EGGS KEJRIWAL topped NY food critic’s list in 2017. Surprised?
It has nothing to do with Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal although the marwari connection is very much there. Kejriwals belong to the Bania caste. They are astute businessmen. Mostly they are vegetarians. Many young people from the community eat non vegetarian food clandestinely.
The said dish was invented by Devi Prasad Kejriwal a businessman from Mumbai. Being a conservative marwari in he didn’t take eggs at home. But he enjoyed it after golf.
Good thing about the dish is easily available three ingredients Eggs, Cheese and Green Chilli. It hardly takes any time to prepare.
He would tell the waiter how to make it with a slice of cheese, a fried egg and, being a Marwari, he liked green chillies,“ says Ajay Kejriwal, his nephew.
How did it get thus peculiar name?
It got its name because other members began asking the waiter to give them the same what Kejriwal is having.
The dish topped New York Food Critic’s list. One reason cited is the commonality of the ingredients and easy way to prepare.
India has been on the name changing spree. During last 5 years names of many places, roads and monuments have been changed on the basis of the present names being reminder of colonial era or names being derogatory and names of some places being after some Moghul king who was not positively inclined towards the original inhabitants. Another argument for changing names was to replace those alien names with our own local heroes. Here is a list of some changed names during last 5 years in chronological order.
Bangalore became Bangaluru. In all, the names of 12 places in Karnataka changed to reflect original Kannada pronunciation. Mysore became Mysuru and Mangalore became Mangaluru.
Aurangzeb road in Delhi became APJ Abdul Kalam road.
Rajahmundry was renamed Rajamahendravaram in the honour of 11th century king
Gurgaon became Gurugram after Guru Dronacharya of Kauravas of Mahabharata fame. Mewat renamed to Nuh.
Bangalore city railway station renamed Krantivira Sangli Rayanna, 19th century freedom fighter.
Race Course road in Delhi renamed Lok Kalyan Marg, giving 7 RCR a new address.
Ganda village in Fatehabad district of Haryana renamed AjitNagar after a petition to PM by teenager Harpreet Kaur Malkat. Kinnar village changed to Gaibi Nagar. Both previous names had derogatory shades.
Odisha’s Wheeler island, home to a missile testing range was renamed APJ Abdul Kalam Island.
Kandla port in Gujarat was renamed Deendayal Port to mark the centenary year of JanaSangha co-founder.
Chor Basai in Rajasthan lost Chor. Nachania in Bihar became Kashipur.
Mumbai’s Elphinstone Road station named after British governor was renamed Prabhadevi.
“Miyon Ka Bara” village in Barmer Rajasthan got new name Mahesh Nagar as residents alleged that due to Muslim sounding name it was hard to get marriage proposals.
Mughalsarai junction founded in 1860 and one of the busiest junctions in country renamed as Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya junction.
West Bengal assembly passed a resolution to change the state’s name to Bangla. Mamata Banerjee didi found that due to alphabetical pecking order, her bureaucrats were called last at central meetings. With changed name “Bangla” pecking order will be on top almost.
Naya Raipur in Chhattisgarh has been renamed as Atal Nagar after the popular prime minister of India Atal Behari Vajpayee.
Allahabad City which got this name from Akbar and is the holy place where Kumbh Mela is held.
The process continues unabated. Next on the anvil are the names of trains based on the great personalities which belonged to the originating stations.
Prayag in Allahabad is the place of confluence of Ganges, Yamuna & Saraswati rivers. The place is revered by Hindus and is one of the four places where a great fair called “Kumbh Mela” is held which is attended by many hundred thousand pilgrims.
It is believed that a holy dip in the confluence waters purifies a person washing all his sins. These are beliefs and metaphors because the sins and good deeds do not cling to the body like grime or clothes which even a good scrubbing and soap bath washes away. These are the things which depend upon individuals way of taking it.
Most of the Indians are gullible and of herd mentality. This is evident from the blind faith they put into the so called innumerable holy men who take them for ride. Every other day we hear stories about their deeds of corruption, twisting of law, grabbing of lands, silent rapes committed by them in their Ashrams.
Public memory being short, these events are easily forgotten. Second reason is that the followers don’t question or do the logical analysis of whatever is said, neither do they tolerate to hear anyone questioning these ideas.
Let us come back to the main subject after this detour. It is not impossible since we have not gone too far. So we are talking about the great river Ganges which is not only considered as a body of water but also a Goddess.
She was brought to earth for the salvation of the land and sons of Bhagirath. Though not happy to condescend and come down to earth, she was nevertheless bound to obey the orders, she had to come down to earth. Seeing her fury, the Shiva: the savior of Gods and life, took all the impact of Ganges on his head and smothered her to become less aggressive and benevolent stream.
Even from the physical point of view, it sustains and nourishes almost all of India in the North from West to East. It enriches the soil and makes it so fertile to grow crops in plenty.
On reaching the end of its journey near Calcutta, where it splits into many parts and along with Brahmaputra, the only river with masculine name, which also reaches the final destination, it forms the world’s biggest and most fertile delta called Sundarbans.
Similarly, many great rivers flow into the plains of Punjab and Sind. They also originate in the Glaciers of Himalayas but flow towards Arabian sea. These are five rivers namely Jhelum, Ravi, Chenab, Beas and Sutlej.
In fact the name Punjab is derived from two words namely Panj and Aab, meaning five and rivers respectively. So Punjab is the land of five rivers. These rivers are not so mighty as Ganges. These rivers also join successively to one another. One branch is formed by joining of Jhelum, Chenab & Sutlej and becomes Chenab, the other two acting as tributaries. Second branch is formed by merging of Beas into Sutlej.
On proceeding south west, these two branches join at a place called “Panjnad”, which literally translates to five rivers. This confluence should have been as important from the religious point of view as the confluence of Ganges, Yamuna and Saraswati at Allahabad. Why this has not happened, I don’t know.
Although as we know the great civilization of Indus Valley flourished in Punjab and Sind areas mainly. In fact, Harappa and Moenjodaro were the most important centers of this civilization situated on the Indus river. But research has shown that it was spread all over Punjab, Sind and Gujarat up to Ganges in the Western Uttar Pradesh.
Flowing further south, Panjnad the joins another great river Indus and their confluence is called “Satnad“, the seven rivers. Just before joining with Panjnad, Indus also receives water from another tributary called Afghan river. This place should have been even more importance. From here Arabian sea is waiting to receive this great river which forms Indus delta before falling into the sea.
There is no doubt about the fact that Shivaji was a great hero. Why I am saying was, he was, he is, and always will remain in the hearts of Indians. Some say he was Hindu king but that is not true. He looked upon his people without any discrimination. But the qualities I admire him for are his bravery, fearlessness and presence of mind. Otherwise, who can even imagine that any person who is in clutches of such a mighty emperor as Aurangzeb at Agra could make his escape good from a place which is thousands of miles away from his home. My heart is always full of praise for the man who had the prescience of what the towering and powerful Pathan Afzal Khan had in his mind when Khan invited him and planned to squeeze him to his death while hugging him. These traits do not come by education, they are inborn.
Shivaji was the first Indian King who realized the importance of controlling the sea with systematic navy and ports. He had made many ports like in Panvel, Murud Zanzira. He also constructed a number of forts. Some of the forts are at such places which seem unassailable. Many are located on ridges overlooking the Arabian seashore while many are located on small islands. It is a matter of shame that such monuments which had so much history attached to them are lying in very ruinous state. Government of Maharashtra is planning to install a very huge statue in Mumbai costing crores of rupees. Instead of carrying out such senseless and ill conceived project just only for the sake of false admiration of the great man, it would be wise to restore those crumbling structure which are proud of our nation.
He was having very trusted and brave general and army under his command. One such person was Tanoji Angre who had a son called Kanoji Angre also known as Sarkhel Angre, who was the worked under Chief of Satara. He was so much bold that he had one of his bases at Andaman. He relentlessly harassed the British ships of East India Company, who were so frustrated, that they called him a pirate.
Kanoji Angre was born in Ali Baug town which is located on the seashore and these days a popular beach. It is connected by a ferry to Bhau Cha Dhakka in Mumbai. Most of the workers and stevedores in Bombay docks came to Bombay from Ali Baug by ferry. So being born in the vicinity of sea, Angre must have been very adept in seafaring and fishing activities. It is even surprising to imagine that such a person located in the Western Coast of India had such control over the sea that Andaman in Bay of Bengal was under his away.
Angre’s tomb is situated at the city of Alibag his birthplace. A statue of Angre stands tall in Naval Dockyard in Mumbai. The fort which overlooks the Naval Docks may not be there but the boundary wall is still intact and within it lays the Headquarters of Western Naval Command and is called INS Angre ( Indian Naval Station Angre).
We salute to these brave people who boldly faced the looter from Britain. Only regret is that there were not many of them, otherwise the history would have been different.
Just like many Marathi families settled in Tanjore during the time of rule of Marathas at this place, many Sikhs opted not to return to their native land but to settle in the Assam itself. These Sikhs trace their genealogies to few hundred Sikh soldiers which arrived in Assam to help the Ahom rulers in the year 1820. These Sikhs were sent by Ranjit Singh as a friendly gesture.
Many of them perished but many among those who survived chose to settle down there. Many of them married the local girls. Most of the descendants are mostly concentrated in Nagaon district of Assam living there for Sikhs for approximately two hundred years.p
In the earlier times, the year 1505 to be precise, the first prophet of the Sikhs, Guru Nanak Dev had visited Kamrup (Assam). This fact is recorded in the documents concerning the numerous journeys undertaken by Guru Nanak in various stages of his life. It is said that, he met Srimanta Shankardeva (the founder of the Mahapuruxiya Dharma) as he traveled from Dhaka to Assam.
After this journey by the first Guru, Ninth Guru or prophet of Sikhs Guru Tegh Bahadur also visited Assam in 1668. This was the time when armies of Aurangzeb tried the best to cross the Brahamputra river and enter the Assam. They were thoroughly routed by the Ahom general Lachit Borphukan. Guru visited the the place called Dhubri. A famous for the Sikh Gurudwara was constructed to commemorate his visit. Every year Sikhs from all over India and foreign visit this holy place.The grateful Ahom King invited Guruji to the Kamakhya shrine, where he was honoured.
Back to the main story. While some died and some came back to Punjab, a few stayed on and made Assam their home, raising families. Their descendants today—mostly concentrated in Nagaon district—are Assamese for all practical purposes, and speak Assamese, but continue to maintain their Sikh identity and observe most tenets and traditions of the religion.
Barely a few days ago, I happened to be watching a TV program called “Mysterious North East”. In fact this a an interesting series on North Eastern states of India made by Bhupen Hazarika and Kalpana Lajmi. In that particular episode, he showed a Gurudwara and a village inhabited almost totally by Sikhs. These descendants of original Sikhs although follows all the Sikh tenets, many of them keep the hair, they resemble the Mongolians. This had happened due to their mingling and marrying into Assamese families. Most of these Sikhs are farmers. In fact, there was scene of extracting sugarcane juice in a machine rotated by Bullocks. It was a familiar scene in the villages of Punjab during my childhood and still now.
During a period two centuries, they have assimilated and integrated the Assamese culture into their own original culture. They speak fluent Assamese and forgotten to speak Punjabi the mother tongue of their forefathers. They call themselves as Assamese Sikhs.
Their are other classes of Sikhs living in Assam which don’t mix up with these Sikhs. In fact, these Sikhs do not marry their girls with the Assamese Sikhs and consider them as inferior class forgetting the very basic tenet of their Gurus teachings which preached the equality of all human beings.
Some research says that the Assamese Sikhs may have their roots in Bihari Sikhs which to some extent seems logical given the vast distance between Punjab and Assam. It is not easily understood, how the Ahom kings has corresponded with Mahraja Ranjit Singh as there were numerous states between these two places. How the soldiers might had reached the Assam after treading the whole distance of thousands of miles without getting into problems along the route. How they had overcome the temptation to enroll themselves into the service of better off intervening kingdoms?
Unlike the Maharashtrians who chose to remain in the Tanjavore, the Sikhs in Assam depended mainly on the agriculture or manual labor. This is due to the fact that Assam was virtually outside the realm of mainstream India due to geography of the area. It was almost inaccessible and so suffered from the lack of education and other amenities. Whereas, the Tamilian Maharashtrians, when they lost their respected position after the decline of Maratha rule, took to educations and excelled in the field and many of them are prominent people in the Government echelons.
Sikhs in Assam have been forgotten by their cousins in Punjab. Unlike the Sikhs which arrived in India after partition settled in many places of the country and by the dint of hard work became prosperous, the Assamese Sikhs live miserable lives. The indolence which they must have inherited from their Assamese hosts may be one factor responsible for this. It is this feature of being satisfied with whatever is available and lack of initiative which is the bane of Assamese people.
The Silk Floss Trees are the native to South America. They belong to the same family as Baobab and Kapok trees. Like so many other species of trees and plants, due to ease of navigation, have been brought to another countries and have adapted to themselves to the local climate. Many explorers brought species found in the newly discovered lands to their country as a mark of the success of the voyage and also out of human curiosity to try and propagate the species in their own country.
Due to the change in climate many traits undergo some differences from the original variety. Some traits that may be affected are height, volume, color of flowers and fruits and yield. Plants show a remarkable ability to adapt and propagate in alien environs. Thus tomatoes and potatoes are not the natives to India but grow in copious quantities in India. Similarly, when the Portuguese arrived and inhabited Goa and its neighborhood, they introduced the Pineapple to India. They called it Ananas a name which is still used by natives to describe the fruit. Although it is another matter that Portuguese being the most adventurous explorers brought the fruit from Peru where it is called nanas.
Anyway, coming to the point, I was attracted to the pink flowers in copious numbers on the trees in Dehradun. There are five to six trees in the compound of ONGC hospital. These days they are in full bloom. Flowers are pinkish white in the center and pink in the outer parts of the sepals. A lot of birds visit these trees and flowers continuously fall to the ground. These trees are doing very well here as is evident from the size and girth covered with big thorns. These thorns are reservoirs in which water is stored for the dry season. Some of these trees has green covering on their trunks indicating the abundance of chlorophyll which is used to synthesize the food when the leaves dry and trees become shorn of them.
Here are some of pictures of the trees I took with my HTC HD desire camera.
A River not only creates conditions for settlement of the people on its banks, it sustains the life of people living near it. It provides them with all the things of human requirements. Water for washing, irrigation, fish and most importantly the water for agriculture which provides for the most basic needs of humans and cattle. It is no wonder then that rivers had been held in great esteem by many civilizations. Rivers are revered because they nourished the life. Many saints and great men loved to live on its banks.
Rivers are held in great esteem in Sikh religion. The region where this religion was founded and flourished is aptly called the land of five Rivers.
First Guru Nanak the founder of Sikh religion is said to have experienced enlightenment after a dip in holy river. Legend is that when he emerged out of river Kali Bein which merges into the confluence of Beas and Sutlej rivers at a place called Harike in Punjab after three days, he was glowing and a completely transformed. He recited the “Mool Mantraor the Basic Hymn” .
It seems that Guru Gobind ji, the tenth and last Guru had a great affinity for rivers. His Life revolved along the different riverbanks of India. He was born in Patna in Bihar and spent his early days on Ganga river. Then he came to Anandpur sahib in Punjab which has Sutlej river close by. And during wars with hill royalties he stayed in Paonta sahib on the Yamuna river and wrote prolifically. And finally he moved to Maharashtra where he stayed on the banks of Godavari river.
Alas , due to the unlimited greed of some people, these rivers are being contaminated by discharging the effluents from factories, city sewage and sand mining.
Again, I am harking back to North-Eastern state of India: Assam. Still the land of mystery. I was going through imperial gazetteer of India and reading about Sibsagar, now bearing the moniker of “Sivasagar”. It was once the capital of Ahoms. They came from China to India through Eastern corridor and settled here for good. Over the time they adopted the Hindu religion.
This district is very rich in natural resources. It is famous for oil fields, tea and silk sarees. There are many shops is the town selling the exquisite sarees. These shops are mostly owned by Marwari people who are traders and settled here centuries ago. People from outside of Assam, who are posted there, especially in oil industry, buy silk sarees and take them to their hometowns for their womenfolk.
According to gazetteer, silk is obtained from three kinds of silk worms namely Eri (attacus recini), Muga (antheraea assama) and Pat (bambyx textor). Each worm is fed specific leaves. The Eri worm is fed on Castor oil plant leaves. Muga is fed on Sum tree and Pat worm on Mulberry tree leaves.
A fine white thread, which is much valued, is produced by feeding Muga on Chappa Tree leaves and Mezankuri. Muga silk is produced in large quantities. Pat is the costliest and rare. The worms are raised in North Eastern states like Assam and Manipur.
Sugar has become a dreaded word in the modern world. The term is used for the diabetes disease which is acquiring the epidemic proportions in the world. Although sugar alone cannot be blamed for this disease. Sugar is the major energy source along with fats on which our bodies run. Even the carbohydrates which we take in the form of bread and rice are ultimately broken down to simpler sucrose and then glucose compounds and are assimilated by our bodies. It is a matter of living style like stressful life, overeating and sedentary habits. So let us not blame sugar and know about it.
Sugar cane is a form of grass and the source of 70% of the world’s sugar which is extracted from the sweet, juicy stems. In many South Asian countries like India and Pakistan, when the stalks of sugarcane mature, they are chewed for their sugary syrup. The stalk is divided into pieces like the bamboo stalk and sweetness of the stalks decreases from bottom towards upper stalks. Of course, green portion at the top is only grassy. It is eaten as small pieces by the children.
This was the original use of sugar cane. Afterwards the sugar extraction processes began and it became the most important source of sugar followed by the beetroots and palms. The juice is extracted by pressing the sugarcane in a press consisting of rollers of steel and operated by bullocks or nowadays with engines. Area of West Maharashtra near Nashik are famous for the sugarcane production. Uttar Pradesh also produced lots of sugarcane. There are many mills for large scale production of sugar and molasses.
Sugarcane originated in New Guinea where it has been known since about 6000 BC. From about 1000 BC its cultivation gradually spread along human migration routes to Southeast Asia and India and East into the Pacific. It is thought to have been hybridized with wild sugarcanes of India and China, to produce the ‘thin’ canes. It spread westwards to the Mediterranean between 600-1400 AD.
Arabs were responsible for much of its spread as they took it to Egypt around 640 AD, during their conquests. They carried it with them as they advanced around the Mediterranean. Sugarcane spread by this means to Syria, Cyprus, and Crete, eventually reaching Spain around 715 AD.
Around 1420 the Portuguese introduced sugar cane into Madeira, from where it soon reached the Canary Islands, the Azores, and West Africa. Columbus transported sugarcane from the Canary Islands to what is now the Dominican Republic in 1493. The crop was taken to Central and South America from the 1520s onwards, and later to the British and French West Indies.
Sugarcane has a very long history of cultivation in the Indian sub-continent. The earliest reference to it is in the Atharva Veda (c. 1500-800 BC) where it is called ikshu and mentioned as an offering in sacrificial rites. The Atharva Veda uses it as a symbol of sweet attractiveness.
The word ‘sugar’ is thought to derive from the ancient Sanskrit sharkara. By the 6th century BC sharkara was frequently referred to in Sanskrit texts which even distinguished superior and inferior varieties of sugarcane. The Susrutha Samhita listed 12 varieties; the best types were supposed to be the vamshika with thin reeds and the paundraka of Bengal. It was also being called guda, a term which is still used in India to denote jaggery. A Persian account from the 6th century BC gives the first account of solid sugar and describes it as coming from the Indus Valley. This early sugar would have resembled what is known as ‘raw’ sugar: Indian dark brown sugar or Gur.
At this time honey was the only sweetener in the countries beyond Asia and all visitors to India were much taken with the ‘reed which produced honey without bees’. The Greek historian Herodotus knew of the sugarcane in the 5th century BC and Alexander is said to have sent some home when he came to the Punjab region in 326 BC. Practically every traveler to India over the centuries mentions sugarcane; the Moroccan Ibn Battuta wrote of the sugarcanes of Kerala which excelled every other in the 14th century; Francois Bernier, in India from 1658-59, wrote of the extensive fields of sugarcane in Bengal.
Raw and refined sugars in simple terms are produced by heating, removing impurities and crystallizing sugar cane juice. Sucrose is the main constituent in this juice. Raw and refined sugars are exported all over the world for use in pretty much everything from sweet and savoury dishes to processed foods and drinks and preserving fruits and meat. These sugars are also compressed into sugar cubes or made into syrup. White sugar can be further processed into icing sugar to be used in desserts, baking and confectionery. It is a dark, syrupy product and is used for the preparation of edible syrups and for numerous industrial products. In Brazil alcohol is prepared from the sugarcane juice and is used as a fuel for the automobiles. Its end products after burning are carbondioxide and water which are completely pollution free.
As the sugar cane juice contains energy giving sugar as well many minerals, it is used in the treatment of certain illnesses. Both the roots and stems of sugar cane are used in Ayurvedic medicine to treat skin and urinary tract infections, as well as for bronchitis, heart conditions, loss of milk production, cough, anaemia, constipation as well as general debility. Some texts advise its use for jaundice and low blood pressure.
A very surprising use of sugar is for removing body hair. A warm paste of sugar, water and lemon juice is applied to the skin. Strips of cloth are then pressed over the paste and are then quickly torn off, taking the hair with them. Enthusiasts claim that this procedure becomes less painful with time. The practice of sugaring may date to ancient times in South Asia.
Sugar is also used to exfoliate skin and in soap-making. It has been claimed that application of sugar cane extracts can benefit the skin, but there is no evidence for this.
In Indian Literature
Indian literature abounds in references to the sugarcane: early Tamil literature describes sugarcane along the banks of the River Kaveri, and indeed sugarcane was usually cultivated in river valleys. Early Indian kings set aside land for pleasure gardens, groves and public parks, and gardens were attached to palaces and grand mansions. The Kamasutra, an early erotic treatise written by Vatsyayana (c. 2nd century AD – c.4th century AD), recommended that a cultivated and wealthy man should surround his house with a garden.
The garden would be under the care of his wife who would dictate the layout of the garden and its planting, while the physical labour was left to professional gardeners. The Kamasutra spoke of pleasure gardens and practical gardens and was specific about what should be planted in the gardens. The practical garden had to include beds of green vegetables, sugarcane, fig trees, mustard, parsley and fennel. The great goddess Kamakshi of Tamil Nadu is portrayed in art holding in her four hands lotus blossom, sugar cane stalks, elephant goad and noose.
Mahseer is a fish belonging to carp family. It is found in the shimmering freshwater of Himalayan rivers especially Jhelum. Kashmiris prize this fish. Since Pakistan constructed Mangla Dam on the river in 1967, it became almost extinct on Indian side of the border.
Scientific name of Mahseer is Tor. The name is composite of two words Mahi which means Fish and Sher meaning Tiger. It is a huge fish with size going up to 9 feet and weight more than 50 kilograms. It has a great strength and is very difficult to get hold on to. That is why it got the moniker “tiger in the water“. Incidentally, the Kashmiri brahmins are non-vegetarians as opposed to their counterparts elsewhere in the country. Meat is the main ingredient of their diet.
For more information on fishes fond in Western Indian rivers, please visit the site “Golden Mahseer“