Thursday, October 12, 2017

Happy and Pretty Homes




Yesterday while walking through the local Bazaar I noticed a boy, a roadside vendor, selling some cheap clay toys and things. I purchased a small plastic vase from him that had a few plastic leaves and flowers stuck in it. I did not quite need it but the boy did not seem to be making any sales. He was delighted at the sale; perhaps it would help him later with his daily meal. It cost thirty rupees or half a dollar. At home, in my kitchen, there is a kitchen table by a window. It attracts a lot of afternoon sun and any cut flowers placed in a vase there just wilt away rapidly. Therefore I placed this little inexpensive flower vase there and immediately the room lit up. Later in the day a visitor remarked that it looked pretty. I have some unused expensive vases at home too and could easily place this inside those but it is not necessary. I shall let them lie unused for it is not expense that makes a home pretty but love and goodness.

Many a mansion of the rich have I visited in my travels across the world. Not one did I find that was filled with happiness, cheer and beauty, perhaps just wild laughter on occasions when they got drunk in a party. Inside these lofty dwellings were carpets from Persia, curtains from Kashmir, crystal ware from Czechoslovakia and expensive works of arts from elsewhere in Europe. A few even had fittings of gold in the toilet, even a seat of gold to rest your booty. I was afraid if one sullied it, one would not know because the color was so akin to the muck it was designed to hold.  I also visited huts and homes of poor and ordinary, some who had remained barely human in their poverty but there were others who had filled their hearts with treasures of love, truth and beauty and it was here that I found cheer and happiness. For it is not layers of carved stones on outer walls that make a building beautiful but trees, climbers and flowers that grow around it. It is not expensive works of art adorning rooms that make them beautiful but a simple object procured in love and goodness that adds beauty and cheer to a home and dwelling,. and the white toilet seats were a relief to sit on because one was sure they were clean from the color.


Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Lovely and Simple Lovegan Dinners



 

In my younger days my family was regular meat and fish eaters and this was central to the daily dinner most days of the week. Now older, I have given up on meat and fish as something that is neither good for health nor the soul. However I still consume eggs and milk products since these can be procured without perpetuating violence on animals. This is unlike vegans who shun these latter too. I have given a name of to this latter type of food - Lovegan Food. It signifies love for all life, not just animal life but also plant life. Whenever possible, I try to avoid perpetuating violence on plants too. For example I grow my own spinach but never cut the entire plant for its leaves. Just take some selectively and gently while allowing the plant to go to seed and complete its life cycle. I consume potatoes and peanuts though because these are leftovers from the plant when its life cycle is over.

Giving up meat however created problems for planning dinners. The traditional dinner plans that included meat or fish were out of the window and initially I hesitated increasing eggs to beyond one a day that I have at breakfast ever since childhood. This was because of much talk by doctors in earlier years that too many eggs can contribute to excess cholesterol in the body. It seems now that much of the early findings on diet and cholesterol have been revised. Finally, a sweet old Italian lady, who was 116 years old, came to my aid. There is an older post on her in this blog. On enquiring her diet it was found that two eggs a day was an essential part of her diet and that had helped her to become one of the most cheerful and one of the oldest human on earth. Therefore I too have added another egg to my daily diet by adding it to dinners except on Tuesdays that is a traditional non-meat non-egg day in many homes of South Asia in honor of the Lovely guardian, angel and god much loved in South Asia – Lord Hanuman. President Obama has carried a charm of this god in his pocket through much of his life and look where he took him. Praise be upon Him. My intention is not to have a very long life since I believe in reincarnation and feel it is wiser to move into new lives before one gets too old but the idea is to remain as healthy as possible while one is around.

The second egg has been introduced in dinner and now my normal dinner consists of a boiled or fried egg, seasonal stir fried vegetables, a salad and a little leavened or unleavened bread with butter. These four items together make a wholesome, nutritious and satisfying dinner that have all the ingredients necessary for a healthy life.

On a special occasion one can add a soup before this meal and a desert later with a cup of black tea and some nuts.  When one is entertaining guests one may add another large dish of fried fritters, pakoras or cutlets with a couple of sauces in small bowls so as that table looks rich with offerings. Potato cutlets with a filling of chopped paneer and coriander leaves are quite nice. A hung yoghurt sauce with a hint of garlic mixed in and the regular ketchup garnished with chopped celery or mint are the two sauces I use most often as the most convenient ones when entertaining.

The thought occurred that I should share with others who are similarly facing problems in planning out their dinners after giving up on meat through this blog with a wish that the life of the reader is a healthy and happy one.

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