Among all the confusions that are prevailing in the minds of ordinary citizens these days, I find it very difficult to establish the true difference between a bun-kabab and a burger. Are they two different entities altogether or are there similarities between the two by any chance?
I’ve been fond of both from my childhood days unaware of the dissimilarities which have become so momentous over the years. Yet they have become such mystifying for a common man like me. I just noticed that a few days ago when I was craving for something to eat from my way back from office. I stopped by a bun-kabab stall and asked him to make a ‘saada bun-kabab’, he repeated my order to confirm his understanding but his tone signified a sense of disgust and correction when he said, ‘aap ne aik ‘burger’ ka kaha haina?’(You have asked for a ‘burger’, haven’t you?) I immediately realized I had made some kind of a mistake which had offended the other person. I nodded my head in a passive manner to affirm.
While having my ‘burger’ that evening after reaching home, I became conscious of the evolution that had silently happened before our very eyes without us even noticing it. I tried to recall the stages of this evolution and established some key symptoms which were disregarded in between.
Some time back, if you’d find someone asking for a burger at a ‘bun-kabab wala’ people around you would start laughing and called you a ‘Mummy Daddy.’ If the opposite of this scenario would have happened and you ordered a ‘bun kabab’ at a fast food outlet, you would still hear the laughter but this time you’d be termed as a ‘maila.’
Then came a time when the shape of the conventional bun-kabab transformed to a more round form from a shape that was more like an elongated capsule. This was a major shift as far as the evolution was concerned. (The older capsule version is still very famous though.)
Finally, the name change took place and now we wander in an era of perplexity as to whether it is the conventional bun-kabab that has taken a step forward or is it the burger that has come back a step. Whichever way we see it. The situation is quite bizarre. The average consumer is no longer average. At least he doesn’t sound average anymore. All they needs is a slice of egg-coated meat placed between two pieces of bread/ bun with mayonnaise spread over it with slices of onion, tomato and cucumber (fries exclusive.)
In totality, if we place our society between the two slices of bread/ bun, the evolution gets justified. It has come a long way and unnoticed by many to say the least. Even though the gap seems to have narrowed down, but in reality, the opposite has happened. This vague piece of writing might not be sufficient enough to clarify what I intended to convey, but never the less, after all this writing, I’m off to get hold of a bun-kabab myself.
Oops! I meant ‘Burger!’
Hammad A. Mateen