what i learnt about hunger

Even by conservative estimates almost a billion people in the world are undernourished. A third of all Indians are too poor to afford enough food. Almost half of Indian babies under 3 years of age are smaller than they should be. 1 in 3 of the world’s malnourished children live in India.

  • And yet most of the people reading this haven’t experienced hunger. I don’t talk about the ‘it’s 6pm and I haven’t had anything since breakfast’ hunger. We are brittle, our heads hurt if we skip a meal or two. We don’t really know the meaning of hunger.

  • That said, everyone must know what hunger is. Skipping food for 24 hours won’t do any good. Try restricting your food intake over a considerably longer period of time. If you can’t take it up without a pretext try Ramazan, Navratri/Shravan, Lent, Varsitap depending on your religion. While I don’t see the point of religious fasting, I understand that some people find it easy to fast when the God so commands. Don’t do it if you have diabetes, even if you think it’s God’s will.

  • Know hunger and you will know a lot more about yourself. Your body will behave in ways you never knew it could. You will think differently, behave differently – a new self will open to you. In that sense fasting is like doing drugs, only safer and cleaner. You will come out the better for it.

  • The ultimate point of fasting is to make you understand your body better. You can have pretexts to your fast, but it won’t make you realise God (and is unlikely to melt the Government’s heart too). It will show you what it means to be hungry. Most Hindu fasts are a joke. They just prescribe an alternate menu for the day. No white salt, but black salt does. No wheat and rice, but sago and potatoes are good. Duck the carbs, take the fats.

  • In winter one tends to be hungrier than in warm seasons. I am told this has to do with the need to maintain inner body temperature. What I hear is: Pig out when it’s cold.

  • You shop for more food when you are hungry and you end up buying a lot of junk. Make sure you have eaten well before you enter the food market. You will save money and avoid saturated fat.

  • Two years ago it was okay to chomp down six ghee parathas with four helpings of dal makhni, the metabolism could handle it. Now I am at an age (21) when you need to recalibrate your hunger to better suit your metabolism. As it is Indians have a tendency for central fat deposition and Indians are probably one of the most unfit people in the world. And yet many of us, including me, overeat and under-exercise (if at all).

  • ‘Diet’ is not a taboo word. It doesn’t mean starvation, neither is it only for women/fat people. If you are thin, you need a diet. If you feel weak, you need a diet. If you are too heavy for your own good, you need a diet. Diet (the verb), people! Learn to manage your hunger. That said, don’t do retarded things like these. Respect your body at all times.

  • Food is wonderful. But keep in mind what Plato said (not about food): Nothing overmuch. Talk to your body and listen to it too. If you eat till you are bloated, you are doing it wrong. Take into account changes in lifestyle and levels of physical activity and compensate for it by changing your diet.

  • Most importantly, don’t waste food. Take smaller helpings to avoid wastage. It is vulgar that food goes to waste when half the county’s kids are malnourished.

10 thoughts on “what i learnt about hunger

  1. Interesting observations there… I liked the part about comparing fasting to doing drugs. Ha ha… kind of reminds me of tantrums and mood swings.

  2. Thanks, Deboshree. Headaches come first, followed by irritation, then fatigue and then, if you can still pull through, a real lightness that takes some getting used to.

  3. Don’t know if you remember but, we discussed this thing once when we used to stay in Rukmini House. For happy and healthy living you need to do the following: 1. kile mein raho. (live in a palace)2. chappan bhog kaho.(eat awesome food)3. rajsi bistar par so. (sleep on a king size bed)

  4. By mistake I posted my comment in the wrong box. Actually my last comment was for this post. It’s difficult to keep up with the Kila..

  5. kavitayein padh raha tha. Yeh samne aa gayi, socha yahan post kar dunभूख सबसे पहले दिमाग़ खाती हैउसके बाद आँखेंफिर जिस्म में बाक़ी बची चीज़ों कोछोड़ती कुछ भी नहीं है भूखवह रिश्तों को खाती हैमाँ का हो बहन या बच्चों काबच्चे तो उसे बेहद पसन्द हैंजिन्हें वह सबसे पहलेऔर बड़ी तेज़ी से खाती हैबच्चों के बाद फिर बचता ही क्या है।

  6. Thanks for sharing it here. And sorry for my late replies (including to our Bhagat Singh conversation), have pathetic internet. Aaj kai dino baad chala. Woh bhi aata-jata hai aur basic HTML view ke alawa aur kuch nahi chalta. Reply zaroor karunga. Sabr kar.

  7. Hi ! AD Ek cheez aur hai ,Money can Buy you Food, But not Hunger.Hard Work is necessary to Evoke Genuine Hunger.Otherwise the boundaries between hunger,greed ,addiction are easily blurred.Loved the poem above.Varsha

  8. True that. I sometimes feel bad for how much people miss out on by never knowing hunger in its true form. Anyway, thanks for dropping by!

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