nakra logo

It was the month of June, more than three and a half decades ago, when I joined service as an expert of ‘plant protection’ at the Bathinda station of the Punjab Agricultural University. The person in charge of the station was a man of wit and wisdom with a let-me-helpyou attitude. Very soon, we became friends. He would eat less and preach more. He used to read something interesting at night before going to bed, and in the morning all of us the four associated scientists – would be his prized audience.

One day, he gave several interesting and valuable tips on food. He nar rated a story from the great Iranian saint Sheikh Saadi’s famous books Gulsitan and Bostan.

The ruler of the time sent his best doctor in the service of Hazrat Mohammed Sahab. After a few months, the doctor went back to the King to tell that probably he was of little use to Mohammed Sahab or his followers since no one ever came for treatment to him. He was frustrated and requested the King to send some other doctor who may have the good luck to serve the Hazrat. The King felt concerned and presented himself before Mohammed Sahab with the proposal to change the doctor who might not have been up to the expectations. The great Hazrat told the King to not worry since there was nothing wrong with the doctor. ‘In fact, me and my followers, as a matter of principle, eat when hungry and eat to half of the capacity. Hence, there has been no ailment and no need to visit to the doctor.’

I liked the story but did not take a serious note of it.

Now, having lived for more than six decades and facing age-related health concerns, the story narrated to me 35 years ago seems relevant. I have curtailed the number of chapatis in the meals; the dinner menu most often comprises vegetable soup, and evening tea snacks are generally skipped. It has had a miraculous effect. I get up in the morning incredibly fresh and active. My cholesterol level has shrunk to within the normal limit and I have shed about four kg weight. I feet light as a bird. The birds are probably more aware and health-conscious than we humans; they do not eat anything after sunset, and we eat everything laced with fat, salt and sugar after sunset, inviting so many ailments.

Probably, more men are dying, not because of the unavailability of food but from its excessive eating. Truly, we need to eat to live and not live to eat. There is a double blessing in eating less: while we remain in the pink of health, at the same time, we spare food for the millions who hardly get one square meal a day.

Leave a Reply