Drink Your Food, Chew Your Water: R. Madhavan (Transcript)

R Madhavan at the RWC16

Full text of actor R. Madhavan’s talk titled “Drink Your Food, Chew Your Water” at RWC16 conference.

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Introducing Speaker:

I’m going to tell you something that you may not know about our next speaker. Did you know when he was still in school he was a star NCC Cadet. And he went to UK to train with the British Army, the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force. Did you know that he is a big believer in protection of animals? A few years ago, PETA ranked him as the ‘Person of the year’. We all know him as an actor, but very few of us know that he’s also a writer and a producer.

So ladies and gentlemen, bring down the roof. Let’s welcome Mr. R. Madhavan!

Madhavan – Actor

Oh! Very good afternoon. Thank you very much.

When I first came in and I saw this setup I was blown. I was talking to a doctor in the evening last night and she was saying this forum should be as big as TED. With this sort of preparation and the kind of speakers you are, I think you’ll soon be as big if not more prominent than TED in India.

And so I wish you all the very best for it.

I’m going to speak to you on my idea of wellness. I am NOT an authority on History nor on the Medical sciences that I have bravely ventured out to speak on today.

But I can tell you with complete certainty that it has worked for me. It has really changed the way my life has been proceeding, when I was made aware of these facts.

You know, being an actor, the stardom was thrust upon me and I was more than excited to be called a star and have people cheer after me.

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And what happens with most successes at an age when you didn’t expect it is that complacency sets in. So after my first seven-eight years in the film industry, the kind of films that I was doing was mundane. I was getting into doing three films a year and more importantly I was becoming fat. And even more importantly deep inside I was getting unhealthy, mentally as well as physically.

Mentally because complacency is one of those stages where it starts… You start living in what I call the 30-second rule which is you must be aware when you are in stress and you get up in the morning every day, you’re brushing your teeth, you’re thinking about whether to have breakfast before you go to work, or have breakfast at work.

When you are actually having a shower, you’re thinking instead of concentrating on the shower, you are thinking: ‘As soon as I get out of the shower I have to wear these clothes, and probably take this route to the office.’

When you’re driving the car, you’re living another 30 seconds ahead. I am thinking, as soon as I reach the office, this is the first call I have to make.

And what happens is you are never actually in the moment that you’re doing a particular activity.

How many of you all really enjoyed a shower, recently? Not had a shower, enjoyed a shower? When I say enjoyed a shower, it is actually looking at every part of your body that you’re cleaning and seeing how it feels, being there in that one. And that is what meditation is all about – is being in the moment.

This 30-second rule I realized was what was happening in my life. I was thinking about what I’m going to do after the shot, while doing the shot. I was thinking about what I’m going to do after, you know, there’s backup is over when I’m in the shoot. And as a result, I was never actually present completely in what I was doing. And that was never the best formula to excel.

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