Saturday, April 26, 2014

Food for Teeth

             If you thought millions of people in mera Bharat( that’s mahan) grapple with the problem of not knowing from where their next meal would come, you are all wrong-or else you are not watching much of the idiot box as much as the people calculating  the TRP suppose you do!
Now what is TRP? It is Television Rating Points. That’s someone  somewhere is glad to know how much you weigh as a couch-potato. So when you are watching TV someone is ‘watching’ you like the BB (Big Brother).  A cute device called ‘People’s Meter’ might have been attached to your TV. Or to the one in one of your neighbors’ house. Or in the next one. This device keeps track of what you watch and how often, how long etc. And that info is accessed by the geniuses who are after your hair, teeth, smell etc. Whatever, it is a statistical sample they look for, and finally they include you in it, no matter whether you really do watch TV so much or any less. Now back to the board room.   
We, the people of India, have teeth as our obsession instead of meals. That’s what I have concluded having been idiotised  by the precious box! Health of our teeth, their lustre, the way we smile… not leaving behind the gums, the sensitive teeth etc etc ! Everything counts. Did you say food…tell me whose life is it anyway? If growth rate means growing number of Swiss bank accounts and the amount deposited therein, in tandem, we are a very rich country and only a rich country can afford to be so callous and display monumental negligence when it comes to storing food grains! Believe it or not, we, the people of India allow food grains to rot!
It is just a tip of the iceberg. Deep down what has been rotting is our sensitivity. Rotting food grains is just a pointer to our moral decay. This is in spite of the Supreme Court of India passing strictures on such callousness. Parliamentary elections are underway in India and it is not an election issue. It is not that we cannot. It is just that we don’t want it. We allow jewelry worth  up to Rs 11 lakh crores (1,10,000 billion)  remain idle just in one temple only, that is Sri Anantha Padmanabha temple in Kerala, leave alone other temples across India. We build metro trains, temples, send satellites, hold Kumbh melas, IPL ( read as betting),  Commonwealth Games spend Rs 50,000 crores (Rs 500 billion) on AADHAAR ( a twelve digit unique identity to every Indian) …can’t we build warehouses for food grains? It’s apathy at its worst with a halo of brazenness around it.
Kalahandi in Orissa. Not a tourist spot .Not very well known. But it made headlines once upon a time for all wrong reasons. Tribal people therein died of starvation and provided enough fodder for the media and ammunition to the opposition. The story paled into the oblivion, blinded as we were by the some other burning issues (like our teeth, for example). I for one, can never forget how I felt like my food-pipe wrenching or the revulsion I felt for the civilized world when I read about the people in Klahandi having rodents as their staple diet.       

I apologize for digressing into such non-issues when the subject matter of the discussion is dental care! Remember the news of some astronomical sums agreed to be paid at entry level itself to some biz school products? It is this type of whiz kids who lose sleep over things like strength of your teeth, their radiance (so flashy that it acts as a deterrent like lightning, at least in commercials sometimes) They rack their brains on matters as vital as these. Hatching marketing strategies matching the income groups, that is! 

Paste over, comes the burning issue of brushing!  What type of toothbrush   do you use? Have you ever bothered to check the tips of those bristles? No you haven’t. No problem. Somebody is doing that for you. Like you see in some TVCs, the difference between the ordinary tooth   brushes and the ones designed for the discerning buyer that you are! Now, if you have a lens, time and a little patience coupled with   an incisive   mind, just have a closer look at your tooth brush-you will be horrified to find how ineffectual it has been in discharging its duty. So switch over to the latest one! And never forget to put as much amount of tooth paste as you often find in the ads! (Or else a part of the work force in the dental industry may be out of business leading to some serious economic consequences, forcing them to go to the basics such as where-from-the-next-meal-would-come!) And never hurl uncomfortable questions such as ‘if the best tooth paste and the best tooth brush is all that’s to dental care, who will take care of dentists and their dependents, who eventually will find it hard to make both ends meet?’ Or ‘in the final analysis, do we need to have such stronger teeth, stronger than the food we intake’or ‘Are we supposed to bite one another in defense or offence having teeth stronger than necessary for the mankind?’ Better still ‘what about our forefathers who brushed their teeth only with neem leaves or even charcoal and yet survived’ or  ‘name the brand of tooth paste and tooth brush that’s the favourite of lions, tigers and for that matter sharks’ and so on. Unsettling! Irksome!

Come on, the people behind these TV commercials, print ads and all other intrusions into your lives you can think of, are no dimwits. It is not for nothing that they get paid every month what you could dream of saving in your lifetime. Go ahead. Let your thoughts starve with no food in sight. But keep brushing your teeth applying the best paste using the best toothbrush. Let’s build a nation strong enough to bite, chew and digest whatever comes our way…who knows what is in store for us on a rainy day? Some foodologists (Yes! Foodologists! Why not?) have already warned that shortage of food world over would force mankind to replace the bread and butter from our plates with insects some shoo away from the very plates.  Calories, proteins, carbohydrates, iron you get them all in crickets, caterpillars, termites, snails and what not! Now you know what Darwin meant by survival of the fittest! That’s if you are fit enough to shut your eyes and nose and swallow the so called carriers of proteins etc. well you would survive! That day we would realize why teeth come first and not food! Happy dining, till that time!