In most cultures, homes and countries when your plate is empty your dinner's done. Not so for the Indian who likes to wrap up his or her meal with a treat not often enjoyed by most. But what's left, you ask? The rice is gone. All that remains in its place is an oil slick of dhal, a bay leaf matted to the China and a heap of chicken bones picked clean. But the fun has only just begun for the Indian diner, for though Indians like their chicken, they like sucking the marrow of its bones much more.
The marrow portion of any Indian meal usually follows its completion. Before the chai and before the after dinner fennel seeds, a subtle sucking can be heard from Indians gnawing at chicken bones like wild wolves in the Ural mountains of Siberia. Aunties gnash their teeth against the cartilage with little regard for propriety as Uncles suck fervently and with focus from the hollow avian bones, their pants surreptitiously unbuttoned, their belches gurgling beneath their breath. Yes, it's disgusting. Yes, it's in poor form. But we're Indians and the only issue of concern when we're eating marrow is, "is there any more?"