Sometimes when one is not in control of food that is available for consumption, the realisation that the tongue has a separate personality comes into being. In Tamil, people use the phrase "My tongue is dead" to refer to ill-treatment of the tongue by the quality of food; The food that is served is so bad that it has caused the death of the tongue's ability to taste (metaphorically of course). Well, one comes to know about the tongue only when an individual is in a situation where the food has to be eaten for the sake of survival and not for taste.
But a person who loves food not only for survival's sake but also for the food's smell, taste and texture will surely find his/her mettle tested when forced into a place where the food is not exactly to one's taste. And this is what I found out when I recently shifted from home to another place. Eating the same food everyday for breakfasts and lunches has rendered the tongue quite 'dead.' More than the actual food, the predictability makes the tongue suffer.
Maybe as an individual, I can pacify myself by saying that food eaten is only for survival but alas! my tongue does not think so. The tongue demands that it be served tasty food at least once a while, if not everyday. There have been days when the tongue refuses to be satisfied. It is almost as if the tongue will go on strike if the food does not scale to its taste. I am rendered powerless in controlling the tongue and in turn the reverse happens.
How often I think that certain organs of the body function independently! The tongue is the most notorious for functioning like that. It demands, coaxes, pleads and curses if the food is not to its standards. I cannot control that teeny-weeny muscle. People talk about controlling the tongue when it comes to speech. But speech and food, I reckon, is the domain of that wee muscle.
Now if I start about the heart controlling the human existence, I can go on and on. Let me pause.
Do you think that your tongue controls you when it comes to food? Do you feel tamed by its demands and tastes? What is food to you: taste, means of survival or just another mundane activity?