Wednesday, January 31, 2001
Weather Forecasts & TestosteroneThe accuracy of the 'Hindu' calendars is amazing - come Sri Panchami and the winter has already started receding. Pity they can't predict Earthquakes. It seems the secret of a trim physique and a flat belly is higher Testosterone count in the system - but, beware don't try artificial stimulants. This is particularly relevant to all those who have crossed the f(orty) zone recently,cause after that, like "combable hair" those vital ingredients silently start waning. Among the natural ways to keep the Testosterone levels up in the system are morning sex ( repeated afternoon, evening and night ), low protein high carbohydrate diets (isn't that what we Bongs eat ?), frequent snacking (don't keep the stomach empty or everything else will fall flat as well ). It seems nuts ( high on mono-unsaturates) are also good for the nuts. But, then you also have the option of practising Vipassana - when nothing else will matter anymore. If you still have trouble - write to 'my coach' - 'Sethmeera' (short for 'Set Me Right'), who'll convince you that it is simply a part of your process of "evolution". Got it !
Tuesday, January 30, 2001
Tush and Aakar - The Hip PatelsJust received a loo..ong letter from Tushita ( Patel nee Mitra ), excerpts:
i (and aakar too) have been completely overwoked with the earthquake. this morning they said the latest death toll is up to a lakh.
This is probably india's first midle class disaster... i know people who just bought apartments in fancy buildings in ahmedabad where
they will never be able to live again. their entire life's savings gone in a few seconds. anyway, i am a bit of fatalist and beleive that
this is nature's way of doing checks and balances.
ma has sent me some patali gur and i am feasting on it. aakar is a bit of a philistine and can't quite make out the difference, apart
from payesh, so once in a while i make some after coming back from work. i am also learning to eat the bombay fish -- the other
day i went and bought kane, rawas and of course pomfret and cooked it in the east indian style. my landlords are east indian and
happily gave me green and red curry recipes. quite yum. .......... aakar has just bought the 100 volumes of collected works of mahatma gandhi. while the
entire thing cost Rs 2,500, the bookshelf cost double of that.......i went there ( to the jindals ) in 97. it was quite good. i used to walk about 14 km a day and stayed on liquids for
nine days. plus they massage you and give u mudbaths and enemas and renal irrigation etc... it's worth trying. however, even after
14 days of this, i lost only 3 kilos, but people said i was looking great and glowing.
why dont u learn to make gotasheddho? come to mauritius and i'll make some (thakur will send me the receipe). i have asked him
to courier me his brilliant mulor porota and phul kopir porota... they are fabulous. he makes them thin and crisp, not the heavy
punjabi way. blissful. i miss home because of him.
i am getting used to bombay. can't say i love it, but it's ok... wish i didnt have to travel so much.
Love you all very much, Tush
Monday, January 29, 2001
Saraswati Puja, sans Gota Sheddho and Kuler AmbalToday was Saraswati Puja - Sri Panchami. Like many other festivals it is celebrated in Nepal on the same day as in Bengal, with equal fervour and austerity. So much so, one sees community puja pandals in different localities ( to that extent it is different from the other festivals like Dassain and Tihar , which are celebrated more at home ). It was interesting to hear, the concept of "Bagdevi Aradhana' being explained on FM this morning. I don't think they would do that in Calcutta. In the evening, Nina took Jaya to a Puja nearby - dressing her up in a red Saree and Ghagra. Jaya didn't agree tho' to Sandip's suggestion that the colour to be worn on Saraswati Puja Day is yellow ( Basanti ) - but, then Red ( Rato ) is also the favourite colour in Nepal. Nina missed her Kuler Ambal ( which, no doubt, Ma will make up for in the next consignment of goodies from Cal ) and Sandip his "Gota Sheddho" ( a kind of cereal-less khicuri with bolied whole vegetables ) - for which he used to 'religiously' go to the Math ( Ramakrishna Mission ) at Mumbai on Saraswati Puja. As he always maintained, his connection with the Mission has been more gastronomical than spiritual.
Sunday, January 28, 2001
Gandhi, Marx and RamAs a Bengali I terribly disappoint my friends at not being able to spout either Marx or Tagore. So in a belated attempt to make amends, reading Ramachandra Guha's latest book - collection of his Essays - An Anthropologist among the Marxists - but, must admit, enjoying it thoroughly. He is surely one of the finest Indian mind of our generation ( now, now .. that's not Bong chauvinism - 'cause, he is not a Bengali but a Tamilian - the surname is Guhan, someone decided to drop the 'n' along the way ). His central thesis, as the blurb says, is: 'Inside every thinking Indian there is a Gandhian and a Marxist struggling for supremacy'. He writes about Gandhians, pseudo-Gandhians, Marxists, anti Marxists and, of all things, Cricketers. Tho' it was even funnier reading the Ram vs Ram ( N. Ram vs Ram Guha ) battle on the pages of the Frontline....over what else but a woman, in this case Arundhati Roy ( 'God of Small Things' fame ). N. Ram didn't take kindly to Ram Guha ticking her off on writing about environmental issues ( Narmada Dam ) commenting that, she should stick to writing fiction ( apparently - he said something to the effect of, I am told that she has written a good novel' pretending that he hasn't read or heard about her book ). As someone else remarked the other day, Roy's tirade against him definitely sounds like love spurned or jilted at some stage. It seems before that, N. Ram had written something equally stupid about Tibet, defending the Chinese occupation, which Guha had criticised in his column. So, the polemical feud carries on.
Quake After-shocksThe Gujrat toll continues to mount. The latest tally has crossed 20,000. Managed to get news about Arindam and other friends in Ahmedabad. They are all safe. The HLL Exports Factory at Kandla has suffered some damages ( exact extent not known ) but there are no casualties reported. DCW Dhrangadhara has been untouched but 30 kms away Surendra Nagar is in shambles. GHCL at Veraval, Tatachem at Jamnagar, Sauchem at Porbander are all shut. Workers understandably are paranoid and not reporting for work. I believe Ahmedabad experienced some mild after-shocks even this morning. Spoke to Swami Vagishananda, President - of the Mumbai Ramakrishna Mission The buildings at the Rajkot Ashram have developed cracks, the Limdi centre has had minor damages. But, the Porbander - house where Swamiji ( Vivekakanada ) had stayed has remained miraculously unaffected. This morning the Sadhus from Rajkot have reached Bhuj to begin relief work - tho' they realise that their contribution would be like a drop in an ocean. But, every drop would count now. The scenes on TV are absolutely heart rendering.The Mumbai Math has started colecting Contributions from the public for the quake-affected. Donations can be sent to the following address:
c/ o The President, Ramakrishna Mission
12th Road, Khar ( West ) Mumbai 400 052. Cheques / DDs can be drawn in favour of Ramakrishna Mission - Mumbai ( Phone: 649-4760)