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Annadaanam – Time to think than eat.

Annadhanam according to our culture says "Giving food is as good as giving life" is a saying . It is believed that those who provide food are elevated to the status of lord. In all the charities, the greatest importance is placed for providing free food for the needy.

Our community being a temple centered, well-knitted socially and religious tuned group has many temple festivals and an array of social functions like marriages, receptions, charadu kettu (knotting of threads around the waist of babies on the day of 28th), birthdays, seemanthams within the society and also bound to be a part of many other occasions from outside our community. Upholding the social importance of these functions, we have to see the other side of all these social get together parties which are mostly flavored with foods of variety from various catering services prepared on a commercial basis. Especially, in the marriage and festivals seasons, these food fever melas are too many that always promotes our habit of food intake in its excess like feeding the already tummy full.

Importance of food intake is known to everyone but what to take? How much to take?  And when to take is not the real concern of the majority, especially, in the fast moving world of today. Based on the nature of job, personal and physical conditions food intake habits may differ but the basic idea behind should be that, the food we intake should give us a good disease free life of satisfaction.

Food – “Annam” can cause addictions and may lead us to over eating. It is wise to notice that mainly through food we open up ourselves to many sorts of diseases and severe health set-backs. Food being the life giving source can give us life dragging experiences without its proper usage. In other words, annam, the elixir can become a poison in its improper usage and application.

To say it openly, our community is the most food obsessed one with very poor health fitness habits, spends and donates much on annadhanam’s within and outside our community. Thanks to our past that majority of our folks are still vegetarians; else the situation would have been very different and worse.

It is now time to think and apply our thoughts to our personal and society level, to set examples for a new form of healthy life-styles which is eco-friendly, life-supportive, natural and organic in nature.

Charity in the form of annadhanam is divine but now we need peoples who promote the importance of fasting , dieting and vratams to strike a balance and lead a life of class. We can see our food obsession has taken us to the unhealthy extremes and we fall into the shape of comic cartoons. We have almost forgotten the beautiful, health rejuvenating path of fasting and religious vrathas prescribed by our ancestors. Fasting has now become the small scale business of only few good old ladies.

So it is time to make readjustments and changes from within to reach in a social level. Let us derive a menu that give us both inner and outer beauty , make us healthy, wealthy and spiritually uplifting.

Gopakumar Radhakrishnan

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