Way to live a good life Reviewed by Ashok Kumar Yadav Perfect Health in 20 Weeks by Amar Chandel. Konark Publishers. Pages 146. Rs 195. The Sunday Tribune - Spectrum THIS book is certainly not a sermon. It is in fact an interactive dialogue, between the author and the reader. But there is a difference. Here the reader does not ask questions, and he does not have to, in fact. It is rather the author who peeps into the mind of the reader, anticipates what the latter may need to clarify, addresses his doubts and guides him to regain what he has already lost by sheer aberration in his lifestyle. Amar Chandel exhorts the readers to treat the human body as a "holy temple", keep it free from all "polluting influences" and maintain its natural rhythm, with a holistic approach. The book seeks to propagate that it is primarily the individual who is himself responsible for maintaining absolute harmony among various faculties, the human body comprises of. The book connects instantly with the readers, traces the root cause of various diseases afflicting the human body. It could be either physical and biological or a flawed lifestyle. The author categorises three major problems—emotional imbalance including depression or aggression, physical ailments and obesity. All these three are inter-connected, he maintains. No sooner do we start addressing one, the remaining two also begin subsiding. As an indulgent counsellor, the author inspires the readers to "win the psychological war" to recoup physical robustness and happiness in life. This is not difficult to achieve at all, he continues with an air of confidence. The book prescribes a nine-fold dictum to imbibe one’s health. These are: balanced nutritious food, non-contaminated potable water, pure air to breathe, regular physical exercises, adequate rest, proper sleep, positive attitude in life, right social interaction and personal hygiene. We have to take charge at all these levels, follow a prescribed charter to keep physical and emotional buoyancy in proper equilibrium. On the contrary, however, if remedial steps are not taken in time, one is trapped in a vicious circle of disease, weight gain, depleting energy, aggression, depression, faster ageing and shorter life span. The recipe the author serves for enviable health is simple but perfect—a balanced lifestyle, moderate yogic exercises and meditation. The book outlines a step-by-step guide to attain perfect health within a span of 20 weeks through natural healing. The book is all about 20 chapters for 20 weeks in all, one for each week. As a prudent clinical therapist, the author inspires his reader to awaken his hibernating self-belief, and sub-conscious mind to attain perfect health. He advises to write targets on small stickers, and paste them at conspicuous places in the house, so that he stays focused. He further advises to maintain daily diet diary, listing what one has been nibbling throughout the day. As a true nutritionist, the author guides us to masticate every morsel 32 times, where 32 grinders are installed. The message is clear and loud—chew well, live well. How much we should eat has been explained thus, "Bhojan adha pet kar, dugna paani peeye. Tiguna shram, chauguni hansi, varsha sawa sau jeeye". The book cautions us not to eat that we must avoid; we should not over-eat at all. It advises us to banish "maida" from our diet; to rather have multi-grain chapattis with gram, soyabean, barley, jowar and bajra. Likewise, we should banish "khoya", fat, oil and sugar, week after week, in a sequential manner. It is an eye-opener to learn that 145 diseases trap sugar-eaters. Even concentrated milk and salt are no good. The author further emphasises that it is imperative to maintain alkaline-acidic balance in the body; our food should accordingly be 80:20 specific. We should take one glass of water per hour, on an average. The book prescribes a regular regimen for physical exercises, long walk, pranayam, breathing exercises and meditation to tone up the body. The title page epitomises the entire theme of the book. The opening sentence of first chapter makes it amply clear that the book is not a mere health guide, a simple tabulation of "Do’s and Don’ts". It carries the readers to the ultimate goal of perfect health. The author deserves kudos for giving the readers a bible on holistic living, without any medication, or medical intervention.