Tag Archives: India

Potato Peels Chips – A Lockdown Recipe

During lockdown, when nothing is certain, you need to be careful with food items and avoid wastage. What do you do with raw potato peels? Do you throw them? Don’t.

My friend Sampa Das recently told me about what how you can make chips with potato peels. My version is below with self-explanatory pics.

1. The smaller katori contains peels kept in fridge from the previous day.

2. Wash them properly and drain out excess water.

3. Sprinkle some salt, rice powder and besan on the peels to make them crisp.

4. Mix with your fingers.

5. Deep fry them on medium heat to prevent burning.

6. Once they turn brown all over, place them on tissue paper to absorb excess oil.

A Tale Of Two Sisters

Once upon a time, there were two sisters, Beant and Guddi. The photo on top was clicked some time in around October 1966, when Beant was 26 and Guddi around 22 years of age.

Together they survived through the horrors of India’s Partition in 1947, life as young refugee children in Delhi, braving Delhi’s extreme weather conditions of winter and summer, taking care of younger siblings while their parents scraped and saved to give their children a better future.

With strong determination and blessings of their parents, they grew up, studied hard, and turned into bright, strong, talented, and extremely good looking ladies. Beant became a Nurse while Guddi a Maths teacher.

A few years later, being the elder one, Beant got married first and soon after, Guddi too settled down.

Like in so many other stories, the ruthless, callous wheels of time, however, pulled the two sisters apart. With hardened hearts and separated by thousands of miles and many oceans, caught up in their peculiar circumstances, they never imagined they would meet again in their lifetimes.

But as fate would have it, Beant and Guddi met again in around 1985. What they said to each other when they were alone, we, their loved ones would never know. Or perhaps their feelings were so deep that they just remained silent…

Since then till 2017, the two sisters met often in Delhi, always at Beant’s home, as Guddi had to keep shuttling between her home in Delhi and USA where her children lived. It was almost like the old times…

Well, like all stories, this one too ended. Beant expired on 16 November 2017 in Delhi and Guddi on 17 March 2020 in USA…

Rest in peace, Mom and Guddi Aunty…Your families miss you.

Two Plus One

Today morning, 29 February 2029, on my way to work, my gaze fell on a family of five (Mom, Dad, and three children) walking ahead of me in a single file with grave expressions on their faces. Something was definitely amiss. But what? I asked myself

A second later, it became clear.

1. Three children, far too many these days.

2. They were all skinny and emaciated.

3. The most glaring fact was that the eldest child, age about five, following his parents with a bag hanging by its straps from the back of his head was barefooted.

His parents held the other two small children tightly against their chests.

And then it occurred to me that the boy’s feet would have been inside proper shoes if those other two children hadn’t come into this world. They would have all been better fed and that boy would have probably been walking to school instead of some other goddamned, abusive, violence filled environment. Which only shows how ignorant and irresponsible we Indians are as a whole about the importance of family planning.

Every Government, while implenting new social schemes, must also promote family planning, otherwise all efforts will be wasted. The benefits will not be sufficient for everyone.

See the pic on top. That’s the concept the government must push. Two plus one. It’s the need of the hour.

One Sunny Day

A few days ago, I had written about a few puppies whom I hoped to see again in better circumstances. See link below.

https://jasbirchatterjeephotoblog.wordpress.com/2019/12/31/beware-dogs-live-here/

Well, yesterday, on 19 January 2020, I finally got the chance to see them again. Their puzzled Dad, a stray dog, watched as I clicked their pics. See them below.

This only proves that like humans, some dogs are luckier and get all those things in life that one can only dream about.

My Beloved Country

India, my beloved Motherland
Is a richly endowed, vast
Country,
Gifted with a talented, fast
Breeding population
of colossal proportions.
But human tragedies
Too occur in colossal proportions.

Hundreds,
thousands,
Millions
perish here in man-made disasters.
But their lives.
Have little value
Because their space
Is soon gobbled up
By twice as many.

Faulty bridges,
Rough roads,
Illegal buildings,
Cramped houses,
with no fire safety measures,
Child laborers,
Huge fires,
Huge disasters
Well, who cares!

Certainly not
Our selfish, corrupt politicians
with evil agendas,
Jingoistic inclinations,
Hankering only for vote banks,
Moving foolish Bills,
On rollercoasters,
Smuggling refugees
From neighbouring countries.

Insensitive, callous,
They rape my beloved country,
Like a crazy, horny
Bridegroom on his first night…
Well, who knows when this
Dark night ends,
while the callous
Relentless
Juggernaut of Time rolls…

This poem is now on poemhunter.com also. Link: https://www.poemhunter.com/poem/my-beloved-country-5/

Here is today’s screenshot of the site today, 15 December 2019. It makes me feel proud to see that I am still quite popular with this poem showing as the latest addition…☺️

A Tragic disconnect

Our newspapers, these days, are preoccupied with things that don’t bring much cheer in the daily lives of ordinary common people. See above. These are front pages of Hindustan Times dated 16th and 17th November 2019.

Prices of basic food items like onions and tomatoes are sky rocketing and the media is not talking about it as freely as it ought to. It looks like some government person sits down with an editing pencil and orders removal of everything it finds objectionable in the pre-print newspaper copies.

And the most worrisome thing is that while the farmers, the producers, get only peanuts for their labor, 90% of the astronomical prices we pay goes into the pockets of middlemen and traders who have learnt to keep the prices high by manipulating the supplies through hoarding. Read this article. It’s quite an eye opener.

https://www.indiatimes.com/news/poor-farmers-get-only-rs-8-kg-for-onion-why-does-it-cost-us-99-kg-who-makes-all-the-profit-500229.html

While we end-consumers try to save for the rainy days by scrimping and controlling our consumption of high-priced food items, the farmers end up dumping their farm produce on the streets after having wasted their precious, hard-earned resources on their farms. Many commit suicide out of sheer desperation Very tragic indeed. Something that we common people will never forgive our government for.

We are now in the middle of November 2019 and unlike previous years, the prices of vegetables are far too high, Rs.60 per kg onwards. We are told that enough vegetables are not available as they got destroyed in excessive rains. This is a flimsy excuse, as rain disturbances are a perennial phenomenon. Something that the government needs to prepare adequately for.

Their focus, however, is only on electoral gains and the most alarming part is that they are callously allowing nation’s power and money to go into the hands of a few. We seem to be turning into an oligarchy.

We must rise up against this trend and force our government to wake up before it gets too late. Otherwise onions and tomatoes will have to be consumed like dry fruits.

Diwali 2019

Photo and Rangoli courtesy: Suroshri Chatterjee

Tick, tock, tick, tock, tick, tock…

Just three hours, twenty minutes left…

And Diwali 2019 will be history…the bright lights, crackers, laughter, good wishes will all be gone…

I don’t know if you will agree with me, but I feel Diwali 2019 has been quite unlike any of the previous ones.

A strange kind of uneasy calm prevails over the whole country. Though everybody is following the traditions, praying, fasting, feasting, giving, donating, celebrating, deep inside, our nerves are on edge.

With RBI and various government institutions turning into puppets, our money is no longer safe in our banks. Live frugally and save, save, save, that’s what I was taught since childhood. But with banks behaving like robbers and constantly imposing new levies and taxes to eat into savings of ordinary people, parking money in banks no longer makes sense. Common people have no idea what the central government will do next.

Who knows what the hatemongers will come up with and where the next terrorist attack will happen.

Anyway, enough of negative thoughts. Something to do with my sore throat and cough, I think. It’s lasted longer than usual this time and we Delhiites are in for worse days ahead…pollution, even-odd, etc, etc…

Well, Happy Diwali…

Whose Problem Is It Anyway?

I came across this family in the Delhi Metro on 19 May 2019. The third child, judging by the tiny feet protruding through the mother’s sari pallu, was still a little baby.

I was a bit shocked and amused when I noticed that the father was neither illiterate nor middle-aged.

Hum do-hamare-do (we-two-our-two) campaign rigorously pursued by the government a few years ago, it seems, didn’t touch them at all.

This family is, in fact, one of the millions of literate families in India which, instead of being role models, have been breeding through generations like dogs.

With the country already teeming with millions of toddlers demanding far too many precious resources, what do you expect the governments to do? Irrespective of whichever political party is in power, scarcity of resources will always nullify every attempt by every government to improve the overall living standards of people.

The present government at the center is in power for the second time with a stronger mandate. It has no excuse for populism and must do what the country needs.

Instead of reservations, what the country needs really is an aggressive population control, a hum-do-hamara-ek (we-two-our-one).

We are right now the proverbial ship with a hole at its base.