BANGALORE: That Mahatma Gandhi inspired a generation of freedom fighters with his philosophy of ahimsa (non-violence) and that his selfless service helped India in its independence struggle is widely known. But have we learnt much about the kind of life he lived? For instance, Gandhiji helped revive ‘naturopathy’, a therapy that called for the return to nature.
Even to this day, there are ashrams that Gandhiji established which practice this ‘nature cure’. But not many are aware of his contribution towards wellness and healing. This is what prompted fitness expert Mickey Mehta to document Gandhiji’s life as a healer. Narrating the philosophies he espoused, Mickey says, “He used to eat raw foods and live frugally. His prescription to prevent disease was to live by the laws of nature.” And this lesser known aspect of Gandhiji’s life — his practices of alternative and natural therapies to cure chronic ailments — forms the crux of the documentary titled Gandhi — The Healer.
The two-part short film of 90 minutes is presented by Mickey and features renowned experts, historians, naturopaths and Gandhians who share their insight into this subject. Mickey says, “I have interviewed director and screenwriter Shyam Benegal, spiritual guru and mystic Sadguru Jaggi Vasudev, historians Dr Basudev Chatterji and Dr Santosh Rai, naturopaths Dr Nisal who is the director of Nisargopchar Ashram Urli Kanchan and Dr Issac Mathai of Saukya Spa. I have also included inputs from Gandhians — Ullhas Jhajhu, Narayan Desai and Dr Sundar Ayengar V C as well.”
Apart from these interviews, the film also has a detailed Do-It-Yourself guide which demonstrates easy-to-use home remedies.
“Through this, I aspire to inspire people to adopt naturopathy as a way of life,” Mickey opines.
He adds that the documentary has been shot across seven locations in India — Mumbai, Kerala, Meghalaya, Ahmedabad, Pune, Nagpur and Delhi. “There is a special focus on the backwaters of Kerala,” he tells us.
For Mickey who is also a philosopher, a life coach and an author, filming this documentary was a very different experience.
And he is very happy with the outcome, as this subject of natural therapies is very close to his heart.
He says, “I was very keen on making this documentary. The ideas of naturopathy that are presented here are very much in line with what I believe in.”
The documentary is scheduled to be released on October 2 to mark Gandhiji’s birth anniversary
and will be screened in the city as well as at festivals nationally.
So what’s next after this film? He replies, “I look forward to creating awareness about such long-forgotten principles.
In the future, I wish to make movies on other famous philosophers like Swami Vivekananda and Gautam Buddha with a focus on transformation and evolution.”