Holy Cow! Suddenly the whole population problem in India stood explained. Supply everyone with forks and spoons and we should be down to decimal point growth in the population.
Eating with your hands is something done by most of the population, though with varying degrees of intensity. Of course at the farthest end of the spectrum you have sophisticated Delhites who prefer to slice up rotis and dosas with fork and knife (What did you guys do before the Brits came? Starve?). The rest usually get by with maneuvering fingertips in a manner designed to consume food without spilling it on the table. Really cool practioners of the art (like my late great grandma) manage to toss food casually into their mouth from around the region of their belly and not have food particles fly around. It is almost as mesmerizing as watching Rajinikanth toss the unlit end of a cigarette into his mouth.
Chennai (not Tamil Nadu) is the only place where you get an exposure to the superlative form of eating with one’s fingers. You do not merely eat with your fingers. You also perform the entire range of steps prior to digestion. You mash up the rice and curd into a semi solid form, scoop it off your plate in one efficient movement, dig your hand into your mouth, past your, teeth, pharynx and oesophagus till you can feel the lining of your stomach. Then you release the food and bring out your hand for the next round. In case any of the semi solid stuff has slipped past your finger down to wrist, you lick it up thoroughly like a really spoilt puppy.
Turn-on, did anyone say?