Category Archives: Writing

Jenga: The Blocks Game

Jenga is a blocks game marketed by Hasbro. The origin of the name is from the Swahili word Kujenga which means simply “to build“. The structures are made by adding the blocks till it becomes unstable. Players take turns removing one block at a time from a tower constructed of 54 blocks. Each block removed is then placed on top of the tower, creating a progressively more unstable structure.

The game was created by english woman Leslie Scott. Scott was born in Tanganyika and spoke both English and Swahili. The family moved to Ghana in West Africa. The game was evolved from the game the family played using the wooden blocks which she purchased from a sawmill in Takordi Ghana.

Scott launched the game at the London Toy Fair in January 1983 and sold it through her own company, Leslie Scott Associates. The blocks of the first sets of Jenga were manufactured for Scott by the Camphill Village Trust in Botton, Yorkshire. It became popular worldwide and presently Hasbro controls the entire marketing.

The packaging copy of one edition of the Jenga game claims that Robert Grebler may have built the tallest Jenga tower ever at 40​23 levels. Grebler built the tower in 1985 while playing with an original Jenga set produced by Leslie Scott in the early 1980s.

Love Handles!!!

The term “Love Handles” refer to the extra flab around the belly. Health conscious people try to cut this to look slim and healthy.

There are many explanations for the use of this term.

Young unmarried people are very conscious of their figure because they think that looking slim is attractive. But after they are married, their competition ends and happy couples gorge more food leading to obesity.

The term was popularised by actress Debbie Reynolds. Although she was not fat, her mother was. His father liked her mother as such.

She said in an interview

“My mother is—well—rather plump, but my dad likes her that way. He calls the excess ‘love handles.’ As a matter of fact, he’s always saying to me, ‘The trouble with you, Debbie, is you’ve got no love handles.’”

“Daddy says a woman should have curves, which he calls, in the idiom of the Southwest, love handles. Isn’t that sweet, love handles?”

Lazy Susan

According to Wikipedia, A lazy Susan is a turntable (rotating tray) placed on a table or countertop to aid in distributing food. Lazy Susans may be made from a variety of materials but are usually glass, wood, or plastic.

An example of Lazy Susan

Simple interpretation is that the lady at home must be very lazy and didn’t like to move around serving the food going from one chair to another. So this was invented to avoid this. Eaters could rotate it to scoop out the food.

During earlier times, it was also called a Dumbwaiter. Both Dumb and Lazy parts have almost similar connotations. But where from the name Susan came? It is an english name. When this contraption was invented, the name was hardly popular. So the name origin is still debatable.

Incidentally, it is very popular in chinese eateries where it made the Dimsum eating very simple.

Baker’s Dozen

Everyone knows that a dozen contains 12 items. But a baker’s dozen consists of 13 items. Baker adds 1 extra loaf to the bread. Perhaps the tradition continues from a law in medieval England. The law “The Assize of Bread and Ale”, passed in the reign of Henry III, regulated the price, weight and quality of bread. Any baker found overcharging customers was subject to harsh punishments, including fines, jail and beatings.

Since at that time bakers simply used loaves instead of scales for weight, they had to ensure they gave enough bread for the cost, so chose to add a bit extra, such as a whole loaf, to their dozen – preferring to take the loss than be flogged.

Spiritual importance of Coconut

Coconut is a miraculous fruit. The water loaded with minerals and micronutrients is so refreshing. It is a life saver as it hydrates the dehydrated body. It gives nourishment without side effects.

This magical water is enclosed inside the shell, which is so tough to open, if one doesn’t have the proper tools can frustrate you. Here you have the food but still it is so far away. It teaches that one has to toil in order to achieve the success.

As the fruit matures a layer of fat begins depositing on the inner wall of the shell. Quantity of the water reduces but its sweetness increases.

Coconut grows in abundance in the coastal areas of India. It loves salty water. In fact coconut holds a place of prime importance. It’s oil is used in cooking, rubbed in the hair for shine, its outer fibre is called coir which is used in mattress making. Dry empty shells are burnt for fire in hearth.

In addition to being a food, coconut is present in so many religious ceremonies in India.

The three ‘eyes’ of the coconut represent the three eyes of the great Lord Shiva. An earthen pot or pitcher, called a Purnakumbha is filled with water and mango leaves and a coconut is placed on top. This Purnakumbha is used in the ritual of worship and adoration of the gods, called puja. It is placed as a substitute for the deity or by the side of the deity. The Purnakumbha literally means a ‘full pot’ in Sanskrit. It represents Mother Earth, the water the giver of life, the leaves life itself, and the coconut divine consciousness.

Rastafarians

Remember Bob Marley with a special hairdo. He was called a Rasta because he practiced Rastafarian religion which began in Jamaica in 1930. Most followers were poor people of African descent brought by the British in West Indies as labours. It is both a religion and a social movement. They were oppressed and it was a reaction to this oppression.

Rastafarians believe that their God is Jah who is in fact Haile Sellassie, the king of Ethiopia. They believe that Christ was black. The religion is not strictly religion but a way of life. It says that in every living being, a part of Jah lives and love and compassion for every human being.

Their prefer to eat the food is almost organic vegetarian self grown. They smoke the cannabis like many Sadhus in India and consider it as a very pious substance. It calms the mind and helps the smoker to introspect the self.

Wholesome Rice!!

Rice is the staple diet of majority of world’s population. Asian people mostly eat rice with vegetables and lentils. Annapurna is the Hindu god of rice. Her name comes from the Sanskrit word for rice, “anna”. She is often depicted with a rice spoon in her hand.

What is the rice? It’s white part is the carbohydrates: precursor of sugar of the energy. The colour of rice comes from its outer shell or ‘bran’ which holds much of its nutritional value. It’s the bran or the coating which contains minerals and other micronutrients.

When rice is processed (milled) much of the nutritional value is lost when the bran is removed. The result is pure white rice which is high in energy(starch) and low in micronutrients. Polished rice are not good for the diabetic people.

Because milled rice has lots of energy but few vitamins and minerals, it must be eaten with other foods to get a proper people balanced diet.