International Yoga day is here, so roll out your mats and exhale your worries, like the Americans would say. And yes, our PM declared to thunderous applause that more people in US have attempted the downward dog pose over throwing a curve ball, but that we are still not claiming the intellectual property right on yoga. Good speech, but we Indians have hardly been intellectual about anything of heritage value. We wait for The Guardian to carry an article on Turmeric Latte before embracing our own haldi doodh. We wait for Bryant Park to hold its nth annual yoga event to even think that our open spaces could do something other than marriages and currently we are still sipping our green tea because Silicon Valley being gung-ho about masala chai has not become mainstream news.
So what’s the point? The whole point is that ke darling sabse bada rupaiya. Till enough money doesn’t go into marketing a certain idea, packaging it and selling it, consumers don’t buy it. But then, amongst the many things that money cannot buy is health, peace and well-being. Everything that has been passed down to us through oral tradition is of value, at least to our health, and we must make an honest attempt to understand why yoga was a part of routine life or haldi doodh a therapy for sore throat. Oral traditions get passed on with the agenda of the well-being of the next generation. There is no government to back it, food or pharma industry to sponsor a study or media outlets to sponsor it. This wisdom exists without going glam, without professionals and even without seekers in search of a quick fix. And that’s worth celebrating every day.
(Rujuta’s new book, Indian Superfoods, is out and available on the Juggernaut books app.)