The narrow lanes at Old Delhi witness the delicious looking, perfectly marinated chicken and mutton hanging from its seekh, waiting to be barbequed. The street lights sparkle on the iron rods when the tikka simmers on the charcoal, and in a brief moment, the vendor slides it onto that silver plastic plate and serves it with the green chutney and onion. That’s my Delhi. People from all over the world come to Delhi for its street food and there’s no argument about that. But imagine a Delhi without its kebabs. Tough, right? Just think about it, anyway. When you take a walk on that same Old Delhi lanes, you witness a different sight altogether. The one missing tangri kebabs and mutton seekhs. The one without your favourite food on display.
A Sunday Without Chicken Tikkas
If you are a big-time foodie, just like me, you not only love the food you eat, but you probably love everything about it. The taste, of course, is of foremost importance, but what adds to a delicious meal is the presentation and the beautiful, beautiful smell it has. Tell me if you think I am wrong.
So, imagine my suprise (read – shock) when I walked through my favourite street food lane on Sunday, only to find that the meat was now hanged till death and the paneer tikkas and soya chaaps had replaced it. I mean I don’t want to look at the same old paneer tikka with different kinds of capsicum, which BTW, can’t even stick to the seekh properly! All I want to see is my beloved mutton fitting perfectly and effortlessly on the seekh.
Honestly, the display of non-veg food never really caught my eye – not until the news of its ban started making rounds of the internet. Apparently, it’s no longer okay for meat to be displayed out in the open. You often take things for granted and they almost seem mundane, until one day that you have to get used to living without it, and it seems too hard. Well, so is the curious case of the missing tangri kebabs and mutton seekhs in Delhi.
The Ridiculous Reason
Now, if you are a vegetarian, you probably don’t care about all this at all, but if you are a non-vegetarian, you know exactly how I feel. I don’t mean to offend anyone here, but when I started reading up on why this ban was imposed in Delhi, the reason really shocked me. In my head, I thought it must be because of the basic hygiene issue – you know, now that Delhi has become a chimney. But no, of course, I was wrong. The reason behind this ban was that hanging non-vegetarian food was hurting the vegetarians’ sentiments. You’ve got to be kidding me!
Do Vegetarians Really Care?
I take my words back. If you are a vegetarian, you probably care more about chicken and mutton hanging outside at a restaurant than non-vegetarians themselves, or maybe not. I know people in my circle who are completely okay with me eating non-veg food on the same table as them. But seriously, who are these people, who can’t let the poor Chawla’s and Tikka Points hang the succulent, delicious looking meat outside their outlets to entice customers?
I am pretty sure, the ban isn’t acted upon by many restaurants and street food stalls and there are places where I will still find my same old tangri kebabs and mutton seekhs hanging. But honestly, the whole thing seems ridiculous to me. Soon there will be a time when they’ll probably ban selling non-veg food too. Where are we headed with this development? Only time can tell. Until then, I am just wondering, when am I getting my chicken tikkas back?
News credit : Indiatimes