Turmeric: Versatile Spice

India produces so many spices like Black pepper, Cardamom, Ginger and Turmeric. Many expedition in the Europe were undertaken for establishing a foothold in India particularly Kerala for procuring its fabled spices. Vasco da Gama was first to reach India in pursuit of the spices. Turmeric is one spice which is an integral part of Indian cooking. It is given as a suspension in the hot milk to persons who have sustained beatings and internal injuries to relieve pain and swelling because of its powerful antibacterial properties. It contains yellow pigments called curcuminoids. One member of a curcuminoids is curcumin. …

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Ass and Bull : Arabian Nights

Among the 1001 stories Scheherazade tells her husband the king Shahryar and her younger sister Duniyazad is the story of Ass and Bull. Why 1001 stories? King because of the unfaithfulness of his previous wife, thinks that every woman is faithless. He marries a different girl each day and after first night kills her. This way the kingdom is short of girls. Scheherazade is the daughter of his vizier who swears to broke this mindset of the king. So she marries him. Purpose is to tell a different story every night but in a such a way that when the …

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Life in Mega Cities through Movies

I am not a film buff. I am not able to watch a movie from the beginning to the end. May be some friend recommends a particular film or it may be good movie is the reason why I watch them sometimes.  There is almost no social life as we are new to this place and I am also not inclined. Watched three movies in 3 days: Delhi Belly, Dhobi Ghat and Slumdog millionaire. Each one entirely different from another. Delhi Belly Delhi Belly captured the life of three friends in Delhi.  The term “Delhi Belly” is used to mean …

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A tale of two movies

Booker award winning books: Salman Rushdie’s Booker of the Booker novel “Midnight’s Children” & Yann Martel’s  book “Life of PI” were turned into Hollywood movies. Life of Pi was made in 2012 and directed by Ang Lee. Midnight’s Children was made by Deepa Mehta in 2012. There is no need to emphasize the caliber of the books. Midnight’s Children is a book written by Rushdie at his creative best. It draws inspiration from his own family life. The main protagonist of Midnight’s Children is born on the night when India becomes an independent nation once again notwithstanding some pieces being …

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Sarus Crane: Venerated Bird

The Sarus Crane (Grus antigone) is a large non-migratory crane. It is found in parts of the Indian Subcontinent, Southeast Asia and Australia.  These cranes are the tallest of the flying birds, standing at a height of up to 6 feet and live and forage in the wetlands. The Sarus Crane is easily distinguished from other cranes in the region by the overall grey colour and the contrasting red head and upper neck. In India these birds are held in great esteem. It is said that the epic Ramayana written by sage Valmiki was inspired by an painful incident which …

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Burden of Guilt !!

55 years ago, it was the beginning of 1965, Indo-Pakistan war. The history of two countries of Indian subcontinent is intertwined with one another. As if both were tied with an umbilical cord to each other. Despite being economically poor, both have squandered much of their resources on the mindless wars which have further steeped the population of both the countries in poverty. Both the countries are born of mistrust of each other. Yet on the level of common man, people from both countries yearn to meet each other. It is the politicians on both the sides who have failed …

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Chhatrapati Shivaji: Simply Extraordinary

Marathas are a very sturdy and brave people. Once they inhabited the region of India called “Deccan” which is modern day Maharashtra and Northern Karnataka and some parts of Madhya Pradesh and Andhra. But extent of their valor is reflected in the fact that once they ruled even Delhi and many parts of South India. The foundations were laid down by the Great Shivaji. It fills one with awe to know that Marathas under Shivaji occupied many areas in the Tamil Nadu which so far away from Deccan. What strength and grit these people must have possessed. Shivaji captured the …

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The Movie Paa and Real Life Similarities

Movie Paa in which Amitabh Bachchan played the character of a person who is suffering from the disease progeria in which the brain of a person develops normally but the body refuses to grow. The diseases can attack a person in the childhood itself. Because of this, a seventy year person looks like a child. The movie itself was inspired from the Hollywood flick “The curious case of Benjamin Button” in which the role was played brilliantly by Brad Pitt. The went on to win Oscar in 2008 for art direction, makeup and visual effects. Pitt played a 50 years …

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Assam Tea

I first went to Silchar in 1987 in connection with my job posting there. It is a border district of Assam with Bangladesh. It is in the Barak valley and very poorly connected to rest of India. Most of outside people who go there are from Defense, Government employees and tea garden managers who are entitled to airfare from Kolkata. Air journey reduces the tiring circuitous journey by train through upper Assam which takes at least 2 days. It takes about an hour and for most of its flight, airplane flies over Bangladesh. I boarded a flight from Kolkata which …

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Prithviraj Chauhan and Lochinvar

Lochinvar is a lake (called Loch in Scottish) which is now a reservoir. It is located in the hills of Dumfries and Galloway to the north-east of St. John’s Town of Dalry. It is drained by the Lochinvar Burn, which flows south to the Water of Ken. Lochinvar Lochinvar is also the poem written by Sir Walter Scott. This is a romantic poem about the gallant youth who carries away his sweetheart from amidst the marriage function in which the girl’s father was marrying her off to a man whom she did not like. The hero crosses and overcome so …

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