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Thailand vs Thai’s land(Motherland)

Thailand, just like India, is full of temples, with the numero uno God being Buddha, who , as we all know, is from India. They believe in our epic Ramayana, with the story slightly twisted to suit their needs, I suppose. Their current king is Rama 1X and apparently the Rama dynasty believe that their lineage is that of Lord Vishnu( a hindu God).Interesting, huh? The kings built temples to make their mark, just like Indian kings.

But, the style is different, with pagodas!

Buddha on top of NAGA, the snake God. We have quite a few statues of Vishnu on Snake in India!

They even have a famous shrine for Brahma !! That is more than what we do for the Creator ! We rarely find shrines for Brahma in Indian temples.

They believe that the daemon God protects them, and you will find one , in all the temples. We have a similar statue in most south Indian villages, at the entrance of various villages, as a protector.

And, the fascination with Gold.. , just like Indians…
Golden Buddha, weighing 5.5 tonnes

A few more interesting similarities..

Vendors selling flowers , in front of all the temples

Traffic policemen trying to catch bike riders.. It is not just the policemen, even the traffic is the same..

We call this an “Auto” in India, they call it a Taxi.

Thailand getting into the bandwagon , fighting corruption using facebook..

Funny signs.. like any other non-english speaking country.. I wonder if the sign means “Keep Left” or ” Keep right” 😀

Some interesting tidbits.. They have taxis in all bright colors, pink,purple,red..you name it. Kind of unique!

Wondering what you are looking at? I found these bike riders,who give rides to people for a fee.. a two wheeler taxi?

They have campaign promises too.. If it is laptop,TV giveaways in India, it is tablet PCs in Thailand.

In a nutshell,Thailand felt very much like Thai’s land !Motherland! ( “Thai” means Mother in an Indian language called Tamil)

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Posted by on July 4, 2011 in General

 

Happy Mothers Day

Dear Amma,
Wish you a very very Happy Mothers Day!! To the woman who was a little girl once, a sister, part of a big family, becoming a wife ,married into another big family, becoming a mother, with three daughters.
I have cherished every moment spent with you here and waiting for more such moments. LOVE YOU !!

 
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Posted by on May 7, 2011 in General

 

When Broken Glass floats and The man who knew Infinity

Finished reading two books last week,both life stories, one heart wrenching and the other heart warming and exciting.

The first one, “When Broken Glass floats” by “Chanrithy Him” takes us through the Khmer Rouge rule in Cambodia and how her family suffers. There are lot of books about various horrors during different wars, but what makes this one different is the matter-of-fact way of narration by an adolescent child. Fascinating, well written in simple english. Tugs at your heart.

My heart broke and couldn’t comprehend their sufferings, where starvation becomes the norm, where one is forced to catch rodents and eat,where sick people are a burden and left to die,where kids are forced to work day and night, where hunger rules. Brought tears to my eyes.

Puts life in a totally new perspective. When the author’s family, rather the surviving members, enter the refuge camp, she says “It has been a long time since I felt a sense of inner peace. Being in this camp has made that possible, for we’ve been given enough food to eat. We have running water. Electricity. School. We have clean, pretty apartments to live in.” All this in late 20th century.

The second one, “The Man who knew infinity” by Robert Kanigel ,is a biography. I am not that much into biographies , but started reading this book just because Suresh had bought it and also because it is about Srinivasa Ramanujan Iyengar, a self-taught mathematical prodigy.

For someone who lived in Kumbakonam, a small city in South India, and one who was a victim of Indian education system which doesn’t let real intellectuals shine, I think Ramanujan was incredibly lucky to have been found by Hardy of Trinity college and other mathematicians of India. The book covers all aspects of his life, a controlling mom, an early marriage,failure in school life which was his curse and boon. Curse because it didn’t let him grow, but boon as it helped him to immerse himself in Mathematics.

Robert Kanigel talks about Hardy in detail as well. Hardy, who claims to have discovered Ramanujan , when asked about the intuitive skills of mathematicians, says that in his life, he would give 100% only to Ramanujan, whose answer was “I just knew it” when asked how he solved any problem. A very rare, self-taught, highly intuitive mathematician, who also lost his life early because of his eating habits and limited by the medical care in the 19th century.
A very well written, well researched, analyzed, biography with tid bits about basic Maths here and there. A good read any day.

 
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Posted by on April 16, 2011 in Books

 

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Moggina jade

She woke up with a thumping heart and eagerly looked around. Looking affectionately at her sister, she remembered the fun she had on the day when her sister was being dressed up. How she had looked at her , in awe, waiting for the day she will be the one to sit infront of that mirror. How she had visualized herself sitting on that stool, with the long braid , all decked up, posing for the photo.She knew she was one of the fairest and prettiest in the family. People told her so. Her father had promised that he will take his favorite daughter to the best studio in the city.

Why is everyone sleeping still? Why is the Sun God delaying his presence till now? Can’t he see that I am anxious to see the day? Can’t he sense my excitement?. Yes, today is my day. The day of moggina jade. Last week, Lalitha had her hair plaited beautifully, adorned with lot of flowers, ornaments all over her head, looking so beautiful. Her moggina jade photo did not do justice to her. I hope mine comes out right.

She didn’t realize that she had fallen asleep again, till she woke up to her mother’s tinkering in the kitchen. Grinning, with the image of her perceived photo, she skipped to the kitchen, to help mother with the burning of the woods for cooking. Mother was busy, but seeing her up so early, smiled with a twinkle in her eye. She laughed out loud, hugged and buried her face in mother’s saree.Mother was sure to deck her up so good. She always had very good taste,knowing the right ornament to choose , the right height for the plait.

I better hurry up and get dressed. Ah! This silk langa ( long skirt) looks so pretty. So what if it is a hand me down. Everyone looks different in the same clothes. This jade feels kind of heavy. Who cares? A little discomfirt for a beautiful photo? All my friends have a moggina jade photo except me.Where is Anna? He said he will be here by 5:00 to take me to the studio. Anna !!

She hopped onto the best studio in the city, holding her father’s hand. Putting one palm over another, she posed for the camera with mingled feeling of satisfaction and elation. Yes, It was her day for Moggine Jade.

PS: The story is fiction, but the photo is not. In fact, I have no clue how mother felt on that day. 🙂

PPS: Wonder what happened to the custom of Moggina Jade photos.

 
8 Comments

Posted by on February 3, 2011 in General

 

Writing is a habit…

You know how you wish you had been writing a diary, just to jot down your thoughts. Thats what blogs are for. With all this writing and sharing in mind, I had started a group blog of some friends, eons ago. It was going well till people became lazy about writing and I started Suroba. Recently, One of the friends had this thought about how “Writing is a habit” and decided to jot it down in our group blog. I guess she was visiting the blog after a couple of years and did not know that it is almost non existent now.This link is for my dear friend “S” who wrote this blog post “Writing is a habit” at our old group blog “All that you can think

WRITING IS A HABIT – by Bumblebee

 
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Posted by on January 19, 2011 in General

 

Puttu Payir Pappadam

“I will make Puttu( a Kerala delicacy). Something you have never tasted before”, proclaimed I, to my parents and went on to make the worst Puttu ever. It was like eating Raw wheat flour, with some coconut shreds, though the accompanying kadala curry was very good. Poor Mom and Dad. Tried their best to smile, with watery eyes , wondering what sin they had committed ,forced to eat raw flour. Was she taking revenge for hitting her as a child, thought the mother or Was it because I wouldn’t let her read “The Pirate” by Harold Robbins in her 10th grade, thought the father. Poorva Janma Karma, they decided and took the brunt of it.

Alas!! I wish they had tasted my Puttu yesterday. Practice maketh a woman’s puttu perfect. No! Not just practice, also the food processor. Helps to get the right consistency of the flour with water.In case you are wondering, how a Kannadiga married to a Tamilian gets hold of Puttu maker and makes awesome Puttus, here is the scoop. Having a Malayali MIL helps you to learn puttu and aapam recipes. Puttu, Payir, Papadam is what the combination is called. In TN restaurants, Puttu with Kadala curry is popular too. I made Puttu, blackeyed peas curry with Appalam.
Here is the puttu maker.

Ingredients
2 cups Wheat flour ( Rice flour is more popular)
water, as needed
1/2 cup shredded coconut
salt, as per taste

Preparation
1. Mix the flour& salt with water in a food processor, till you get the right consistency. There should be just enough moisture so that if you grip the flour,it should bind, but otherwise it doesn’t.
2. Make layers of flour and coconut in the puttu maker and place it on the bottom vessel, which essentially holds water for steaming.
3. Thats it !! Steam it for five minutes and enjoy it with whatever you want.

The original PPP is puttu with rice flour, payiru with whole moong dal sundal and fried pappadum.

My PPA is puttu with Wheat flour, payiru with black eyed peas and spinach gravy and fried appalam. And as you can see, I added shredded coconut, just as a bare necessity.The recipe definitely calls for more.

Note: If you are wondering why I started posting recipes again,I was guilt tripped. For some reason, all my posts are getting posted in some food blog aggregator called Foodbix. And so, a recipe it is.

 
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Posted by on January 9, 2011 in Recipes

 

Moo to Man

1982,there was this little kid, who wouldn’t leave the theater after watching “Moondaram Pirai“, crying ” Kamal..ku ippidi ayiruka koodahu.” ( this should not have happened to Kamal) after seeing him go mad in the last scene.Something she gets teased about , till today, by her sister. The same girl tried talking to Kamal’s brother, to somehow get his autograph though it didn’t materialize.If she was not an ardent fan, I don’t know who is.

Yes, the girl has blossomed into a woman, not fanatic anymore, though she cannot resist watching a Kamal movie till today. And so, Manmadan Ambu happened , despite warnings from friends who had bad reviews. Who cares?Any movie with Kamal & Madhavan is good for me.

I would rather watch a Tamil movie which has some good looking men,however old they maybe than one where the hero is a self proclaimed udhavakarai( good for nothing) , trying to woe girls with his blood shot eyes.

I would rather watch a movie which is a laugh riot in the climax than one which starts all funny but ends with everyone dying.

I would rather watch a movie which has some poignant moments with a very realist cancer patient than one where diseases are simplified or over complicated.

I would rather watch a movie set in a cruise ship and beautiful locales than one with too realistic village belles .

Yes, there were a couple of gaping loopholes, but, the movie was very entertaining. Everyone crossed their t’s and dotter their i’s. And, Surya in the first song was an added bonus.. Drool..

My main plus point with the movie is that it was realistic, in certain scenes. Just because one’s friend has cancer doesn’t mean one cannot have fun or laugh. I loved the fact that Kamal breaks into a song , once he gets the money for his friend. That is what life is all about. Happy and sad moments.

 
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Posted by on January 4, 2011 in movies

 

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