Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Just TAILS!

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Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Looking For Positive News...

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I read this news today morning and felt happy immediately:

How Kashmiri Muslim couple defied a curfew and walked miles to feed Pandit friend's starving family.

Great people!

As Kashmir burns after the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani, and half the state is under curfew, a lone Kashmiri woman and her husband braved a strict curfew to get some food across to her Pandit friend.

I have read a few more stories like this about Kashmiri muslims.  We had been there in 2004 (Amarnath yatra)Never felt any difference between them and us, South Indians.  In fact, I admired the boatman who was a Muslim (Click amarnath yatra to read the story!) who said that life goes on like their children go to school, all weddings are going on and they take it in their stride when shootouts happen in the neighbourhood.  He too had lost some members in his family.  I had noticed girl children chatting and giggling on their way to school.  He or any other Muslim didn't show any animosity towards us, Hindus.  Well...they are normal people.  Then there was a shootout at the Jammu station when we were in the station and our train was cancelled.  The local people just turned their head towards the station and walked away normally, as if nothing had happened.  Still I felt very sad when I saw the good-looking children who were begging...they didn't look like beggars at all.  They didn't look like terrorist family's children or thieves.  We gave them some chocolates and they were beaming. Got a lump in my chest, looking at them, I remember.

So many angles are there when we think about their problems...Is it the mistakes of the politicians, the media or the real terrorists?  The normal people are getting terrorist brand ... 

Now, one terrorist is dead, the one who shot our Colonel MN Rai, the whole Kashmir is in mourning.  The media also is covering 24 hours a day about this incident.  

During the 2014 floods in Kashmir our army was sincerely helping Kashmiris and they praised our army whole heartedly. 

The social media is inundated with praise for operation Megh Rahat. And the jingoistic, chest-thumping brigade has swamped the net with its ‘look, you’d have been dead without them’ rhetoric.

All this goodwill is being generated because the Army has sent out 20,000 soldiers, 80 medical teams and thousands others providing back-up, to rescue Kashmiris trapped in Srinagar and other regions facing the flood fury.

As the same article says, now, it is back to hatred against each other.  The boatman said that most of the Kashmiri Muslims want to live like normal people. I felt very sad looking at the old blackened buildings which had bullet marks.  Such a beautiful country is devastated now.  The boatman said then that only for the past 3-4 years, the tourists had started coming to Kashmir for vacation (this was in 2004) and their lives were improving.

We visited Vaishnodevi temple via Jammu in 2013 and thought Jammu was normal like anyother city. 

I am writing this post now because we have booked in a Travels tour  to Vaishnodevi temple, Jammu and Kashmir in mid-September.  Is it OK to go there now or should we cancel the trip? Husband says, the Travels know how to handle/take care of its customers.  They are professionals.  I am slightly worried.

 

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

A Most Nutritious Fruit, Nungu/Palm Fruit/Ice Apple/Thaale Hannu/Borassus Flabellifer, The Summer Fruit!

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Nungu fruit. 5 fruits Rs.20, this year!

Nungu seller....we buy from this man.
Now, is the season for this fruit, Nungu, in Tamil.  All of us in the family love this fruit.  It is available from around June to August, I was told by this vendor.  We buy it from him on our way back from our morning walk.  You can see one bag of nungu at his back.  He brings three bags and all are sold within a day! He comes in a particular area on alternate days.  It used to be one fruit a rupee until a few years back.  Now, since the trees are felled everywhere for construction of flats, he brings them from 20 Kms. away from the city.  The cost should be covered.

The fruit is a bit transparent.  We can eat it with its cream coloured skin, which is also very nutritious and full of fibre. If you don't like it, you can peel the skin off and eat.  It has got a couple of spoons of sweet water inside, which is very tasty.  So, you have to buy soft ones.  If it is hard, it won't be tasty.  It is better to eat it immediately, at least within half an hour.  It becomes hard and tasteless if kept in the fridge too.   

Palm trees which are seen in the outskirts of the cities in India, though this picture is from Mumbai.  (wiki picture)

Palm fruit (wiki picture)
I remember drinking padaneer (extracted from Palm paalai/sap).  Palm jaggery is a coolant. I make sukku kaapi (dry ginger powder boiled in water with palm jaggery and a little milk).  The trunk is like iron rods, very strong, which are used in construction of huts.   

This link gives these details about Nungu:

Nutritional Value of Nungu
According to the book, “The Encyclopedia of Fruit and Nut,” nungu contains the following per 100g of edible flesh:
43kcal
87.6g Water
.8g Protein
.1g Fat
10.9g Carbs
1g Fiber
27mg Calcium
30mg Phosphorous
1mg Iron
.04mg Thiamin
.02mg Riboflavin
.3mg Niacin

5mg Vitamin C
Health Benefits of Nungu:
Nungus provide hydration and, according to a Deccan Herald article, a good balance of minerals and sugar for the body. As indicated by the nutrition profile, the fruit is rich in B vitamins, iron, and even calcium. Traditionally, the fruit is used to treat digestive issues and stomach ailments.
Jaggery, the sugar made from palmyra, has Ayurvedic benefits as well. The book, The Ayurveda Encyclopedia” lists jaggery as a rejuvenative and a tonic. Furthermore, the natural sugar may help digestion and proper elimination.

All parts of this tree is useful for us.  Wiki gives all the details!

I just wonder even the remaining trees might abscond in another another few years for building complexes.  So, I never cross the vendor without buying nungu nowadays. 

Have a look at this video.  You can peel and eat if you have got patience otherwise eat with the skin, it has got fibre!



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