Story of Grand Old Tree and Why I am a Teetotaller!

This is the landmark tree (before the branches were cut) that represented my village, Thidanad in Kerala by standing tall and assuming the central position of the small town.

The story about the tree is truly heartwarming and ably narrated in the news channel video, the link of which is given below.

The video is in Malayalam, but please see. You wouldn’t have seen anything like this before, so please don’t miss seeing it.

While the story about the tree is absolutely stunning, my story linking to it is a cock and bull one. The common link is that both talk about being guides to people searching for the place, something like a manual GPS.

The video tells about the age old landmark tree at the epicentre of Thidanad which was sentenced by authorities for removal. And how the passionately loving villagers treated the stem with Ayurvedic meditation for revival when all the branches were cut.

The elaborate treatment process had 14 Ayurvedic ingredients applied to the wood for reviving it in about 6 months. But love and affection can do miracles, the tree sprouted with vigour in a few days.

Ingredients include milk, honey, soil, mud from anthill and others. Watch how the bark was treated in the video.

Seeing the tree, one can know that he reached Thidanad. But there’s a problem if he needs further directional guidance. That’s when my story comes in.

Thidanad was part of the area in Kerala known for alcohol usage. Since people were sort of drunk, a visiting stranger couldn’t get proper guidance if he wants further directions.

So the village chief decided to task one person to be sober to perform the duty. Since no one was willing, he decided to draw lot and I got the number and I became a teetotaller.

That’s my ‘Cock & Bull’ story. Things have changed since then. Now people are more charismatic, worshipping places are chockablock and people are polite and nice. Like all Thidanad born people I am proud of the place and the tree.

https://share.icloud.com/photos/00wij1Lw0NoeGS5gLqS_Buhgg

Story of Grand Old Tree and Why I am a Teetotaller!

“Daivathinte Kunjadukal” (God’s Little Lambs)

The sky above was like this when I was lying down on the terrace for my yoga session.

‘Daivathinte Kunjadukal’ is what we called it in childhood. The clusters of white clouds resembling sheep and it’s God’s Own when it’s on deep blue sky.

That was a good way to begin yoga and workout, with something reminiscence, rekindling the innocence of childhood.

Moreover, the best motivation for a strenuous but welcome workout is to be happy about it. What’s better for it than some sweet memories!

“Daivathinte Kunjadukal” (God’s Little Lambs)

Flowering Seasons in Bangalore!

It’s Jacaranda and Gulmohar trees that colour Bangalore in March. That’s not all. Come September, the trees wear colours again.

Here I have four frames of our terrace view of September. The usual terrace view has been the 270 degrees view of the Bangalore skyline across lush green trees of Jayanagar water works and adjacent Nimhans. The trees entice the eyes with a magnificent display of flowers.

The greenery, sanctuary to an incredible breed of birds, sport flowers during March – April (purple and red), May- June ( rose pink) and now September- October ( crimson and yellow).

I have to keep an eye for what it would be during the rest of the months.

It’s stunningly beautiful!

Flowering Seasons in Bangalore!

Herd Immunity! Through A Layman’s Lens.

The world is fighting an epidemic and most of us have no clue as to how to manage it.

Wash your hands several times, social distancing, wear masks etc are precautions. Then there are lockdowns, quarantine, containment zones etc as imposed restrictions.

Herd immunity is something being spoken about. Let me start with what I imagined what it could be! (Caution: this has no scientific backing or verified results, just a figment of my imagination).

Healthy people get the virus. Their strong immune system attacks the virus and make it very weak or kill it. They in turn pass the weakened virus through contact to others. These transmitted viruses are weaker after being attacked by the strong immune humans. The transmitted weak virus gets resistance inside the new body.

This then become the norm and the virus is defeated. This is what I thought herd immunity is all about.

Look at the above Pinterest image. It’s telling something similar.

No blame on anyone who keep people away indoors. But did the lockdowns and quarantine work? Perhaps yes and perhaps no.

Then we’ve the Swedish model where the government just took the backseat and relied on people to take precautions on their own. No specific lockdown and least damage to economy and livelihood of people.

Now Sweden has the least bad news from the pandemic.

Not many want to experiment which could be termed as playing with people’s lives. But the need to survive is getting countries to unlock even before the vaccine.

There will be a spike, but results already show that the mortality rate is majorly down.

People may go bankrupt and die economically if not unlocked. If herd immunity is acquired in the process, it’s a blessing. Albeit, late!

Herd Immunity! Through A Layman’s Lens.

Just An Idea Now. Like It’s Said ‘Watch This Space’.

I am a dedicated practitioner of intermittent fasting and to me, it’s the best wellness program available.

I have been reading a lot on the subject and have been listening to many opinions, research findings and guidelines.

And, in turn, the key messages are passed on to a small group that I mentor on the subject.

Individual objectives vary. For example, I started with desire to lose weight. 14 kgs down in an year and half, I have perhaps met it.

Now I am looking for autophagy stage and hence extended the fasting hours to 20.

Reading and listening to many articles and videos on IF, I get the feeling that each expert has own objective and design.

That’s why this idea. Why don’t I extend the mentoring to cater to individual needs of the participants. It’s not managing their goals (at least initially) but to facilitate it.

The promise is to be unbiased. That means a lot.

Just An Idea Now. Like It’s Said ‘Watch This Space’.

Cooking With Available Ingredients!

We cook for preparing our daily food. Some people cook out of passion, some to demonstrate skills and some even to get over boredom.

I like to try and reproduce some of the traditional delicacies, some of which are fast disappearing from the table. I even have a broadcast group on whatsapp titled ‘Cooking Exotica & Fitness’

There are situations when we have some ingredients which if not cooked would get spoiled.

Here I have a similar situation. We ended up having some extra apples and I decided to try ‘Apple Crumble’.

There are recipes available, but I have to stick to available ingredients and mostly healthy options. Here’s what I did, adopting and modifying an available recipe of ‘vegrecipesofindia’.

Three big apples (equivalent to five normal size apples) were peeled, cored and cut into small cubes. Added palm jaggery and sprinkled two tablespoons of whole wheat Atta. Added half a teaspoon of cinnamon powder and some nutmeg powder. Mixed well squeezing half a lime.

For the streusel topping, took about 75 grams of butter and a cup of whole wheat Atta and half teaspoon of baking powder. Added some palm jaggery powder, a teaspoon of vanilla essence and squeezed the other half of the lime. Added a pinch of salt. Mixed well into a bread crumb consistency.

Greased a baking tray with some ghee and spread the apple cube mix in the tray. Spread the streusel mix on the top evenly add bake for about 40 minutes in a preheated oven .

Apple Crumble is ready

And when your wife, one of the greatest cooks, said ‘it’s really good’, it’s really really good.

Cooking With Available Ingredients!

Totally Natural! A Sweet Dish Sans Cooking. Kitchen Free!

Payasam of different varieties are popular in Kerala, especially in Onam season.

In these times of health consciousness; fresh, unprocessed and enriching dishes are welcomed. Here’s something simple, fresh and yummy.

This payasam doesn’t even need cooking. Mash up two robusta bananas and add one and a half cups of coconut milk. Mix well with jaggery as required and a spoon of cardamom seed powder. Add a pinch of salt to balance the taste. Fresh payasam is ready. If you like hot payasam, just heat or boil.

In that case, why not add marble sized rice powder balls, (made of rice powder and little grated coconut and salt and made into small balls and steamed). Roasted broken nuts and coconut pieces will add to taste. Using steamed ‘ethakka’ (Kerala banana) will make it even better. Allow chunks of it in the mix.

Do try the ‘no cooking’ fresh payasam. (Credit- recipe seen in daily news consolidation ‘daily hunt’).

Totally Natural! A Sweet Dish Sans Cooking. Kitchen Free!

Banking in Trust. Advantage Them!

Bank deposit is a popular method of investment for people who are averse to risks in other forms of investments. There’s the element of trust too.

But is that trust mutual! Perhaps not! Here’s an example.

I have a deposit maturing on August 15. I got the interest on the maturing deposit credited on August 14, as August 15 is a bank holiday.

Sounds proactive, but the calculation would be till August 14. But the deposit amount is not available. It will be credited to my account on August 17 as 16 is a Sunday.

So it’s advantage bank and disadvantage customer. Common sense would have tolerated interest calculation and deposit credit on the same day, either on 14th or 17th. Otherwise it would be extortion!

Picture credit: goodreturns

Banking in Trust. Advantage Them!

“Ente Pranaya Kathakal” by Elaine:- Book Review

Translated as “My Love Stories”, this Malayalam book of 30 short stories in 125 pages touches the heart in many ways.

I was fascinated reading snippets in Facebook and blog, and decided to buy the book. And enjoyed reading each and every one of the stories.

In many of the stories, one would find himself or someone who is close and I may say it’s something like our stories.

More so, if you are, say 40 or above, you may feel that it’s your story.

Missed or postponed love is beautifully enacted in the stories. Sometimes I felt there could be similarities and it’s a continuous story.

The author describes even small things so beautifully. Be it the ‘kolus’, (anklet, the jingling leg ornament) or manchady / kunnikkuru (red lucky beeds), the author take the readers to the inner rooms of the characters to watch them actually wearing them.

Definitely it’s matured love, cleverly handled by Elaine. I must say, I love the stories.

Imagine him writing his favourite words on her naked belly around the naval with manchadikkuru. The reader can actually see it.

I am not an expert, but these stories merit an award or a prize. If you can read malayalam, make sure to read it. It’s available with Notion Press, the publisher and I believe, even with amazon. The price is just ₹200 for this priceless book.

“Ente Pranaya Kathakal” by Elaine:- Book Review

What’s in a Display! When it’s Food! And it’s End of Season!

Chia pudding with seasonal fruits

I have done this and displayed here, earlier. But i am doing it again as some of the favourite ingredients here are in end season.

That’s mango and then jackfruit. And they deserve a fitting farewell with this display. Until next year, devoid of any Covid!

Chia seeds are soaked in coconut milk and set in the refrigerator. Ingredients for layering are: 1. Mango 2. Jackfruit 3. Pineapple 4. Papaya 5. Grated coconut 6. Roasted peanuts 7. Palm jaggery 8. Honey.

If the glass is taller, add pomegranate, banana, apple etc. to make it a procession and a celebration of seasonal fruits. I suggest, use only seasonal fruits. It’s what the science tells us for healthy enjoyment.

Until next year, Mango and jackfruit!

What’s in a Display! When it’s Food! And it’s End of Season!