The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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A driving force behind herbal cure

He was a car driver in Rajasthan a few years ago. Now, he’s an ayurvedic doctor in Bengal. The rise from his past is something Om Prakash Sharma is not just proud of, but a path that he sees as his salvation.

The 37-year-old spent seven years in sadhana, learning meditation, yoga and the art of healing through herbs and massages. Three years ago, he came to Calcutta to start his work here. After he treated a patient of a skin ailment, in Belgachhia, the grateful customer provided him with a home and a base to continue to spread the word of ayurveda.

Sharma can now cure eczema, blood pressure problems, diabetes, piles, arthritis, joint pains and liver diseases, among others. “It’s all about good living and healthy lifestyle,” he smiles. “Prevention, of course, is the best thing. But cure, too, is possible by improving the way one lives rather than by using allopathic medication, which is a temporary solution.”

Living well is the key, and something the healer himself practises with unfailing regularity and dedication. He’s up at 4 am every day, to do his daily dose of yoga. After traversing the city visiting 20-odd clients, he returns to his temporary home to a healthy meal and bed by 8 pm.

“People nowadays live to eat. But the body merely needs to eat to live. There’s a difference, which people all too often don’t understand. When I treat patients, the procedure is months long. The regime includes exercises, massages, a diet with the right nutrition and the medicines I make myself from herbs and other natural ingredients.”

A not-so-hidden talent of Sharmaji’s is the ability to produce the sound of the snake charmer’s been from his throat, without moving his lips, which he laughingly explains as another result of his tapasya. “I became famous after my Raja Hindustani show.” Now, he claims to be quite in demand for his own unique skill.

The performance list in the city includes Kalamandir and Gyan Manch, with songs from Nagin to Pardesi, and he has even sung for an antakshari session or two. “Our minds and bodies are capable of more than we know. But we need to train and push ourselves harder,” he feels.

Married three years ago, Sharma left his wife in his family home, in Rajasthan, but goes back every six months to see her, because family is important. “My parents died when I was young, and although I had an older sister to look after me, I left home at 15 to make my own way in the world. I was lucky enough to have had mentors who genuinely cared for me.”

And now, he tries to do the same. “Back home, I used to offer my services as a yoga teacher, free, to schools, to teach students. In Calcutta, I have tried, unsuccessfully. But I do what I can…” he concludes.

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