Pradeep Pattanayak

If Lord Ram in Treta Yug exiled his wife Sita, this Ramchandra of Bhikipur village under Laxminagar Panchayat in Rasulpur block of Odisha’s Jajpur district has been abstaining from eating rice for 42 years for the reason being ascribed to his wife Sita.   

If you are thinking his not taking rice is linked to any religious practice, you are wrong. The actual reason why he has been staying away from rice will leave you stunned. 

Ramchandra is a daily wager. When there is no work, he sells dried fish to earn a living. His was a happy family comprising his wife, five daughters and two sons. 

Like any other day, one day Ramchandra went out for work, asking Sita to keep food ready by the time he returns. Unfortunately, Sita couldn’t prepare food due to some household works. After returning from work when Ramchandra found the food was not ready, he became infuriated. He lost his cool and started hurling abuses at Sita, leading to a quarrel between the two. 

That day he decided he wouldn’t take even a grain of rice from Sita. He constructed a hut a few yards away from home and started living there. 

Meanwhile, 42 years have elapsed and Ramchandra is still living in his hut alone, and sticking to his pledge. While he is still not taking rice, puffed rice has become his main diet. He takes it in breakfast, lunch and dinner. While his daughters have long been married off, his wife Sita lives with her sons, daughters-in-law and grandchildren in their old house. 

On several occasions, his friends and relatives tried to persuade Ramchandra to take back his vow and reunite with Sita but failed in their every attempt.   

Despite the fact that he is living alone and not receiving any food cooked by his wife, he has been meticulously maintaining the practice of handing over his daily earnings to Sita all these years.