I was not ‘mad’ after food, till I grew old, though I did like food always and ate well.
During my bachelor days in ‘Panchavadi’ a 10 years- long period, I used to have lunch in our Lab. canteen and for dinner used to walk eight miles to the Taj Hotel in Secunderabad, along with roommates. In between we had an old man as a cook for a short period till he disappeared with the treasures in our kitchen – few aluminum vessels, dented and disfigured . At times the kind women in our neighborhood Rajam Mami and Kolathu Mami used to feed us.
Excellent food, I enjoyed for three decades when my wife was alive.
Then again food was not a big attraction except during the fairly long periods, spent with my children in USA.
In Habsiguda, my brother used to cook when his health was good, though at times he used to add sambar podi in rasam and rasa podi in sambar, or my sisters used to feed us or a part time cook for some time, or myself exhibiting my expertise in making Podiarisi Kanchi and praising it sky- high – you know all such tricks for survival.
The real value of eating and enjoying food, I realized only when I saw, some relatives, young and old, unable to eat food due to some health problems, though excellent food was available to them. Seeing a relative eating a handful of rice, as prescribed by the doctor, brought from home, with no side dishes, while the entire guests including me, were enjoying excellent food , in a wedding feast, brought tears to my eyes.
I adore my food now. Yes, I do.
And I’m grateful to my Creator for retaining my body functions to enjoy and digest food.
Similarly I’m grateful to the same Bada Sahib, for giving me plenty of time to sleep and also for retaining my body functions to enjoy sleep.
Some of my friends get up at three in the morning and disturb their better halves ( not with any ‘bad’ intentions as they are too old for that) but just to nag them, or despatch tons of ‘ happy day’ messages with or without photos to their FB friends.!
After my Upanayanam, I was asked to pray God before and after eating.
I left that habit. Have restated now. Food is God.
हे न जाणावे साधारण ।
अन्न ब्रह्मरूप जाण ।
जे जीवनहेतु कारण ।
विश्वा यया ।। – श्री भावार्थदीपिका (श्री ज्ञानेश्वरी ३:३३)
Saint Dnyaneshvar says, ‘Food itself is Brahma’ The whole universe originates from, sustains on and merges into Brahma. Similarly, all living beings originate from, survive on and merge into food.