Thank you, Nag, for introducing me to Oil Pulling

Are you surprised by the title? Haha. Are you guys wondering what Telugu Manmadhudu, Nagarjuna got to do with me and my oil pulling? So, let’s go to the times when it started.

It so happened about a decade back; I was bored to death. It was around the haze season in Singapore, and my hero had one month of school holidays. So to be precise, it was on 21st June 2013 when Singapore witnessed the worst haze episode. Singaporeans would remember the day when the white spongy cottony clouds were hanging as low as the 9th floor. I had quickly shut all the windows when a little swarm of white smokey wispy clouds entered the kitchen window of our 11th-floor apartment. So there was no way we could even think of going down to the play area. 

With all the household chores and my little champ’s therapy exercises completed, I had nothing to do, and I was not in any mood to do anything else. After a brief chat with the hubby dear and failed attempts to see through the then opaque smoke-coated window panes, I opened the Facebook. The first thing that greeted me was this song shared by my B.Sc classmate. Here is the famous number from the super duper 1989 hit Geetanjali.

South Indian Folk of the ’80 and the ’90s need no introduction to this romantic tragedy directed by Mani Ratnam, which was like a fresh breeze. The movie had some fantastic visuals thanks to beautiful locales and top-of-the-notch cinematography. It was in total contrast with the prevalent gaudy sets and over-the-top makeup. The Music was the highlight, as the background score and the numbers were done by my favorite, the legendary maestro Shri Ilaiyaraaja. Of course, the icing on the cake was the emerging Manmadhudu of Telugu cinema- Nagarjuna.

The song set copious waves of variegated emotions of nostalgia and euphoria at the same time. Haha…hope this sentence gives you a fair idea of my emotional state. It took me to my Nizam college days, where I obtained my B.Sc(Genetics) degree. So the entire B.Sc Genetics FY class had gone for this Geetanjali movie. Coming from a background as orthodox as it can get, It was one of those odd days when I was allowed to watch a movie. Some fond memories indeed. Within a few days after watching Geetanjali, I still remember how we girls had watched Nagarjuna and Raghavan do a fight scene Out side LB Stadium just in front of the Nizam college side gate. Those were the days when triangular traffic junctions between Nizam college and LB stadium and wide roads saw hardly any traffic. We could just cross the road strolling as if we were in a park. We had rushed to follow the whole Nizam crowd just after our Organic Chem practicals. But just that, it was nice. We never got excited and thought of getting our autographs and photographs, like so many. We hung around for barely 5 minutes, got bored of the ‘n’ number of retakes, and rushed back to the classes. But the handsome, charismatic face and frame of our Telugu Manmadhudu have remained ever fresh in my memory. And I am sure Telugu Biddas of the ’90s would agree with me. 

I can go about praising the movie and the Greek Veeridu even for a few more pages. But, for now, let me return to the Facebook share that led to my oil-pulling journey and this post. So after watching that number ‘O Priya, Priya’ and commenting appropriately on my friend’s post, I just couldn’t keep quiet. All those memories made my curious heart and soul crave some Telugu cinema, and I wanted to know what our heartthrob of the 90s was up to. Had totally lost touch with Telugu cinema. And as always, google baba suggested a few movies of Nagarjuna. “Ninne Pelladutha” popped up first. Turns out Nag is even more popular with the female populace. But I ended up literally surfing through some scenes. Must say, it was a damp squib, nothing closer to my expectations. Expected much more from someone who had given us Shiva and Geetanjali. Though later I loved his performance in many of his later movies, especially Annamaya, Sri Ramadasu, Shirdi Sai, and so on.

That said, the only good thing that caught my attention in this movie surfing spree is oil pulling. There are a few light comedy scenes where the senior actor Chandramohan is shown to be practicing maun vrat (fasting for silence). Adamant in his resolve to keep his promise to himself, the character in the movie refuses to open his mouth in the most crucial moments of the story, leading to some funny situations. Turns out that he keeps his mouth shut not because of maun vrat but for practice oil pulling. Haha.  Here’s a small snippet of one of the oil-pulling funny scenes.

Now. my inquisitive mind just couldn’t let me rest until I learned all about oil pulling. And again, the omniscient Google baba came to my rescue with whatever information he had. Oil pulling has become quite common, and many ayurvedic practitioners talk about it. But, back then, I had come across this term (Oil Pulling) for the first time. 

Usually, I am not the one to jump and pick up some idea and implement it so hurriedly. Don’t know what got me that day. I got this extra virgin cold-pressed coconut oil at Fair Price supermarket and started my oil-pulling journey. 

So to do oil pulling, one needs to take a tablespoon of sesame oil or coconut oil in the mouth, swish it for about 5 to 15 mins, and spit it out. It is preferably done in the morning, before brushing. One can also brush after oil pulling. It is not the primary line of dental care. Still, it is used to boost dental health as it has many benefits like plaque removal over time, prevention of bacterial infections, immunity enhancer, and so many more. There is a ton of information on the internet about oil pulling. Even now, if you ask the regular dentist, most either don’t know about it or advise against it. Maybe that is the reason it’s not very popular.

I have not been very consistent with the practice. So, I really cannot talk about my personal experience with surety. However, I do see positive results whenever I try.

So, Why am I talking about it now? JLT! Because I stumbled upon it in one of the docs and thought of sharing it with you all. I am considering starting kavala or gundusha again. Haha. Don’t be alarmed. I am not starting another topic. Oil Pulling in Ayurveda is called kavala or gundusha. Have you guys tried it? If yes, what is your experience? Would you recommend it? Do share your thoughts, please.

Ciao friends. Oh. How can I…How can I go away just like that? Yup. Closing this story with heartfelt thanks to dear Nag for introducing me to oil pulling. But for Nagarjuna’s post by my friend, I would have never discovered oil pulling. Some Telugu Tallis would kill me for associating The Telugu Manmadhudu with mundane Oil Pulling. Sincere apologies for such grave insolence. But what to do? At 50 got to look after my pearly whites. 😁

Have a great Sunday full of sunny smiles and happy thoughts.

Kalyani S Kakade


4 thoughts on “Thank you, Nag, for introducing me to Oil Pulling

  1. Thanks for sharing. This post has intrigued me to learn more about oil pulling. Will be interesting to hear or see if anyone has tried it and see the benefit.

    Liked by 1 person

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