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    Volume 8 Issue 95 | November 20, 2009 |

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You are what you Bite?

Aasha Mehreen Amin

I have heard the expression 'you are what you eat' which would make me resemble a chicken having a weakness for poultry meat. I am trying to think of similarities but not being well versed in chicken personality traits, it is a little difficult. I mean what does a chicken do all day anyway? The 'free' deshi ones roam around and peck on the grains given to them while the imprisoned farm poultry live out their lives standing inside a claustrophobic cell until they are turned into food for the cruel humans. I don't think I want to be like a chicken.

It is a little different when you bite some creature you are not supposed to. You have heard of vampires and how, if they bite humans without killing them, they too become vampires. Well what if you bit a snake or a dog for that matter, would you start to acquire traits of these creatures?

A few weeks ago this young gardener from Orissa was going about his business, taking out weeds from a state-owned park. Suddenly a snake pops out of nowhere and has the gall to bite him. How dare he, thinks the gardener, hurls out curses and in a fit of fury gets hold of the reptile with his bare hands and bites it hard, tearing off its flesh and swallowing the pieces. The report states that the snake died on the spot (well, with parts of his body being ripped off what else can be expected) while its victim who turned out to be a predator, survived after treatment. Ramesh later admitted that he had bitten the snake 'out of revenge'. There is no confirmation on whether Ramesh became a little 'snake-like' after this bizarre episode; perhaps a follow-up story is due.

Many of you will snigger and say 'well of course there will be a few nutcases out there who go off the top and do something completely irrational'. I don't know how much of a nut-job I am, my friends and family will vouch for that (let's not ask, shall we?). But I have to confess I have had a similar experience. I was about two years old and aimlessly wandering into the kitchen in the hope of getting some forbidden food to eat. The cook gave me a packet of kebabs bought from a local shop. Happily I went into the garden and there I met the cutest little puppy in the world. My brother, a huge dog lover, had brought it home in the hope of keeping it. I was delighted when the little creature hungrily ate up the little kebab pieces I was throwing at it. It was definitely a good way for child and puppy to bond. But we all know good things never last.

It was the last piece of kebab and I felt that I should be the one to have it, after my great moment of magnanimity. Unfortunately the little piece of kebab, the last one of the lot, fell from my hands into the ground. Little puppy happily gobbled it up as it was doing all along. This is when I had a short fuse (now I know the significance of the term 'terrible two').

I was furious that after all that I had sacrificed for that little mite, this is how the ingrate was repaying me - eating the last morsel of food I had. It is then that the unthinkable happened. Incensed and horrified, I picked up the tiny canine and bit it on its forehead making two little vicious tooth marks on that soft forehead. It was out of revenge I said to myself much later although I am still deeply ashamed of what I did.

The traumatised pup was sent far away, much to my brother's disappointment. Perhaps it was for it's own safety.

Needless to say I didn't turn into a dog as I had secretly hoped. Instead, I became a dog aficionado, so much so that I swear I can actually communicate with them and I know they understand me. Just don't tell anyone.

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