I am a very humble potato. I write this to protest the treatment meted out to me by the homo-sapiens. Despite making sacrifices and doing good for humanity in general, I get derided for no valid reason. Mine is a kind and obliging soul, but I am not treated well by human beings.
Derogatory references are made to me while referring to lazy bums watching TV endlessly as being “couch potatoes”. I am not capable of commenting upon the value of what is shown on TVs these days (only humans can suffer the content, though, for some strange reason, they refer to it as entertainment). But I would like to point out that referring to an avid watcher of TV as someone being a potato of any kind is an outright insult to my species.
I have very noble and humble origins. I have been serving mankind for around 10,000 years. I originated from Peru and Bolivia. Thanks to ancient mariners, I have made my presence felt on all the continents of our planet Earth. I can justifiably boast of as many as 1,000 varieties the world over. I myself have lost track of the number of dishes of which I am an active ingredient. The dishes which can get made using me range from fish and chips in Minnesota and Copenhagen to aloo sabji in Mathura and Varanasi.
Other than being eaten directly, very many industries use me as a raw material. They process me further (and how!), ending with products which are quite different in nature. Vodka gets made only because I happen to be around. Potato wafers and quite a few snacks would not be there if I had not been there. Life would have been pretty dull in my absence, no?
Let me say with confidence that I it is no fun to be a tuber crop and to grow underground; think of all the worms and insects which surround me when I grow as a baby. It is like living in hell. Once I ripen and get picked up, my suffering only increases. So as to be able to make myself presentable and delicious, I often undergo a harsh treatment. I get boiled, baked, chopped, fried, roasted, mashed or cut up, so all humans would be able to enjoy what they eat.
If you ever visit a wafer manufacturing factory and imagine yourself to be a potato like I am, you would realize the kind of suffering which is in store – you get graded, bounded about on metallic conveyers, washed in steam, mashed, made into a paste, get extruded in the form of thin wafers and eventually get sprinkled with all kinds of spices, before being bundled off in a pouch packed with a dash of Nitrogen; yuck – I just hate it!
I provide good carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals to mankind, but still get blamed for obesity. This is patently unfair. If people consume me with relish and then lead sedentary life styles leading to health problems, how can I be blamed? I provide a good diet which makes one feel full at the least possible cost. People who eat me can do some physical work and benefit from the fiber content I provide to their digestive systems.
Before you call a friend of yours a “couch potato” next time, please consider this plea of mine. Think of using me more wisely. Mix me up with other vegetables – like spinach, beans or cauliflower – and relish the tasty dishes that your Mom comes up with. If you have me as your staple diet, I am happy. But then think of jogging, brisk walking or join a gym, so I may help you to become more active and develop six-pack-abs in a shorter duration. This way, your friends would wonder what magic potion you have found in me. And yes, girls may just drool over you also when you offer them an aaloo tikki burger next time round.