Sunday, March 28, 2010

Gourmet food -- brinjal/Eggplant

We don't realize how some of daily vegetables we miss unless we don't eat for some time because of variety of food available immediately. As usual special occusions/guest needs non vegetarian delicacy like biryani, butter chicken, tandoor, fish etc. once in a while continental, Chinese.  Also normal share of vegetables are occupied by easy to cook noodles or south indian dishes. We generally don't miss tomato and potato since it is used abundantly in every culture. But after few days I really miss simple two vegetables (curry/dry), chapati and rice. Among vegetables missing brinjal  makes me dizzy.

Purple colored brinjal is like royal member of vegetable family. How many variety of items you can make and each taste differntly and mouth water.
To start with Stuffed Brinjal -- bringle stuffed with coconut, garlic, crushed ground nuts with chilly powder is not only mouth watering but if combination is right (perfect balance of spices + size of bringle) along with winter condition it tests much better than spicy chicken dishes.

Bharit - Big sized brinjals. Grill it on stove or coal shegdi till the skin is black on all sides. Remove from the stove. Remove the blackened skin . Mash the the pulp to a fine paste. Add fried chopped onion. Smelling roasted bringle aroma is wonderful while cooking itself.

Sliced Brinjal- Fried slice bringle along with salt and chilli powder. I used to eat 20-30 crispy slices in a stretch!

Brinjal is not only famous in subcontientent. Once I was dining at italian restarunt and ordered Eggplant Parmesan. To my own surprised I loved taste of it! It is a sliced eggplantwith tomato sauce and mozzarella and Parmesan cheese, along with basil etc. Eggplant is breaded and fried then topped with sauce and cheese and baked.

As a side note, purple colored vegetable fruits has  lutein, zeaxanthin, resveratrol, ellagic acid, and quercetin. I don't know most of it but it causes lower LDL cholesterol, boost immune system activity, limit the activity of cancer cells. So watch out meat lover!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Cyber Victims

Now a days We live in digital world. Everything which was on paper few years back is now stored digitally somewhere in world.  Be it our correspondence, financial transactions, socialization. Most obvious adventage we take is interacting with people which are physically out of reach. We like to chat, email or share pictures with these members. We feel their presence around us since we can watch "real time" appearence of those people and even if we don't meet those people we don't miss them as we used to decades back.

As any technology has it's other side. There are many people who can use this technology for their adventage and attack innocent users. So we have to careful about our digital life. We should be most careful about what pictures we store on computer/ post on line. Online we are careful since we know it's a public domain but at home laptop we feel like it's private and little carefree about it's content.. Private data such as pictures, finance we store it without thinking if anybody will access it. But that's not true, even though we use "our" computer 98% time, there are chances others will access it mostly if computer fails. When we send it to repair, technician has complete control of hard disk and if he is not busy, he won't hesitate to explore. I know few people who are victim of such a case.

Same is true with online storage, we have to careful what information we are storing and sharing with people. For "core" data we should have strategy to keep it safe either physically or electronically.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Accidentally I found Schulz strip used in previous post. I wonder how few pencil sketches and  cartoonist/caricaturist able to portrait particular individual, social/political situations so precisily. If we watch carefully  any cartoon strip tells story of complete book. Expressions of characters are unimaginable. It can express any emotions human can possess.

My favorite cortoonist are R. K. Narayan and Charls Schutz. I never realized when I become R.K. Narayan fan because I was watching his cartoon strip from my school days . In those days daily  Maharashtra Times  used to publish it. I understood little  about common man but when I become more and more common  I realized how powerful that character he has created.
I also saw common man sculpture at symbiosis dedicated to R.K. Narayan but I felt common man sketches are more expressive than 3D-physical format.

And what to say about sketches he has drawn for his brother's book Malgudi Days. Book itself is great narration of childhood, which can resemble to any child who lived in rural India. Whenever I read or see Malgudi Day's cartoon, I remembered all those nostalgic remeberance of Sangamner.
Same is true about "Peanuts" by Charles Schultz. When I first noticed his cartoon strip in USA, I was skeptical it won't affect me since it will be mostly to do with american life. But slowly I got absorbed with it.  Personal incidents narrated by his characters don't have any national boundary!!

As I reflect back and think why we love such fine art. Simplicity is obvious reason, nobody wants complex life. But beyond simplicity it also reflects positive side of life/humanity especially it is apparent considering other depressing negative news around news paper. 
It reminds me one of famous quote shared by Charles Schultz 

" Don't worry about the world coming to an end today. It's already tomorrow in Australia. "

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Book Publication

Publishing book in India is not easy task. First thing  nobody cares about author unless you are already famous. I tried to publish couple of papa's books but it's tough to get into market if you are new. Publishers will not entertain you or simply ignore you. Very few I have noticed are very good in their evolution process, they have panel and panel will evolute book and give review. If anybody accepts your book, that publisher will take his own time to publish, use low quality standards select papers and most important printing. Even one of my friend duped me for same reason. So after struggling for 3 years, I came to following conclusion..

1. If you want to be writer, start writing for magazine, news paper and build some kind of reputation over period
2. Learn to type-- it's always good to have typed manuscript. We can communicate electronically and easy for proofing.
3. In word, set page set up as landscape, multiple pages option as "Book Fold" since we want book in book format and each A4- page should print proper folded page on other side.
4. Write grammar/spelling correctly at first place. Proof reading is very time consuming.
5. Cover design can easily be done using Photoshop and images from Google. Make sure you provide space for binding area (spine).
6. Export cover page project jpeg once you are finish with cover page design. Print book and see if everything is correct  like size of cover page, font selection etc. This copy can be used for physical proof reading and circulating among friends.
7. While you are proof reading you can make synopsis and send it to targeted publishers if any body has any take for book.
8. Even after proof reading you don't get publisher, publishing ourself is not a bad idea.
9. E-publishing is most cost effective, just convert word to pdf file and upload it to sites which host ebook.
10. Other option is going through physical printing processes.
11. Select printing shops. Get quotation for papers, printing. Since papers cost 50% of cost, buying our own paper  is not a bad idea.
12. Paper quality is measured in terms of GSM. 70 GSM is good for inner page and 170 GSM for cover page (Info by Mitesh Take).
13. After printing cover page, laminate it so that it will look glossy.
14. Book printing is available in various format but perfect binding is best for book.
15. Selling Skills: This is most important step, try little marketing tricks. If you can afford make a event with some renowned celebrity  or  start from libraries, provide sample copies at book fair, book store.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Chicxulub Crater

Any celestial phenomenons are mind boggling. Impact craters are one of those, when we watch it, we just awed
by it's presence. Out of no where you notice huge circular impact on uniformly placed land. We love watching clean water lake formed no where because of these craters.

Most of craters exist on earth are in range of 20-300 km in diameter. Since we are talking about period of more than million years ago,  there is good chance most of craters are reduced in size or simply vanished because of geographical changes occurred on earth. That way it's good that no major impact had happen recently otherwise human race would have lost before making any impact on earth.

While looking for such a vanished craters, I came across very interesting crater --  Chicxulub crater in Mexico. We can't watch image of it since it's 65 million years old and large part of it is in Gulf of Mexico and so is covered by sea. Since there is no visible mark and obviously there is not any pictures available to image this crater but more I read about this crater, more I feel impact of it.

Scientist claims this crater caused by huge fireball from space. Impact was 2 million times greater than any man made nuclear device. Imagine destruction (or changes!) caused by this impact or more with natural term it was much more higher than any volcanic activities happened recently (400 times). It is said that this impact caused mass extinction including dinosaurs!!!!!

One celestial disaster and in one stroke vanished millions of microscopic life! I can't even imagine scope of it, what is purpose of creating such a life forming world for million years and later destroying it. May be creator (if exist or just events ) also doesn't want stagnant life and wants to experience change.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Wealth & Population


Recently I found very interesting maps.These are logical maps of wealth accumulated by nations/population with reference to geography. As we see inequality in nature similarly we do see in man made world of richness.
No matter how hard india and china try to elevate their respective countries just because of sheer size of population we can't match with Europe and USA. As my theory goes we always have advantage in disadvantage in our case too. In past if we were less populated, sea bound europeans would have grabbed our land similar to USA, South America, South Africa, Australia. We would have ended up like aboriginals or red Indians or worse case mixed race similar to South America. So what we are now almost saved because of population.

 Europe/US might have higher per capita income but because of population  we don't feel lonely. People might be wondering what is use of so many people if they are not able to earn enough money. That's true till some extend but if you see problems caused by loneliness is western countries is much higher compare to average earning person in India.

We see people desperately trying to meet people. If you watch some of Hollywood movies such as Silence of Lamb, we wonder how person can do anything what is shown in that movie, I think it is because of advance stage of psychological problem of lonely world and movies some extends reflects society.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

खेळ मांडला

तमाशाप्रधान चित्रपट मला फारसे आवडत नाहीत, मुख्य कारण त्यातील गावाकडील खलनायक मला कधी आवडले नाहीत.बहुतेक निळू फुलेच्या सशक्त अभिनयामुळे असेल कदाचित. नटरंग बघण्यास त्यामुळेच मी तयार नव्हतो. पण चित्रपटातील गाणी ऐकून, खास करून 'खेळ मांडला' ऐकून पाहण्याची इच्छा झाली. पिक्चर चांगलाच आहे. अतुल कुलकर्णीचे 'पहेलवान ते नाच्या'    बदल अप्रतिम.. पण मला वेड लागले ते 'खेळ मांडला' गाण्याने. माणसाच्या जीवनात बरेच बरेवाईट प्रसंग येतात. पण मनाला भिडणारी दुःख कोणी कलेतून व्यक्त केले की डोळे पाणवतात.  ते गाणं आपल्या जीवनावर आधारलेले आहे असे वाटेत रहाते. मला तर  आयुष्य फुटबॉल सारखे वाटायला लागते.  सीमा नसलेल्या मैदानात आपण  वेगवेगळ्या प्रसंगांना तोंड देत भरकटत राहोतो.  पिक्चर पाहिल्यानंतर मला बऱ्याच मित्रांनी ते गाण आपल्यास लागू होते हेच सांगितले. लोकांना दुःखद  गाण किती समान पातळीवर आणते. 
तसे पाहिल्यास आपल्या अंदाजे 21900 दिवसांच्या (60 वर्ष!) आयुष्यात दुःखद  प्रसंग कमी असतात पण त्यानंतरच्या संबंधीत घटना, घडामोडी आणि  विचार आपल्या मानगुटीवर बरेच दिवस चिकटून राहतात. यावरून मला जुनी म्हण आठवली
"माणूस दुःख चगळत चगळ खातो तर सुख घटाघटा पितो."  
दुःख चगळत चगळत, आपण  या सारख्या गाण्यातील जगण्यासाठी लढण्याच्या ओळी सोयीस्करपणे विसरतो.

Sunday, March 7, 2010


We never realized how much life we spent until we start seeing couple of grey hair in beard. We always ignored prominent grey hair on head since we are used to it from college days. But when you see grey hair on face, it sends very alarming shock wave to brain. I was almost convinced I am immortal until I saw my first couple of grey hair on face. It hits very hard since you REALIZE we are not different from rest of folks and laws of nature start affecting us as well. Also it start recollecting how much time we have "wasted" till that time and how much time we have left to do anything. Closer we look our past, more we feel uncomfortable since we don't remember many good time we had but time were we felt we could have done little better. More I think about screwed time, I feel more it affected current present, it is same like financial investment. Right decision at right time pays you in long run.
Some of minor incidents such verbal outburst in past, haunt us for long time since we hurt particular person and that causes destroying of relationship for long time. I remember those encounters especially with older generation. We never realize it until we step into their shoes.

On other side I also wonder what other "best scenario" alternative life we could have developed without wasting time what we think. I think all roads converse to same goal set by our own mind consciously or unconsciously.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Virtual Travel

Everybody dreams to travel across globe, watching  new people, their culture,language, food is life enriching experience. I didn't get much chance to travel when I was in school days. Since those days travel itself was difficult because of lack of vehicles, roads. I used to roam around untouched streams especially in rainy seasons.. infinite varieties of mud patterns, insects walking on it and changing patterns and watching freshly washed shrubs. I never imagined such a joy of new places later on. College days we become little adventures and start doing some adventurous travel which involves like trekking, swimming in unknown water. Rather site seeing I enjoyed thrill doing some enduring stuff. I wonder it was really testing body limit or not to spend money.

US job really gave me good time to see really align place till then it was mostly around western Maharashtra. I used to had 4 days week, so got 3 days weekend. So travel extensively during those days and had fun of visiting numerous destination. After a while I realized how tough it is to plan a trip .. we spend almost 50% of time travelling, 30% for rest/food. So effectively we get 20% to 30% of time for trip activities. So travelling all over places ourself is very inefficient and exhausting.

But advances in technology in fields of  photography, movies, internet we don't need to travel all the places.  Virtually we can watch every places where man (or his camera) has reached. I have indexed countries/cities, so whenever I feel like to explore I search based on it and drill down to minute details of that city.

Some of pictures I enjoyed virtually visiting..

Sakura, JapanMountain-Lake, Switzerland

Amazon river, BrazilLi River, China

Palace, LuxembourgLahore

Sweden Denmark BridgeMonaco

Visual treat we can mange but what about  weather and food :(

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Knowledge Explosion

Not long time back we were scraping to get books to seek knowledge. Historically knowledge was monopoly of few choosen by birth. With invention of internet and after specifically rise of Google, KNOWLEDGE most sort after entity became available with touch of button.
I remembered days endlessly surfing trying to get information about some of my favorite subjects. You just wonder about people who put so much wealth of knowledge on internet. You also start wondering how google manage to keep all these information, well indexed and immediately returned after you click search. We struggle to place few files and folders well organized in didgital and real world. In Google's case it's billions of billons data.

Now we come to age of that we have option of anytime knowledge but how do we narrow it to what we exactly required. Google or anyother search engine will return our search query along with their prioritize like advertising etc. So getting only requiered knowledge is as good as finding needle in haystack. To start with we shold be very clear about what we are searching, vague query and we are destined to read something which we are not required eventually wasting our time.

In cyber world, we also get lost in entertainment industry  be it film, news industry. And it is very difficult to get out of it once you hooked to that site. At least those who are grown up without using this technology are little able to live in non internet world. But current generation will go mad if they are cut off from this facility.