Thursday, August 18, 2022

Fafda Files: Gluttony or Temperance

In the second part of the seven forbidden sins, Minoo Shah debates the sin of gluttony vs the virtue of temperance

That time of the year when all creatures are thankful to one another except the Turkey who has angst because it will be the chosen fare for said pollotarians.  Yes, it is the festival of Thanksgiving.  A brief update on those not up to score – Thanksgiving is a festivity that began with the native Indians (previously referred to as red Indians because white people could not differentiate between the colors brown and red) inviting the nomadic settlers to a feast and their way of life.  In return they were thanked in a curious way by being scalped, their land stolen and a new version of partying on the third Thursday of November by killing a turkey and devouring it while the Gods looked down and unanimously concluded it as gluttony.

Per the holy book, gluttony is a sin.  So let us parse this sin in conjunction with temperance.  As Indians (not the scalped variety) specifically from the holy land where the river Ganga flows, we live to eat.  Keto or any fancy diets notwitholding, the same Gods gave us palettes that can consume spice, sweet even bitter gourds with the same pleasure as one would when reveling in aphrodisiac euphoria.  Looking at most of our girths, (and I duly exclude celebrity models and the Ananyas who regurg after every meal) and to elucidate my point is none other than the author who termed food as rude and simultaneously made eating fashionable.

Now let us look at Temperance which is regarded as virtuous.  By this creed, one must be diligent while eating and imbibing the nectars abundantly. As I pondered upon this, I wondered if there was a guide subjective enough to discriminate between the sin of gluttony and the virtue of temperance. Because, I know of tiny people who strayed from Gulliver’s island amidst us who can drink any full grown Goliath under the table, and then proceed to swing from table to table devouring the repast.  Then again there are those with IBS who can only sniff at food no matter what the cuisine whilst we praise them for abstinence and they cry inside.  But to their glory, they are virtuous.


Does my above soliloquy set the preference for a sin?  Hardly! Just ask the poor turkey or the indigenous people.  Am I damning a virtue?  No, for if I had had the willpower to temper my consumption of buttered kulchas, pumpkin kulfi, potatoes au gratin, cranberry sauce and sizable glasses of Cabernet, I would fit into that burnt orange chemise that set me back a couple of quids.

Minoo Shah
Minoo Shah, a resident of Texas, USA since 1976,  is a former journalist and has served on many community boards. She is currently studying towards her Ph D in the liberal arts and humanities. She writes on every Saturday. Her views here are personal, and the Editors and Publisher of Seniors Today do not necessarily endorse her views.

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