True Story: The Engine Of Life

by Matt on October 28, 2010

A true moment from Singapore.

My guide and I just sat down, ready to share an oily, hot roti prata with a side of curry. I can’t say I was starving but the idea of tearing the bread and dipping into the hot brothy liquid excited me beyond belief.

Suddenly a well-dressed man approached our table and began to announce his arrival as if we had been waiting for him for hours. He was animated and spritely, with clear eyes, supple skin and thick pomaded shocks of wavy black hair. Not a strand of gray anywhere.

“My friends! I am Indian, look at my body! Seventy years old I am. These are my real teeth, my own hair, and I owe it all to whole grains, not the oily fat-laden meal you are about to eat. I blame the prata for generations of disease among my people!” he proclaimed with a friendly smile that sat on top of true concern but absolutely no judgement.

“Enjoy your visit and the prata but remember this: you are throwing sand into the engine of life.”

We smiled back, thanked him, and proceeded to weigh our engines down with enough sand, grease, and oil to stall a motorcade.