Palak Ambat – Recipe (Modified)

Palak ambat is a konkani special typical mangalorean.

Ingredients:

Palak – 1bunch
Onion – 1
Red Chillies – 8
Grated coconut – 1/4 cup
Tamarind – Marble size
Toor Daal – 6spoons
Curry leaves
Salt

Preparation:

Boil the toor Daal and add a little turmeric powder. While the Daal gets boiled cut palak and onion.
Dry roast 6 pieces of red chillies. This along with tamarind and coconut grind it nicely into a paste.
Now in a pan pour little oil and add mustard seeds to it. Add 2 red chillies and curry leaves. Once fried add onion till the color turn’s golden. Now add palak and salt as per taste and allow it to boil.
Once palak is 3/4th cooked add the grinded paste and then the smashed Daal.
Allow it to boil. After couple of mins of boiling the palak ambat is now ready to be served with rice.

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Where are we heading (3) – Perversion and abuse

In Ramayana, Rama had gone out, Sita like a deer and sends Lakshmana behind the deer. In the meantime Ravana comes and kidnaps Sita.
In Mahabaratha, Draupadi is brought to the court of dice game and her saree removed forcibly.

From the epics women had been ill-treated and men were responsible for it. This if we say is culture then unfortunately we are teaching wrong things to kids and people.
What is missed out is in the time Sita was held captive by Ravana he did not do anything to her. He was a gentleman in that sense and everybody talks only about Ravana kidnapping Sita. Rama is claimed hero while Ravana is big bad guy.
In Mahabaratha, Krishna is proclaimed as hero who protects Draupadi and the Pandavas are given clean chit.
In both the epics the men were not able to take care of their wife. And thats our culture! Even after humiliation the women should be caring for their husband. (This we can look at later)

In today’s world men abuse women at every instance. A girl child inside school premises (Bangalore schools), ladies in a car stopping to buy ice-cream (MG Road, Bangalore), girl abused after being wrongly accused of causing an accident (Mysore).

In the past the reason for rape was attributed to attire of girls and women. This was against our culture, the dress triggers the men. So rape happens. We were blaming the women for not following culture. In that case what did the kid of 6yrs and below in schools do to be abused repeatedly by men?

Second reason attributed was influence of alcohol. Men under the influence of alcohol raping a girl or even 6yr old kid is fine, a girl assumed to be under influence of alcohol would be beaten up in any accident. Men just look for reason to lay hands on a girl.

It all boils down to what we have been taught and how we are taught. This to all those who attribute going against culture as reason.

Secondly most men are perverts whether under the influence of alcohol or not.

Thirdly men should also realise that we are weak. Remember we are the ones second to dogs pee on compound wall of any locality.

Squat Exercises

Today morning a guy in the gym called me when I was doing dumbbell squats. He told me that squat exercise is to be done with barbell and I could do lunges using dumbbell. He was concerned that I was not doing the right thing. I would not comment on his physique and he is a typical guy who is used to lifting heavy weights. And he thought I was a novice in the gym since I do not spend more than 30-45mins in the gym without any fight for the weights or the wait time, nor do I spend my time chatting with many people. Normally its just a few exchange of words that too without disturbing my workout.
Then I explained to him few types of squats, full squats, half squats, wide leg squats, single leg squats. It also got me thinking whether is that all and a simple Google search told me there are 40 squat variations!! I would not do all variations and stick to what is required for my running schedule and fitness.
To know all the 40 types, click here.

Where are we heading? (2)

Ebola

 

Personally this looks very much racist. Ebola does result in death if not treated correctly and the transmission chances are more. To know more click here. Why would hunger be equated to Ebola? Both are completely different topics with no relevance to each other, even if any does not make sense at this juncture.

When we talk about poverty and Ebola is treated due to rich people then one should also account for how much food is wasted by households in every country. If people don’t waste food (either cooked or raw) how many more people can be served.

If rich people is an comparison for Ebola then what about all other diseases? For instance AIDS?

Ebola assumes lot of significance especially in a country like India too. We have this strange desire to spit everywhere on the road, piss at any roadside whether with wall or without. If a guy/girl has contracted this virus clearly it would spread.

Rather than giving correct message to the public putting up these kind of photos on Facebook only shows narrow mindedness of people. Do grow up guys. Use social media for better purpose.

 

In the name of “AMMA”

This is to all Chennaites or Chennai vaasi’s.

There are already implemented Amma Canteen, Amma water. Coming soon Amma Theater, Amma Salt, Amma Market. We also have Amma Thitam by which housing is provided. There is so much in the name of Amma.

My one request to you all is when you take your motorbike out in the morning or evening or anytime of the day think of your OWN AMMA for a minute. Take that freaking helmet out and wear it.

Stop execuse’s like “its hot”, “its humid”, “hair will fall”. All that does not matter when your head itself will fall off and your body goes home to crying arms of your OWN AMMA.

Wish the police would also get stricter.

Javadu Hills Ultra

When it was announced I was excited. A hill ultra and that too without much of fee involved definitely yes. Then started the process for Javadu Hills Ultra. I would definitely not sign up to run less than 50kms. Ultra is always above 42.2kms, right.
During Chennai Trail Marathon I got to know more information and was definitely attracted. Got myself registered and waited for further information. The second best part came, we get to stay in school. This means no cost for accommodation. And it is an experience to sleep on the bench and stand in the queue to use the toilet.

Few days before the run I decided not to take my jeep but rather public transport. Madiwala (Bangalore) – Hosur – Vaniyambadi – Jamunamarathur – St Joseph School, Athipet. The total travel cost was around 130/- only (TamilNadu buses have the least fare among all public transports in India). Took my bib U002, found a class room put my stuff. Met friends like Jacob and many others, Anup and his two friends cycled all the way from bangalore. In the night I applied some of Himalaya Stress Relief oil.

Late night my sleep was disturbed by the snoring sounds of other runners and of the sound of rain. Rains leave lot of thought, what will happen tomorrow, would it be slippery, would there be pools of water. Also 2days before the run on Friday I had run 16.5kms in my regular run to office. Would my legs cooperate.
Morning around 3:30am finally got up from the bench stood in the queue to use the toilet. Later did some stretches and applied stress relief oil again. My favorite shorts was put back into the bag since the zip for pocket would not work. Got on to my reserve shorts and SAPRoadies tee.
And and and it was raining again. Jacob and myself decided to walk to the start point. Took a leak and walked further only to find entire bunch of runners were following us. We were shocked and surprised and laughed.

Finally by 6:30 the run started. Once out of the school ground it was a down slope on tar road leaving me wonder how I would climb back towards 50kms mark. I was focused on one thing, no walking, no complaining of pain. From the up’s and down’s of tar road after 4kms we moved into the trail. Slush all over couples of places it was slippery and water was flowing across.

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Steep up’s were blessing in disguise on the trail since during the return they would just be down slopes and easy to keep the legs moving. I decided on one thing to keep myself hydrated and eat chocolates and bananas so that I do not lose energy and get cramped up. There was lot of loose soil that few kms stretch there were more than 1kg added to my weight. I managed to reach 25kms mark and was still feeling comfortable. On the way towards the point I counted 6 runners returning from 25kms mark, it gave me a little boost that I would be doing all that bad and I have to sustain without losing time and pace.

 

 

 

1779793_859393540771423_1110434340019722223_nThen there is something that I have learnt from my runs, lick your own sweat to replenish little bit of salts! And I do that regularly in all events. I took good 2-3mins at each aid station gulped down water, enerzal, choosing what to eat. There was a whole lot to eat, tomatoes, cucumber, sandwich, snickers, chikki, banana, orange and lime. I stayed away from lime since in CTM I felt maybe too much of lime caused acidity during that run.

 

 

One thing that I had decided and maintained upward climbs don’t lift head and see the angle of inclination, just look down at your feet and run. I did reduce my pace by the time I was crossing 35kms mark. I finished 33kms in around 3.5hrs. And one thing was strong the moment I start walking it is going to be difficult to start running again. So I continued at same pace, increased a bit during the down slopes. At times I did try to increase the pace in climbs but my hamstring was hurting. I cannot lose out now and behind me there were runners though there was sufficient gap. I had to keep moving. That was the only motto.

Crossed 45kms mark and inched towards tar roads another 4 odd kms to finish line. Once you get on to the tar road its a climb up steadily and I moved up slowly. Stopped at the last aid station had sufficient water, enerzal, picked up few more chocolate pieces and left. No turning back after that the only thing was to finish and finish strong. And there I was in 5hrs36mins.

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My third ultra for the year. And a huge improvement in timings from the first one “Run the Rann”. I was happy with myself. The day after the run no pain! All feels good and am moving around without limping. The only tiredness was due to lack of sleep.

Definite scope of improvements are there like reducing the time of halt at aid station, strengthening my hamstring muscles. And I do not like wearing long shorts while running! :)

The best part of this run was the volunteers with their complete enthusiasm and dedication and energy. The food post run which contained potatoes. The one that I love to eat and my taste buds ache for after all the runs. Thanks to Peter and Chennai Trekkers Club and all the runners.
One selfish reason to run CTC conducted runs is there would be loads of photos which could be used for personal use. In no other runs do I find myself in so many photos and in scenic spots!

Where are we heading? – Part 1

This is first part of I do not know how many series of posts I would come up after reading certain posts on facebook and other social media.

With Deepavali/Diwali over last weeks social media was filled with posts on not to burst crackers and I would pick up on few of the reasons highlighted which were
1. Bursting crackers stresses our pets and street dogs
2. Bursting crackers causes noise pollution
3. Bursting crackers increases smoke pollution

On the first part, bursting crackers do disturb pets at home and street dogs. Which shows humanity and at the same time how absurd we are in attributing this towards our pets. We for our security and personal interest take another living being into our house, some are human enough to adopt rescued dogs or some rescue and take same as pet, while many purchase breed dogs (Do search how breeding is gruesomely commercialized unless you buy from known sources).

If you think crackers are part of above three concerns. Take your pet to a traffic junction. You and your pet stand there for good 1hr. Check the amount of stress your pet would go through. Check your ears after that to calibrate the amount of noise pollution and check how much of toxic gases you would have inhaled.
While you take your pet for walk, check how startled he/she would be when a vehicle comes near and honks. Check how street dogs run from one side of road to another startled by honking sound of vehicles. One such dog which was crossing the road stressed out by horn sound of a bus changed direction ran straight onto my bike and left me with a fractured ankle. Attributing crackers as a stress for pets is really something that I could not understand.

If there is a concrete reason like in the village of Kazhuperumbakkam then fine. In this village in Puducherry crackers are banned for like last 3 generations. http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/puducherry/a-village-near-puducherry-banished-firecrackers-for-bats/article6529779.ece

Many people who posted about crackers as noise pollution and some would be travelling by shuttles provided by their respective organisations. How many of them would go up to their driver and tell them not to honk unless really required? When you commute calculate how many times your driver uses the horn. How many vehicles use the “banned” air horn or the musical horn? If we cannot stand up and tell them why post on social media about how crackers disturb pets?

Do calculate the amount of pollution created during Deepavali/Diwali vis-a-vis the pollution by vehicles all through the year. We definitely are not in pollution free zone.

If there is one real good reason for not bursting crackers it is only because of child labour at cracker units. And see these photos before you think of bursting them. While we want our children to celebrate by bursting crackers there are so many children suffering in these units. Do something for them.

https://www.google.com/search?q=child+labour+in+cracker+factories&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=tIZMVJDTAaPNmwWC7oGYBA&ved=0CDAQsAQ&biw=1280&bih=709

PS: While am writing this there is no cracker sound but our pet is stressed due to sounds from loudspeakers!