India, with all it’s diverse cultures, diets, and everything that seems to change with every 15 minutes you walk from hither to thither, almost … has an interesting tale to tell you about Bengalis.
“Bongs”, as they’re called – or “we’re called”, I should say.
Part of my “heritage” is Bengali.
Now, although I was born in Bengal, remember two things – Ive never actually lived there. I used to visit there briefly in summer holidays till the age of 13 or so until my Grandfather passed away, but I didnt quite like it to be honest.
I Dont know why – well, I do now – but right now, I’d probably like it if I visited (no plans on that though anytime soon).
But in India, those from the North are known for being “fighters”, “Warriors” and such – I grew up (well, the time I was there in India) in the north mostly.
If you’d look at me, you’d probably be forgiven for saying (those of you that wouldn’t call me a cowboy from Texas outright, or Spanish, or Arabic, hehe) – that “I’m a Delhi boy” .
That I am (in many regards!) (though I don’t particularly like Delhi either).
Hey, what do I know, the Chinese pick at my skin, refuse to believe I’m Indian or even that I have Indian “blood”, and claim I’m “yellow”. lol.
(Although, there was that one guy in Hong Kong that once just LOOKED at me and started speaking Bengali to me, I wonder how he knew! Hehe. Much like the old Cantonese lady there who once started speaking Cantonese to me, which I hardly understand for the most part.
Anyway, those from the North East in India are sometimes not thought to be part of the country, in the same way that the Chinese think all Indians are “dark and dirty”, a lot in India seem to think those from the North East are not part of India at all if you get my drift.
I cannot imagine why. I love that part of India, the people, their culture, all of it!
People from the South in India on that note don’t seem to get along well with the North at all, again almost like a different country, right down to the language, culture, etc. (ditto for the North, which seems to know very little bout the South).
“Bongs” claim those from the North are culture -less, rude, and “those business people, ugh!”
Those from the North claim pretty much the same about the Bongs, except in reverse. Hehe.
Anyway, back to conceptions – or misconceptions.
Those from the EAST, ie Bengal are thought of as studious, achievers in school, brainacs, Mama’s boys that sit in offices and earn a ton of moolah to turn over to their dominating Bengali wives or mom’s …
(I still remember a certain Ravi asking me why I didnt just listen to Mommy and get an arranged marriage or what not.
(nothing against Bengali women though! – I’m sure there’s good ones and bad ones out there,just like every other “subsect”)
… certainly not warriors, fighters, anything like that.
As poets. Writers. The great Tagore, I’m sure you’ve heard of him, came from Bengal.
Cindy once told me the following.
“You’re a writer and a fighter!”
I’ve always been the latter all my life, the former, I’ve always wanted to be all my life, and I finally got around to doing it post 35 (before that too, actually, but as a business..)
Now – this was going to be about something else.
I was going to write to you about something the Great Gama DRANK daily – tons of it (no, not milk for those already guessing) that helped him build his prodigious strength – and FLEXIBILITY – but more importantly, aided him immeasurably in RECOVERING from his grueling workouts.
You would never guess these two things unless you’re well versed with Indian culture.
I ain’t – but I’m well versed with the physical culture part of it!
Before that though … In the 19th century, the Brits were very contemptuous of Bengalis. Macaulay called us effeminate, sedentary and languid. Journalist G W Stevens spent a lot of time examining our legs. “By his leg you shall know a Bengali,” he said. “The leg of a Bengali is either skin and bones… or else it is very fat and globular, also turning at the knee, with round thighs like a woman. The Bengali’s leg is the leg of a slave.”
Can you handle the diet of the gods? – The Hindu
Hilarious! LOL .
Honestly, I dont mind bringing these up – we can all have a laugh at it.
And my legs, I dont know.
Carol once called me a giraffe, though not because I had pelican legs, far from it.
Check out the pictures on this page here – 16 Inspirational Fitness Recollections.
She was just giggling about “long legs and a slim, slim waist” – which she liked, of course.
But my legs have never been that skinny, but they’ve been phat as phock yes.
I dont know, I’ll leave that to Glyn Bozo from the UK who apparently enjoys that, hehe.
Anyway, what is not known is that Bengal produced some mighty fine wrasslers too in addition to poets and writers.
The Great Gama gets all the acclaim when we talk about ancient Indian wrasslers, and rightly so, he’s a legend. Period.
But there’s others too, not so well heard of, but equal contributors to ancient Indian physical culture.
(much like you hear Gandhi when you think “freedom struggle in India”, but several other arguably FAR MORE important luminaries are forgotten).
It happens …
Bengalis were mortally insulted, and took to wrestling with a vengeance, inspired by Swami Vivekananda, amongst others. The end result of this was Gobar Guha, who was 6 foot 1, had a 48-inch chest and became the first Asian to win a world title. He was known for his appetite, and his diet was full of goodies. But he also did 2,500 push-ups a day, and wore a collar around his neck that weighed 70 kilos.
(they actually used to punish slaves back in the day in the South by making them collars like that for days!)
But the Gama used to tie huge heavy stones around his neck while doing squats for one, so as a training method, it’s been around for ages.
It hurts, but its damned effective.
It burns calories like nothing else and builds lumps of muscle like nothing else will as well on the entire body.
Check out Gobar Guha, there are a lot of things I want to write about him, but for this email …
Let’s focus on what the Gama – and Guha probably too – not just ate – but DRANK – to maintain flexibility – ensure his JOINTS stayed lubricated to the best extent possible after all that wrestling and practice – and more important, to RECOVER from those workouts.
The Indian wrestlers all believed in massages – mud baths as well.
They also, contrary to what many people think, ate a diet RICH in meat.
They drank prodigious amounts of milk.
What is not so widely known is the two secret ingredients in their diet that also helped them from keeping the FAT piling on – with all that eating, you’d think theyd become fat and slow (although … if you look at Sumos, fat doesn’t necessarily mean “slob” – Sumos are pretty fast when they need to be!).
And why do I tell you this – because YOU TOO can benefit from this (if you can find what I’m talking about).
One, the Gama drank a ton of mutton – BROTH.
Thats right, the soup made from the bones of the animal. (along with the meat he ate, which in his case was huge amounts of chicken, like 8 pounds per sitting or something!).
(along with all else he ate).
Second, perhaps the most important – he drank a ton of clarified BUTTER!
Different from regular butter.
Clarified butter is a staple in traditional Indian diets, and though it’s RICH in fat, you might be surprised to know it aids in LOSING fat and you’d gain far more weight on a diet of “regular” butter – which admittedly “tastes a lot better” than on a diet of clarified butter (which I don’t personally like that much, but the health benefits – innumerable).
For this email, lets just say that it has compounds in it that SHRINK fat cells.
And, it has unique properties that keep the joints lubricated in a way other dietary supplements cannot.
Another alternative is “white butter”. I used to eat a lot of this back in the day but obviously can’t find it around these days …
Id highly recommend staying AWAY from processed butter etc – all of that piles on the pounds like nothing else, and is not good for you.
If youre looking to lose weight though, and still eat calorie dense foods as you workout – you might want to give the above two a try.
Even if you’re not looking to lose – or gain – weight (yes, this works for gaining weight as well) – then you might want to give it a try anyway – you might be surprised at the overall feeling of “health and well being” you get when on diets such as this (along with other healthy foods).
As I say in the Simple and Effective Diet, Chinese green tea is another great thing to add to your overall intake daily – and lots of it.
And of course nothing ever replaces good old H2O. Period!
Last, but not least …
Remember that none of this compensates for lack of physical activity.
If you’re think you can sit on the couch and go from couch potato to Commando (not mine, that one, hehe) – by simply imbibing your fill of the products/liquids above, you’re WRONG.
All of that only works with the right amount of physical activity and if you want to workout like the Indian wrestlers did, well, the 0 Excuses Fitness System is “your man”.
The upcoming book “Lumberjack “Lodestone” Fitness” is still at pre-order stage and in that youll get MORE details on how the Indian wrestlers trained (with implements) – but for now, build a solid base with the bodyweight exercises in the System first.
Last, but again – not least?
Remember to pick up Isometric and Flexibility Training – to help you RECOVER from your tough workouts – and keep your joints, muscles, tendons, ligaments, all of it – young – flexible – and feeling great – FOREVER.
Thats it from me for now.
I’ll be back soon.