Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Been blog lazy, or blog averse or both

First because the weekend was a loungy sleepy affair with lingering meals, cake smell in the air, puppy sir eating all inedible things, the anticipation of a visa, meeting old uncles and discovering the joys of 5 people sitting around a kitchen wondering how anything was getting cooked at all.

Community Cooking in any form is such a joy, with banter and conversation and everyone running amok when the onions are getting chopped. Meals made like that are almost not eaten because the cooking somehow fills your tummy, but there is so much deeper a connect to the food when you make it than when it has just appeared from somewhere…

When we were in the ashram, the rules of eating were simple.

Step one.- sit on the floor with everyone and wait to be served. No matter how starved you are, one was not to eat till every person had been served each dish that had been prepared.

This meant, that after getting up at 5 am, then the bhanjans, yoga, and all that when you were dying to gobble up anything in sight, you sat there and saw the food. 

EVEN THEN you could not eat! A old women would materialize and the hall would vibrate with chants of 

Hare Rama Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare hare.,..
Hare Rama Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare hare.,..

Hare Rama Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare hare.,..
Hare Rama Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare hare.,..

Chanting over, in pure silence the room would slowly commence the task of eating. The silent understanding being that each person had to chew the food atleast 50 times before swallowing. One of my best friends at the ashram was very particular about it too

Silently, she would put in a teeny bit of food. Sit straight away from the plate.
Chew, chew, chew, chew, chew, chew. Chew, chew, chew. Chew, chew,. Chew, chew, chew, chew, chew. Chew,…. And again chew. Chew, chew, chew. Chew,,, before swallowing.

After a few days, I made sure that I did not look at her till I had atleast gobbled half the food on my plate; because if I had, I would also have commenced chewing and becoming aware of the food, thinking of the potato, the farmer, the soil, mother earth, the water, evaporation, meditation, ideation and forgotten about eating the next bite.. So focused eating was my mantra.

But jokes aside, eating slowly and consciously makes so much difference to the manner of eating, You taste and smell. You chew and savour. A small plate of food lasts much longer and fills you faster.

Of course I ate two crackers while writing this post, none of them in the manner listed above. All said and done there is a lot that the food you eat says about you, the manner you eat in about how you grew up and there is something delightfully heart warming watching someone relish the food that they are eating,

To food the one thing we all cant do without