Recently, while booking an airline ticket on a transatlantic flight I was asked if I wanted a Hindu Non-Veg Meal.
Quite frankly, I was aghast. Isn’t this taking food preferences a bit too far?
All I wanted a Non Vegetarian meal . It didn’t matter if it was Hindu or not .
” I don’t really care about the Hindu part , ” I replied ” I just want a Non Vegetarian meal. Can’t I have a continental meal? ”
“I’m afraid madam on this sector it isn’t available ”
Now that was something that made me even more curious. Here I was traveling westward on a European carrier and was told that there was no continental meal available !!! What about the non-Indians, I thought travelling on the plane. Were they going to be subjected to gravies swimming in their plates?
“Then what is available ? ”
“Hindu Vegetarian and Muslim Non Vegetarian.”
“Really ? And what is the difference between the two non-veg options? Does one have beef and the other pork?”
“No ! no! ” protested the girl. “We only serve chicken! ”
“How are they different ?” I persisted.
“In the way they are slaughtered?” she asked tentatively.
In the beginning there was just chicken
This was something new to me. Indeed, it was a far cry from the days when airline food was just airline food. Normally, food served on board was the food of the country of the national carrier. I didn’t matter what the passenger like. Hence you either ate it or starved.
However, with more crowded skies there was a need to encourage passenger loyalty. There came faster planes, wider seats and food that was Vegetarian and non-Vegetarian.
Gradually the menu included vegan, diabetic and other kinds of cuisines.
Now this was something else! Here I was looking to enjoy a good glass of French wine and eating some as-nice-as-it-can-get-on-an-aeroplane, continental food. However, here I had only two options : a Hindu or a Muslim Non-Vegetarian Meal.
“So I’ll make it Hindu Non Vegetarian madam?”
I asked her if there were other options like Christian Non-Vegetarian or Jewish Vegetarian.
Needless to say, she didn’t get the sarcasm!
[Tweet “Have you come across a Hindu Non-Vegetarian meal before?”]
Strange are the ways of the world. My personal belief is that food and religion are totally unrelated. It is health that determines dietary restrictions . Since I don’t judge others for following their beliefs, I wonder why I have to conform to beliefs and practices that aren’t mine.
Am I right or am I wrong? Do share your views in the comments . I’d love to hear from you.