Monday, January 9, 2012

congee party

here in vaidyagrama they go for the real deal. only authentic ayurveda. what does that mean? dr ramkukar gets this question a lot. he says, we go by the classical, ancient ayurveda text, we act according to the text, we perform treatments as described in the text. but then this compassionate doctor also has another guiding principle. something is better than nothing. 
case in point. the text says the food during pancharma is kanji and boiled veg, twice a day, at ten thirty and five thirty. kudos to him he tirelessly finds innovative and lighthearted ways to get this across in our awareness. but he never says, you have to do this. rather, he understands that people, particularly those from the west, like, or more accurately, need a dinner party every now and then. so he would organize these communal supper after evening prayer. yes, we never skip evening prayer here. always promptly at six fifteen. anyway the cooking staff would bring in cookers, pots and pans and so on. he would beam with a mischievous twinkle and says, wine will be served after food. sure enough we would be served our cocktails, i mean our medicines. and we are ecstatic.

a couple of days ago there was one such supper for the occasion of russian orthodox christmas. a congee party. i’m not kidding. he has a pot of red rice congee, a pot of veg and a sprinkle bar set up on a marble bench. he plants his beaming face at the marble bench and serves a little bit of three powder mixes on each tray. coriander. curry. mint. and then he throws in his booming laughter and says, put a little of each in congee, tell me which one you like. i have to say. i love them all. i down two bowls. i look around. everybody is happy eating kanji. who knew. 

i offer salutations to these beautiful souls.

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