As I sit on the train with my laptop to get past the next few hours till I get home, I wonder what to write about. I look around for inspiration and don't find anything interesting. Some passengers are busy on their smart phones trying hard not to show what they are browsing, while some are trying hard to make use of the TV service they have paid for on the train.
Nothing inspiring yet! Finally, I see my fellow passenger reading a book that has the chapter "never enough" the attitude our culture carries with it. That was going to be my inspiration. Just as I give this a thought, I see the passenger on the other side of the aisle forcing a samosa down his throat before the waiter takes away his plate!I was sure about how I was going to keep myself occupied for the rest of the journey.
This brings me to think of the attitude that many of us have. Why do we always eat? On trains, buses, car journeys and almost all times of travel. All we can think of is what we should eat and how we can spend more time eating. That's not all. Most of us never forget to pack some extra food for a night cap or to add that "extra meal" on the journey. We feed this attitude into little children as well. We never fail to pack some unhealthy snacks in their bags to keep them occupied through the journey! Have you ever thought of putting some games into his bag? To think of this attitude from a different perspective, isn't this how we are feeding ourselves to an unhealthy society and future every day?
We think twice about wasting or refusing food that we have paid for, or force ourselves to eat when someone needs company, or just eat because it's "time" for a meal! Isn't that a "gluttonous" characteristic? At most times, this becomes the reason for unwanted and unexplained weight gain. Many housewives fall prey to this habit. They also eat leftover food so that the food they have cooked doesn't go to waste and they don't have to carry it over for another day. I have seen this in my own home as well and I find it hard to change this attitude.
It's been about one and a half hours since my journey began and there has been a 200ml tetrapak of mango juice, a mayonnaise vegetable sandwich with a samosa and a sweet, 2 bread sticks with butter and a cup of tomato soup. Do you know how many calories that is? Most of the people on the train are not hungry (including me). But, the very fact that you have paid for the food makes us eat everything without wasting it. I feel like saying to them: "Hey, It's sometimes okay not to eat everything on your plate you know. Share it, give it to the hungry or return unopened packs. The railways will definitely use it in some way or the other".
So, now that we are aware of our "gluttonous" behaviour on journeys, what should we do about it? Learn to say NO is what I would say. Practise it every day and keep yourself distracted from food. If you are hungry, go ahead and eat, but choose what you can eat smartly. When you know there is a planned journey ahead of you, carry some food low in calories. Carry a fruit, some nuts, popcorn, boiled corn, some plain crackers or some dry fruits with you instead of masala dosas, biryani or some other form of oil-bathed rice. You don't have to refuse everything offered to you. If you really are tempted, take a piece of it. You don't have to finish it all on your own. If there are two of you travelling, take a single serve and share it. If you are travelling alone, choose what you want to eat from the meal plan. You don't have to gulp down the entire tetrapak of juice on your own. Learn to share. Eat some and carry the rest of it home. Again, I'm not trying to starve you on the train, but I'm just trying to give you a piece to think about - an attitude that needs a change.
I strongly believe that most problems around the world are due to misplaced attitudes. We have accepted these as a part of our lives. Littering on the street that you pay the government for, honking away on the road, wasting water, misusing public property and being inconsiderate to others are some attitudes that need to be given a thought. Some of you may think of this as just another article telling you what to eat. But, for me, writing this was about sending a message across to those of you who want to make a change for a better future. It's a small incident that inspired me to put this message across and I hope it gives you some food for thought.
And, dinner has arrived already!