Jalsa , Mumbai Feb 29 , 2012 Wed 10 : 35 PM
Made an effort to sit out in the sun at Jalsa, just by the balcony of my room and felt the sun and its power after such a long time. Its invigorating they say to do that and I hope it proves that for me. Nature has its own medical agenda for all living beings and it is fascinating that all medication ever manufactured comes from the earth that we live on. The chemicals, the formulation gets formalized through deep study, but the basics are Mother Earth. Regions of the world that do not have access to modern medication and its boundless qualities, have survived through ‘home made’ menas of cure – plants, leaves, dried roots – we hear so much about them and of the many that still practice the cause. Ayurveda, the ancient medicinal practice of India is still a most potent and popular form in many areas of the country and has known to be effective where other sciences have failed. I too have had access to them through some kind souls and found them to be of great benefit. The West too has desired often to patent many such drugs for their use. recently there was that great issue of the patent of a plant in India the ‘neem’. ‘Neem’ trees have existed all around us from the time when we were young and unaware of its qualities. But it is fascinating how such products find their way in our social existence, in our food habits, in our way of life, nurtured tried and tested through the ages to finally give benefit and cure. The ‘datun’ or the thin branch of the ‘neem’ tree is still a most used element in the cleaning of teeth in our villages. Cleaning of the teeth early in the morning by breaking off a small branch and rubbing it, tooth brush like, or chewing it vigorously between the teeth is considered to be the best for the upkeep of our chewing system within the mouth. No high powered dentist chambers, no dreaded dentist chair, drill, and all those other frightening looking equipments that modern science invents in the practice of tooth care. The ‘neem’ leaf has its own value and importance. Itching of the body during measles or small pox is taken care of by using ‘neem’ branches to rub on yourself. Dried ‘neem’ leaves are used to sanitize a room of a diseased person by burning them in the premise as a disinfectant. The ‘kopal’, or the fresh new ‘neem’ leaf is eaten for healthy blood. Its most bitter, but when did any good ever be achieved without bitterness ! They say sitting or sleeping beneath of the shade of the ‘neem’ tree is most healthy.
The ‘neem’ tree grew wild in almost all the places we have lived, but never was it given the importance that it deserved. Yes we were aware of its medicinal properties, but were never regular in its usage. Western manufacturing and marketing, made brands of consumables with the properties of the ‘neem’ and that was readily usable, but never the original. Various toothpaste brands now have special products with ‘neem’ in them. The juice of the ‘neem’ leaf is a healthy drink, as are many other fruits and plants.
Different parts of the world, considering their climate and locations and the weather that they experience, gave rise to the kind of food that was consumed. The Northern parts of the country which generally has vast periods of dry weather, gave rise to the food being cooked in large qualities of oil, to act as a lubricant for the system and vice versa in most regions that were more moist and wet.
There is so much talk of the various and diverse cuisine within India. But all of it is derived from living conditions, the weather and the natural growth of the earth it exists on. The grain fields of Punjab encourage wheat eating, the South with its miles of rice growth becomes their staple diet. A Bengali home without fish is unthinkable and so on. Just the variety of the food products all over India is a marvel in itself. Invasions too brought in their food culture and the Mughlai products are for most non vegetarians, the ultimate.
What a fascinating tale this is. Not just for India but indeed the world over – French, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, Mid Eastern, all having distinctive variety, importance and taste … and the palette for it ..
But all emanating from Mother Earth. So great is the contribution, so little the respect we give it by constantly abusing it …
What is it that we can do to preserve this God given asset. Perhaps all it asks of us is to allow it to simply breathe and grow on its own ..
No I do not get sponsored by any ‘nature’ or ‘green’ brigade. Its just something that I felt tonight ..
Love and good night …