With Rashtrapati Bhavan all set to get a new resident here are some things we’re sure you didn’t know about the septuagenarian’s fitness regime. We don’t know but perhaps some of these habits might have heralded his ascendancy to the position of India’s first citizen.
No more gluttony
Like any other Bengali Pranabda was a self-confessed foodie. He recently confessed to a daily that he was quite a gourmand in his youth. In his own words, “After breakfast, I used to ask my mother what she would serve for lunch. After lunch, I inquired about the dinner.” However, with age he turned into a more frugal eater even going to the extent of foregoing fish for six months a year! Various studies over the years have shown that eating less can contribute to a long, healthy life.
Till his 50s Mukherjee was quite fond of smoking – pipes that is. In fact, he was seldom seen without his trademark Dunhill pipe and even formed a smokers’ club in parliament which had several other tobacco aficionados. However, with the advent of the anti-smoking lobby and parliament banning smoking Pranabda quit smoking and has in fact become quite a strong voice for anti-tobacco laws. In fact, the last budget he presented in his capacity as finance minister looked to clamp down on tobacco-use across the country by raising taxes on all sorts of tobacco products.
Keep on walking
Even though he’s 76, the Bengali politician loves to walk. He’d jokingly told a daily that he’d like to move Rashtrapati Bhavan because it’d give him more walking space. He loved his morning walks and was known to take 40 rounds of his 90 m lawn. “The President’s House, Rashtrapati Bhavan, has large lawns. One would not need 40 rounds,” he said, when asked about the possibility of becoming president. Walking besides its physical benefits is known to stave off depression and genetic obesity at bay.
Music to de-stress
A self-confessed workaholic our new president had a habit of relaxing by listening to Rabindrasangeet while drifting off to sleep. Perhaps Tagore’s transcendental lyrics and music are the secret to his cool demeanour (ok he did lose his temper at times but not enough for a man who has been around in Parliament for so long).
Here’s hoping our thirteenth president has a successful innings at Rashtrapati Bhavan. Looking at the way he has lived his life, we think he will.