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23 May, 2013

Baby-Boomer Thai-Indian Writer Pens “Simple Steps for Being Healthy and Looking Great”

Bangkok – In a world of omnipresent complexity and confusion, attempts to solve problems are often stymied by the claim: “It’s not that simple.” But Thai-Indian writer Beena Hora has penned a book proving that claim fundamentally flawed.

Launched in a simple event at the private residence of Indian Ambassador Anil Wadhwa, the book “Simple Steps For Being Healthy and Looking Great” proves that the pursuit of good health, good looks, mental equilibrium and ultimately, happiness, is not a complex proposition. In line with the word “simple” in the title, the book proves that being holistically healthy is in fact quite simple. As filling a stomach with crap can be equally as lethal as filling a brain with crap, her book is a guide to help avert both.

Click on the image to download details of the book.

At the launch event, attended by a group of friends and family members, Mrs Hora reflected on the interlinkages between healthy eating, reduced stress levels and general well-being. Her book contains lists, details and benefits of both natural and some man-made products, and edible and non-edible products, ranging from fruit and vegetables to creams, oils, scrubs, moisturisers, and more. Women who buy overpriced brand-name cosmetics will discover quickly that they can avail of far more effective and far less expensive alternatives simply by following what’s in this book.

There are many such books in the market, but this one is uniquely different in many ways.

Firstly, Mrs Hora says, she is neither a doctor nor a nutritionist. Very simply, she says, “I am a believer. One who believes that nature and what is around us can be beneficial for the human body. What I write in this book is based on my own knowledge, my own thoughts and my own experiences.” The facts have been supported by expert research but by putting them together, “I think I will be able to enlighten and create widespread awareness among people about nature cure.”

Secondly, she says, she is an Indian by heritage and a Thai by nationality. “I have been brought up in India, the land of Ayurveda, spices and home remedies. I call Thailand my home, a country known for its abundant variety of fruits and herbs. My surroundings and own life experiences have enabled me to create and concoct my own version of a healthy lifestyle.”

Thirdly, she is a baby-boomer who grew up in a world of home-made remedies and natural therapies, long before Pfizer, Sandoz and other pharmaceutical giants came along.

She says, “I grew up in a family that is religious and disciplined in many ways and a family where herbal medicines were made at home and distributed free of charge. My father wasn’t a practising doctor but a man with a vast knowledge in the field of naturopathy. I used to see radish juice being extracted and dried up and made into tiny black pills that were used for curing piles. I saw aloe vera potted in abundance at home the leaves of which were washed, chopped, marinated with salt and caraway seeds and then sun-dried. These desiccated leaves were then dispensed to the needy people for stomach ailments. Growing up in such an environment made me learn a lot and we all know that whatever we see happening in the family during our young age gets written on our minds like the impressions on the rocks.”

Finally, she says, she is a teacher by profession. In addition to the fact that imparting knowledge is her second nature, teaching has delivered three benefits: a writer’s skills; kept her young “as I am always surrounded by young learners’; and helped her to “sharpen my blunt ends.”

“The teaching journey has been exhilarating,” Mrs Hora says. “Every moment spent in the Biology labs in RIS or ISB doing experiments with the students or inside the classrooms teaching Chemistry and later English and Values has been extremely satisfying and worthwhile for I have touched the lives of so many young learners who are now as adults so well-placed in different fields of profession.”

At its core, this is what the book is really all about – a burning desire to help the future generation learn from the mistakes (and poor eating habits) of the present generation and pass on the indigenous wisdom and knowledge of past generation.

Indeed, many of the simple remedies, solutions, and ideas communicated in the book will resonate well among baby boomers many of whom will begin to wonder how is it that the simple solutions practised by their parents and grandparents have been overwhelmed by the powerful and often misleading marketing messages of the pharmaceutical, chemical and cosmetics multinationals.

At least one of the future generation will take up Mrs Hora’s advice. Invited to the speak at the book launch, one of Mrs Hora’s students Miss Naphat Sae-Jang said: “I truly appreciate her sacrifice and devotion as a teacher. She has always been a great role model for me.” She added, “Personally, I believe this book is a ‘should-have’ in every household. If you are looking for tips and techniques that will help you stay healthy and look great without using chemical products, this book will definitely give you the answers you’ve been looking for.”

In her introduction, Mrs Hora stressed the interlinkage between health and happiness: “It is said that a combination of a healthy body and mind is great for living a full life as we live only once. Equilibrium between mind and body is what one needs to live a life of contentment and happiness.”

She notes that being healthy can have numerous definitions, such as being free of diseases or being able to manage the stress levels or being able to develop a positive attitude towards life, or just being in good shape. “All of the above can be achieved a proper, balanced and nutritious diet, regular workout in some form or the other and a proper lifestyle for which one needs a certain kind of awareness.”

She also highlights the importance of keeping things simple: “While reading magazines and books on all sorts of topics, especially beauty-related remedies, I have noticed that many cures are listed on one page so when a reader goes through one page with a large variety of recommendations made about one thing, the mind possibly cannot absorb everything at one go and hence the confusion occurs. This book has only one or two suggested remedies or details about one thing on one page.”

Mrs Hora’s daughter Sumita said, “Prior to this creation, Mrs. Hora successfully wrote and published her first book called Meri Rachnaye – a book of poems in Hindi that spanned several day-to-day topics like relationships, realities of life, mother-nature and even the judiciary system. From a dreamer’s cum idealist’s pen Mrs. Hora switches to a realist’s pen.

“Hopefully, you have already started mind mapping for a healthier lifestyle. A quick start you can follow starting tomorrow — frequenting the vegetable and fruits aisles repeatedly and doubling the stock-up on the nuts and seeds.”

For those interested in buying the book, or inviting Mrs Hora as a speaker at health & wellness conferences and events, pls contact her at dbhora@yahoo.com

Also read: Asian Century Rising: At First Gandhi Lecture in Bangkok, Indian Activist Promotes “Soil Not Oil”