View: As the planet gets hotter and hotter, will we be slow-cooked or stir-fried?

Last night after binge-buying bodycare products – more prosaically known as soap – I lay awake for hours contemplating an existential question. Given that I have been using an anti-hairfall onion shampoo for the last week, and have now ordered soap-free soap made of various fruit and vegetables but allegedly no chemicals, would I be perceived by a cannibal as a salad? Or, given my too, too solid flesh and the fact that I am a couch potato by profession, would I, in the cannibal’s eyes, be more like the ideal British dinner — meat and two veg?

As I tossed this searing me-nu question in my head, I also thought about my future, given the alarming amounts of methane, gas and other types of hot air that arose from various orifices at the recent COP26 in Glasgow. Political leaders from all over the world earnestly bargained with each other about dates and times of cutting down on smoking, as though Mother Nature would gaze upon them fondly and say, ‘Aww, cho chweet, they’re trying so hard to be marginally less selfish and greedy. Chalo, I’ll put off climate change for a bit so they can work on their carbon credits.’

That global warming is real and temperatures will rise along with sea levels is a given. We’ve seen a lot of crazy weather phenomena for ourselves lately. The Bay of Bengal has been in a deep depression for the past two years, at least. Mumbai was pretty much dry during the monsoon, but it’s raining now in November (what did Guns N’ Roses know that climate scientists didn’t?) and residents of peninsular India have had to buy boats instead of cars for years now.

And right now, as I write this, I’m wondering whether, in the next 20 years or so, my Mumbai flat will be worth more or less than it is now when the buildings ahead of mine slowly sink beneath the Arabian Sea and my little old 1BHK becomes a genuinely sea-facing apartment.

But what will happen to us human beings while real estate marketers struggle to make undersea buildings attractive to property buyers who will whack them with cricket bats if they ever say the words ‘sea’ and ‘facing’ again in their lives? Will the excessive heat turn us into baked beings? Or, given the amount of grease the high temperatures are likely to produce from our sebaceous glands, will we be tala hua beings?

In other words, as the planet gets hotter and hotter, will we be slow-cooked or stir-fried? What would be best, nutritionally speaking, for cannibals? And even though regiments of dieticians and nutritionists shout ‘baked, not fried’ as a battle cry against weight gain, would it really matter if cannibals ate tala hua beings instead of baked beings? After all, cannibals are humans too, and they’re going to be just as cooked as the rest of us. So, I very much doubt that the good fats vs bad fats debate and the protein vs cholesterol argument will really matter anymore.

If you’re wondering why I seem so concerned about cannibals and their diet, I have to confess I have no answer. All I know is that one second I was giggling over the concept of fruit salad on my feet courtesy my new all-organic fruit and vegetables soap-free soap, and the next second I was Googling ‘cannibals’. Perhaps, this was triggered by the 1980s playlist I had listened to earlier in the evening, which included a song by the band, Fine Young Cannibals.

Perhaps, it was because I’d just fended off a friend determined to make me watch The Silence of the Lambs in revenge for making her watch Love Actually for the fourth time. Mostly, though, I think it’s because I hate waste. If I’m going to be spending vast amounts of money on bodycare products made from food, someone’s got to eat it.


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