PM Modi’s effect…. Swach Bharat, itchy hands and leaky members…..

While in Mysore, I like to do two things religiously every morning: one is go to Kukkarahalli-kere (lake) and the second is to drink tender coconut right after. One fine morning in mid January when I landed in Mysore, I was happy to see mass cleaning on the South side of the lake. Then, I saw the road in front of the Crawford hall closed as the road was being widened and everywhere spick and span.

I was telling my husband the MUDA (Mysore Urban Development Authority) was really taking a sudden interest in keeping the city clean. Guess they are vying to claim their title of “India’s cleanest city” back. When I stopped for my tender coconut, my husband said there were hardly any coconuts and it must be from the previous day.

When I asked the old man who cuts the tender coconut, he said boss is not bringing more.

I asked him why?

He said because of PM Modi’s arrival….

I was surprised and told him, PM Modi came to Bengaluru and why the boss is not bringing in Mysuru?

Showing his missing teeth, he said I don’t know Amma….

He is an innocent hired villager and he had told me that on a good day he sells up to 150 tender coconuts. He had also told me that weekly his boss pays Mamuli (usual bribe) to three different persons and every Sunday they come religiously to collect. If someone is around that time they will wait till the coast is clear and then collects it!

Later I spoke to his boss and he confirmed what the old man had said and gave me the list too.

Someone from Abhai (MUDA) collects Rs.300, traffic police Rs.300 and another police collects Rs.100. So Rs.700 total weekly payment. He also told me that they will drink tender coconut and if they find it fresh they will also pack 2 each to take it home! (Each tender coconut costs Rs.25).

Sad there is always room for black money and different avenues and channels available…

After two days the old man was moving his cart when we stopped by. He said Amma we are not allowed to sell on the pavement, the municipality people warned us and told us to stay away until after PM Modi’s visit on 18th and 19th of February 2018. Swachh Survekshan people will inspect…

So the mamuli does have its benefits and the less stocking was not because of the previous visit but preparation for the future visit… the whole system is a vicious circle and goes back to the roots…

I was also told that the cleanup operation and kicking the peddlers out was limited to the route PM Modi will be taking. I hear there are no rooms available at Lalith Mahal Palace hotel as it’s fully booked by a retired bureaucrat for his son’s wedding. So from where ever PM Modi is staying (mostly Radisson Blu)… going to Railway station and then to Maharaja’s College ground, the order will be maintained…

Wish PM Modi also visited the Kukkarahalli Lake so that the human waste coming in to the lake would stop and the little paradise would shine further.

Cleaning also brought to my mind the leaky privates some men sport besides the charandi (ditch at the kere)… or even in other open places. To this day I wonder why they can’t simply go at home before they set out on their journey. Interestingly I don’t see poor people doing that or a villager doing that. The middle class who travels in two wheelers or cars does that. Why do they really do it? Do they want assurance that their man hood still intact. Or is it just force of habit?

Wonder what might discourage them to do it? Does it help if everyone starts clicking their pictures in action and start posting in the social media… if they are shameless to do what they do why not take the picture?

Sadly there is this small breed of specimens who considers themselves as the leaders in such smelly business and presume their action justified. I see there is only one place remains which poses competition in this respect… however there is a minor difference. There the specimens have four legs. It’s at the world’s foremost city… Manhattan, New York. City of dogs, where the dogs are treated better even than the children or spouses.

The handsome, fancy dogs in leash, taken for walk, is a feast to the eye and the love and affection they receive is enviable. This perhaps is the reason they are also tolerated when they pee around. Most of the time their poop is collected and disposed but no effort is done to stop the pee. Everywhere they sport the little boards: Please Curb your Dogs… wonder what could be the befitting board for the educated fools here? A question and comparison which bothers me whenever I am in Manhattan!

The other city, the city of love which had the long standing tradition of drink and wild peeing, since before the day of Napoleon has finally put an end to the adventure and tradition with the introduction of Uritrottoir. Well you guessed it right, it’s Paris. Wild peeing was another tradition along with haute cuisine and chic fashion, they were wilder than the leaky dicks in India. So when will we be able to call it quits in India?

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The Drunkard’s dozen, and one for the road;)

When I visit Kodagu, I not only make a choice to blissfully cut off myself from the gadget civilization, but the erratic Electricity Board practically forces it on me too. So I try to read the local news papers  in Kannada to brush up my language skills. Last visit, I was reading the paper and burst out laughing with tears rolling from the eyes. My husband was curious to learn the reason and I warned him, you are not going to like what I say… but he insisted!

I said have you heard of Drunkard’s dozen? You can use it in your next Bingo session… (actually I made up the word) and started laughing again because my mind went elsewhere, to Pakistan to be precise! He was looking at me with a sort of grin and irritation… then I narrated out the news item from the newspaper dabbed with little spice:

{May 28th 2017, – Virajpet} The way it seems, the Keralites are exceptionally Law abiding(***) citizens of India. The Cops seems to be either busy controlling the striking employees or chasing the drunken brawlers… If you take the Nagarahole road to Mysuru, after the check point of Thithimathi, you can often see many Kerala  registered cars from Mercedes to little Nano parked here and there even braving the elephant crossing. I joke with my husband, guess Mallu’s are scared of their abkari and cops more than the biggest mammal!

Lure of alcohol is more powerful than most, as long as the effect is on, one can be what they want to be… a Maharaja or a Celebrity or a Super being. Moreover alcohol is unbiased, has no religion, no gender or language discrimination, sings lullaby even to the beggar/pauper/criminal alike, teaches punctuality to the believer, and embraces everyone in the same manner including animals. Jokes aside, heard of fermented Marula fruit party of animals in Africa? The animals relentlessly keep coming back for more and more inspite of losing balance while walking. Fortunately (unfortunately for some) there is a limit to Man’s ability to drink and eat… and unlike Mr.FAT there is no storage facility for the alcohol either. The chemical cocktail that runs through every creature called addiction are often difficult to control and in Kerala there are one too many devoted to Ms Madire (alcohol). So what is the easiest path to romance or mate with her?

Simply get into a bus or car and depending where you live travel to Mahe or Karnataka. For example the boarder Taluk of Virajpet in Kodagu district of Karnataka and have a fill. Sadly one State’s restriction is another States boon. Ironically Mahe (aka Mayyazhi locally) surrounded by Kerala on three sides but governed by the union territory Puducherry (Pondicherry) with low taxes!

So during the last week of May 2017, one young genius in Lungi, the traditional attire, came up with a brilliant plan. He brought eleven quarter bottle (usually its flat bottles) and tied them to his sexy legs with white cotton rope, one with six and the other with five. Though seemed a dubious plan, it was the best he could do to avoid being caught by the custom officials at the check posts of Makutta and Perambadi. Perhaps he even would have gotten away fairly easily as the Lungi would cover the bottles and rope without any bulges. But like the famous phrase.. “One for the road”, made the plan famous and colourful.

That day KSRTC, – both the Kerala State government and Karnataka State government transport buses are called KSRTC – was running late.  Poor man in Lungi could not resist the call for the last drink like a snake to the charmer’s Pungi, got another quarter and chugged the shot fearing the arrival of the bus. Already high, as the Ms Madire subjugated, he could not even stand or walk. So under duress just sat on the ground, as the Lungi opened revealing his beautiful sexy legs along with the bottles. Rest is history… someone with the smart phone got smarter and clicked the picture and sent to the media.

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As I finished my narration, my husband burst out laughing but in between he said then what is the Drunkard’s dozen and Pakistani connection?

Well, sorry guys I have to admit its little nasty but that was the thought that came to me… I am not challenging the manhood but it’s just a funny episode in the mundane day to day life. I told him, it’s all about the importance or perception of manhood for certain category of people. I was wondering why only the odd eleven bottles and why not twelve? Then realized that in a drunken state, the man in Lungi must have mistaken or counted his organ as the twelfth bottle! It’s not different from a drunkard thinking he/she can drive in supersonic speed or consider themselves as superman/woman.

And as far the Pakistani connection goes, remember 4 – 5 years ago a suicide bombers’ devise would not detonate because he was wearing a metal shield around his genital area to carry it whole to heaven? Wow, amazingly he thought leaving it whole on Earth would reach Heaven without blemish too. Then there is the failed Christmas day unwashed-underwear bomb too…

My husband did not say anything so I thought it was OK to post it… But I am still wondering who is the smartest of the three? And which addiction is more powerful? Is wearing pant better than Lungi while smuggling?

*** Even though India is one sovereign entity, each State has its own independent rules and regulations within the state. Often it is stretched too thin and hard to comprehend. For decades I lived in a tax free country Kuwait, where there was restriction for very few items like drugs, alcohol, pork. Yet people try to smuggle it not only for quick bucks but also for personal indulgence. Always the modus operandi is exclusive; often mind blowing which could turns funny, nasty or stupid too. Like the drugs carrier mules sorry humans, swallowing plastic bags with drugs or kept in private parts, etc.. I often wondered how it is in a large country with limited restrictions or free movement between the states.

In Karnataka, alcohol sale is a big business… both as money spinner to state government as well as politicians/abkari/police department’s coffer filling golden goose, who are like the mosquitoes sucking out on decomposed mushrooms! Sadly as long as the last alcoholic is standing, demand and supply will continue and the trend will continue. Pathetically, as if the half crack-nasty, ego bound drivers are not bad enough, it is even sold on highways… However, the next door neighbour state Kerala has a different covenant even though they enjoy “Kallapam”, a alcohol based breakfast. Say no to “Kallu” and encourage drinking “Chaya”, the famed Kerala milk-tea,. According to Mr. Google uncle, the state owned Bevco (Kerala State Beverage Corp) has 338 shops, and Bevco will shut down 10% of them every year. Consumer fed, which has 46 shops, will also be closed. However, sale of alcohol will continue to be permitted in 5-star hotels, and there were fourteen 5-star hotels in the state as of August 2014. That means big wigs can still drink, in other words liquor is not really banned; only the location is restricted!!

Face of Iraqi Wars & Fable from my childhood.. Two Cats & a Monkey

This is a fable for the young generation..

Indian culture is full of fables & we grew up listening to oodles of them from parents, grandparents, relatives & even exchanges with friends. Those were the most beautiful moments & we never got tired of it… Basically unlike the present day gadgets, it was one of the most important entertainments for us. That’s how we were mentally groomed to grow up as balanced human beings. Keeping the values & growth of mankind, as the Vedas & Puranas have done thousands of years ago, fables were woven & passed on in a simpler fashion known as Ajji-Kategalu (Grandmother’s stories).

I am certain that Indian fables are a rich source of bonding & grooming to children. I was really surprised when I narrated my own modified version of the story of “King with the Donkey’s ears’ to Arya, my 3.5 years old granddaughter, she was so excited & made me tell her the story several times. I let her name the King & she would religiously repeat “King Cockle has Donkey’s ears” three times too. One day she also asked me Nana can you write & give it to Mama/Dada so they can read it for me!!

An Ajji would have said: A Door is smaller than a house, a lock is smaller than the door & a Key is smallest of them all. Like how we can enter the house with that little key, a good moral solution can fix big problems & vice versa!!

When the Iran-Iraq war happened (22.09.1980 to Aug 1988), we lived just a ~500 kilometers away & when Iraq annexed Kuwait (02.08.1990 to 26.02.1991) we lived there for 2 months before starting the arduous journey home. In a WAR there is no such thing as winners or losers; everyone is a loser in different context. I always wonder who really benefitted & ate the cake. Coming back to the headlines, you can read the story & interpret the way you want.

Many moons ago there lived two Cats in an old woman’s house. They were good friends, born together & while basking in the Sun spent their time playing & purring whole day in the garden. Old woman was very fond of the Cats & pampered them like her own children. There was plenty of food & milk, & they did not have to toil it. One day the old woman was suddenly taken ill & had to be rushed to the hospital. There was no food or milk kept out for them to eat or drink.

Middle of the day both were very hungry & could not find any food or drink. So both decided to search for the food & wondered all over the village but could not find any food. Finally the aroma of freshly baked bread & cake gave them some hope. When the baker was busy they managed to sneak in & while the baker was trying to chase one, the other ran away with a piece of cake. Finally, they stopped under a bush & decided to share the cake. It was a team effort & both wanted equal share. One of them divided the cake into two pieces & the pieces did not look equal.  Obviously they had no knife to cut it & had to use their paws. The tantalizing smell of cake made them greedy & both began to quarrel claiming the bigger piece.

On a nearby tree a small troop (incidentally it is also called a barrel!!!) of Monkeys were watching the commotion under the canopy. The smart leader decided to mediate between the Cats. Well that’s what it told them… it came down from the tree & asked them why they were quarreling with each other?

When the Cats complained to the Monkey about the difference in the portion, the Monkey said oh don’t worry, I can solve this problem in no time. The leader went to nearby vegetable vendor & borrowed a balance to weigh.

The Monkey said, well keep both the pieces in the balance & let us see if it is different & I will be the judge. Impressed by the size & smartness of the Monkey, the Cats agreed & kept the pieces in the balance. Indeed it was different & the Monkey said it will fix the problem, & cut a piece of the heavier cake & ate it. Then weighed the pieces again & the other piece was heavier this time. Saying it will fix the pieces equally, the Monkey took a bite & ate it. To make the pieces equal, biting & eating from the heavier pieces continued until such time that there was nothing left. Right in front of their eyes the entire cake piece vanished into Monkey’s stomach as both the Cats stood helpless & aghast for the right measurement.

Finally the Monkey smiled & said now my dear friends; I have solved your problem & you won’t have to quarrel over the bigger piece of the cake anymore & climbed back the tree.

Still hungry & sad, the Cats learnt the lesson of their life, not to involve a stranger in their personal affair. They had no choice but to wait for the old lady to return home…

World is still filled with Cats & all kinds of monkeys white, brown, black, etc.

So how is Manhattan connected to these events?

Manhattan seems to showcase every aspect of life condensed in an Island. Hudson River forms Manhattan island by splitting into two as East & West. It’s a place where usual & unusual, walk hand in hand. Manhattan accommodates everyone from Homeless to mansion dwellers, along with the super talls/slenders skyscrapers. It’s a place where people even go to cuddle joints get cuddles & hugs… It’s where the UN is situated & just across the UN building rests the Roosevelt Island, spectacle to the 4-Visions spoken out by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on January 6, 1941 at the State of the Union address*. UN with 139-member body yet controlled by five (like the Panchendryas – 5-Sense organs & fingers of the hand which control the trigger), a body by itself stands tall witnessing the destruction of the creation, millions of dead bodies, the innocent collateral damages &, the victims of circumstances. Just like the blind Kuru King Dritarastra, powerful yet powerless, & his wife the voluntary blind (just like the Greek Goddess Justitia, the Lady of justice, blindfolded, sword in hand still trying to balance herself without expression on her face)

The River Hudson, a tidal estuary which flows both upstream & downstream mixing the fresh & salt waters depending upon the tide.

Manhattan is the most important Financial district in the world which can influence the Worldwide markets. It’s where babies & dogs are treated equal if not better !Where women are obsessed with their nails & hair, both dead parts of the body! A place where things are legally illegal & illegally legal! – for example drugs are not legal yet there are shops where whole load of drug paraphernalia  made of glass to crystal to metal is sold!! In Bryant Park, if you hang on for a while after a concert, you can get intoxicated by simply breathing the air!!

The word Manhattan means “The place where we get bows’, in the Munsee language, for a stand of hickory trees at the lower end so ideal for the making of bows that was grown throughout the length of the Hudson River. Before their journey of incognito, Pandavas hid their magnificent unparalleled celestial weapons (particularly the bows & arrows of Arjuna) obtained from the Devas on a Shala/Sami tree, a place safe & handy to retrieve when needed. Those were the same weapons used during the war.

So when is the D-day going to happen? It did not seem far away…

I thought I am not reaching anywhere with all these data moving in my head… how much of my thoughts were really true? Wanted to wake my husband & talk something so that I could clear my mind but he was fast asleep & had no heart to trouble him. I am neither religious nor can honestly pray for even one minutes & why am being pulled into this? I have not had a horoscope made for me or any of my children… I am practically ignorant of everything….

Does Sahara boss’s jail indicate the previous birth of Sri Vishnu as Krishna born in a jail? Nothing was related to anything yet everything was being pumped into my mind.. as if everything were signs clearly visible to naked eyes… I felt like Mr. Monk in the movie “Life or something like it”…. Telling God is coming… God is coming… then I realized his origin is a piece of puzzle toooo… it was strange & funny…

I thought of the horse shoe shaped building, as I heard that Jews (Yehudi – of Yahudha tribe) are of Indian origin. They are supposed to have migrated from Bharata after the Great War, whom Arjuna had lead more than 5-thousand years ago, as instructed by Sri Krishna… Yadhus (modern decedents are called Yadavas).. the people from Sri Krishna’s Kingdom… oh boy where am I leading to? Interestingly Sri Krishna’s maternal uncle Kaansa had cursed Yadhus to be persecuted throughout their future, for supporting his would be assassin Sri Krishna. No matter what, how much persecution & hardship, like Phoenix the fire bird, the Jews will always bounce back & remain powerful, have control & say in the world affairs directly or indirectly!! They are said to be freed from the curse after the return of Sri Krishna to earth. Perhaps the old bond still keeps India & Israel in close relationship to this day & India is the one country which never persecuted Jews!! Even scores of distressed youngsters from Israel head to India in search of Peace. Maybe that is why Judaism, unlike other religions from the region do not have the concept of conversions. Maybe its an  inheritance from their Indian past? A DNA test should confirm!

So everything is linked & everything has a reason in this world… no wonder everything & everyone is related to everyone & everything. I wanted my thought flow to change its direction to its original self. A cocktail or religions – Muslim – Hindus & now Jews…

I realized that the word Kalki, the next birth of Sri Vishnu is not going to be his name. It’s just an indication of the Avatara of Sri Vishnu. Kalki is made up of two words “Kal & Ki”. In India, the word “kal” means both yesterday & tomorrow & “ki” is an adjective meaning belongs to. So what was yesterday will be tomorrow. Is the reversal/same form of the same.. Hence, the Vishnu who came yesterday meaning previously will come tomorrow meaning future. No wonder Sri Krishna was termed as the first psychologist of the universe who has to incarnate again to uplift the crashed psyche… Once the Kaliyuga ends, the time will slip back to Dvapara yuga bringing a better tomorrow.

Mahabharata happened in a different scope or level of intelligence communication & physical capabilities. Their capabilities were different, unknown to us rather unperceivable to us, so much so many call them Aliens!! Mahabharata or Kurukshetra War did not happen because Sri Krishna wanted to get the Kingdom back to Pandavas. Pandavas were capable of earning it themselves. He came because the morale at that time was in steep decline & oppression on the children & women were too high. History repeats & that’s what is happening now on earth directly or indirectly. People say something & do something else… fence is consuming the crop… at the conjunction of 2-yugas with further social upheavals & constant disturbances & deterioration of morality, Vishunu is to appear as chastiser of opressors.

Very few realize the fact that in ancient India, women occupied a very important position, in fact a superior positon to men.… The Sanskrit term Shakti is the only word used to indicate power & strength & it’s a feminine gender which denotes that all male power comes from the feminine. However, the degradation of morale saw the opposite effect. Sri Vishnu came to earth when the morale was its lowest. Both Pandavas & Kauravas were just tools/pawns like how fire is used to clear the sugarcane field to plant sugarcane again to bring sweetness into earth. The war between the Kurus was to rid the earth from evil where the morale had deteriorated so much that the women & children were used/abused mercilessly, sold like goods & innocents were suffering without a cause. Trying to undress Draupadi in the saba became the main cause of Mahabharata war, like how Sita’s abduction was the cause of Ramayana & Madurai, the capital of Pandyas was burnt because Pandyan Nedunchezhiyan mistakenly killed her husband on theft charges.

With the end of Kaliyuga {age of darkness}, the creation completes a full circle, so does the human brain, then there is no more potential growth that’s when he becomes the slave of the machine & equipments. That’s when Sri Vishnu will come to uphold the dharma & put the brightness to humanity & keep the cycle going. Righteousness is here to stay as it’s the very nature of man, sadly due to various influences man turns unrighteous conquered by greed. Thanks to the illogical thinking of few evil minds & unscrupulous behavior of few more, fellow human (the entire creation) has lost the dignity in both living as well as in death. Sadly, it’s a pattern spread across the Yugas… which is enhanced many folds in this day & age.

Wonder if Lord Vishnu going to be born in Israel or in India? Wherever it is, the final belief of the humanity is going to be Sanatana Dharma because it is not a religion but a way of life which teaches harmonious living which is the secret of life itself. Religion is just a manmade mambo-jambo… creating confusion… I left the bed to write what I could remember before I lost track of it…. I knew that I am not qualified enough to be part of Lord Vishnu’s birth. But I can dream of anything I want & will my dream come true? I want to be reborn as my own great-granddaughter… as a Sanskrit scholar. Will I remember my past then?

`12*A world founded upon 4-essential human freedoms. The freedom of speech & expression, freedom of every person to worship God in his own way, freedom from want & freedom from fear.

Manhattan – Fishing and Rats (Part 2)

When we entered the park through the south-east corner, the same drama was being enacted inside too but the crowd was mixed. Being Saturday, the park was crowded. A young lady was painting the stone bridge & I peeped from the side to see the work. She was good. We walked little further & sat on the bench opposite to the lake overlooking the bridge. A Youngman was catching fish with simple hook & some plastic looking bait, while 3-ducks stood close to each other on a small rock popping out of the water. Another man from across was capturing the beauty of the natural stone bridge with his camera. At least they were aware of the what they were doing!!

Youngman’s fishing became our discussion for a while as many passersby looked at him with critical eyes. I was wondering if the fishing is allowed inside the park pond? There were a whole lot of fish in the pond… some coloured ones too… meanwhile he got one & he showed it to two kids saying it’s a trout… & released back the fish as an asian woman watched them all. I commented it’s nice that it was released, I know it is to teach his kids but he also should tell them that the fish gets hurt like us & feels uncomfortable deprived of oxygen nearly expecting death too. In the meantime, the kids pointed towards the back & said see Dad there & ran towards him. Oh boy it was not his kids! Was it fair to catch the fish? What was the purpose?

Then the Youngman took his fishing rod & walked to the other side of the lake. I wondered if he was maybe re-living his childhood or maybe making it up for the lost childhood? Now our mind moved towards the stone bridge where many women sat & some kids crawled along it’s the ledge of the bridge, which gave us goosebumps.

My husband and son talked about the buildings around. And I pointed to my daughter in law the Rats racing & scurrying from both sides… with full speed ignoring the presence of humans on their mobiles! There were so many & one was just behind us on the tree watching us. I started telling them about an Indian National volleyball player’s unprecedented accident, when she had rats feasting on her raw flesh right in front of her eyes while she lay unable to move between Two railway tracks. Actually my talk was not about the rats but the human mental endurance but my husband & DIL quickly got up to move… & on the other side of the lake there was a father & son duo both equipped with fishing rod… besides them was the same Youngman!! Same old thing repeated yet I was thankful for they were releasing it back to the water… we moved on fearing their hook might hurt us from their behind while throwing.

Outside “Zombie Oasis” was getting larger & the lights were on. NYPD vehicle which I had seen earlier was still there & I joked what would the Zombies do for Uncle Sam to wait on them… eat each other? Glued to mobiles, they were almost dead to reality, no one spoke or laughed.. thank God they still seemed breathing!! Only casualty was the Psyche Crash!! While the passing cars rolled smoothly & sounds of horse’s hoop reminded of a bygone era, there was an eerie silence among the packed homogeneous sardines..

Ghee & the Modern Man

 

Known as Ghrit or ghrta in Sanskrit, ghee is considered is a staple in Indian cooking and has been a host of good health for thousands of years. I love both butter & ghee, & growing up have eaten loads of it. After she was done churning, my mother kept the butter floating in a dish of water on the dining table & every time we passed by a portion of it went into mouth!! Both Butter & Ghee are usually solid in cooler conditions & melts as it warms. The smooth texture, melting in the mouth gives that classy feeling like the melting chocolate. Butter, Sri Krishna’s favourite dish, has a limited shelf life but a simple process turns the same butter into ghee (Clarified butter, we call it “Nei” & Kannada “tuppa”). Ghee’s own shelf life is almost one hundred years if stored properly!!! That’s makes it survive longer than us.

Boiling the butter on low fire yields the ghee. My mother added few betel leaves for flavor towards the end. The butterfat is bottled after cooling, leaving the proteins (casein, way & other milk solids such as lactose, etc.) collected at the bottom. We kids waited for the chance to collect the bottom solids & ate with banana or simply dhal which is prepared in the same vessel and smelt so good.. became so tasty… my mouth is watering. We fought for the lion share of the betel leaves cooked crisp.

Food for the Mind & Spirit

Unfortunately, modern science came up with the idea that ghee is bad, corrupting every mind & until recently not realizing the value of it. So ghee became a No… No in the modern meals…. In a way they might be right too because their study came from the cows eating all sorts of manmade concoction including plastic & ground bones (powder) of other dead animals. On the other hand, in Aryurveda, our Rishis spoke of the cows which ate grass straight from Mother Nature’s lap. I think that when the cows eat the fresh grass roaming freely in the meadows, the grass smells so good – like how the mowing brings out the unusual smell, enhancing good feeling in ourselves – making the cow happy & calm. That pleasantness (of the mind – which makes us believe either we are happy or sad) is then radiated into the entire body of the cow like the sweet fragrance, including the udder (perhaps mainly udder because cow produces milk for its baby, the calf not for us the thieves).

Everyone knows that Body & Mind of the beings works in unison when the conditions are pleasant, communicating through chemical signals creating harmony with each other. Even though we cannot see, we can experience it! Also it is noteworthy that when we are happy, small little problems just does not get any attention from us which shows that positive thinking & healthy mind condition could also reduce negativity in us. The milk in the udder comes to man, then it is converted into many different forms such as curd, buttermilk, butter, cheese, etc., etc.

Now the scientists are turning around & says its goooodddd…. Mr. Ghee is trust worthy… after Mr. Ghee, Mr. Coconut also got a praise… Lol… wonder whether Indians & Ayurveda really need certificate from the Modern Science & their chameleonic theories.

Mrs. Cows graze mainly on grass & other greens, fruits & vegetables or rice, etc. So all the vitamins & medicinal properties of the food consumed is absorbed & transported to milk. So we get the nourishment like taking a supplement in modern terms!! It’s an antioxidant & has antiviral properties too. It contains Omega 3 (so called good cholesterol) & 6, which are boosters for brain & nervous system for smooth functioning. Let’s see some of the qualifications of Mr. GHEE.

In Ayurveda it is considered as a Satvic food & like all the Satvic foods, it promotes positivity, growth & expansion of the consciousness. Even though it is a diary product, coming from another body, like mother’s milk it is accepted by everyone including pure vegetarian Brahmins. That’s one of the main reason Cow is respected & regarded highly in India. Sadly, people think it is related to religion & kill them… losing long term benefits for less than an hour’s craving…

Ghee has a high smoking point (about 250 Degree C) so it will not break down into so called free radicals like other oils. It is rich in oil soluble Vitamin A & E, K2 & CLA as well as medium chain fatty acids, which are absorbed directly by the liver like carbs & burned as energy, which does not result in fat storage. It is rich in butyric acid (so named because it was first discovered in butter & it increases its concentration in ghee), which is considered beneficial to the digestive & immune systems in many ways.

It protects the body, aids digestion & strengthens immune system. In Ayurveda, ghee is used as a carrier for the nutrients in herbs & to lubricate the intestinal tract & all the tissues inside the body. Bowl movement & Digestion related problem, is a big problem for many people in the modern world. Our body is designed to digest. However, many suffer from digestive stress & it is said that an estimated one in four Americans suffers from gastrointestinal (GI) track & digestive maladies! (no study is done in India…)

Ghee preventing onset of body ache, joint pain, alzimers, cancer, etc., etc. So don’t feel bad if you want to consume gheeeeee….. However, people suffering from heart ailments & diabetics should be little careful & if doctor says no then please don’t eat it!!

Finally, the ghee enhances the taste & flavor of the food. Cook dhal, chicken or biryani with ghee & see how great it tastes & smells!! My mother used to narrate this fable: Kai guna Mavayya or nei guna Mavayya (is it merit of the cook’s hand or the ghee). A wife had been cooking for her husband all her married life. He never really appreciated or perhaps did not show openly. Time passed, her son grew up to be nice young man & got married, & the daughter-in-law, let’s call her Asha came home. Once wife was away for few days & the Asha cooked the food. The food was so tasty… Mava (father-in-law) could not believe his tongue. When his wife returned, all that she heard was that how good was Asha’s food… all her dishes. Suddenly/sadly the old man felt wife’s cooking was not good, nothing in front of Asha!! Poor Mavi (mother-in-law), a good cook herself could not understand how come her food is not tasty to her husband any more. So one day she hid herself & watched Asha cooking everything with ghee. So next day the smart lady hid the ghee container. Asha could not find the ghee & unable to ask anyone, finished cooking with oil. After tasting Mava said why Asha did not cook today.. the food is not tasty…. Wife was waiting for this & told her husband to ask Asha “Kai guna or nei guna”? Asha shyly answered “Nei guna Mavayya”, ending Mava’s nagging of his wife for good!

Tonle Sap – My musings from Cambodia

The below article is a contribution from my daughter-in-law, on her expreiences and musing from a trip to Cambodia and Laos:

The last couple of days were some of the most beautiful days of my life. Cambodia, like some parts of India presents life to you in its most raw form. Siem reap is bustling with life, the second biggest province in the Kingdom of Cambodia, is still reeling from the horror of its past and is desperate to make its future better. You can see it mainly in the children on the streets of Cambodia. To an extent that these kids have learnt to manipulate tourists with their innocent faces in order to earn a living. It makes me wonder what life must have thrown to make them such manipulative business monkeys without a Harvard degree!

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A 30 minute tuk tuk ride will take you from the busy streets of Siem reap to Tonle Sap lake on which several floating villages are formed. Tonle sap is a fresh water lake which joins the Mekong river. 5 different provinces are situated around the lake with a population of 3 million. The main form of income is fishing and agriculture. I visited the Chang kneas village and as I passed in a boat, I saw houses, clinics, temples, schools, fish farms, restaurants, markets, pigsty – all floating on this lake.

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Life is in its most simple form- they draw water from the lake for use, they go to the jungle for toilet, they grow or catch everything they eat. Some houses have electricity only from 6pm to 11pm. Houses here take 2-3 months to build and are build mostly with wood. 15-20 people live together in these houses. The average income per day is 2$ in this village. 2$ is all we humans need to survive and live a beautiful life, one with nature. Most importantly, they have a very low impact on the environment compared to the city dwellers living the “good life”. We come from different circumstances but our necessities are all the same.

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When you ride through this village in a dingy motor boat, you will see people pulling fish out of their nets, kids playing in the lake, men bathing, women gardening, kids running down the stairs in school uniform, pigs being cleaned and more. I imagine what life must be like and make up stories in my head. They seem very happy in their small world with no luxury and assets in their name.

Your happiness is defined by your surrounding and your experience in life. The smallest of things make the villagers happy in Tonle sap. Our local guide told us that everyone’s in good mood if they chop a chicken or pork for their meal since the staple diet is usually just sticky rice and fish. The kids were extremely excited to see and touch my bangles. I saw tourists giving candies and money to these kids too. I hope people realize that it’s a bad practice. It encourages begging, discourages innovative initiatives while rotting their teeth. Give them books, that’s the only way to make a difference or better even, sponsor a kids education.
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Coming back to Tonle sap, this place is a quaint little chaotic heaven in the middle of Cambodia. It took me back to where I come from because the sense of belonging to a particular community is a dominating feeling in us. We leave homes in search of better and bigger things. As I explore this expansive world, my own culture, similar to Lao culture of worshipping and respecting the land, river and forest makes the most sense to me.

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I travel not only because I always have wanted to see the world, but also, it gives me a perspective in life. I and my worries seem small in the universe of things. I have learnt to respect and be thankful for the small things in life. Tonle sap in particular makes you respect nature for it vastness, kindness and for all it can offer.

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Our boat ride ended in the mekong river just outside the floating village and the flooded forest. We stopped the boat to soak in the bright sky, slow breeze and calm water surrounding us. As the sun set over the red sky, the peace and calm of that moment could be rivaled only by a mother’s womb.