Marshmallow BBQ
Personal Life

Marshmallow BBQ

May 26, 2024   |    916



I study ageing. My day job requires me to identify changes in stem cells as we grow older. Transformation of one cell into another is a key part of this journey.  On the eve of my 30th Birthday, I sought to explore my own metamorphosis by taking a walk down my amnesia lane. 

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In the first decade of my life, I used to lack self-confidence. I was indoctrinated into the idea that I can only achieve things which are allotted to my fate. This belief raised a series of superstitions in my mind. I thought the only way to gain more in life is to beg for a better fate to whoever that is in charge of it. If I had a bad exam, I would be sure that it was due to not saying some magic verses before starting to write. So, in the next exam, I made sure to recite the verses to ensure a better outcome. Instead of trying to identify the cause behind the desired outcome, I did what an “Einsteinian Fool” would do. I kept repeating the same act expecting a different outcome. There was none. The only visible outcome was my further lack of self worth. 

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In my second decade, I turned into a rebel - an obnoxious teenager filled with potent hormones and strong ideologies (yet no confidence). This was the first time I was learning about the problems of this world— (lack of welfare) capitalism, (facade of) democracy, war, and most importantly, (ignorance about) women. Taking advantage of my low self-esteem, t(pr)eachers provided me with “invaluable” insights once again — “be a soldier.” That means learning about complicated ideologies in a shallow pattern and pretending to be an expert while attacking every opinion that challenges its mere existence. And, boy-oh-boy, was I a good soldier? I learned to use social media in its “ideal” form — to dismiss others, to abhor, and to share (dick) pics. By the end of my teenage years, one good thing did happen. I started to notice that I sometimes achieved my desired result when I worked really really hard. Therefore, hard-work metamorphosed into my new fate. Make no mistake, it is still a deadly combination — I was a teenage with shallow ideologies, strong convictions, ability to work hard, and a lot of hormones. 

In my third decade, I found god. In my opinion, god is a savior that can convert a deadly force into a useful one — an atom bomb into a nuclear power-plant, a tornado into a windmill. The god I found transformed the teenage-detonator in me into a hyper-curious-nonchalant. This god has three commandments: One, only trust something after trying hard (and yet failing) to disprove it. Two, in uncertainty, acknowledge your ignorance. Three, fact is a fact for now, not forever. Once, I started following this god, ideologies started to fall apart. The soldier died, leaving a traveler in his carcass. Instead of fighting, I learned to embrace others and  embarrass myself. Instead of cursing, I tried crying. Instead of hate, I tried humour. It was peaceful. 

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On the occasion of my 30th birthday, I invited a few friends over for a BBQ party. It was a bright sunny afternoon on my Sun terrace. A little kid came to the party and was trying to find something suitable to eat. The only thing I could think of was some marshmallows (a soft sugar candy) in my cupboard. Marshmallow is a very innocent word; it can only bring joy. When you put some marshmallows on the BBQ, they turn crunchy on the outside and softer inside. Near the end of the party, the kid had a revelation that it is a forbidden food due to one of its ingredient— “beef gelatin”. The kid doesn’t have any allergies and is too young to have any strong faith. The only strong faith the kid can have is a dire desire to eat a marshmallow. Yet, the kid’s prayers were denied. I asked my god what to do. God told me to acknowledge my ignorance about the “non-innocent” side of a rather “innocent” marshmallow. I updated my knowledge—“Marshmallow is a complicated food. It is important to check its ingredients. Does it contain animal gelatin? If yes, which animal? If beef, which god was it sacrificed to?” I realised how powerful ideas can be. Forget wars, it can deny a kid a marshmallow!

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Luckily, my housemate ran to the nearby grocery store and picked up some new marshmallows. We presented the updated sweets beneath the kid’s god and, this time, he accepted her prayers. I put the marshmallow on the BBQ and watched the kid gleefully devour it. Thankfully few people in the party were okay to eat the “beef-gelatin” marshmallows so nothing went to waste. When everyone left, I was cleaning the BBQ stove and found one last piece of marshmallow lying on it. But I could not tell which version was this one? Is it the kid-upsetting beef-gelatin-containing forbidden fruit? Or, is it the “acceptable” one? I honestly could not tell. They all look the same to me - soft, sweet and pink. Therefore, I ate the marshmallow. 

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My god was in that marshmallow. 



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