Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Nutrition filled sprouted malt

The cottage industry malt is so much different from the ones u get in the tinned or packed mass produced malts, available on the grocery shelf,with fancy names and catchy colors.

This is sprouted and hence has an enzyme activated form, chemical free as the villager has no chance of that knowledge and makes to short order , hence u need no preservatives for a long duration stagnation on the kitchen or fridge shelf, economical as no money is spent on advertisement, and taxes.

Locally available cereals and pulses are preferably used, like oats, mung dal, green grams, ragi, millet, all are soaked separately and then tied up and allowed to sprout.

They are then powdered and aromatic herbs or spices added and ginger too.

The malt goes great with salt or sugar and country jaggery.

Will tell a simple preparation, add a spoon of malt to a quarter tumbler of water and stir to a paste.

Boil water and then add the paste to the water and stir, while the water continues to boil, u can add chopped onions and then salt to taste. The drink is ready.

Serve while hot and goes well with lime pickle to lick.

For health strength and energy – have a malted mix.

Monday, 29 March 2010

In the shade of a neem tree

It is a season of chicken pox and we villagers have a festival this season, in which we give importance to the neem tree and its leaves.

It is not rare to see a person offering prayers to the neem tree with deep respect and humility in this part of the world.

Mariyatha festival is a sort of a pagan ritualistic festival where the neem tree and its leaves are offered and taken back as a gift from the gods for the welfare of the home.

Modern medicine finds that neem leaves have anti viral properties in them, their properties are enhanced when they are added to water, and kept in the sun in a copper vessel, to be given to the person who has chicken pox as the traditional bath, with neem paste and turmeric grounded in the stone and pestle the village style, and applied all over the body.

The ultra violet rays of the sun and the copper molecules of pyramidal shape, all help .

The diet made of cool tender coconut water and butter milk and a variety of bananas called monthai , and other cooling foods make the chickenpoxed one get the most attention at home.

Practically every one knows that keeping away from the engleeesh doctors( as the allopaths are called) is the best for this problem in this village.

Such methods may cause the social service folks to uproar in other countries I guess.

Well we have our ways.

I wonder where our ancestors had their schoolings!!

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Health care bill - Hands up

The Americans have passed the health care bill. They are sick.

What happens to the rest of the world who always copy the Americans in the future?

Is there a lesson for us. Health care will be costly.

It is a large bill of nearly 2000 pages and in a legal lingo, we cant even read a spiritual book that large or a novel that big with ease, to understand.

Do the grass root level doctors have a choice, or do they have to play the game as adviced by the associations?

The names all seem political and no doctors are in the making of the bill, or are they at the background.

The world is getting smaller these days, what is happening in one place , is bound to affect the rest of us in distant places.

We rural Indians don’t have medical insurance, we pick a doctor, a system and get what we can, may not be the best in the world, but it is the world of the best we can afford.

I think public awareness will grow, to stay fit in body and mind, to avoid sickness and health care , but pay taxes or its fines to stay in the land of the free and the comforts it offers.

Sunday, 21 March 2010

Drapes and Designs

“Clothes maketh a man and manners maketh a man.”

Elampillains have decided to send their children to schools with good English governess, and matrons who will care for their linen and manners.

For the clothes part, we have inherited in our line of ancestors, who have a reputation of garments from handlooms to the present powerlooms and computer generated designs and embroidery machines.

Welcome to the world of fashions at Elampillai.

There are still homes which have the pits of handlooms, but they are dwindling, quick work machines are now the trend.

Our chudidars and art silk designed sarees are found draped on the window dolls of many a fashion store in the up city garment stores..

For those who are slim and trim, we have designs and for those who need to hide the ugliness we have bed spreads, I believe.

God made man in his own form, but it is the fashion industry that makes a girl a beauty, and a man a smarty, with the garments and styles, of the modern world.

To realize ones Godliness, I suppose is another art.

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Porco Rosso [* * * * * *]

This is a fabulous movie about a flying pig (he's a human under a curse) and his refusal to take part in the WWII. The story is complex and very interesting - a very Casablanca kind of feel to it. Probably the wonderful music.

Lol, I love this! When one of his old airforce friends asks him to avoid arrest for being unpatriotic by serving in the italian airforce again, he says, "I'd rather be a pig than a fascist." Haha! A nice play on the 'fascist pig' insult.:)
The entire movie is very authentic in detail to the time of Mussolini. What a great way to learn history for kids.:)

Well worth a watch!

Monday, 15 March 2010

Thiamerasol-Autism, delinked

Now that the judgement has been given in a vaccine court in the U S , a branch of the US court of federal claims.

Verdict-Thiamerasol does not cause autism.

Ding the parents and their lawyers they can go and find fault with some thing else for the cause of their kids autism, the government is pure and so are the companies that make the vaccine with the addictive called thiomerasol, a preservative which we know as mercury.

The doctors don’t know the cause nor does any one else about autism, but u have to take the governments mandatory vaccine schedules, even if u think that can be the cause of the autism.

One has no choice and special master George Hasting has sympathy for the public

“Such families must cope every day with tremendous challenges in caring for their autistic children, and all are deserving of sympathy and admiration,’’ wrote special master George Hastings Jr.

There seems to be more folks to guard government policies than protect kids.

One cant be on both sides, take your pick.

Sunday, 14 March 2010

From Halogenations to Hallucination - Fluoride

A long time ago public water works department did studies on our well water and decided it was not fit for consumption for drinking, as it had lots of organic fluoride.( we Ellampillaians have yellowish teeth, hearts of gold and bags too)

For a long time, public water works departments all over the world, are adding fluoride to drinking water, in the inorganic form.

It has been told that this halogen is toxic, and some how the dental department has got the whole world into thinking that it will stop dental decay. They don’t touch the diet as the cause of dental decay, and the acidic ph which gets the organisms to attack the dental enamel to cause decay, if they did that they would have to clash with the food industry, they are friends.

Why is it that we are hallucinating? Accepting this stupid idea that adding fluoride to drinking water is good.( hexafluro salicylic acid)

The tooth paste industry, are adding this into their products, not to be left out in this idiocy of Hitlerish stupidity.( he added that to his prisoners of war, to keep them docile)u think he wanted his prisoners to have strong teeth of fluroapatite protected dental enamel?

A common question at a pediatric clinic, Is there any medicine to keep these kids quiet?

if this is the state of a parent of one child or two, what would be the question of a state which has us all as children?

Well if u want to be sweet,quiet,accepting and yielding to the orders of those around u, drink your fluorinated water and get going , but if u are the rebellious type, search and u may get an alternative spring to quench your thirst.

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Country brown sugar

Karupetti, or bella as it is called in our village is made from palm tappings, heating the liquid with no chemicals and made into balls or small bars like chocolate slabs.(those cadbury chaps got ideas from us, we gave it to them free of charge)

There are innumerable recipes made with this unrefined sugar, from sweet chapattis to

Payasam, jams, cereals powders, peanut burfys, the list could be endless, all that one needs is to get them and encouragements from the family and friends to bring on new recipes.

They go great as a side dish for aval( rice flakes) uppuma and wheat uppuma, sambar sadam, tamarind rice.

This shanty afternoon, there was this lady selling , and she carried them in a bamboo basket, the one u see cost 65 rupees ( I am not a good bargainer), the bigger one costs 100, I got this as a trial for the next buy.

Friday, 12 March 2010

Politicians- they love their land, and hate war.

Politics is a game I hate to play, and politicians are those I despise, but there are some old timers, who still have something of value attached to that game.

One is Dennis Kucinich from Ohio, a Libran a born diplomat, recipient of Gandhi peace award and now with his third wife who is 31 years younger than him, so u can see he still has charm, along with his diplomacy.

Dr Ron Paul the congress man from Texas, a leo is another who seems to have politics along with his subjects of Medicine and Obstetrics and Gynacology and sound in his Economic matters.

They may have many things we may like or not, but they are both for the Love of their Land and their People and are against WAR.

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Kambang koolu - pearl millet balls for summer

Like other cultures, seasonal variations are there for food in our village.

Millet keeps the body cool, and one can work with a feeling of an in built air conditioner.

The summer is excruciating, and the push cart is a familiar site on the village road.

The vendor balances a clay pot on the cart with a ringed base; boiled millet is the dish,

Chopped onions and curd are the ingredients and mixed using the traditional mottu, which folks use to churn milk to get butter. All given in a large tumbler, for 5 rupees or a bit more.

The side dish is chopped, salt and chilli powdered mangoes,( like one gets in marina beach ,Chennai)and deep fried chillies.(more molaga)

There are door to door deliveries of this delicacy, and having them on the home plate with the family cross legged can be a great break fast, with mango or lime pickles.

Monday, 8 March 2010

The book

(Alright, now I'm downright obsessive.:)

I had to read the book. And I'm astonished at how much better the movie was - the script is tighter and with fewer distracting elements. I never thought I'd say a movie was better than a book for anything after Jurassic Park. The character sketches add so much to the story in the anime.

The story is about the same, much more elaborate and explanatory being in words. Diana Wynne Jones ties the whole story together beautifully in the end - most authors leave threads hanging, even the movie leaves you with questions, but her book pulls it all together in less than a chapter.

A very good read, for children and adults.:)

Water melon

Indian summer has been noticed to have advanced itself this year, with the heat being noticed at the end of February itself.

Nature normally sends in her gifts with the seasonal changes for the happiness of mankind, it is the time for water melons.

Lying on a bed of hay and with thatched palm leaves as a roof the water melons are laid for sale.They are an invitation on a hot day .

We villagers are used to the dark exterior variety, which have the grainy tasty feeling on the tongue, but those are long gone, and the present ones seem to come from far off lands on lorry loads.

I got one from the shanty last week and we all got our slices, the second share was reluctantly accepted to be left over.

The melons were insipid and just watery, tasty only to the look.

Saturday, 6 March 2010

How young is it to catch them early

These words are flowing as a response and not a reaction to an article, which promotes sex education to kids as young as 7 in the UK school through cartoons, with the willingness of parents………. Will parents accept that.?

We had classes on sex taught at the 11 th’ grade then“ the world is more than just b… and p… and c… and d… we were told, and it is charms and grace that makes the biological things ticking.”

They were as clean as health classes and we continue to respect the opposite gender all thro’ till now with their differences and our compatibilities.

Earlier in our village we had girls attain menarche at 14yrs or around then, now we even had one at 9, even nature seems to catch us young ,or is it the hormones they add to the feeds on the chickens to make them big and heavy for the weights?

Cultural variations can be so different that no one rule will surely work, and mother nature s intention of propagation of species is not the only matter now.

Hurrying things can have a draw back, which can be immature and disastrous.

Miyazaki's Feminism

Sophie Hatter: Howl's Moving Castle (which I reviewed earlier, I know:) has captured my mind to the point of addiction. I have to muse on why I like it so much, so bear with me.

First of all, it's about a woman growing old suddenly. Sophie is a 19 yr old who suddenly has to deal with being 90 yrs old (from a jealous competitor's curse). Miyazaki turned 64 that year, and a lot of his own struggle with aging might have lent it the remarkable depth of character the heroine displays - the pluck of youth with the determination and will of the old.

Aging is like that - you can't feel it on the inside, so you're youthful forever, but one day someone wakes you up, usually a jealous competitor, and tells you that you're old and you begin to see it - first in panic, then with a shifting awareness, on and off. Miyazaki seems to know this well and Sophie's age shifts around with how she feels throughout the movie.

Sophie's in love with a younger man now, Howl, and that love takes away the years that the curse brought, until she's youthful as always with all the confidence of an old woman. But, here's the thing that I think made the difference, Howl - and Turniphead, Markel and Calcifer - loved her as an old lady, talk to her as if he could see only her ageless soul no matter how she looks.

This is how we love our parents and friends and animal companions - timelessly. And obviously, this is how every man has to be 'in love' for a lifetime (in marriage, romance, relationship) because this is what is called 'love' - it's eternal and unchanging. Love is the dance of Life through us.

Miyazaki's Women: There is a wonderful feminism in all Miyazaki's works - he makes no overtures to childish viewers who want superficial, continuous prettiness, helplessness and neediness in women, unlike the misogynist Walt Disney (Almost all of Walt Disney's older/ugly women are evil, as if he was saying, for a woman, beauty/youth equals goodness. bah.). Miyazaki's women have real personalities, complexities and contradictions. There are old women with young hearts who fall in love with younger men (Sophie, Witch of the West), who have powerful positions in government for their wisdom and magic (Sulimen), who smoke, yell and get mad; women who are mechanical geniuses (Fio), the young women who speak their mind and bully men (ex-brothel-workers in Irontown), who are ambitious for themselves to rule the world (Lady Eboshi), the ones who love animals and hate humans (Princess Mononoke) - these are all real women because I know someone who's like each of them in my own world. And finally, there's a sisterhood, which is very real between women anywhere, an empathy. Miyazaki perhaps knows women from observation, but he sees them with his heart.:-)

Friday, 5 March 2010

Patriotic speeches to make war

In the land of the free on the western hemisphere, where once stood two tall structures made of steel and glass ,built by ingenious ones with hearts of creativity and innocence, soaring to the sky, lie many a speaker who touch words of patriotism to flare up passions of war.

It is such words that build up things with the help of flags and whose operations which are false, later leading to destructions.

One such act which happened in the month of a minus preceding a ray to confirm a broken bone, when the calendar showed it was double one , when the year ended in one and started with two, with nothings in between.

May we not fall a prey to such speeches and lose our good hearts for their benefit of war and crime.

This is nothing new as we read the words of Julius Caesar and how he had been a part of it too.

"Beware the leader who beats the drums of war in order to whip the citizenry into a patriotic fervor, for patriotism is indeed a double-edged sword. It both emboldens the blood, just as it narrows the mind. And when the drums of war have reached a fever pitch and the blood boils and hate and the mind has closed, the leader will have no need in seizing the rights of the citizenry. Rather, the citizenry, infused with fear and blinded by patriotism, will offer up all of their rights unto the leader and gladly so. How do I know? For this is what I have done. And I am Caesar." - Julius Caesar

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Brown bread with banana jam

I have always had a passion for wholesome wheat bread from my school days, and a day was never complete without bread.

Such is my affinity with it that in the hostel days I was ridiculed as one who eats bread when well, a thing that is prescribed to folks who are sick.

In our village a bakery has come up which offers brown bread, though not fully wholesome, but at least a welcome change from the fully Maida white bread.

Those who know venkhat know me as bread and butter combination, well I sure do like to change that.I am into south Indian village food, bread and butter at rare times, as I am trying hard to go vegan without any dreams of dairy products.

We have been using a lot of country brown sugar and we had tried to make a jam with it and ripe bananas.

Preparation time - 5 minutes

Ripe bananas and country brown sugar go into the blender and vroom vroom

Ready to serve. Tastes great, and just like custard pudding, the next day with an over night stay at the fridge.

Kolli hills -Enriches

Kolli is still a place of natural beauty.

This is a hill resort that has not yet been plundered of its treasures.100kms from salem in tamil nadu India

If u are one who plans to keep it so I will share many a secret in between the lines of my words, if not u wont find them.

Many a place in our traditional temple spots have things of value, but go unnoticed if we follow the crowd.This is a hill station which has many a picturesque spot, natural water ways and places of voodoo magic of the local variety.

The Arapaleeswarar temple which is the dead end for a roadway, is a must see spot, for those who are not into religion, the scenery will make one so.( no need to go into the temple)

Close to the temple is a downward walk which takes one to a water fall,(1000 steps) just picture the Jurassic Park movie helicopter touch down at the start of the movie, similar.

The 300 feet drop is scary and the water spray at the bottom at a distance is terrific.

I have seen it at both regions at different times.

Here are caves of interests and spots to sit quietly to feel the vibes of things of different nature.

Mountain streams, with herbs of qualities of mysterious specialties , growing along the banks , the still raw natural ways of the forest make this place a worthy visit.

It has a lot of hair pin bends, so check on the driving skills of the cabby, lest u want to get lost in the down ward forest.

Don’t rush, see if u can get a place to stay, and find what u are looking for, some are lucky to show them a way.

My Name is Khan (2010) [* *]

I've hesitated to write about this movie because I don't enjoy bollywood movies much, and I didn't like a lot of things in it. But then I decided I have to speak my mind on this whole Obama craze the world is currently in. In this movie Shahrukh Khan goes to see the new President to stop the abuse of muslims in the US. A fine sentiment, but really Obama isn't going to take a stand for anyone. What has Obama done to date?

The occupation of Iraq is still on. The US army is still in Afghanistan. Guantanamo Bay still keeps its inmates. I mean, he even said he'd go vegan if he ever gets to the White House when he got the animal rights' votes - he's still gobbling land and sea animals by the dozen to this day ... and his Nobel Prize for Peace while he's reneging on every campaign promise he's made ... it's enough to make anyone's blood boil.

That being said, it was good to see an autistic indian man for a change as a hero. Kajol looks good with her plastic surgeries but sounds awful trying to be cute. Same goes for SRK's put-on cuteness, though I suspect he can't help it either. He looks older than he is (gawd, I discuss indian movies like the actors are my neighbours.:p).

The tear-jerker got nearly everyone in the theatre and I'm no exception - it was mostly the music, I think. Hate having my emotions drawn out for no good reason, especially when it's overacting drama-kings. lol

I wouldn't recommend it unless you're over 65 and enjoy that kind of torture.

Monday, 1 March 2010

The Last Unicorn (1982) [* * * * *]

This beautiful story is rendered in medieval sketches that make you think of knights and dragons and damsels in distress.

The story is of the last unicorn suddenly realising that she's got to find the other unicorns or else the species is doomed. She sets off on the journey walking on man's roads after finding out from a butterfly that the unicorns were herded away by the red bull of King Hogart.

On the way she meets a travelling circus witch and an incompetent wizard and a bandit's romantic woman. As they reach the castle, she's transformed into a woman and her memory of being an immortal unicorn starts to fade.

This is a strangely wonderful movie. The soundtrack is by America, one of the most famous bands of that time (their title song is lovely). The myth of unicorns disappearing has long been about them returning to the sea as the elusive narwhals who journey to the land of the red sun, the arctic waters of Japan. A kind of reverse migration of species back from the land to the safety of the ocean. A lot of natural magic in this tale.

Howl's Moving Castle (2004) [* * * * * *]

This must be one of the most romantic movies of all time! My current heartthrob is Howl, a wizard who's handsome, gallant and brilliant along with being a demon, vain, selfish and cowardly. (He's got a touch of magic with all the essentials of the modern man's flaws.;) Howl is heartless, literally, from having swallowed a star.

The story begins with a gallant rescue of a girl, bringing upon her the curse of old age from a jealous ex-gf, the Witch of the Waste. The girl sets off to find a way to lift the curse and ends up as a cleaning lady in his moving castle, which is moved by a fire-demon. The plain girl falls in love with the complex man, and they both grow from it - Howl finds a purpose in life and the Sophie is transformed by her love.

The story was written by Diane Wynne Jones in 1986, which is probably why it's so deeply romantic for a woman to watch, but I'd class this as one of the finest romances I've seen in animated film. Can't believe how it lost in the academy awards to the very boring Wallace & Gromit in the Curse of the Were-Rabbit.

Miyazaki's traditional touches, glowing landscapes, a hatred of war, an absence of villains, a love of nature and simplicity, really suit the story and add to its rich detail. Most watchable (my 5th time!:)