Let me make it an official statement: I am back! And hopefully I will be slowly back to my best days of blogging. The last couple of years of hibernation had less to do with any lack of new ideas but more with change in personal life, and my general laziness.
I'm back to India, and slowly settling into a new job in Gujarat, a state I never thought I would go to for a job. But then, life has its own surprises. So, this post is about Gujaratis. The first thing I realized when I moved here was that Gujarat is a 'dry' state. Prohibition in 'real' effect. No kalla charayam (illegal liquor), no deaths caused thereof, and generally a state that is far different to what the media loves to portray, post-Feb 2002. It is going places, literally, and is among the fastest growing states in the entire country for almost a decade now.
Gujjus love food, and milk, and sweets, and ice-cream, and generally veg food. On my very first day here, my colleague showed Gujaratis going for a 'family-walk' post-dinner and said "They are health-conscious; many go for a walk with the entire family, and then they eat an ice-cream before bed". Bah! Talk about instant hardwork-reward system!! Nevertheless, probably the parivar (family) that walks together, stays together.
For several years, I firmly believe that alcohol does a lot of bad things to human health; and you wont see many studies linking that to several of 'western' diseases, because almost everyone in the West drinks. Thats probably a reason why I think that we Indians, despite the poverty, low standards of living, malnutrition, and pollution still have a reasonable average lifetime, and we commonly find octogenarians+ among middle-class+ populations nowadays. So, I thought that Gujarat, where drinking is prohibited (one has to get license for special occasions), would have a generally higher lifetime.
But, nature has a way of averaging one effect with another. Gujaratis also love paan.. so you can see saffron-red spats all over the state. So disgusting but so much part of their life. The stuff in pan isnt really all that good for health. Without going into details such as how it first starts affecting oral health begining with staining teeth, weakening the gum, and slowly spreading its way into the body, I conclude saying that, though generally quite good these Gujjus are, they would do far better if they get rid of the paan somehow. Something for the concerned to chew upon!