I had been a pathetic student of biology in my school days. (No, I wasn’t decent in other sciences either. My expertise in chemistry was as hopeless as a flying ostrich. That’s one reason I am highly indebted to the municipal corporation of Bangalore, for they have never given me a chance to forget my chemistry lab. The similar rotten smells from the open sewers can always be revived at infinite places, but that is a different story. We would talk about biology today.) Irrespective of our knowledge in biological sciences, the one thing that all of us remember is the disease called “gastrointestinal illness”. In not so scientific language, it is termed as diarrhea/dysentery or stomach disorders or loose motions or simply dast.
The other day when I moved out of Reliance “Fresh”(stone hard bhindi lying alongside 10 day old karela, and they still call it fresh. They are the only one in the vicinity who accepts sodexho food coupons, so I am left with little choice. For those of you who are unaware of this sodexho bliss, you may not be doing optimum tax planning :-)), I saw a panipuri walla standing right next to the parking lot. (Of course it is a no parking zone, but all of us love to break the rules until we get to do our bit of social service) Armed with countless readings on hygiene and stuff like that, I tried my best to ignore the panipuri guy. But the battle was soon lost when the smell of tamarind reached my nostrils and I meekly surrendered to the might of my salivary glands. One, two, three and the counting started. There is this option of eating golgappas only in the multiples of seven and after I munched my 14th piece, I stopped. Well, I didn’t have to compete with anyone, as there wasn’t any babe eating alongside (Sigh. It never happens with me. Rather, there was a mid aged woman, giving free gyan on preparing the masala. The panipuri guy would have hated her for sure.)
I reached home and in couple of hour time, started feeling the movement of troops in my stomach. The Spartan army was preparing its assault on city of Troy. Alarmed with the movement, I looked for some medicine but couldn’t find anything. I cursed myself for not listening to Rakesh Bedi in the old doordarshan ad where he is shooting the gastrointestinal demons. “Goliyon ka bhi asar nahin? Inka ilaaj goliyan nahin ayurved hai. Bhavnagar waale Seth brothers ka Kaayam churna”. In Navjot Siddhu’s terminology, my state was like a “fish without water” (or should I say – a fish with loads of water)
Finally with some divine intervention, Baba Ram Dev came to my rescue. I had a bit of recollection of a program on home remedies that they once showed in the local channels in Dehradun. Baba had advocated the usage of heeng (asafetida) and jeera (cumin seeds) with hot water in such circumstances. After few rounds of farts and salty burps, the heeng-jeera combo helped in bringing truce between the Trojans and the Spartans without any bloodbath. One more entry was added to the never-ending list of babaji’s fans.
No, I haven’t stopped eating panipuri. With babaji’s blessing and ayurved at my side and with the condition of multiples of seven, I would aim for 21 someday. If Michael Phelps could do it, why can’t me? But a word of free gyan from the veterans:
Try fooling your mind but never your stomach.