Netaji’s Food Habits

Posted By Author on December 1, 2011

Netaji’s   Food   Habits   – OK

1.        ‘ He was fond of “SUPARI” (betel-nut) which he munched from morning till night. Physician Col. Raju used to be worried about this. He carried his excess even to a game of badminton’. ‘(J-327) See diary how he switched over to ‘ Haritaki’ instead of ‘Supari’ after lunch. Tilak also used take Supari whole day and he spent one year for exercise and swimming.

2.        Also mark Baba maintained badminton court at Shaulmari Ashram and at Dehradun and played with children.

3.          ’ Liked TEA at all times and he would chew BETTLE-NUT all the while (S-483)  ‘ I beg of him not to eat so much  ‘SUPARI MIXTURE’ (bettle-nut, CARDAMAOM, cloves) from morning till night………I tell him to SMOKE less.’ (S-107), (A-171) Baba used to take cardamom after meals and was a chain smoker. Some times there used to be forty buds in ash pot. In Singapore Netaji was addicted to coffee.

4.        VEGETARIAN. In his letter to mother, ” A month ago I gave up all non-vegetarian food except FISH. Nadada forced some meat.  I want to be Veg because our sages have said that non-violence is a great virtue.” Baba remained basically vegetarian. Gandhiji similarly left nonvegetarian food and also smoking. Both used to take long brisk walk.

5.        ‘ Whenever he had upset stomach, he would take only tea and lemon juice mixed with water.’(S-163). Baba would take lemon juice and rocksalt in warm water.

6.        ‘ Mother cooked Bengali food “MUNG DAL” with Indian spices. The Tiffin was carried to the Imperial Hotel (Tokyo) for Netaji. Uncle Hasan and uncle Habib were there.’ (A-Wednesday, 16/6/1943 A-25)

7.        ‘ His food consisted DAL BHAT, PURI, DAHI (Curd), Kela (Bananas),  (Q-585 Same with Baba.

8.        ‘ As per need he would adjust and pulled on days on dry ROTI. (S-381).So also Baba.

9          His needs were few, habits simple, food plane but liked SWEETS.’ (Q-207) Baba often took Rosgullas and sweets like chamcham, pithapuli, and sandesh. See diary as to how many sweets he prepared when I went to see him with my newly wed bride at Amarkantak. While in seclusion closed in room, he would receive food behind screen. (G-421) Identical was the habit of Baba.

10        BHATEBHAT. He told Mrs. Das to prepare his ‘ BHATEBHAT ‘, a rural dish in which rice is cooked with vegetables. {O-82) Khichari and bhatebhat was common dish to us when with Baba.

11        Unpunctuality and irregularity extended to his food also. He was not choosy or demanding about what he ate and never had any fixed hours for his meals. Twenty to thirty cups of tea a day was his usual quota. He took coffee in S.E. Asia. (J-326) Baba asked for a hot cup of tea at my brother in Raipur.

12     Curry was very good followed by some sweet. (A-174) Sweet dish made              from split milk was a must item in Baba’s food.

13        In matters of diet again he was simple. He would not refuse a dainty dish. Like Vivekananda he would not eschew MEAT or FISH. He displayed special liking for village specialties, preparations of COCONUT: Chinir puli, monohara, narikel naru, rascara, chatter burfi, murir naru, nioa, khaichur, tiler naru and tiler chakti…. Invite friends to his table…. For simplicity of his diet and his daily habits he was always at home in unaccustomed surroundings, in distant villages, in poor man’s hut, and in the palaces of kings. (I-87) Inviting guests for lunch in time was Baba’s habit

14    He looked a physical wreck on arrival (Madras jail from Seoni and Jabalpur jails). He lived mostly on tea and water mixed with lime juice.’ (J-104)

15                During fast unto death he informed the authorities,” I shall take only water with salt.” (L) Baba always left his fast on water mixed with salt.

16      He would throw dinner parties (G-552) Spinach, gourd, banana and apples were his favourite choice. Exactly same with Baba.

17      ‘ Often gave dinner parties with Vibha’s help’ (G-339)

See diary for comparison of all these mentioned above.

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