Eating food together is the most intimate thing you can do with someone. The saying goes, ‘family, which eats together stays together’.
And so if you want to build a relationship with someone then at some point you need to have the ritual of eating food together. It brings a certain kind of warmth, requires a certain kind of trust and allows you to open up.
You sit there, eat a few morsels and sip up a drink. And then you talk about your childhood days, your dreams and passion which keeps you up at night.
The connection is felt, the spark is ignited, and the energy is multiplied. The best thing which can happen has happened. And you look forward to the next dining experience. Maybe you would try something new, something varied or try a different location. Going with the same option is the safest route. But you have the faith to leap and try new foods – because you are with someone whom you can share the meal.
The good, bad and ugly has happened, and you are open about it. You want to have more conversations, get lost in the moment and cherish it many times later.
The same experience of eating food is amplified, and spice is added when you go out on a group eating experience. Which often involves at least 3 friends. In your mind, there is one friend upon which you are going to make the most jokes.
The goal has shifted in here. You can’t have the intimate experience with everyone. So you try to become the most memorable one.
One joke after another and you try everything to take a jab at someone in the group. There is a back and forth, and it seems like a competition.
When all the intellectual jokes are over, and you can’t think of anything else, you stoop down and start making crude jokes. And at this point, you need to know your friends and their limits. Or else you would be offending someone for worse.
There is always something against which you can’t tolerate. The common joke which comes up is the veg vs non-veg clash. Often it is the people who eat both veg and non-veg dishes who take a jab at the people who eat veg.
The mockery starts, and they try to make them feel small because of their eating habits. Again, if your friend is okay with such jokes, then it is fine. But most often they aren’t, and you keep on cracking these repeated, expected and not-funny jokes.
Eating a certain kind of food isn’t out of the ordinary. Everyone has their preferences and as long as you aren’t forced to comply with them, you shouldn’t have a problem.
But often, there will be someone in the group eating, who will make jokes and target people for their eating habits. Make them feel little and try to feel superior – making other people feel guilty isn’t a good thing to do. Especially if it isn’t illegal, they are doing.
Sure, you might have strong feelings about many things. But that isn’t an authority to bash people who aren’t aligned according to your viewpoint. For example, if you hate cigarette, you don’t have the right to bully people who smoke at legal places.
Or if you despise alcohol, you shouldn’t lecture anyone or everyone on why their liver is going to become stale.
Life is harsh, and whatever you do – you will die. And how you want to go out should be decided by you and no one else. There are many things by which you can risk your life. For example, you can go parasailing and risk yourself to immediate death, if any accident happens.
The point here is not to consider yourself as some high moral human beings. You, me and everyone else is flawed. There are things which you do that makes no sense.
Sure you can have a discussion concerning something. But then the point should be to have a healthy debate – where you don’t become annoying, listen the other perspective and be open to new ideas.
Else, you would come as someone who just bashes people with difference in ideas, And that’s not cool.
Next time when you feel the urge to bash someone merely because they are different, remember someone can feel the same way about you. It helps to keep yourself in vulnerable perspective. Don’t behave with others as you wouldn’t with yourself.