“ Aloo, Can I help you?”, the receptionist enquired.
“Er yes.. Can you can direct me to the Non-Non Vegetarian Group Inc. head office”, he answered wondering if that was a jibe at him.
The newspaper ad was short. “Beet the meat in 2 days.Free.”
The line was corny, but he wanted to turn vegetarian for quite some time. Junk food had caused his body all sorts of problems, and he believed vegetables could root this ale’ment and cleanse his system. But he didn’t want to compromise on the taste quotient by eating boiled veggies. He wanted the body like the Hulk; but not by drinking juices of the same color.
He was escorted to a room where he was told to keep out all leather products. Apparently they wanted to cleanse you from animal dependence from the outside as well. There weren’t any other customers to be seen. He wondered why people didn’t turnip for this offer as he was led into a glass cabin.
The cabin was filled with vegetables and herbs. Just as he looked around, the door was bolted shut.
Still confused, he tapped at the glass door, thinking it was a mistake. Sala bakra chodne aaya tha, mujhko hi bakra bana diya.
Two doctors greeted him from outside the cabin.
“Hi. Don’t worry. The door is just jammed. I’ll just ask the security to open it. I am Dr. Jean Cabaye and this is my assistant, friend and brocholli.”
“Its Kohli”, the assistant mutter'ed.
“Oh hi. I thought you will be experimenting on me in this cabin? Like I am some kind of lab rat?”
“No. No. No. Rats do eat meat, sometimes even other rats”, he said, trying to provide some quantum of solace to his customer.
“Haha..Anyways what’s the deal here? I didn’t quite understand what’s the routine?”-he asked impatiently.
“Nothing,nothing. We will inject you with one of my inventions which will prevent you from having any non veg items.
“Prevent? I hope this is safe. Mereko toh tere se dar lag raha hai sabji”- he blurted out to the Doctor.
“Tomato wohi keh raha hoon. Don’t worry”- assured the assistant.
The serum would change his system in a way that having meat would hurt his stomach. The enzymes secreted by your digestive tract would now be like a herbivore.
“But I will still crave for meat, wont I? I have known people who have had allergies from food, but still longed to eat it.”
“Ah.. But we will tweak your taste buds as well. Your incisors will also be chiseled so your teeth are more refined to process your new food.”
“ Whoa! Wait a minute. Your experiment isn’t helping me to curb my eating habits, you are taking away my choice to eat meat. One is a lifestyle option but the other is a fundamental right. These are two different things. Comparing Chalk to Cheese“
“ Tomato,Tomatar, Potato,Batato…I think you are just playing with semantics. La’sooner you stop making such arguments the better”-said the Doctor with a change of tone.
“ I have had enough. I don’t want to sign up for this. Where the hell is the security? ”
“ You have already signed up for this. My serum is odourless and is currently entering your body through the air”
He felt a sudden rush through his body which made him feel weaker. His pulses went higher. His eyes turned radish. He tried hitting the glass, but faltered at every blow.
“You are playing with Nature!!” he exhaled.
As he lost his consciousness, he faintly heard the words
“Let baingons be baingons, now Gobi yourself”