Sunday, June 19, 2016

Mouthpiece #26

When I look back, I feel, the childhood days were much simpler. I guess every individual says that about the years gone by. They often appear to me as either black&white or sepia tinted images surfacing from the past. School days followed a set rhythm which continued for twelve years from the same institute at a stretch without any surprises. Long stretch of summer holidays were usually spent studying too. Since both sets of grandparents had already left for the next world, our holidays were sans any expected visit to meet grandparents. 
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What's sizzling? Tawa Mushrooms
Mushroom : 1 packet (cleaned and cut in halves)
Onions : 2 medium sized (thickly sliced)
Tomatoes : 2 (chopped in big chunks)
Garlic : 2-4 pods (pound)
Red chilli powder : ¼ tsp
Kitchen King Masala : ½ tsp
Salt : to taste
Oil : 2 tsp
Coriander leaves : 2 tbsp (finely chopped)
recipe here...

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Reviews : Rupa Books

Title : Ganesh
Author : Subhadra Sen Gupta
Illustrated by : Tapas Guha

Publisher : Red Turtle (Rupa)
ISBN : 978-81-291-4029-6

Thanks for beautifully illustrated children's books and movies on Ganesh, the Lord has become the most endearing and much loved friendly God for children. The stories behind his unique physical characteristics like pot-belly, elephant's head and a broken tusk - keep the children engaged to no end. While we all know the most popular stories associated with Ganesh, they are being retold by Subhadra Sen Gupta with a slight twist.

Though acclaimed as the most learned and witty divine being, yet the antics of Ganesh bridge the gap that a devotee feels with the divine. He is the adorable and friendly God for all, and the one who can be made happy by pure innocent love.

The book Ganesh has four stories - How Ganesh Lost his Head, Ganesh Loses a Trunk, Ganesh versus Kartik and Ganesh Curses the Moon. Each of the stories are beautifully accentuated by colourful illustrations by Tapas Guha.  A perfect gift to children of age group 5 to 8 years.

Available on flipkart

Title : The Story of Hanuman
Author : Mala Dayal
Illustrated by : Taposhi Choshal
Publisher : Red Turtle (Rupa)
ISBN : 978-81-291-3717-3

And who is the other God that incites the same feelings as Ganesh, none other than the monkey God Hanuman. Known for his unflinching devoutness towards his deity Sri Ram, the stories associated with Hanuman are equally amusing and awe-inspiring. When he was a child, he thought the shining Sun is some big juicy fruit in the sky and so leapt into the sky to pluck it. This led to a lot of chaos and many Gods had to intervene which made Hanuman's father the Vayu God very angry. The other Gods had to appease the Vayu God by bestowing special blessings and powers to Hanuman. When the time came to seek knowledge, Hanuman approached Surya to be his guru and in return Surya asked Hanuman to look after his son, the monkey prince Sugreev. Hanuman facilitated the bond of friendship between Sri Ram and Sugreev. He was entrusted with the task of searching for Sita in the south direction where Lanka is situated. He crossed the great ocean, met mother Sita, set Lanka on fire, brought the news of Sita to Ram. Soon after, the great battle began between Sri Ram and Ravan. Hanuman remained by the side of his Lord all through.

His devotion to Lord Ram is unparalleled. The whole story from the childhood of Hanuman to Ram-rajya has been retold by Mala Dayal in 'The Story of Hanuman'. While everyone is well versed with these mythological stories from the epic Ramayana, it is always interesting to read the same through the words of different authors. The added bonus that this book offers is extra trivia about names of different trees, and some activities like puzzles, mazes and games.

Available on flipkart

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Mouthpiece #25

A pat on the back
I often used to wonder, if destiny is supposed to have the final say then what is my role in the whole scheme of things and what impact can I make in doing what I choose to do. Gradually I rationalized it by understanding that perhaps the ‘where’, 'how’ and 'when’ part of my situation is determined by the chain of events which are mostly not in my control, yet there is the 'what I do’ part that is surely where I can make the difference. While a big portion of 'what’ is being constituted by our external interface with the world, a bigger fraction of the same is what we are towards ourselves.

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What's brewing? Cheesecake
1 big packet Marie biscuit (around 20 biscuits)
100 g salted butter
1 tin sweet condensed milk (Amul Mithai Mate 400g)
Curd measured in the condensed milk tin
Topping - Blackcurrent, Strawberry 

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Mouthpiece #24

Snowball Effect
Though I am still a little far from the stage when I could officially be called senile, I do sense senility knocking at my door already. If not all the time, I am sure it is teasing me through my inconsistent memory these days. While reading a certain passage, sometimes I dare make some mental notes thinking - oh, this is so interesting, I must come back to it later, but how and when those notes disappear from the mental surface, just prove the fragile state of my memory cells. It just doesn’t end here, rather it leaves me frustrated and restless when I want to know what note had I made and my memory just refuses to divulge any cues whatsoever. Anyway, the ruing is perhaps to be left for some other time and for some other place, but why I mentioned the failing faculties here is simply because I read somewhere something about the power of thought and wanted to quote the passage to be shared here, but no reward for guessing why I can’t do it now.
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Book Review : Incarnations - India in 50 Lives
Title : Incarnations - India in 50 Lives
Author : Sunil Khilnani
The book was recommended by a well respected book aficionado. After having read the book, I am quite intrigued by the lives that the author has picked as representatives of Indian voices on diverse fronts. Some of the lives picked are absolutely pride of the nation who within their lifetimes, managed to gift the world a new or different philosophy while there are some which I felt are quite unworthy of this honour.
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What's Brewing? Chole (Kabuli chane) with kulche
Kabuli Chana (Chole) - 1 cup
Onion - ½ cup (finely chopped)
Tomatoes - ½ cup (finely chopped)
Ginger - 2 inch piece (grated)
Coriander leaves - 1/3 cup (finely chopped)
Green chillies - 2 (finely chopped)
Lemon juice - 3 tsp
Red chilli powder - ¼ tsp
Chana masala - ½ tsp
Tamarind chutney - 1 tsp 
Mint chutney - 1 tsp 
Salt - to taste

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