Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Babori Xaak aru Haah Koni

Babori xaak : Chrysanthemum coronarium (Crown daisy)
Assamese terminology :
1. Xaak : herb, leafy vegetable
2. Haah koni : egg of duck
3. Aru : and

Babori xaak is a very popular edible herb in Assam. During  Bhogali Bihu, in the month of January, the most common preparation  of this xaak is "Babori xaak with haah-koni". Apart from the taste, this herb has several medicinal values as well.

500 gm Babori xaak, cleaned and chopped.

1 tbsp mustard oil
1 clove of garlic (panchfuran can be used if you find the flavour of garlic too strong)
Chilly and salt to taste
2 duck eggs
          Method : 

                                               Heat oil and saute crushed garlic and a chilly.

                                    Put in the chopped xaak, salt and cook covered on low heat till done.

                                  Break the eggs and pour in stirring all the while till well blended. 

Babori xaak with haahor koni is ready to serve. 

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Pets : Chiquititta

Chiquititta, the darling we so love and indulge ..... she's just adorable with her sweet, loving and playful nature. 

Chiquititta, meaning "little girl" in Spanish, became part of my family on a beautiful pleasant evening of February 2009 and has since become the centre of attention/ the darling of the family.She was all of two months, when we brought her and was the tiniest of her nine siblings. She was sick but after a lot of care survived to be a healthy and beautiful young lady today.

Wonderful to play with her,here she is, all of just three months, playing hide n seek. Peek-a-boo ...I see you ...
A Golden Retriever, born to pure bred parents Bholu and Elsa, the sweet thing has so many names, Chiquititta, Chuquttu, Chiqui, Shona, Kuku, Babu, Mainanagu, Manashona, Kitt.... etc etc

She seems to grow a little stronger and a little bigger each passing day, learning a new trick, a game or a command, amusing us immensely. Thus, making me and my family loving and doting on her ....a bond between her and us that grew ever stronger ....

Chiquititta loves her toys, keeps asking us to play with her in her own cute gestures. She knows well we bring her toys and goodies when we return from a trip, so, she waits eagerly and the moment we open the boxes, she gets right into them.

Chuquttu loves water, has great fun taking bath in the tub and prefers drinking fresh water from the tap or the hand shower.

Ah, look at the two year old big girl now, sitting pretty, exuding an all "I, me and myself" kind of an aura! Aawww... love you too much sweetheart! Chiquititta has aquired one more name, 'Petli', as she is big and fat now :)

Ow wow ! What can be a better way than sitting in the sun, inhaling the fragrance of the pretty blooms and reflect ? That's precisely what our dear Chuquttu loves doing while I work in the garden! But of course, keep your fingers crossed, occasionally a squirrel, crow or a rat do catch her attention and she chases them all over the garden trampling over flower beds and vegetable patches. 

After her lunch, she sits here on the front veranda and waits for us everyday. Its such a pleasure to find her eagerly waiting the moment I return from office. She greets me getting right into the car giving me my much needed hug as I open the car door. 

This is one of her favourite pastimes, watching birds from the balcony upstairs.

In the late afternoons Chiquita n I enjoy doing the bird watching together while enjoying our conversation with an occasional snack.

Chiquita always enjoys a drive around town. Her eyes sparkle as she jumps into the car, occupying the front seat. What I love and enjoy the most during these drives are, her giving me an occasional slurrrp/smack on my cheek as if to say "Love you for the drive momma" :)  

Chiquititta loves playing around all over the house and the garden, rests on the cool shade of trees in a corner of the lawn when tired.

The lady feels exercise and being with nature are the only ways to a healthy living.

Aawww .... the pretty lady, does she try to say some thing with her soulful eyes ? 
"I'm a big girl now, you know!" 
Yes sweetheart, you have turned a graceful young lady now.

Hhmmm.... caught you dear lady. Just look at her expression, as if to say, "Oops, got caught again!" Yes, she tramples all over the flower beds and vegetable patches chasing birds, squirrels and rats. And then, the punishment she gets? Well......

 ..... someone is punished today...sweet Chiquititta on her favourite place in the garden but leashed. "I'm leashed today! :((  Mom says, I spoil her flowers and broccoli, but that's not true, I only run around her flowers and vegetables to chase the naughty rats off."
Of course, of course don't I know that :)

The big girl gives Momma a sweet smack.

Playing with Momma. My most enjoyable time of the day is to play with dear chuquttu. 

It's meal time, the worst time of the day for our princess. Retrievers are generally fussy when it comes to eating their meals and Chiqui is no exception. She hates eating her kibbles, twice a day. Have to feed her with hand, pampering and showing her lizards, birds,cats, her toys and what not. 

O what a blissful siesta ! On a lazy summer afternoon Chiquititta is always indoors sitting or laying on the bare floor where the best effect of the air conditioner can be enjoyed.

She makes sure every night to come to each one of us for the good night kiss before finally retiring to bed. During  summer months she loves sleeping on a bare floor. 

During winters, she is cozy in her warm bright coloured jackets and sits pretty on her soft bed.  

Oh so cold ... 
Good night beautiful, sleep well, pleasant dreams :)

Monday, 21 November 2011

Pasta in Rome

It is indeed a fact that " Pasta happens to be the world's most satisfying and delicious foods". Never knew Pasta could be of so many varieties till my visit to Italy and practically learnt a few tips or two on making and serving them. Although I tried my best, remembered only few shapes of Pasta which go well with a particular sauce. For example: Rigatoni, a very popular one in Italy, best served with a meat sauce tossed in butter and a dash of cream; Farfalle, which looks like a bow tie or a butterfly, can be served with both red and cream sauce.

 Back home, the best known Pasta to me was the Spaghetti, as almost all girls were seen wearing this particular strappy tops having straps as thin and flat as a string of Spaghetti.

Most popular varieties of Pasta and recipes come from Italy, although it is of different cultures and countries as well. Pasta comes in a wide range of colours, shapes and sizes including the varieties known as 'Tortellini' and 'Ravioli' which are filled with ingredients like cheese, meat etc. 
Dry pasta can be stored up to two long years while fresh ones should be refrigerated to use not more than two days which is of course rarely eaten.


Italians are simply passionate about Pasta and cook it with great love and care. Although popular legend has it that Marco Polo introduced Pasta to Italy, following his exploration
the far East in the late 13th century, pasta can be traced back as far as the fourth century BC.
The different shapes, sizes and colour actually make you hungry 

The best thing that happened to me during a short stay in Italy was, to fall in love with Pasta and Lasagna.  Never knew Pasta could be of so many shapes n sizes and could be cooked in so many mouth watering ways !  

Monday, 14 November 2011

Learning to Care n Protect

Children of "Open Shelter", one of our projects on under privileged children

"Child labour and poverty is inevitably bound together and if you continue to use the labour of children as the treatment for the social disease of poverty, you will have both poverty and child labour to the end of time." ------- Grace Abbott.

How true! Working under various projects to protect children's rights, over a decade, it has been disheartening to witness the violation of these rights, even after coming a long way armed with Acts like The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000, as amended in 2006, to consolidate and amend the law relating to juveniles in conflict with law and children in need of care and protection, by providing for proper care, protection and treatment by catering to their development needs and by adopting a child-friendly approach in the adjudication and disposition of matters in the best interest of children and for their ultimate rehabilitation through various institutions established under this enactment.

Pretty ones from our "Kalyani Nivas", a shelter home for girls.

Sadly, even today some people see children as mere property rather than as human beings. Many wars for children's rights have been fought and won in the past -- child labour laws protecting children from having to work long hours in unsafe conditions, public education allowing all children to have access to learning and laws preventing child abuse. But there is still much left to do in protecting children's rights. How many of us working in this field are really aware of adoption guidelines for abandoned, orphaned and surrendered children laid down by CARA(Central Adoption Resource Authority), under the Ministry of Women and Child Development, Government of India? A recent case study revels how the lack of basic knowledge of adoption rules may lead to jeopardizing the rights of the child concerned. Only through legal adoption can an abandoned, orphaned or surrendered child become a legitimate child of the adoptive parents with all the rights, privileges and responsibilities attached to the relationship. And yet when a child is found abandoned, we remain a mute spectator while might prevails over right quite often! What meaning then has the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act?

                                                                   Abandoned baby on railway tracks

Coming a long way, armed with legal provisions and resources, we still stumble at every bend and corner while protecting a child from social hazards. What we really need at the moment, in order to protect a child from child abuse and child labour is a society that is well aware of child rights. The frightening increase in child labour has prompted the Government to amend rules. But these amendments are meaningless unless we, the people, are aware of what is happening. Awareness camps must be carried out to sensitize people about adoption of abandoned children so that one is not at a loss  when a baby is found abandoned. Not just the members of CWC (Child Welfare Committee) or SAA (Special Adoption Agency), but each citizen must be aware of their role in protecting the rights of a child. The Government must carry out more awareness programs, because safety and security do not just happen, we must collectively work towards it. Children are the most vulnerable section of the society and we owe them a much deserved life free of violence, fear, full of love and carefree happiness.

On the 122nd birth anniversary of Pundit Jawaharlal Nehru, while celebrating Children's Day, let us not forget those children who need our help, care and protection to survive, flourish and smile their happy smiles!

Our little ladies had so much fun on Children's Day, their smiles say it all ....

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Poem : The Wait


Oh silence why do you scare ....?
While life seems only too bare ....
Of clothing and jewellery entire
Can this state be truly fair ....?

Words of love not any more flow ....
Sprouts of colours now covered with snow
Why, oh why am I bound to feel so low ....?

Cool breeze of happiness gently sweeps by ....
Pearl drops of fresh dew on my lawn lie
Limp and forlorn mind oh is that why you cry ....?
        For not the breeze nor the dew no gems nor hue
        Can break the spell of the deafening silence true.

                                              Ruprekha Mushahary

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Poem : Lost Love

Pic downloaded from the internet

O ye moon dainty pray don't beam so bright,
                             Cos no where do I find my smile tonight.
               O'er the luxurious beauty of a vale,
                             I seem to have lost forever my gale.
               Do walk again that familiar mile,
                            Along do bring my lost smile.
                   Ruprekha Mushahary