Journey of Mr. Patel through his taste, Narrated by - Satya who never talks Mithya.
Taste of a new beginning.
Have you ever seen one of those cars which has a sticker on its back saying ‘Live to Ride’, well if our today’s guest had a sticker on his car it would probably say ‘Live to Eat’.
Today we are going to be talking about the story of Mr. Patel (name changed to protect his identity) who is not just a food lover, but also an entrepreneur and a cancer survivor. Growing up in a well-to-do Gujarati family, Mr. Patel has always had a well-developed taste palate. Ever since he was a kid, Mr. Patel’s favourite pastime was trying out all the new dishes he had heard about. He reveals to us how he used to skip classes in college to go try out the food at every café or food stall that opened up near their college. It wasn’t long till the pastime of checking out new cafes and food stalls turned into trying out restaurants and every brand of imported alcohol and cigars that the world had to offer.
Whenever Mr. Patel got free time out of his successful but busy construction business, he took his wife and daughter out to dine at some of the finest restaurants in the city. Or sometimes he used to call some of his friends over for a drink or two, opening up bottles of the world’s best whiskeys and wines. And it was almost like a ritual for him to always smoke a cigar whenever he had wine, saying it refined the taste of wine even more for him.
It was Mr. Patel’s soon-to-be doctor daughter that raised her voice against her father’s bad habits. She sat for an hour explaining to her father the potential risks of developing some deadly diseases in the future due to these habits. Mr. Patel did want to listen to her daughter’s advice but as a man of habit, he couldn’t resist himself.
For a person like Mr. Patel to even think that there would come a day in his life when he would not be able to eat absolutely nothing was no less than a nightmare. And the news of this nightmare came from no one other than Mr. Patel’s own daughter. After suffering from mouth sores, difficulty swallowing food, and toothache for weeks Mr. Patel’s daughter finally told him that it was high time and he should get tested. Her doubts were right, it was ‘mouth cancer’. Suddenly all of Mr. Patel’s worst nightmares started flashing in front of his eyes.
Mr. Patel’s cancer had progressed to stage III hence, surgery was necessary. The surgery left Mr. Patel completely unable to eat or drink, he had to strictly be fed through a feeding tube. Later, he went through chemotherapy to kill any cancerous cells which might have remained even after the surgery.
The cancer had turned the once healthy Mr. Patel into a skeleton of a man. After the treatment was over, Mr. Patel was excited to back to eating food with his mouth, be it something as bland as plain rice. But his excitement was crushed after the first morsel of food when he realized that he had lost his sense of taste completely. He ate everything from the spiciest chilies to the bitterest of bitter gourd, but he couldn’t taste anything. Mr. Patel reveals that when he realized this, he threw away all the bottles of imported alcohol which might’ve been worth lakhs, and immediately apologized to his daughter for not listening to her and stopping when he had time.
After his treatment was over, he was slowly going back to his normal life but he did not have a lot of energy to get back to work. Hence, he spent his days at home operating his construction business from his home office and helping out his wife in the kitchen from time to time. Even though he couldn’t taste the food he made, it made him happy whenever he would feed it to his daughter. Cooking helped Mr. Patel to distract himself from the agonizing pain of his post-treatment side effects and find a new passion.
This new passion lit a light bulb in the entrepreneur’s mind of Mr. Patel. He decided that he would start up a small café. A café where he would feed people. Many people opposed this idea of his saying how would he know if the food he made was good or not. But in the crowd of opposing voices, Mr. Patel’s wife and daughter stood with him like a pillar. Today, Mr. Patel has a café in Mumbai, where he is the chef and his wife works as his food taster. Mr. Patel’s story is the perfect example of how you can have a perfectly happy and normal life after cancer, and how you can find your own happiness in the happiness of others.
Now’s the time for Mr. Patel’s message: “I am a man of very few words, I would just say that I’m grateful for getting this second shot at life. This time around I’ve decided to live a healthy life, by listening to every piece of advice given by my now doctor daughter. I am also very grateful to my health care team at Sunrise Oncology Center who were always very kind and patient with a stubborn man like me. Thank you.
Mr. Patel, a mouth cancer survivor.”