What is Biryani?

Article type: Writing exercise, non-fiction
Reading time: 5 to 8 minutes

I am writing this quick post to make sure I get into the habit of updating this blog more frequently from now. Being busy is a lazy excuse. My friend, Karteek inspired me with his 100th blog post.  I started blogging at least a couple of years before he did, and I was happy and at the same time surprised to see his milestone. But I really hope Sachin reaches his 100th 100 before I reach a ton of posts here.

This isn’t fiction.  This isn’t a story. This is just a recollection of an incident. So, you may not find the ending interesting.


So what is Biryani? Well, most of us do not need an introduction. Biryani and Hyderabad have become kind of synonymous these days. Just in case if you do not know what is Biryani, please check the Wikipedia article. When anyone comes to tour Hyderabad for the first time, eating Biryani will be in their to-do list for sure. And we, software engineers, whenever our clients visit Hyderabad, we will make sure they eat the best of Biryanis. Before they eat, little do they know about what’s going to happen to them the next morning.

Well, I am not going to give any recipe or write history of Biryani here. I am recollecting a small incident which happened in my hometown, I guess three years ago.

One fine sunny afternoon, I wanted to eat Biryani and we went to one of the best restaurants in my hometown. My friend joined with me. We ordered two Biryanis and couldn’t finish them. My friend suggested we could get the remaining Biryani parceled and give it to someone on the road instead of wasting the food. He was sure we could find someone at a temple on our way back home.

He was right in guessing as we found a boy in his early teens begging(couldn’t find a suitable synonym) at that temple. It was around two in the afternoon and I wasn’t sure whether he had already eaten his lunch. We stopped our bike and I went and gave him the cover.

“Have you had lunch?” I asked him.

“No, Anna(elder brother),” he replied putting the cover aside on the basement on which he was sitting.

“That is Biryani. Eat it.” I have told him and I was about to turn and leave.

“Anna…” he called me and I turned back again.

“What is Biryani?” he asked without a hint of mockery in his voice. It was an innocent question.

I was surprised and shocked. I realized that’s the reality of the world we live in. We take many things for granted from our childhood.

I din’t know how or what to answer. My friend was also shocked. We told the boy to eat it and we told him it will be really good and tasty.

We never knew whether he ate it. We never knew whether  he really thought it tasted good. We never knew what happened to him. We started our bike and left, discussing about the harsh reality that surrounds us and the probabilistic good fortune most of us have.

I know that there is nothing wrong in not knowing what Biryani is.

I do not want to get into any kind of philosophical stuff here. I wanted to recollect the incident the way it had happened. I hope you liked reading it.

If you have read this, you have made my day! Thank you for your time.

Please ‘Like’ it if you like it.

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  1. surya
    Posted January 6, 2012 at 1:06 am | Permalink

    what biryani was it btw?

    • Posted January 6, 2012 at 10:13 am | Permalink

      Thanks for reading ra. I guess it was veg Biryani.

  2. Karteek
    Posted January 6, 2012 at 2:17 am | Permalink

    Nice post buddy!
    for me writing regularly works as a stress buster. Hope it will be the same for you.

    Yeah, thats the hard reality of India. its the other side of the developing , modern India.
    Poor people do not know about the Biryani, Biryani eaters will not know about the Poor

    On the lighter side, they did not market the Biryani properly!

    Nicely written, frank and free flowing.

    • Posted January 6, 2012 at 10:24 am | Permalink

      Thank you Karteek.

      For me too, writing is something that makes me forget other stuff and only think about the words. Still a long way to go to write at a level which I dream as of now.

  3. Pranitha
    Posted January 6, 2012 at 2:25 am | Permalink

    Hi raa..

    Nice one and really touching..yes for a lot of people two square meals…with rice and dal is all they get after a lot of effort in their daily life…forget about “biryani”…sigh!!!

    • Posted January 6, 2012 at 10:25 am | Permalink

      Thank you akka. Good to know that you liked it.

  4. Arif Osmani
    Posted January 6, 2012 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    wrote well chandra…..

  5. Akanksha
    Posted November 6, 2012 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

    definitely i liked it…must say i m impressed..u re a good writer thoughtful and full of expressions and quenched feelings..:)

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