Catherine Felegi is the founder and author of the blog Tea Love, a blog dedicated to all things tea-related. You can find this post and others on her page, http://cafelegi.wordpress.com/.
Now, I love my tea. Let no man nor woman ever question that fact. When time allows, I've been known to sip 5-6 cups in a single sitting.
I also love my food. As I write this, I munch on a slice of pizza, sullen that I could not find my chocolate fudge that some children in my Youth Group made me.
If you ever asked me if I would be willing to give up food and drink tea for the rest of my life? I would have to turn you down. However, a gentleman from Calcutta decided that, after what was apparently a terrible offense to his stomach when his wife arrived late with lunch, he would never drink food again.
According to The Telegraph, Bhismadeb Sarkar was waiting for his lunch one afternoon, 1PM sharp. Well, his wife came in at 1:30PM with a plate of rice, fish, and vegetables. Mr. Sarkar was so offended with his wife's tardiness that he immediately threw the plate and exclaimed that he would "stop eating totally."
... Um, wait, what? Isn't that kinda against the laws of science and all things holy?
Well, per 2007 The Telegraph article, since 1985, Sarkar has gone on living without eating a single thing. Instead, he prefers about 18-20 cups of tea a day. He insists that he feels fine with only the tea, stating, “Call me crazy if you like but since then I have not had anything except tea. I drink 18 to 20 cups daily without milk."
Even stranger, this same article references another person who decided that surviving on only tea for the rest of his life would be a good idea. Debabrata Dutta, however, decided that he would rather live on tea than on what he deemed to be sub-par food.
Dutta was once a wealthy man, being born to a well-off farmer family, became a pauper after his family died. His inheritance ran out after only ten years. He never thought he would have to work a day in his life and now, he was stuck washing dishes at a local hotel.
Dutta states, “I don’t like eating ordinary food like rice and vegetables. The hotel owner, Subrata Sit, offered me Rs 100 ($1.88) a month and a lunch of rice, lentils and vegetables every day. I refused it." Instead, Dutta decided to drink 22 cups of tea a day.
“I have never tasted such food in my life. I used to eat quality rice, meat and various kinds of fish delicacies," he states.
Doctors at Burdwan Medical College and Hospital said a person can survive on tea but would lose physical strength.
“Normally, a cup of tea contains around 100 calories, which means they are both getting around 2,000 calories daily," states Dr Madhusudhan Chatterjee.
Hospital superintendent Debashish Bhattacharjee advises that, “They would fall ill sooner or later. Everyone needs a balanced diet.”
Now, admittedly, I have had days where, rather than eat, I will just continually drink tea, not paying attention and eventually realizing that I hadn't eaten anything all day. However, I would NOT advise this kind of diet for anyone.
Now, 22 years of this? What are your thoughts? Is this a hoax? Or are Dutta and Sarkar really going this long without any food?