I am not much sure about the number of people who can relate themselves to this bizarre habit of mine, but I am sure there will be at least a handful of likeminded people who can relate to me and my habit of seeking those few minutes of entertainment during meal times, be it on T.V or on those random YouTube videos. In the absence of T.V in my hostel room, the only the option that I can lean on to is my laptop, so that I can pick one of those mindless YouTube videos to compensate for the lack of television. There is absolutely no coherence in choosing programmes or videos, and I don’t really watch them all completely. What I choose most of the times will be the previous episodes of some of my favourite crime shows or those less than ten minutes long Tom and Jerry cartoons, as I need it only for just less than twenty minutes till I finish munching on my meal. So if you ask me the logic behind watching the same episodes over and over again, I have nothing to say, other than the fact that I need a meal time entertainment, no matter whether I’ve seen it once, twice, thrice, or more than a dozen of times. I don’t watch it entirely, but shut it off the moment I finish my food.
Once dad was so pissed off with this obscure addiction of mine and forcefully made me stop watching television and YouTube videos while having food. More than his fear of seeing me glued to them, it was his concern about my health that made him take a stubborn decision of taking away perhaps the most delicious ‘dish’ that cherished during my entire meal time. I was more than sad to hear his sudden serious decision, and pleaded many times to reconsider it. But dad was so serious like never before and he gave deaf years to my almost tearful words. It was hard, but I had to do it.
I started becoming g unusually quiet during meal times, and my entire family knew what the reason is. However they wanted me to get rid of something that was a part of my life since childhood, and hence paid no attention to the outpour of melancholy that visibly reflected on my face.
But I saw dad becoming a little lenient after a few days, and granted me the permission to watch T.V. during mealtime, but only in his presence, and made sure that I switch the T.V off and get up immediately after having food. Yes, my dad can never see me walking around with that sad face! I was overjoyed to know that my parents are ready to give me access to the ‘tastiest curry’ that makes my mealtime extra special.
Now that I am in hostel most of the time, I can easily make use of mealtimes and enjoy watching random videos on YouTube and enjoy my food. Even though I always make sure to stop them right the very next moment I finish my meals, I am yet to try and get rid of this addition of watching something or the other while having food. Dad keeps reminding me about the possible chances of over eating, but I don’t think I eat more than what my stomach can contain. So the possibility of overeating hardly scares me as much as it scares him.
More than this weird habit of mine, what may perhaps surprise him and others who know me will be uncompromised willingness to eat whatever I am provide with, if have the TV or laptop switched on and kept right next to me. It makes me “obedient”, “passive”, and “non complaining”, and I easily accept whatever I am given to eat. Both my mind and my taste buds are more than happy with having something to watch, and this may perhaps be the reason why I get distracted from the not so likable food that I am served.
Should I keep a curb on this habit of mine? I am not sure whether I should, as it doesn’t in any way harm my health or well being. I don’t indulge in mindless eating, paying zero attention to what I am putting in to my mount. But, taking my dad’s advice a bit more seriously than before, now a days I am trying my best to avoid the habit of watching and eating or choose healthy and portioned meals.
But if someone tells me that TV programs or commercials would encourage me to eat more, I would just laugh it off.