Silver Tongues

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Mani Iyer and Peter James were meeting each other after a decade. Peter´s newly wed wife Mariya had prepared the lunch for the much awaited reunion of childhood friends.

“Mariya, tell me how did a dog like this end up with an angel like you?”

“Shut up, you filthy animal!”

Mariya smiled. What is it with men and showering abuses on one another as a sign of love, affection and intimacy! Male bonding, they call it! Hah!

“Aiyyo! Beef cutlets!”

“What happened all of a sudden? You used to devour them like there was no tomorrow during our school lunch breaks.”

“I was a kid then.”

“Come on! Think that you still are and have one!”

“No man!”

“Turning all religious and all eh?”


“I won´t force you. I asked Mariya to make some. You know for old times´ sake. Thought you would love having them all over again.”

“Don´t worry! My heart is brimming with joy at the sight of these beef cutlets and all our childhood memories attached with it.”

“It was the beef cutlets that marked the beginning of our friendship, Mariya. This dog would come to talk to me only for the beef cutlets. Hahaha!”

“Hahahaha! That´s true! I can´t deny that.”

“But, what happened all of a sudden? Why did your stop eating them?”

“I felt guilty, Peter. I was doing a lot of things behind my parents´ backs. Instead of covering up one lie after the other, I decided to simply abstain from all things prohibited by my faith.”

“Fair enough! But, please don´t mind my question. How practical is it to follow a no non-vegetarian regimen in today´s world?”

“It´s not as difficult as you think! Now with the legal ban on beef and its stringent imprisonment laws, why take the risk at all! I suggest you do the same as well.”

“Mani, all this ban talk reminds me of this. While America is on its path to legalizing medical marijuana, India has banned well, Maggi! Hahahaha!”

“Well, its not good for the health, you know!”

“Maybe! I believe in the éverything is good in moderation´policy. And what do you know? America has followed it up with a ban on Haldirams.” 

“Talk about Newton´s third law!” 

“Hahaha! Yup, that´s a good example.” 

“It´s always better to be safe than sorry, you know.” 

“Well, given the Indian Govt.’s logic, every manufactured product should be banned. Everything from as frivolous as Kit-Kat to marshmallows to Kurkure to more serious products like your soft gel capsule medicines which comes coated with well, animal skin and bones. Unless, you grow and manufacture/make your own kosher food, cosmetics and medicines at home, nothing is truly ‘off limits’ (Yes, even aborted human foetus. Hello! Senomyx) in the world of ‘globalized’ manufacturing.” 

“But, what choice do we have? Ultimately, we go with the lesser of the two evils by conscious abstainence.” 

“Mani, it´s how you choose to look at the choices in hand. It´s how you choose to look at life per se! Life is not black and white but grey.” 

That´s a pretty gloomy picture of life, if you ask me.” 

“Fifty shades of grey or Fifty of silver! Take your pick. ” 

“Well, well, Mr. Philosopher Peter George! Stop taking a walk in the silvery clouds and cut the chase, will ya! Anyway, you still cannot get me to eat your wife´s beef cutlets. Nice try! Hahahaha!” 

“Your life, your choice, buddy!” 

High time you also started thinking of the environment apart from dishing out philosophies.” 


Peter cleaned the plate by gobbling the last cutlet while Mani helped himself with another serving of rice, sambar, cabbage poriyal, naranga achar and papadum. The two friends belched loudly in unison just like in the good old days. The animated banter continued as Mariya served them another round of Old Monk.


I am participating in the #BarAThon 2018 hosted by Shailaja V based on Day 2 prompt: ´Lesser of the two evils’.


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