How I Survive as a Bengali Vegetarian


How I Survive as a Bengali Vegetarian

Illustration: Akshita Monga/ Arré


f you don’t have it in you to kill and cook it, then you shouldn’t chew on it. That’s my rule of thumb with regard to food. The rather pleasant sights that meat markets offer with a crimson river snaking along the nearest drain were sufficient to tell me which side of the fence I would be on. I envied the ability of enthusiastic meat-eaters to confidently stride into a shop and select pieces of chicken of their choice from a steel bowl of freshly cut portions. I envied those who could cast longing glances at the multiple carcasses of goats on display, hanging upside down.

I’m Bengali and I was brought up believing that meat and maach are my birthright. I tried real hard to accept my lot, but failed. I had to give up meat when I was 22 years old.