Onashamsakal! Happy Onam.

Onam is special, the festival of Keralaites. Nanma (goodness) is in focus here, and not any religion.

I remember the childhood days when we used to have the Onasadya (a sumptuous meal of umpteen dishes served on banana leaf along with rice). All vegetarian, which in itself is something special for a family having non-veg three times, if not four, a day.

We Malyalees celebrate return for a day of the Asura King Mahabali, who’s the role model for anyone wanting to be a good ruler. The goodness breeds jealousy and he was banished by the celestial powers in what was a cheating game. The only goodness shown to the good king was permission to return and see the subjects, once a year. And we celebrate the season of his return as Onam.

And we want to show our good king that we are good, so that he can go back happy.

So Onam is of plenty, happiness and above all goodness.

Job took me to different places, different continents, but the tradition was preserved, except that the sadya (food) was mostly brought from outside.

But this year it’s getting back to tradition when my dear wife decided to cook the entire thing, herself. And here I am, ready to relish the feast.

By the way, the absolute tradition is to have the meal squatting cross legged on the ground, along with family and friends, and served on the banana leaf by enthusiastic youngsters. Along the way, there was a stage when sitting on the floor cross legged was a challenge. Now that I can do it again, may do it, perhaps next Onam.

Happy Onam.

Onashamsakal! Happy Onam.

Book Review- 21 at 21st, by Adithya Sasikala.

Poetry comes from the heart. There’s poetry in everyone as we all have a heart. But all of us may not be able to write down what the heart says in the required style.

That’s what happened to me. I thought I should also express what’s from heart and penned down a couple as blogs in WordPress. Though nobody told me directly, there were comments elsewhere on people writing something and call it poetry. And I know.

It’s in WordPress that I met Adithya. I liked her poems and became a good follower.

Then I heard about her book. And I realised that she’s just 21. Curiosity got me to read the musings of the young heart and I am completely taken in.

Here are 26 poems in her beautiful book. Each one tells the feelings of a young girl. There’s angst, fear, sadness and perhaps joy in love. There are stories and concerns of a young girl. Of the treatment, discrimination, cruelty, deprivation and such social stigma. There’s insecurity and dependence. And there’s love as the burning light.

An author at such an young age. A 21 year old in the 21st century! It’s something for us to be proud of. It’s not about feminism, it’s about the fact that being female is superior. That’s a beautiful world.

Published by Xpress Publishing of Norton Press, the book is available on Amazon at a price of just ₹100.

Hats off to the young poetess.

Book Review- 21 at 21st, by Adithya Sasikala.

Jackfruit Krisp! Quite Enjoyable.

I missed the jackfruit season this year, except for a few times that I managed some in Bangalore. That’s when i found this new product.

It’s jackfruit, vacuum fried, retaining the sweetness and feel of jackfruit, except that it’s crisp.

Yes it’s crisp, so crisp that you can be heard in the neighbourhood.

I did try a new innovation, frying jackfruit like banana fritters and it has been quite a hit.

With this lovely product, the opportunities with jackfruit is multiplying. Be it chakka undas, chakka velaichath, chakka chips, chakka fritters, chakka puzhukk and this.

It’s certainly an idea to grow some trees myself. After all it’s now recognised as a health food.

Jackfruit Krisp! Quite Enjoyable.

Flood Fury! My River Too.

This is the river where I spent a significant time of my childhood. Flowing by the sides of the compound of the house where I grew up, the river has left so many fond memories.

A change in the rain pattern, with concentration of it in the month of August against distributed intensity over June, July and August has caused heavy floods in Kerala, for the past few years.

Climatic change is manmade! Don’t know if we can get back to good old days where clean water used to flow through such rivers throughout the year.

Unlike many other rivers, my river runs fast taking the water away swiftly, without spreading sideways. Of course it dislodged left side of the grilled gate seen here.

I still have fond memories and I am looking forward to swim in there before the water is all flown away.

And we have to strike a balance with nature. Respect nature and it will return the love with mild and beautiful behaviour.

Flood Fury! My River Too.

Time Restricted Eating, Intermittent Fasting and Circadian Rhythm.

These three things in the title would define wellness to a great extend. In fact time restricted eating and intermittent fasting are both sides of the same coin.

In time restricted eating, one consumes all the food during a short period of time. Say it’s 12 hours or even better, eight or 6 hours. This is unlike the present habit of eating or snacking for about 15 hours in a day.

One researched example shows the significance. A group eating the same food/ calories during 15 hours and another group eating the same food and calories during a window of 10 hours showed significant differences. The group eating 15 hours were obese, and developed many diseases while the 10 hour group were healthy and fit.

Intermittent fasting also shows the same results and has been acclaimed as a tool towards a well managed wellness.

Now researchers are revealing the role of circadian habits. In fact the Nobel prize for physiology or medicine in 2017 was awarded to scientists for their study on circadian rhythms.

Listen to this TED talk by researcher Dr. Satchin Panda on Circadian Habits. Listen carefully, this has the potential to shape the future of wellness, diet, exercises, sleep, cancer and other diseases.

Time Restricted Eating, Intermittent Fasting and Circadian Rhythm.

Wellness is Walking After Food!

A good thing about getting addicted to the idea of good health is that one gets new information while reading about it.

One of the most important goals in following intermittent fasting is to get into autophagy stage where many miracles happen. And according to experts, autophagy starts from the 17th hour onwards into fasting.

I was finding it difficult to follow a selected workout schedule with the 16.8 fasting. The schedule had an hour of walking or slow running before dinner. That made dinner late to 8 pm or beyond.

As such I decided to change the schedule by finishing dinner at 6 pm and doing my workout from 7.30 pm after dinner. That way I could extend fasting to 19 hours. And I searched for the effects of working out after eating.

The article in the link below talks about walking after eating. I am sharing it so that you all can consider doing it.

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/walking-after-eating

Wellness is Walking After Food!

Quinoa, the healthy grain!

With a lot of focus on health and wellness this season, I have been adjusting my diet in a fairly big way.

Grains have been the Waterloo, with modern wheat touted as very bad and staple food rice full of carbs etc.

And the highly recommended Kumut, Teff and Sour Gel, well no one seems to have heard about them in my locality.

That leaves Quinoa (pronounced Kin-Wah) and barley as the ones familiar. Well, we could get some Rye, but I am not yet a good bread maker!

Namdaris, with two fancy stores, just walking distance of us have been good source of organic stuff. But to my dismay Quinoa was not on shelf.

That’s when I looked in Amazon and got this 1.4 Kg jar and now I have good alternatives to my salad, and other preparations to complement my Intermittent Fasting.

Quinoa, the healthy grain!

Pumpkin Seeds. Goodness in a Packet!

Rich source of protein, full of good fibre, low in cholesterol are some of the goodness of pumpkin seeds.

It could help boost immunity, it could help prevent allergic complications and it could taste good.

I was curious, while working in Kuwait, to find my local area colleagues, busy peeling the outer shell on pumpkin seeds and munching on them.

And now I find this, ready to eat, slightly salted and roasted, shelled and attractively packaged pumpkin seeds.

And I can tell you that it’s addictive, so good and tasty; crunchy too.

A fistful of pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds are part of my health diet.

Try them!

Pumpkin Seeds. Goodness in a Packet!

Live Cricket, After a Long Time!

This is the first international cricket match after the lockdown. Test match between England and West Indies at Southampton. And of course, sans the crowd.

It’s nice watching it live and of course it’s a good time pass for a cricket enthusiast and who’s still on practical lockdown.

IPL (Indian Premier League) missed the April schedule. Really wanted to watch my favourite captain Dhoni in action.

IPL is also about the crowd, and hopefully we will be back soon

Live Cricket, After a Long Time!

Healthy, Traditional and Exotic!

I am always amazed at my wife’s ability to cook many exciting dishes simultaneously when she’s in the kitchen.

I am not a cook, but I have the passion for it. My focus is to make exotic, traditional and healthy items. And I used to do that by making one item once in a while.

Yesterday I decided to make a change. To do a multitasking, like my wife. And here’s the result.

1. Hulled barley boiled, 2. Chakkakuru mezhukkupuratty and 3. A copy of manga thera.

With health in focus and since the usual grains like wheat and rice are unhealthy, I followed expert advice and made barley rice. It’s almost like boiled brown rice with a welcome nutty taste.

Chakkakuru mezhukkupuratty is as traditional as karimeen fry to a Keralaite. This dish of jackfruit seeds is so very good.

And manga thera (Mango Bars) is the most exotic and time consuming item. Here’s a quick fix, just to prove that next summer, I could be making the weeks long process of real manga thera.

On the whole a very satisfying day of multitasking in cooking.

Healthy, Traditional and Exotic!