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When COVID-19 hit, nobody ever thought so many Filipinos would subsist on sardines for breakfast, lunch and dinner for two months.

Yet as much as people say lockdowns are not sustainable as it is impossible for authorities to feed a huge population in the long run, it has been good for the soul.

Perhaps this was the secret of Indian yogi Prahlad Jani, who did not need food to live for nine decades.

Perhaps, unlike many families forced to stay home to contain the spread of COVID-19, Jani never dwelt on the frustration of receiving food packs only twice during the past two months that Luzon was placed under community quarantine.

Jani probably would have hummed, “Ommm…” instead of ranting on barangay officials for inadequate or mediocre food packs that commonly consisted only of a few kilos of rice, two to four canned sardines and two noodle packs.

If residents were more like the Indian yogi, it would have indeed been less problematic for barangay leaders and definitely less for the national coffers.

The long-haired and bearded Jani from Charada village in the western state of Gujarat, India was known for not eating and drinking. Yet, he survived until the age of 90; he passed away on Tuesday.

Jani told his followers that he was blessed by a goddess when he was a child, which enabled him to survive without sustenance. He told AFP in 2003 he got the “elixir of life from the hole in my palate, which enables me to go without food and water.”

In 2010 a team of military doctors studied him for two weeks at a hospital in Ahmedabad, Gujarat’s biggest city. Jani was watched with cameras and closed circuit television.

Doctors took scans of his organs, brain and blood vessels, and conducted tests on his heart, lungs and memory capacity. They said he did not eat, drink or go to the toilet, and his only contact with fluid was during gargling and bathing periodically.

“We still do not know how he survives,” neurologist Sudhir Shah told reporters then, according to AFP. “It is still a mystery what kind of phenomenon this is.”

The results of the study, initiated by India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation, were never published or submitted for peer review.

While the likes of Jani would not have posed a headache to barangay leaders when it comes to keeping residents from going hungry, he would still be disliked by none other than food delivery guys who would certainly not get any orders from him.

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