Feeding the Hungry World

  • Khushwant Singh
  • |
  • Updated: Dec 23, 2012 23:16 IST

During my years working in Bombay, I took a week off to visit Anand Milk Colony run by Verghese Kurien and his wife. I was most impressed by what they were doing.  Farmers owning cows or buffaloes brought their spare milk produce from their villages and sold it to them.

The Kuriens organized its sale to get them full compensation with profit and marketed it for them. It was perhaps the largest milk production combine with assured sales without government assistance in the world. The Kuriens were proud of what they were doing.  So was I, I felt the couple deserved Bharat Ratnas for what they were doing. 

They are still around and busy as ever.  A few months ago, they called on me in Delhi. The good work continue after Kurien's death. The Central government should give them the recognition they richly deserve.


Pandit Ravi Shankar 

I. had the privilege of befriending the sitar maestro during my two years in All India Radio.  He was also giving private tuition to Sheila Bharat Ram. My wife and I were  close friends of the Bharat Ram and often ran  into him in their home.

Ravi Shankar was the most sought after man by the male employees in the broadcasting house.  It was not only because he was the best sitar player of his time but also a great raconteur of bawdy tales. 

I wonder if he continued relating them after he was recognized as one of the world's greatest creative musician and conferred the title of Bharat Ratna. 

I also wonder if he found listeners of his bawdy tales living in San Diago, California. Perhaps, he could not stomach the foul atmosphere prevalent in the motherland and decided to spend his last years in the more salubrious climate of California.


Healer's Role

Some weeks ago at about midnight, there was painful churning in my stomach.  I sent my servant to get Dr IPS Kalra, who lives in the neighbouring block of my apartment.  He came within five minutes.  After taking my blood pressure, blood count he asked "Potty theek aatee hai?" I replied:  "Nahin theek aatee." 

He went back to his clinic-cum-home and came with some pills which he asked me to take.  I did so.  The churning pain subsided.

Thereafter, he took to dropping in at his will to take my blood pressure and blood count. His final question always was "Potty theek theek aati hai?" And my answer was "Nahin!  theek theek nahin aati."   He changed  the medicines he had prescribed earlier.

I believe that the doctor-patient relationship should be dictated by the doctor and not his patients. He can watch his patients' blood pressure and blood count and ask about your potty. 

It may cost a little more but that is worthwhile because it is based on the ages-old adage  "Care is better than cure."


II. Rare Bhojan

Preservatives in food are very damaging."  Chief Ismail Ertekin told reporters in his Avanto restaurant in  Zurich, "far more damaging than  one of my poisonpizzas. Each of my hand-made pizzas was guaranteed poisonous, and free from all preservatives. 

It was made with a topping of venom from spiders, scorpions, and snakes according to an old homeopathic remedy, plus a blend of my own secret ingredients. They were amazingly popular with my customers, especially with people who have a phobia of  spiders or snakes.

They were using the pizzas as a way to get over their fears, and they also liked the great taste, but sadly I've now been banned from poisonpizzas by the health authorities."

Earlier, Environmental Health Officer Ferdinand Uehli had ordered the restaurant to stop serving the poisonpizzas saying that medical products are not food stuffs, and they are not allowed to be used as an ingredient in food.  Therefore we had to ban the poisonpizzas, even though they did not contain a lethal dose of poison.

However, Ertekin is still allowed to sell his restaurant's other specialty pizza, which is topped with shavings of 24-carat edible gold.  "Gold is one of the oldest medical treatments in the history of mankind.  It can really help the immune system and boost your health as well as your wealth.  This is Zurich, the home of multi-millionaire  bankers, and they are snapping up my gold pizzas, at  14 pounds a slice.  A few more and they really will be fat cats."

(Courtesy:  Private Eye, London)

III. Bottom Line

Santa: I had gone to the beach in Goa, and the bottoms I saw were either big or bigger.

Banta:  What does that prove?

Santa: "That as far as people are concerned, "Bade Achhe Lagte Hain."

(Contributed by Rajeshwari Singh, Delhi)


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