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Christmas and Biryani

January 16, 2011 Leave a comment

The Christmas festivity is the way through which most of my friends understand my following of religious lines, besides my surname. Actually the festivity across any religious festival helps us in cultural expression of coming together and interacting. Beyond that whether that religious festival helps us to connect to individual Gods is something I do not believe in.

In my childhood days in Lucknow, it was a Muslim lady ‘Badi Bibi’ who used to work at our home and prepare food etc while my parents were in their office jobs. Thus even during Christmas it was the famous Shami Kabab and Biryani that was cooked at home besides cake from the bakery (made on order). Hence Mughlai dishes (typically made by Muslims) was the ‘in thing’ during Christian festival.

Let me tell you that the Christian’s Bible comprises of two books – an old testament, which details the evolution of life on earth, and the second ..new testament which is about the life and preachings of Jesus. And the first book is something which is also a part of the Muslim scriptures. The similarity (maybe) has strengthened bond between the two communities which I witnessed during my days at Lucknow, Jamia Millia Islamia (Delhi), Sahibganj and Ranchi. It is easier as a person carrying a Christian surname to get rented space for living in Muslim houses, though I really do not know whether it will be similar in a reverse situation. The adivasis also get the space in Muslim houses a little easier, but on the other I have a feeling with some bit of observation that this will not be similar for Hindus in Muslim houses or in reverse situation. Major reason are those related to food habits.. but there might be some other difference related to cultural sensitivity / acceptance !

In the winters of two previous years (2008 and 2009) I felt like my immunity system had really gone down.. I got nauseating cold ..something like ‘sinus’ (sinusitus) .. which one of my dear friend Lallan (Bhagalpur) suffers from. My makan malkin aunty, somewhat of my mother’s age, suggested that I take bone soup with garam masala.. she brought buffalo leg bone ( in Beef shops it is buffalo meat, and not cow meat ..that one usually gets !)  and prepared the soup in our home kitchen. The soup lasted for 2 days and then I repeated it once again after a week. Tell you, reader.. it was highly effective for the cold..  try it whenever you can.. bone marrow soup of any damn eatable animal  ! Further, I searched for the soup .. found it in Delhi INA Market area .. a glass for Rs 15 only (though you won’t find it as wonderful as the home one, with some lumps of meat and bone marrow).

This year in Ranchi, we have prepared 4 kgs of cake.. that means all materials like maida, egg, oil / butter ..of 4 kg each and this resulted in 40 bricks of cake, with ‘kaju’ and ‘kishmish’ for flavour. Went to the bakery and got the things mixed and baked in front of us .. Rimil’s second lesson (he had one lesson last year).

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How a Child is Born ?

January 15, 2011 Leave a comment

The parrot that I referred to in my last post died 4 days later, maybe due to cold winds. It (or maybe she) did not eat for 2 days and we tried giving him paracetamol but she did not regained back… Now the cage lies empty and the little Zohra is not able to watch her play. Well .. by the way, Zohra’s antics are just superb and captivating. She has many names ..Rimil calls her with filmy names like Priya, but her homely name remains Khushi.. for happiness.

This write up comes after a long gap .. just because of some engagements and the non-accessibility to laptop and internet during travel. I have almost stopped traveling with the laptop as last 2 years I suffered a setback when my hard disk crashed, water spill over my laptop, .. in turn giving heavy burden on me financially.

In fact I have virtually become dependent on these electronic equipments like mobile, laptop, camera, digital channels on television, and any damn information / entertainment resource on internet. This dependence is reflected in my daily routines in everyday life. Sleeping tired at night after working online, getting up at 6-7 am ..potty, brushing of teeth, checking of mail or status of torrent downloads, exercising (that’s on almost second day now), breakfast, pushing Rimil to school, then .. just intermittent periods of online working with breaks of caring period for Zohra, … all through the day, and till afternoon, when Rimil arrives from school and starts his cartoon channels.

My engagement with television .. NDTV news, DD Lok Sabha, Colors Big Boss, MTV some adult type reality show, Sony dance /song contests, Star Movies or HBO channel movie, .. Regarding Big Boss.. have seen almost 20 episodes and even Rimil has seen it, but hasn’t got to see adult versions of the same. Deepti (Priyasheela’s home name) is also nowadays interested in how these grown up boys and girls live their real lives together and wonders how this show is so entertaining for a lot of us… soon she will also find it entertaining. My opinion .. the depiction of real lives on the channels has really impacted upon the middle class attitudes and lifestyles.. in their movement.. higher up on the social hierarchical ladder.

Till few days back Rimil had the understanding that Zohra like other new-borns comes out of mother’s stomach by cutting it across. But few days back when he saw ‘3Idiots’ he has got a different understanding.. that a child is born from ‘potty door’ (he shows it physically by bending down’. He is almost near !

Will come again later. Till then .. Bye !

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