected to immense pressure from family and friends and subsequently her own self and not being able to do so in a short time, leads to girls losing their beauty entirely. As a participant there rightly sighted an anecdote from her own life – something as simple as calling her friend ‘Jadi’ or ‘Moti’ at a very young age, or giving an answer like ‘You are looking just ok. You are still a little fat’, not realizing that the friend hears that everyday from quite a few, it would have affected her sub-consciously so much! We say such things very casually in our everyday lives – but it’s time girls and boys are educated about the fact that each body is different – and so requires a different form of nutrition to stay fit, not thin! Propagate being fit and strong, not being thin and marriage like. Not eating won’t make you thin – your body will only suffer. And the problem of body shaming is not just present amongst the youngsters. It is equally faced by elders, just that they are better at hiding. It’s time women treat their own bodies with respect instead of subjecting it to mindless pressure for external validation; and adopt those practices which make them happy and confident about themselves and consequently their near and dear ones.
The discussion also touched upon the fact that with changing lifestyles and traditions, food is slowly getting an aspiration value attached to it. I remember back in my MBA days when I had such a diverse set of people around me, from a Punjabi who preferred a ‘Makkhan maar ke aloo ka paratha‘ in breakfast to an Indori who preferred ‘Aloo poha with sev‘, food habits are changing slowly. Over the years, instead of understanding the fact that breakfast is the most important meal of the day as it sets you up for the rest of your day – providing you the right energy to keep you fuelled for the coming work, people are more and more turning to fancy food. Oh by the way, I love to start my day with a healthy hot breakfast – each day different! 😀
In between the discussion, we also had a couple of amazing poetry recitations about food – both touching upon two important issues – women always expected to make the food and as already mentioned – body shaming. Fun, frolic, laughter and a healthy discussion is how I would describe the evening which ended with a group pic, of course!
Kudos to Harshada for organizing such an event! I was pretty surprised when she mentioned that it was difficult to find a professional female chef in Ahmedabad, when I had one living earlier with me! Nevertheless, I hope more and more such events are organized where we get to interact with such happy people over my favorite topic – ‘FOOD’ and otherwise as well! 😀 And before I end this article, how can I not mention the amazing food that everyone had bought – we had mirchi ka salan, cheese cake, masala khichdi, manchurian and fried rice, pasta, air fried samosas, choco walnut cake, quinoa salad, green salad, vanilla cake (my bake) and on and on! I can’t even remember all the stuff! The food was yum!