The man who is said to have invented the dish died on 22nd December 2022 at the age of 77 years. His name was Ali Ahmed Aslam and he was a Glassgow restaurateur. He migrated to Britain when he was 16.
He belonged to Lahore and his family was into farming. His uncle was in Britain doing tailors shop. But Ali was ambitious and soon opened an eatery in Glasgow serving typical tandoori food of Indian subcontinent. With time and exceptional success it became a restaurant with name Shish Mahal.
How did he invented the recipe which became the National dish of the Britain? Well, he says that one driver came to his eatery and asked for Chicken Tikka. But he said the dish was too spicy and dry. As he is not feeling well, he wanted something mild and sweeter. Mr Ali took the chicken tikka and added to it tomato puree and cream. Thus was born the iconic dish which became a rage in Britain.
There are hundreds of restaurants across Britain who claim to serve the authentic dish. There are modifications as are in every food preparation.
Many people in India claim that dish was invented in India long back in 1947. But it was Mr. Ali Ahmed Aslam who got the credit.
Despite their daily lives being a challenge, they contributed to humanity a lot. They had to fight their physical limitations but with sheer grit and will power, their contributions in different fields have made them icons. Here are some of them…
English poet who wrote the famous works like “Paradise Lost” became blind at the time of writing this work. He was forty at that time. He was a great poet, author and civil servant.
Ludwig van beethoven
One of the greatest composers. He began to lose his hearing when he was only 26 years of age. But he continued to compose music. In fact his most loved works are said to be composed when he was completely deaf.
He is considered as one of the greatest scientists in the world. His theory of relativity, discovery of photoelectric effect and browning movement have catapulted the science and helped in understanding the cosmos. But he had learning disabilities and could not learn to speak till the age of three.
Famous American mathematician whose life is the subject of 2001 famous Hollywood movie “A beautiful mind” was diagnosed with “paranoid schizophrenia“
He was a child prodigy and was born blind. Despite all this, he was one of the most successful musicians, singers, song writers and multi-instrumentalists of late 20th century.
Master Painter with works like “Potato Eaters”, “Starry Nights” was a Dutch. Although the precise nature of his ailments is under debate but he was admitted to mental asylum and hospitals many times throughout his life.
According to Fortune Magazine. Many of these are the personalities belonging to different fields which rendered unique contribution in fight against Covid-19.
1. Jacinda Ardern:
Prime Minister of Newzealand. She tops the list for the role she played to tackle COVID-19 from spreading in New Zealand. In a nation of 5 million only 2700 cases and 26 deaths. For 6 months she and her cabinet took 20% pay cut.
2. mRNA Pioneers:
COVID-19 vaccines which are largely administered today rely on mRNA. Although mRNA was discovered in 1960, it was in mid 2000 that researchers figured out how to modify the building blocks of those molecules for therapeutic purposes so that mRNA strands could safely interact with the body. Moderna and BioNTech, collaborated with the mRNA Pioneers made it to the list.
3. Daniel H Schulman:
He is an American business executive and president and CEO of PayPal. He was named the third Greatest Leader on the list. He saw to it that his employees get at least 20% more than their earnings after paying all the taxes. Only few employers think so much about their employees.
4.Dr John Nkengasong:
He currently serves as the first Director of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC). He is a leading virologist with nearly 30 years of work experience in public health. Fortune praised him for his role in his fight against spread of COVID-19 in African countries.
5. NBA Rescuers:
Adam Silver NBA commissioner; Michele Roberts, executive director of the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA); and Chris Paul, a longtime star point guard and the president of the NBPA, were the key players who saved the NBA. They created a bubble plan to successfully conduct 172 games without a single player contracting the disease.
6. Jessica Tan:
She is the co-CEO of the Chinese finance insurance giant. During COVID-19, among the Chinese private sector it was the technology companies that were able to cushion the blow faced by China and none was better positioned to help than Ping An Group, an insurance giant whose “technology plus finance” strategy reflects the vision of co-CEO Jessica Tan. Ping An Good Doctor company’s telehealth app which received 1.11 billion visits at the peak of the pandemic, serving as a vital first line of defense.
7. Justin Welby:
Since 2013, he is the 105th Archbishop of Canterbury and the most senior bishop in the Church of England. He is quite outspoken and supports causes that are critical to society. He is an former oil executive. He has encouraged Church’s investment arm to push major emitters on their emission policies.
8. Stacey Abrams:
She is an American politician, lawyer, and voting rights activist. A member of the Democratic Party, Abrams founded Fair Fight Action, an organisation to address voter suppression in 2018.
9. Reshorna Fitzpatrick:
She is the founder and Pastor of Proceeding Word Church in Chicago, Illinois. She had been feeding the hunger in her Chicago neighborhood for years. Three years ago, she helped start a community garden in a vacant lot near the North Lawndale church on the city’s West Side. During pandemic, when many people lost their livelihoods, she along with her community would prepare hot meals every Monday for anyone who stopped by.
10. Adar Poonawalla:
He is recognised for taking the task of bringing an end to the global pandemic by supplying COVID-19 vaccines. Poonawalla heads the Serum Institute of India (SII) which is the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer. Poonawalla’s company has been providing global vaccine equity, providing low-cost vaccines to fight diseases like influenza, measles, and tetanus. Now, the SII has pledged to deliver up to 2 billion vaccine doses in the coming years to COVAX, a global initiative to provide vaccines to lower- and middle-income countries.
Marie Curie is the shining example of Grit and Patience. She is an example of unerring in her enquiry and never afraid of hard work.
She was born in Warsaw Poland which was under the control of Russia at that time. She left Warsaw for Cracow which was under Austria then. From there she went to France for higher studies and settled there.
Marie Curie is considered the Greatest Scientist. She set a shining example for generations of scientists.
She and her whole family was the family of illustrious scientists.
It is 110 years since Marie Curie became the first person ever to win two Nobel prizes. Marie and her husband Pierre pioneered the study of radioactivity and discovered two new elements, Radium and Polonium. The name Polonium was given as an honour to mark the country Poland her bith place.
The couple shared the Nobel Prize for the radioactivity work with Henry Becqerel who discovered the X-rays. Curie and her husband established the technique to isolate the radioactive elements from ore.
The pair had to process 8000 kg of pitch-blend minerals under horrific conditions to extract tiny amounts( 0.1 gm) of radium!!!!!!!
Their daughter, Irene, also won a Nobel prize in chemistry, and Marie is remembered in the names of universities, institutes, charities and the element curium.
Navjot Singh Sidhu is again in the news. Actually the men his ilk are designed by the God to be in the news. It is not for the better reasons but most of the times for wrong reasons.
The man is an compulsive liar and a hypocrite. There is not even an iota of remorse in him. From his body language one can see the arrogance dripping.
He has created a upheaval in his own party government in Punjab. He has manoeuvred to dethrone the chief minister Amarinder Singh. After this feat he was expecting to get Chief Ministership. But party high command has other ideas keeping in view the upcoming elections. He was bypassed.
For few days, he was acting very brotherly with the newly appointed chief minister but suddenly on an impulse he resigned from the post of State Congress Chief. He must be having hopes that either BJP or AAP will lap him up but this didn’t happen.
His whole life has been like that only. There is not an iota of truth in whatever he is saying.
You must have watched him on Kapil Sharma’s show. He was paid for laughing and denigrating many in the audience.
When he was in his twenties, he was sentenced to 3 years jail punishment by high court in Chandigarh on the charges of beating a old man of 61 years age and in the process killing him. But hailing from an influential family with political links nothing came to harm him.
At that time he was acquitted of the crime and he forgot it as a bad dream. But sometime dreams chase you and caught you in the end. Sidhu who is having a gift of gabbiness; who does not allow anyone to speak because he talks incessantly, invokes the name of god and great sufi saints of punjab who taught us all the love of mankind and compassion.
The fact is that Sidhu is the son of an influential person of Punjab and must have been spoiled brat when the incident occurred 32 years back; he was 20 then. After this he has simply forgotten the incident. Became a TV anchor, cricket commentator and was having the best of fun when suddenly this judgement prompted by political situation in Punjab was handed out to him.
But the man is so arrogant, remorseless and obdurate that not even once he has gone to the bereaved family to say sorry. He has taken the life of a person and even then after the judgement he was invoking the couplets of God.
Continuing the subject of dreams, it is pertinent to mention that lucid dreams had helped many to make great discoveries and inventions. Since my subject is chemistry, I will touch upon one such famous dream which laid the foundation for understanding the structure and chemistry of aromatic compounds.
As every one versed with chemistry knows, the benzene is the starting compound of aromatic compounds. Its structure was derived by Kukule’. His full name was Friedrich August Kekulé von Stradonitz.
Benzene was analyzed to have 6 carbon and 6 hydrogen atoms. Existing formula of all the organic compounds did not fit into the structure of benzene and explain its strange properties.
Kukule’ was working on this problem but could not find its solution. Totally engrossed, he fell into a sleep in front of fireplace. He has a dream of the atoms which he described in his own words as follows:
“...I was sitting writing on my textbook, but the work did not progress; my thoughts were elsewhere. I turned my chair to the fire and dozed. Again the atoms were gamboling before my eyes. This time the smaller groups kept modestly in the background. My mental eye, rendered more acute by the repeated visions of the kind, could now distinguish larger structures of manifold conformation; long rows sometimes more closely fitted together all twining and twisting in snake-like motion. But look! What was that? One of the snakes had seized hold of its own tail, and the form whirled mockingly before my eyes. As if by a flash of lightning I awoke; and this time also I spent the rest of the night in working out the consequences of the hypothesis.”
So the snake he saw holding its own tail in its mouth was the the circular structure or closed ring structure of benzene. He immediately woke up and worked out his dream on the paper and by morning he had discovered the chemical structure of benzene.
From the chemical point, the formula of benzene is C6H6. Kekule proposed the following structure to explain the number of substitution compounds which have been synthesized using this structure.
Still there were problems in explaining the two different compounds obtained when hydrogen atoms on adjacent carbons were substituted with two different radicals like Chloride, Nitrate, Iodide or CxHy. This is called ortho disubstituion. That is to say that C6H4XY will form two different ortho isomers depending on whethere substitution has taken place C-C bond or C=C bond. But such isomers have never been found. Kekule tried to explain this by saying that single and double bonds oscillate and thus become identical. Dr. Linus Pauling later on proposed resonance phenomenon, in which there are no purely single and double bonds but something in between and thus all C-C bonds are equivalent.
This has been conformed by UV analysis which shows all C-C bonds of equal strength and indistinguishable. This is like the Hindu God Shiva when He assumed ardhnarishwar or androgynous form to show that both male and female forms coexist in the body. The final outcome depends upon which of these dominate at a given time.
In the end of a lecture explaining the discovery of benzene, he said
Assam and its sister states namely Meghalya, Tripura, Mizoram, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh & Nagaland jointly called 7 sisters once upon a time constituted only one state and were known as Assam only. Like every other state and great diversity of cultures in India, Assam and its sister states have preserved their unique culture. One reason for this is lesser contact with rest of the country due to nature of terrain and Central government’s apathy for years. Despite being very rich in resources, the area has not seen the prosperity due to it. The most important ingredients for an area to progress economically are transportation facilities, communications and raw resources. First two have been neglected for over 57 years.
During the British rule, it was their sole aim to plunder the wealth of state namely petroleum, tea and precious wood. This trend continued almost unabated even after the independence. The area was taken for granted by the governments at center. The result was disillusionment and rise of unrest and many militant groups which also took their toll of progress.
So one can imagine what must had been the scene way back in 1900. At such a time Jyoti Prasad Agarwala was born into a Marwari family which had migrated some generations back to Assam. Marwaris are a business community from Rajasthan. They have the business acumen in their blood.They don’t need any degrees to be successful businessmen. They are highly adventurous as far as the reaching such remote places where no one will thought of going for establishing their shops.
Most of them are non-vegetarians and are known for eating simple food, abstain from drinking, the ingredients which make them ideal businessmen. They spread to the remotest corners of Assam whose people were content to be where they were and eat and wear whatever was available locally. They would not venture outside in search of better opportunities. They are pleasure and self content people. Despite being endowed with most beautiful landscape, Assam could not develop its tourism industry. In this respect Goa and Kerala have been the most enterprising in selling the beauty of nature to foreign tourists. One reason may be their proximity to sea which adds to the natural beauty of the place. One positive aspect of non development of tourism have been that the pristine beauty and unpolluted environment is still intact.
We have digressed much from the subject. It should have been along the straight-line but we have made the journey sinuous. Coming to point, it is enough to say that there are abreactions sometimes. Agarwala who was affluent in wealth and was educated in Calcutta and Britain opted for a altogether different carrier. He became the founding father of Assamese cinema. He was a script writer, song writer, musician and what not. He is fondly called the Roop Kanwar by Assamese people and his death anniversary is celebrated as Shilpi day. He made the first Assamese movie called Joymati which depicted the extreme sacrifice of a princess for his husband who was imprisoned by the King. She was successful in scheming to free his husband and went into exile. She was captured and tortured.
Agarwala was also a freedom fighter and participated in the freedom movement against the British. He died in 1951 suffering from cancer.
One day a program on Ahoms-the kings who ruled the state of Assam for almost 700 years-was telecast on Doordarshan TV.
It talked about how Tai Ahoms came to Assam from Yunnan province and settled here bewitched by the natural beauty of the land. I have been to the place and stayed there for 3 years and I can vouch for the fact.
Although they ruled the state for such a long period, adopted the language of the region, married into the local inhabitants, the truth about the history is not all that clear.
I searched on Google and the name of a book “Fragmented Memories” by Yasmin Saikia popped up. I followed the links and was awed by the ladies achievement specially against the background of the backwardness and partial isolation of the Region of North East India.
Professor Yasmin Saikia is the Hardt-Nickachos Chair in Peace Studies at the Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict and a Professor of History in the School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies.
Her research and teaching interests invoke a dynamic transnational and interdisciplinary dialogue situated at the intersection of history, culture and religion.
With a specific focus on contestations and accommodations in South Asia between local, national and religious identities, she examines the Muslim experience in India, Pakistan, and Bangaldesh, and the discourse of nonviolence alongside the practice of violence against women and vulnerable groups.
Assamese herself, Saikia lived in several different Tai-Ahom villages between 1994 and 1996. She spoke with political activists, intellectuals, militant leaders, shamans, and students and observed and participated in Tai-Ahom religious, social, and political events. She read Tai-Ahom sacred texts and did archival research—looking at colonial documents and government reports—in Calcutta, New Delhi, and London. In Fragmented Memories, Saikia reveals the different narratives relating to the Tai-Ahom as told by the postcolonial Indian government, British colonists, and various texts reaching back to the thirteenth century. She shows how Tai-Ahom identity is practiced in Assam and also in Thailand. Revealing how the “dead” history of Tai-Ahom has been transformed into living memory to demand rights of citizenship, Fragmented Memories is a landmark history told from the periphery of the Indian nation.
Antoine Lavoisier, son of a wealthy lawyer, was a social climber, tax collector and widely held to be the founder of modern chemistry. He was born in 1743 and was put to guillotine in 1794 on the charges of selling the adulterated tobacco which was a luxury and was very costly. It came from colonies in South America established by Europeans and employed black people as captives.
He discovered oxygen gas and named it so. Joseph Priestly, English scientist had also discovered this gas but named it “dephlogisticated air“. Both knew that the gas was closely associated with combustion in or around 1774. Priestly even demonstrated the synthesis of the gas by heating the mercury oxide with focused sun rays before Lavoisier when the former was a guest of the latter’s family on a tour to France. After some time of this event, Lavoisier also synthesized oxygen by an entirely different method.
He also demonstrated that water which was considered an element to be made of two elements oxygen and hydrogen. He devised a very brilliant method to split the water into its forming elements. The water was boiled and steam was passed through a coiled pipe made of iron. The box containing the coil was joined to another pipe which was dipped into the water at other end. The steam reacted with iron forming oxide thus subtracting the oxygen from water. Another component, namely Hydrogen, went out and bubbled through water and was collected by displacement above water.
Similarly he showed that air which again was considered an element was in fact a mixture of gases. He is also credited with starting the nomenclature of the elements known during his time. He even put the heat also among the elements list. He is thus responsible for initiating the process of documentation of chemistry.
His another great achievement was what is now known as Stoichiometry in chemistry. It is in a way is conservation of mass. He decomposed the salts of known weight and weighed the products and found that total amount remains the same. This audit of the mass has been responsible for the discovery of new compounds and elements and research chemists regularly make use of the this technique to pinpoint the missing mass.
Such a great scientist met with a very sad end. He was hanged when he was barely 50 years old.
Gautam Buddha is the founder of Buddhism, the religion practiced by millions in this world. Hindu religion considers him as an avatar of Vishnu. He was born to Mahamaya the chief wife of King Suddhodhana of Sakyas.
His mother had a dream in which she was carried by demigods to divine lake called Anavatapa in Himalayas. She was bathed by heavenly guardians. A great white elephant holding a lotus in his trunk came and entered her side.
The dream was interpreted by king’s astrologers that a child would be born to her who shall either become a great emperor or a great teacher. Other interpreted the dream that the boy will see four sad events and decide to renunciate the world’s wealth and luxuries and riches.
He was born as Siddhartha and Gautam was his Gotra. When he was born he immediately stood up and walked 5 steps and declared that this is his last birth. King was worried and tried every means to keep the boy away from all the events that can pain the boy and make him take up the path of renunciation. He was to married his cousin Yashodhara in a contest showing great skills and strength.
As the destiny would have it, he happened to see the four events predicted by the astrologer. First was when he saw an aged man in last stages of infirmity and decrepitude- actually the God himself in the disguise.
Siddhartha asked his charioteer Channa who this repulsive man was. Channa explained that everyone who is born has to pass to this state. Then he saw very sick man, then a dead man which was the last straw to break his resolve and last one was a ascetic in red robes with peaceful face.
He returned to his palace and was in great pains. Even the news of the birth of his son Rahul did not bring any peace to his mind. That night he left his home with Channa and his dear horse Kanthaka and on reaching the forest cut off his flowing hair and removed his jewelery and robes and gave it to Channa to give it all to his father. The horse died instantly on parting with his master.
Then for years he wandered here and there. He practiced great penances and tortured his body and was reduced to a skeleton. He realized that this is not leading him anywhere. He began begging for food and regained some strength.
He sat under a Bodhi tree in Bodh Gaya and a village girl Sujata gave him rice boiled in the milk. He partook them and bathed and for next 49 days sat in meditation and at the end truth was revealed to him and he became Buddha.
After initial reluctance he started spreading his peace message and made so many people his disciples and many Kings who could not appease the Brahmins as they did not belong to warrior caste patronized Buddha. He toured all the North India from one end to another. He also converted his father, son Rahul to Buddhism and allowed his mother and other women to become Buddhist nuns.
When his end was near, he knew it and told his followers not to continue with the process of new successor. As was his nature, he would beg one house and whatever they gave him never refused. He was given contaminated pork meat by Chunda the smith. He ate it and was attacked by dysentery. He moved to Kusinagara and left this world there.