Anandway: Blog

Roadmaps to joy!

Food for all

When the dinner was almost over, Siva sang a beautiful hymn. Others, too, followed. All had finished their meals. Some had left some vegetables, etc. on their leaf. Siva’s eyes fell on these.

‘Visweswaranandaji, please see that nothing is wasted. All that remains on the leaves should be collected and given to the cattle. Also, please send for the health officers (this is the only name by which Siva can refer to the scavenger) and feed them nicely.’

There is a wonderful philosophy and a lesson in psychology in this. Siva does not chastise those who have not consumed what they took nor those who served, nor does he instruct the management to reduce the quantity prepared—but goes straight to the core of the problem.

‘There is no waste: everything has its own use, in the cosmic sense. The animals and the fish in the Ganga get their share.’

What a great heart.

~ Inspiring talks of Gurudev Swami Sivananda

Say no to Genetically Modified Food

“Poison on the Platter”, is an eye-opening film, made by Mahesh Bhatt and Ajay Kanchan, illustrating how all of our lives are going to be (adversely) affected by genetically modified foods. It is no more a farmer’s issue alone, it’s a matter of the consumers’ right to food safety. You and I wouldn’t even be able to recognise a normal Brinjal from/over a GM one, if Bt Brinjal - a GM crop produced by the mighty agri-MNC Monsanto - is let through by our corrupt regulatory body. Let’s put up strong resistance, demanding a ban on GM food/crops for 5 years, until they are proven safe for human consumption by independent, long-term studies.

GM Food is a big issue today in the whole world… The world is shifting towards natural food…but here (in India) nobody cares about it as an issue.

~ Milind Soman

Say no to GM Food

India should only farm the organic way. They should not go to genetically modified food…

…Until and unless it is proved fool-proof that it has no harm for the public, don’t propagate it. Propagation of something which you are not sure of…which could create enormous damage to life on the planet is not acceptable by any means. It is not science, it is terrorism!

~ Sri Sri Ravishankar

Phalsa tree in bloom

Phalsa or Grewia asiatica is a tropical fruit tree/shrub native to South Asia from India east to Cambodia.

I found a small patch of these shrubs in Malihabad - the mango-orchard belt on the outskirts of Lucknow (India). Women from the family that owned this phalsa orchard, took turns at guarding. A herd of goat or a stray buffalo can ruin the annual harvest. The flowers though delicate reach fruition under the hot April sun :-)

The purple-maroon, sweet-sour fruit tastes great with a dash of salt. Phalsa sherbet is also a great summer favourite.

Star fruit tree

The Star fruit tree! The Star fruit, Carambola or Amrak is very tasty in fruit salads. They make a beautiful decoration of the salad when you cut it into stars. Those stars are also very tasty and decorative in tea. They are sweet-sour but less sour than the lemon.

In Vrindavan’s Banke Bihari bazar, there is a street stall which sells not easily found sour fruit: in a salad or on their own: Star fruit, Tamarind, wild ber, to name a few.

Sanskrit prayer before meals

Sanskrit praer before meals, ayurvedaThis Sanskrit prayer to be read before a meal, indicates that eating and digesting is a sacred act. The prayer means know Anna, the food to be Brahma (the creative force), the juices in the food, the elements worthy of digestion to be Vishnu (the force that sustains), and the act of digestion to be Shiva (the force that destroys non-essentials). If you know this while you have your meals, no ill-effects which may have otherwise emanated from the food will affect you. Know the act of eating and digestion to be sacred :-) Food in Banke Bihari ki gali

Food map - India

food map indian cuisine

Must try these local dishes when travelling in India

Kashmir: Sweet sheermal, Haaq, Dum alu

Punjab: Chole-bhatura, Kulcha, Makki roti, Sarson saag, Tandoori roti, Missi roti, Rajma, Lassi, Halwa, Kara prasad, Parantha (plain and will stuffing) More...

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