Short Stories with a difference

Wednesday, 12 February 2020

When the Soul Heals - book review


Tension, worries, anxiety, depression – unfortunately these maladies have entered the modern lives which we live today. How wonderful it would be, if we get rid of this toxic emotions. With Pulkit Sharma's When the Soul Heals we have in our hands a book that not only offers a hope but also some pragmatic wisdom.

The author refers to numerous real life case studies. You can easily relate to these people and their problems. They appear to be mirror images of our own lives.

The author describes the symptoms, causes and treatment of psychological disorders. What I liked about the book is that he offers a holistic approach to these disorders. So we have insights from ten religions across the world. Honestly speaking I didn't even know that those many religions exist.

The author himself is a clinical psychologist and counseller. Needless to say he brings loads of wisdom on this topic with his writing. There is so much of ignorance when it comes to mental health in India. Against this backdrop When the Soul Heals deserves a huge welcome.

Tuesday, 11 February 2020

Random Subterranean Mosaic: 2012 – 2018 Book Review

Sabarna Roy is a magician. He so adroitly weaves his thoughts into poems, stories, plays and novels. He is a literary genius. I have read his earlier work and was deeply impressed. That is the reason why I bought his latest book Random Subterranean Mosaic: 2012 – 2018.

This book is a collection of his poems, stories, conversations and opinions. This is a thought provocative read for sure. The author makes you ponder over the things, which you otherwise would have ignored. He analyses a given situation from multiple perspectives and that is what makes this book an interesting read.

The author writes about the places which he has visited, the food he has experienced and the persons he has met. Of all the part, I loved the sections about his travels the most.

This certainly is not a book to be missed. I am sure you will enjoy being in the Sabarna Roy's world for sure.

Sunday, 2 February 2020

My beloved methi

What colour comes to your mind when you hear the words fresh vegetables? Of course green, the colour of those super healthy green leafy vegetables.

Green veggies come in such a great variety of shapes and sizes, that initially I had difficulty in differentiating one from another. There are some green vegetables like chandan batwa which show their face only once or twice in the entire year. Then there are ran-bhajyas which are actually weeds. To name a few they are machul, ambushi and aghada (you will find it everywhere once it rains. It forms a part of patri meaning basket of leaves offered to Ganpati on ganesh chaturthi).

'Which vegetable is this?' I would naively ask the seller and she would first laugh at my ignorance and then share the name. Her innocent, full teeth laughter hidden behind the wrinkles of vagaries of being poor vegetable grower. I am yet to discern the secret behind it.

There are umpteen methods of cooking green veggies. I personally prefer the curry types over dry ones. Also, among curry types I love those which are prepared using buttermilk or curd. Chakwat is my all time favourite.

They have their peculiar characteristics too. Palak is salty in taste. No any salt is required to be added to it while cooking. Ambat chuka, machul and ambushi are naturally sour. I feel that the art of cooking green veggies is that the masalas and the other accompaniments that you add mustn't kill the original taste of the leaves. In fact most of them don't require any masala at all.

I also liked koshimbir made of onion leaves. The cook at my hostel mess would prepare it. No matter how much I tried I couldn't replicate the taste at home.

Then there is lasun pat or lasun leaves. I can't describe its heavenly piquant sourish taste in words.

Of all the green vegetables palak and methi are the king and queen respectively. Here I am sharing with you two of my favourite methi recipes.

Dahi methi
Ingredients – Finely chopped methi leaves one cup, chopped garlic two spoons, four green chillies, mustard seeds, a pinch of hing, besan two spoons, 3/4th cup curd, salt, two spoon oil.
Method
Heat the oil and add mustard to it. Add green chillies, garlic and fry for a while. Then add methi leaves to it. Keep stirring. Mix dahi and besan and add it. Let it boil. Thereafter, add the hing and salt.

Methi Dholana
Ingredients – Methi two cups, two spoons finely crushed groundnuts, one lemon, one onion, red chillies powder, haldi, oil, hing, jira.
Method
Finely chop the methi leaves. Add crushed groundnuts, finely chopped onion, chilly powder and salt to it. Add lime juice as well. Thereafter, heat a spoonful of oil in the tadka pan. Add jira, haldi and hing. Add this seasoning to the aforesaid mixture and stir well. Remember this is a form of salad and the leaves are not to be cooked. Just the seasoning will have to heated and added. Try this recipe. I am sure you will fall head over heels in love with it.