Here's the promised image of the gorgeous yellow roses shot by my daughter Arundhati. My heart soars each time I spot them.... even the birds outside her window have been eyeing them since they were placed there...
This appeared in Sunday Times yesterday....
Narendra Modi’s Diet Plan….
Move over Kareena Kapoor. Narendra Modi’s Size Zero is the new mantra for a leaner, meaner and definitely sexier silhouette. You may be the hottest ‘Heroine’ in tinsel town with the best bod in the biz. But there’s nobody to beat Hero Narendrabhai. Especially when it comes to nutrition and diet. He is poised to revolutionise the world of wellness with fresh definitions of what it takes to look awesome. So awesome, that the entire world is compelled to take notice of this unique weight loss programme. For starters it involves turning vegetarian. No problems with that. Vegetarianism is a rapidly growing food trend, as is evident from the number of fancy veggie gourmet options available worldwide these days. Eating ‘ghaas-phoos’ is now considered pretty cool and celebrities who shun meat are seen as role models for the movement. Then there are the Vegan diet freaks… macrobiotic food fanatics… vaghera, vaghera.The… ahem… bottom line remains the same – effective and healthy weight loss. But trust our Narendrabhai to give a new spin to all these fads and beliefs. Modi gives a new spin to almost everything in any case. Why not food?
In a recent interview to the Wall Street Journal, Modi was in a particularly expansive mood. Perhaps it was the diet dhokla he’d eaten for lunch. Or an oil free thepla. Asked about the high rate of malnutrition in the State of Gujarat, Modi glibly assured the interviewer that the problem was not one of a food shortage. It was more an aesthetic issue with the State’s middle class. Apparently, middle class Gujaratis were more concerned about being beautiful (read: thin) to bother with health. It gets worse, Modi then went on to suggest that appearance conscious middle class mothers in his State eat the wrong food or eat less, so as to compete with today’s standards of female attractiveness. This outrageous statement had women across the board up in arms. Leading the protest was Ambika Soni who huffed and puffed about Modi’s insensitivity towards women who ‘sacrifice’ their own food to feed families. As we well know, a woman who starves herself in our society for the sake of her children, is seen as the ultimate mataji. Modi really should have known better.
Making malnutrition a vanity issue , is adding insult to injury. It is the poor in Gujarat who are suffering. As it is the poor across the world who are the real victims of malnutrition.Social Scientist Professor Ghanshyam Shah pointed out in a newspaper interview, “Bluntly speaking, it appears that either he does not know what he is speaking or he is terribly unaware of the ground reality. This issue is prevalent among poor and weaker sections like minorities,tribals, dalits and rural OBCs.” Clearly, figure conscious, middle class ladies do not fall into this category. And someone needs to tell Modi there is a difference between fashionable anorexia and actual malnutrition. In fact, had Modi cared to pay some attention to a report tabled by his own health and family welfare department, he would have been more responsible while making those facetious comments to WSJ. According to the report, every second child below the age of five in Gujarat is underweight. An NSSO survey indicates that the average Gujarati diet has deteriorated due to poverty in the State. Modi’s aggressive attempts to position Gujarat as a land of milk and honey are unfortunately not matched by statistics. Despite these depressing findings, a startling 42% of urban Indians are ready to accept Modi as the next Prime Minister. India is clearly starved in the leadership stakes.
Given Modi’s radical views, his latest malnutrition missile should also be seen in the same context. Perhaps, the next beauty contest can be hosted by Modi in Gujarat. Our lovelies can benefit greatly from Modi’s diet tips, since he is now a self declared expert on weight loss and nutrition. Publishers would happily give Modi a big, fat advance for a book on ‘Thin is In – Modi-style’. The Modi Diet could become a global best seller. Let nobody ruin Modi’s unique theory by pointing to the WHO report that states malnutrition is responsible for 54% of child mortality.Right now, Modi’s on a roll. Ladies of Gujarat, do watch those waist ( not waste) lines. As for the starving folks of the State. Modi, the Marie Antoinette of the Bens and Bhais of Gujarat, may just roar, “Let them eat cake…. Err… make that mohan thaal.”