Mild TW for a mention of EDs.
There is only so much I can say about food, and all its aspects, without undermining its value— because placing a physical, innate and tangible experience in simple words would not do it complete justice.
I daringly make the presumption that no reader here is a stranger to what is a universal need for each of us. Food is what sustains, and it is what communities are built upon. It is what stories, laughter and love are shared over, and it is what barely holds us together at the lowest of our lows.
When taken to be any less than that, it may become a burden. For all those who struggle with their body image and eating disorders, it can transform into a grave mental weight— a critical affliction that no one should have to suffer, and I wish anyone out there going through it has the strength to reach out.
At the same time, there is enjoyment and excitement when eating new dishes filled with varied flavours and colours, and there is sometimes even more enjoyment in the company they bring. Some familiar food tastes of the comforts of home— the sense of safety and security of family and friendship, and at times, the aromas of a better day that went by too quick. History is preserved through cuisine— we learn about the lives of people of the past through food. Recipes, techniques and styles of cooking are passed down from generation to generation.
Food is more than just what gives us energy— it gives us life as it is. A more painful day can sometimes almost completely be turned around with good food. Newfound relationships often start over meals, and they are further strengthened by them. And aside from all the in-depth analyses of food, there are some cheeky, sneaky positives to it, too. Here are some excerpts based on real-life conversations:
“Yeah, there’s too many people at this party for my liking (ah, the good old pre-COVID days when I could say this without thinking fifty times about it), I just came for the food”, and
“Did your date go well?”
“Nah, it didn’t, but hey, at least the food was good :D”
Food-based optimism truly deserves its own category.
When we travel to a different place or a different region (or maybe, when we used to) we always look forward to trying out new cuisines. Getting to taste different ways dishes are prepared, different customs, different spices (or lack thereof, depending on which corner of the world you’re in) is always an exhilarating experience. I don’t think the experience of a completely new culture is truly grasped without trying out its food.
I can, at this point, confidently say that this specific editorial is absolutely everywhere, and I have accidentally (and quite unwillingly) proven that the significance of food cannot be easily put in a few lines.
Even in the midst of all the busyness of my day, I always look forward to eating lunch or dinner that can keep me going, even if it’s for just a few more hours. And I am utterly fortunate to have enough to fulfil those needs— I am incredibly privileged to never have to worry about where my next meal is coming from, and I hope that I and others living on this planet may one day never have to think about. There is a prayer that I have with my family every year on Makar Sankranti (a harvest festival), that I feel well-encompasses this wish: we never pray to just have “enough” food to eat ourselves— instead, we pray that we always have enough to give, enough to help others out with, and enough to share with family, friends, and even strangers.
It is on that note that I introduce this tasteful issue of ours. I hope you enjoy going through it and learn something new as you do— each write-up, artwork and photograph is packed with flavour and fizz. Oh, on a side note: I’d like to express gratitude for the amazing, hard-working team that has put this issue together in between, right before and right after their exams, even when they have much more on their plates.
I think I will end the pun paragraph there— we’ll be awaiting your contributions for our next issue after this exam session!