Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Thursday, December 28, 2006

By Golam Rezwan

Here in Boston, you seldom have any idea where the guy sitting next to you at dinner is from. He could be from any of the 100 countries of the world and could be from any religion imaginable. So you have to be really careful what you talk about. The other day I was sitting beside this kid who I swear was a typical American kid. I mean he looked American, he talked like an American and he even uttered the word 'sweet' every five seconds. Nothing is more typically American than that. I don't know by what weird hybrid mixture of immigration, inter racial marriage and religious cross-pollination he turned out to be Hindu.

The topic of Eid came up and I was elaborating on how we sacrificed the cows as a tradition. Seeing the interest of my audience at the act of murdering cows, I couldn't resist dwelling on the little graphic details like tying the cow up with thick ropes, pegging it to the ground and using a shiny scythe to quickly slash his neck. I hardly noticed but a few seconds later, I saw the American Hindu's face turning purple…I am sure that he was about to throw up.. “ You…” he said in a barely controlled rage “…shouldn't kill cows! Why don't you guys kill something else instead?”

Oops. Not a great situation. I didn't want to start a religious war about the rights and sacredness of cows and so I quickly muttered an apology. I guess if I knew he was a Hindu I wouldn't have said anything about cow killing in Eid.

I related this incident to my roommate who is not exactly the easiest person in the world to get along with. Wait, I am too polite. He is an arrogant elitist ass**** who would disagree with everything you say and would insist his superior intellectual version of things is the absolute truth. I told him about our custom of sacrificing cows and he became more offended than the American Hindu.

“ But that's so mean!” he said
“ Mean? They are meant to be eaten for God's sake”
“ You shouldn't kill cows that brutally. Cows are so cute. Its so wrong to slaughter them!”
“ Excuse me, but I believe you must kill something to consume it.”
“ Why don't you kill it using electric shock instead, like we do…”

It is needless to go on with the conversation. We never get along, but come on killing them with electric shock isn't painful? Since when? The Muslim way of killing an animal, the Dhabiha, is so much better since it is not only logical but is more humane. A research by Professor Wilhelm Schulze and Dr. Hazim of the Hanover University of Germany found out that the process of killing animals in the way prescribed in the Quran is quicker and causes less pain for the animal. It also allows faster ejection of blood from the animal's body. In contrast the modern method of shock induced killing doesn't allow the blood to drain from the body. Thus the carcass retains more blood and so could be potentially more harmful for human consumption.

However most people are not as inclined to such weird thoughts as cows being cute. But there are some people who simply laughed at the outright outrageousness of killing cows. I mean why? I have a friend who is from Jordan. I told him that it is custom in Bangladesh to sacrifice cows.

“ Which idiot would sacrifice a cow? You Bengalis are so funny”
“ Hey what's so funny about sacrificing cows?”
” I mean come' on man…cows…” and he starts rolling on his bed laughing.
“ What do you guys sacrifice? “
“We sacrifice lambs”

“ Ahh.. Those frail little things. Of course you sacrifice lambs! You Jordanians aren't strong enough like Bengalis to take on a cow!”

That was it. That triggered the start of another battle as to why Bengalis are better than Jordanians. It's pointless telling you guys what happened next because everyone knows Bengalis rock!

Cows rule. And nothing beats the awesomeness of beef. I know that Eid is the celebration of giving but a big part of Eid is the beef curry, oozing with big thick chunks of sliced cubes and seasoned with a rich variety of spices and herbs. Imagine having that with hot steamy khichuri or polao…mmm makes me want to come back to Dhaka even more! To me Beef is the ultimate meat. Its taste is strong and rich, like the way meat should taste like. Lamb is good but it's not nearly as 'substantial' or filling as beef is. And while chickens maybe delicious, I would pick a spicy beef curry with my rice over chicken tikka anytime.

Only beef offers the rich variation of meaty delicacies that so lacks in other meat products. Imagine the whole variety of beef dishes one can make. You can use the brain to make delicious brain curry (which is not as gross as it sounds). You can use the stomach to make 'jhuri' which is delicious during breakfast with steamed bread. You can make tongue steak with the tongue which is simply one of the best meat dish ever! I could go on and on about the different types of steak beef allows to prepare but I would stop now, since its 4:00 in the morning and I am out of food; so I can't risk releasing those gastric juices in my empty stomach.

So what are you waiting for! Go down to the kitchen, grab a slice of bread and enjoy it with your beef curry! And mostly be happy that within a few days, more would fully satisfy all your carnal pleasures. There are cows out there for everyone! Happy Eid everyone!



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