Monday, 30th October 2017

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Prosenjit talks food & fitness

He spoke of his food memories, diet chart, having a soft spot for 'ucchhe bhaja' and feeling nostalgic at Nature’s Basket

By Pramita Ghosh
  • Published 17.01.20, 8:11 PM
  • Updated 17.01.20, 8:12 PM
  • 4 mins read
Dressed cool in a pair of denims, white tee and a denim hoodie, Bumbada browsed through the collection of unique and rare veggies at Nature’s Basket. So what are the five products he picked? Bitter gourd, sweet potato, lady’s finger, chillies and lemons! “I am floored with the options this place has Pictures: B. Halder

Tolly superstar Prosenjit dropped by at Nature’s Basket, a gourmet food retail brand owned by RPSG Group on Park Street, to try out some of their latest offerings and share some fun food facts with t2. The next few hours were all about his food memories, diet chart, having a soft spot for ucchhe bhaja and feeling nostalgic at Nature’s Basket. “This place where we are sitting and chatting has so many memories because of Music World (which occupied the same place where Nature’s Basket now stands). When I think about this I am almost in tears. See, amader chhotobela was Flurys, St. Xavier’s e adda mara, Loreto’r meye der dekha and ekhane boshe gaan shona, very honestly! Music World had music by records, Rituda (Rituparno Ghosh) used to come here… those were the days…” remembered Prosenjit.

You have looked the same like forever ... you don’t seem to age and you are getting fitter than ever…

It’s not that I don’t eat. See, when we started our career there was nothing called a nutritionist but I had created a food habit then. Now whoever I meet tells me, “Dada we need to learn from you because you made a very good pattern”. I made my own food chart and you will not believe, there was an article on Virat Kohli’s food habits in Anandabazar or The Telegraph, and I was so happy because without knowing I followed 70-80 per cent of that. See, everybody can’t eat food that is not tasty, you need to have tasty food, right? There are many times people say if they eat they become mota but if you don’t eat right then also one can become fat. And physical activity is very important. Even when I give dictation, I am always pacing up and down. I can’t sit at one place. Many times people have asked me “Dada ektu bosho”, but I don’t, puro career e darabar chesta korechhi (grins).

What does food mean to you?

For me when it’s food, I think of my mother and grandmother. When I see someone upset, many times what I do is I take bhaat, dal and whatever is there and I feed them with my hands. Nobody does that any more. Even when you are talking about food, invariably we end up talking about what our mother or grandma used to do and how they would feed us lovingly.

Pegging on your latest release Robibar, what was your ideal Sunday breakfast?

Ma used to get bread and make 15-20 omelettes and my friends who used to come would attack all the food! What memories. (Smiles)

Do you believe in cheat days?

Not always. See, I believe in eating with portion control. This much of curd, this much calorie, a specific salt. I will tell you something, sometimes I often give my food to my team and they will take it from me, go outside and throw it because I know there is no salt! (Laughs)

Are you a bheto Bangali who loves rice?

Not because I am Bangali but I eat this much (shows the portion) of rice once in the whole day, and potato. I have a balanced diet with more protein intake.

How do you start your day in terms of food?

I have two bottles of water first, 2 litres of water is nothing, aami ekhuni kheye nebo. After that I have Chavanprash, followed by black tea. Then comes my breakfast which is very simple… oats or sooji boiled with eggs and veggies. It’s absolutely like upma with egg white... then I have a juice.

How do you end your day?

I sleep around 2am. You have to realise that the pattern I had... else a person can never have 22 movie releases in a year. Back then I slept for few hours and did six shifts a day. From 11.30pm-midnight I need to watch a film on Netflix or Amazon Prime.

How often do you work out?

365 days but once in a week may be a gap. But I avoid taking a gap on Sundays because we are in such a profession, due to work you end up having breaks. I work out at Solace. I really do heavy weights, you must come one day and see! I don’t want to bulk up a lot but then it depends on the movie. For Gumnaami I gained around 8 kilos and after it I reduced 9 kilos. I can loose weight in a jiffy (clicks his fingers). Again in March you will see me put on weight for Kakababu. I do it in a very healthy manner and I don’t go for steroids, it’s not good for your body.

If someone has to make you happy when you are in bad mood, what should one cook for you?

Ha ha! My production guys in my studio and many people get me ucchhe bhaja, very crispy ones and I can have one full bowl! I love it and have it like chips.

And what should one cook to win your heart?

Shotti bolbo? Aloo posto, bhaat, biuli dal, jhurjhure aloo bhaja, ghee and gondhoraj lebu! For me this is the best food.

Was there any celeb who was your inspiration in terms of body or fitness?

Bruce Lee! I must have watched Enter the Dragon 13-14 times and had started eating raw meat. Entire India wanted to become like him, and I had read somewhere that he used to have uncooked liver and I had it with a dash of salt sprinkled and toasted slightly on the stove. But one day I got caught by my mother and the scolding that I got was… oh my God. But all of that was because I was on a Bruce Lee trip.

A fitness tip for the readers...

You don’t have to do too much, don’t pressurise yourself. In today’s date we have the option of having healthy yet tasty food, that combination is awesome. Say when I feel like having a pastry, Hena Nafis sends me something jeta te sweet o nei, calorie is also perfect... so you need to enjoy.