Sunday, December 14, 2014

Hunger Strikes

Life is filled with those fears- tiny or large, petty or even massive such that they take us by the scruff of the neck and hold us back. But there are also those fears which we get past, and it makes those fears vanish into emptiness, and at times instead of ‘not hating’ them, we begin loving the thing which scares us the most.

That sounded so much similar to the Stockholm syndrome. Life is not about living in the fear of those fears which scare us; it’s about living in the present, such that the fear gets vanquished.

We are scared of a lot of things, ranging from water to heights, from animals to confined spaces. I’ve heard names for all of those phobias, and to be frank, the names scare the wits out of me. So, I was just browsing through a long list of names for all the phobias, when I realized that there isn’t a name for the phobia I used to have. Isn’t that strange? Yes, very strange.

Sitophobia. Weird in itself, the name doesn’t reveal anything at all about the fear itself. Sitophobia is the fear of getting fat, and it is a psychological disorder in which the patient doesn’t eat a lot, and the fear of gaining weight leads to extreme loss of weight, and a reduction in nutrition levels.

No, this is not what I had. My friends would say that this isn’t me at all, from head to toe, and being the foodie I am, this is impossible. My fear was the exact opposite of sitophobia I must say, and sadly I haven’t been able to coin a name for the same- the fear of staying hungry.

As you all know, food is my first and most precious love, which I shall always be delighted to have at my side. This episode ranges back to the time when I had vacations, long vacations, and there was nothing to do other than lazing around, basking in the light of the computer and TV screens all day long. That’s when I first came face to face with my fear.

My mother would go out shopping, and I would choose to stay back at home with my games, TV shows, and the pile of books for the vacation, which wouldn’t even last a quarter of the holidays. With the multitude of activities my brain was doing at the same time, the hunger rose in me, and with the heat of the summer, it would stay for long. (I guess now it exists forever.)
I was a bit too small then to walk to the nearest store to grab a bite, nor had I ventured ever into the kitchen to cook a bit (not even Maggi). I would have my mother make a lot of excess snacks for me, and I would chew on them slowly throughout the day. Then the question rose in my mind, “What if mom goes out for a few days, then what shall you do.”

That was the time I realized I needed to get over the fear and make sure I was able to cater to myself whenever I was hungry. Getting fast food from the shop on the corner wasn’t the most feasible option at all times, and then the brainwave struck me.

The next time I was hungry, I walked into the kitchen, just like a warrior walking into battle, and I decidedly made a small meal for myself. These experiments soon reached my mother’s ears and she began including me in her dishes’ beta versions. I still remember making a cake which didn’t rise, all because of the flour I used, and I’m sure I shall remember it as an experiment gone wayward.

Today, along with loving food, I am quite in love with the art of cooking as well, and yes, I am not scared of being hungry now. Be it 2 hours past midnight or noon, I can cook up something; just when hunger strikes.

This post is written for Rise above fear! in association with and Mountain Dew India. For more information about Mountain Dew India, you can visit their Facebook Page. To view another destroyed fear, you can see the video below.

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