Two big sacks of fruits and vegetables arrived home at 4:00 pm. My mother, Radha Eswar, my sisters, Janani and Aditi, and I began peeling and chopping the vegetables to prepare food for the talk in the evening. The Rotary Club (Bangalore West) had invited me to give a talk at the weekly Rotary meeting, and I was very excited about it.
We went through bunches of raw banana and began cooking it, while Venkatesh anna was cutting up a giant ashgourd, for two vegetable dishes. Mr. Dharmappa and I broke and cut a small mountain of coconuts, while Janani, Aditi and amma co-ordinated the cooking, with several dishes on the stove at the same time. We were working do fast, it felt like we were working in a professional kitchen! The knives went chak-chak-chak and fruits were being chopped so fast, someone had to run to find empty vessels to put them in!
Janani left early to prepare chukku coffee (a herbal drink, prepared with ginger, cumin, coriander seeds, pepper and jaggery; the drink that the people of the entire state of Tamil region and surrounding areas were drinking every day before the Indian Tea Board launched their advertisement campaign in the 1950s, which would eventually make everyone start drinking tea). Thank god she did that. We left at 6pm (the talk was scheduled to begin at 7, and Malleswaram was about 40 minutes away at the max), and got stuck in a terrible traffic jam. We eventually reached only by 7:30, and began the talk at 7:40!
Mr. Raghunandan, secretary, Rotary Club (Bangalore West) met me when we reached there. He had told me that about 30-35 members from Rotary Club would attend the talk, but when I walked in, the number was nearly double. He said it was Dr. Meenakshi’s magic.
Dr. Meenakshi Bharath, of the Loksatta party, a gynecologist and fertility expert in Malleswaram, has been following our program for the last 3 1/2 weeks, and has lot 4 kgs, got rid of her perimenopausal symptoms and is feeling much lighter and more active than before. She was so inspired by the positive changes she experienced that she had spread news of the talk to the whole of Malleswaram, drawing people in to listen to it.
She introduced me and told everyone her story of achieving health through Naturopathy and Yoga, and handed the stage to me. I was standing in a corner of the stage, desperately trying to get my presentation to work (It had worked fine at home, but for some reason the file just would not open there. I was already 40 minutes late, and wondering how I managed to get myself into such a situation!)
I tried many things, none of which worked. It just wouldnt open, so I apologised and went ahead with my talk. I will be uploading a video of the talk on youtube soon and sharing it here. I hope the editing gets done soon! I cant wait to share it!
You can find photos of the talk on my Facebook page.
We discussed about why we love tasty food – because in Nature, tasty food IS healthy food; about why the food we’ve been brought up to believe is ‘traditional’ and therefore healthy, and how our actual traditional food patterns kept us healthy for generations on end, until we adopted the processed food diet.
I also spoke in brief about physical activity, stress and the disconnect from nature that contributes to disease.
Dr. Praveen Jacob’s famous banana chips experiment was the highlight of the day, as usual. You can try this for yourself, and watch the magic unfold! Here’s how you do it:
- Take 2 banana chips.
- Hold them carefully with a pair of steel tongs.
- Spread 4 A4 size sheets or a newspaper sheet on the floor or desk.
- Light the chip on fire, and watch burning oil drip like crazy from them!
- You’ll be amazed at the amount of oil that drips from just two chips – and that, after a lot of oil is burnt up!
After the talk, we were treated to a fabulous dinner cooked by Radha Eswar and the team. Watermelon, papaya, banana, the famous coconut-jaggery sweet, ashgourd and chana curry, and raw banana curry with groundnuts. People literally queued up for second and third helping, and licked their plates clean. All the food was finished, even the bananas! (We had carried extra, just in case, and even that got finished.)
Nearly all the people who came, adults and children alike were surprised to learn many things about how our food affects our health, and wished to learn more. A huge thanks to Rotary Club for organising this event, and to Dr. Meenakshi for spreading the word.
Looking forward to see all of you at our upcoming workshop!
Dr. Achyuthan Eswar
Physician – Naturopathy, Yoga and Acupuncture