“Fiction is always loosely based on facts. I knew that I had a story in me and writing ‘Foursome’ made that vision into a reality. Lots of things in the book actually happened and then I added my own spices to make it reader-friendly.”
Meet this bold, brave and beautiful home chef who has a passion for writing besides cooking up some mouth-watering delicacies in her kitchen, that makes waves on social media, her Instagram page to be more precise, that goes by the handle name ‘the gutless foodie’. And this name isn’t just a metaphor but has actual meaning behind it. Natasha Diddee is a woman who may have the stomach to pursue and achieve all she has in life. But this wonder woman is in fact, believe it or not, gutless, meaning she doesn’t have a stomach.
In 2012, Natasha find out, much to her shock and grief, that due to prolonged stress, she had developed a tumour around her stomach. She had to have entire stomach removed in order for her to survive. It has currently been almost 7 years since Natasha has been surviving without a stomach. But this didn’t stop her from living her life. She decided to turn what would make most others give up hope into her strength and drew positivity from it.
Natasha loves to experiment with a variety of cuisines and flavours, creating new masterpieces along the way. And of course, once she’s done with her flavourful art, she immortalizes it by posting delish pictures of her dishes on her Instagram page, making her 70,800 followers and many more drool with desire or bolt into the kitchen and cook up a scrumptious storm themselves!
Natasha grew up in Mumbai and is proud of her mixed culture and heritage, was exposed to different cuisines from an early age. Her father is half Punjabi, half Parsi and her mother is Maharashtrian. Her school had children who hailed from different religions and cultures.
I wouldn’t have achieved as much if I didn’t have the kind of support I have. That kind of support makes you,”
Everyone used to get a dabba and we used to share food,” she says, recalling that back in those days, she was quite the bhukkad (glutton). In fact, she would ring the doorbells of others falsely claiming that her mother wouldn’t give her any food, which, to this day, her mother has no idea about!
And till today, this mischievous streak is still alive. On a holiday in Hanoi, she made friends with a local street food vendor, and invited herself to his house for dinner!
As far as her body goes, Natasha is allowed to eat several mini meals throughout the day, except for rice. And although there is no food restriction, she has, over time, realised what suits her and what doesn’t. She doesn’t have gastric juices anymore and her intestines have to do all the breaking down and digestion. There is a serious syndrome called the dumping syndrome. Natasha’s entire stomach, including the bends, were removed. So what she eats, goes directly into her intestine. If she eats too fast, or eats food that’s too heavy, her body goes through certain symptoms. She either starts sweating profusely or might need to sit down and not move. Or she’ll yawn extensively and might need to go to the loo and excrete it. She can get any or all of these symptoms. “It’s been five years and it’s still not easy,” says Natasha.
Another side effect of this is that the stomach produces Vitamin B, something which Natasha can’t do and that affects her memory. She has to get a shot once a month for as long as she lives. “I heal myself through food,” she shares.
Natasha started writing her book in the year 2010 but publishing it was not easy as no publishing house wanted to back her up. So Natasha published her book herself.
“I wouldn’t have achieved as much if I didn’t have the kind of support I have. That kind of support makes you,” says an eternally grateful Natasha who believes to be blessed with an extremely supportive family, more specifically her parents and her husband.
“The only way to make your dreams come true is to wake up!” says the courageous and confident cook. “You can’t win in life if you choose to exist and not live. And living involves both sleeping and waking up. It’s when you wake up that making dreams is even possible!”