Early to bed, early to rise makes you healthy, wealthy and wise – so goes the old adage. Less and less people follow this today. How else can you explain the television Prime Time that has moved from 9 pm to 11 pm? Except for a handful few, every one of us including the kids, more so the toddlers, are into this habit of staying up quite late into the night, then waking up early because there is no other option, what with office and school timings showing no remorse, and then, sleeping through the beautiful morning hours on a Sunday. On every other day the morning ritual is quite simple – Get up, eat and rush. Basking in the vitamin-rich morning sun is a thing of past. Who does it now? Let me answer. Literally no one! And that explains the additional Vitamin D powders and tablets we have added to our diets and how we constantly look for the otherwise easily available and free of cost ‘D’ in the expensive cereals, salt made expensive with fancy names and atta (flour) that needs to be fortified now. Anyway, the old adage has long attained a new form – Late to bed and whenever possible to rise makes one wealthy and wise, never mind the health. And to imagine that the new madness engulfing us is ‘Health’ and the million ways to good health that people are scrambling over themselves to adopt yet choose to ignore the obvious methods is paradoxical. Health brings me to the welcome trend of the day; our re-introduction to indigenous grains, but not before we have had our share of the ridiculously expensive imported Quinoas, Oats, Corns of the world. Today its millets and organic vegetables and meats available at every cost range possible. Taking this trend forward, surprisingly for me were the food courts on Vijayawada Highway that I discovered on a recent visit. Viviera’, ‘Bharateeyam’, ‘Rajugari Thota’ and several more you can see coming up offering amazing menu with items like millet thali, millet idli, korra pongal…Who wouldn’t go bonkers over such food that gives you a false sense of being all healthy and good; albeit for a short time, before we fall back into our holiday mode and eat as indiscriminately as possible not bothering about the consequences that will invariably follow.
Hyderabad to Vijayawada is one of the busiest highways, and over the years it has transformed, and how. Several years ago, I remember travelling in RTC buses, the overnight ones that would stopover at Suryapet bus station for food. And, we children would be treated to the amazing idlis, puri, dosa. And then there were these not so great looking hotels, which served some amazing food along the way. It may be the travel mood or the food itself, but somehow the whole experience has remained as part of good memories. Today, the highway in itself has become swanky, the toll has become dearer, and the food joints, at least quite a few of them look swanky, one of them even has the branded options like Dominos, Subway, Creamstone and Thickshake Factory. In addition to food, you can indulge in some shopping therapy, loiter around to stretch your legs, maybe have a car wash, and above all, bless your stars – for, finally, on an Indian highway, you have the facility to use clean – sparkling clean at that – and well-maintained loos that even have the sanitary napkin dispenser, dustbin, tissues, etc. Slipping into Hindi, I would say – “Bhagwan deta hai tho chappar phad ke deta hai” – God when he gives, he does so in abundance. And don’t forget there’s always cost attached to goodness. And, God has no control over it.