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Mango : The King of Fruits

Hiuen Tsang, after being in India is going back. Time AD 627-643, on the fabled Silk Route. Apart from his knowledge of Buddhism, his rucksack contains an extraordinary fruit called Mango.

The name in hindi AAM is derived from Sanskrit word AMRA which seems to be the loan from Dravidian and is related to Tamil words for Mango like “mamaram”. Portuguese were responsible for transferring the name to the West. It is growing in India since 4000 years at least.

Moguls were great connoisseurs of the fruit. Akbar got 100000 mango trees in Lakhi Bagh near Darbhanga Bihar. Others who relished the fruit were Shahjahan and Noor Jehan, Aurangzeb, Sher Shah Suri. Raghunath Peshwa got large numbers all over Maharashtra.

Main Constituents:

Citric acid and related compounds are responsible for sour taste. Several terpenes have been found in unripe fruit..

Ripe mango contains volatile compounds like alpha terpineol, ocimene, limonene, 3-carene etc. Yellow colour is due to beta Carotene.

Nutrients

Mangoes are rich in potassium, about 8% carbohydrate with 1.6 % dietary fibre. Very rich in vitamin A , C, B-6, calcium, iron, and magnesium.

Some famous Indian Varieties:

1: Alphonso or Hapoos
King among the mangoes. Named after Portugal admiral D Afonso de Albuquerque. Deogad in Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra has got the GI tag of genuineness.

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2: Dasehri
It is birth place is Malihabad in Lucknow. Soft, succulent and mild.

3: Banarasi Langda
It was born in an orchard belonging to a Langda (lame) fellow and thus got this name.

4: Himsagar
Fibre less, creamy and full of pulp. Pride of Murshidabad in West Bengal.

5: Fazli
Quite big in size, famous in Malda of West Bengal. Late maturing.

6: Chaunsa:
From Bihar. Full of Flavour. It is pressed into mouth and juice is sucked.

7: Gulab Khaas
Native of Jharkhand. It is graceful mango

8: Kesar

Aromatic fruit of Junagadh Gujarat. Giving a tough fight to Hapoos. Plantations are on foothills of mount Girnar.

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9: Bedmi: Taste depends upon the plucking time.

10. Totapuri: it is abundant in southern states of Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka.

11: Sindoori: it gets its name from the vermillion colour of the skin.

12: Banganapalli/ Bagan Phali/ Safeda
From Andhra’s small town Banganapalli. Sweet, yellow and fibre less.

13: Himam Pasand/ Humayun Pasand
A cross made from Banganapalli and Malgoa. It is very popular in Deccan.

14: Chandrakaran: it is delicacy from Kerala. Sweet and sour. Quite costly.

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Some Winter Pictures of North India

North India, especially north west part of it experiences extreme weather swings. There are very hot summers with temperatures going as high as 45c degrees.

Similarly there is freezing winter. This season begins in November and continues till March. There are rains. Being bordered by Shiwalik and Himalayas, which experience snowfall during winter, the cold breezesblow in the plains of north. Wheat, onions, sugarcane and vegetable like carrots, spinach, cauliflowers are grown and available in plenty.

Here are some pictures

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My 2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 17,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 6 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Price of being a whistleblower

Jagjeet Singh is a photographer. He has a shop of videography and photography in Tarn Taran. He shot video of Punjab police officials thrashing a woman in 2013. With the video becoming public he became a whistleblower and his woes began.

He got threats and harassment. He stopped getting photography assignments. After approaching the authorities he was provided with security cover. Now he is in Chandigarh, the capital of Punjab, to obtain permission to sit on indefinite hunger strike to withdraw his security cover because he is unable to bear the expenditure of the security. It means that security instead of guarding him has been made to burden him and break him financially.

He says his shop has been shut due to the assignments being absent under the fear of powers that be. So he is paying the price for being a whistleblower.

Jag jet Singh

Jag jet Singh

Darkness below the Lamp

Chandigarh is the planned city with beautiful vertical roads lined with flowering trees. The roads which cut across perpendicularly the road called madhya marg ( middle path) seem to be entering into the lap of Shivalik hills. There are numerous sight seeing places like Rock Garden, Rose Garden, Lake, University campus etc lend to the beauty of the city. When you enter the city from Punjab Side the hoarding above the border proclaims “Welcome to the city beautiful”. Plan of the city forbids the additional housing construction. As such, the city does not have any industries of significance. Only recently, one information technology park has come up.
Chandigarh is also uniques in the sense it serves as the capital of Punjab and Haryana besides being the union territory. It has the satellite villages under its administration. Since the cost of living has risen very high due to influx of outside people, most of the tenants live in the adjacent towns and villages which have become very congested.
Mohali city which is one of the cities along with Chandigarh and Panchkula that is called tricity. In fact Mohali and Panchkula are the extensions of Chandigarh as far the design is concerned. Mohali houses the main administrative offices of Punjab and Panchkula houses the offices of Haryana. Ministers and MLAs prefer to live in the Chandigarh proper.
Falling in Mohali district is a village called Masaul which is the very antithesis of the progress and Chandigarh and Moahli city. It is totally neglected in the matter do civic amenities. In fact there are no schools, no drinking water supply. People still use camels for ferrying the water and other merchandise from the city. There is no pressure on the children of education since there is no school. In fact some children who are determined go on foot very long way to a school very far off.

People who have camels often go to city during the fun fairs for earning a few rupees by providing camel rides. The life is very tough. These people are having small land holdings. Since the city cannot expand, there are expansions all around. These innocent people have been deprived of their land by the land sharks for very small sums. The conditions are such that those who were once the land holders are now working as labours in the construction work. Roads that have been made connect only the areas where these constructions are going on.

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