Friday, January 23, 2009

Food Adulteration - Can India follow China’s example?

Y’day newspapers in Mumbai reported Mewad ice cream sold in Mumbai was infected with E Coli bacteria. I remember seeing Mewad ice cream mobile trolleys on Dalal Street. This news also brought memories of New Delhi summer. Yellow coloured mobile cold-water fountains would sell chilled water to parched throats of Delhites. I looked at them more out of pity after seeing those brown stained glasses being washed in water-filled bucket hanging below the trolley. When I saw the news of Delhi police discovering the nexus of the staff of mortuary of AIIMS and these vendors diverting the supply ice slabs meant to store dead bodies, I squirmed in disbelief. I doubt if I would ever drink that water even though the nexus may well have broken.

These two incidents came to my fore when I read that China court gave death sentences to three men and sentenced the former board chairperson of big dairy firm to life in prison for adulteration of baby milk with melamine that killed six infants and sickened 300,000 others.

I wonder how many Indians are slowly being poisoned not just from isolated cases of Ice Cream and drinking water but also from Fruit sellers. Enticing customers with slices of succulent ripe bright-red watermelons, they feed them red dye that was injected into the fruit to get a bright red shade. Apples in order not to lose luster are coated with wax. Green vegetables in order to look fresh are given a coating of colour to make them look fresh. Ladyfinger, Peas, Capsicum and Brinjal are given a coloured bath or a shiny coat .The most popular colors Sudan red, methanol yellow and lead chromate. Methanol yellow cause cancer, stomach ailments and degeneration of the male reproductive organs, lead chromate causes anemia, brain damage and blindness. Sudan red is also carcinogenic.

This does not end here. Hospitals that treat dialysis patients often have no control on its water quality. The toxic elements that they introduce in the gullible, uninformed patients could be doing more harm than their nonfunctional Kidney’s may have done. How I wish, India like China enact stricter punishment for every food adulterator – be it a fruit vendor or a clinic.

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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Holidy Inn Malacca @ second time - not so happy.

How quickly any business establishment falls in the eyes of a customer ? Very often a repeat use of the services is suffice to do that. This happend with us at Holiday Inn Malacca.

Our first stay at this hotel was almost 10 months ago. The service was top class, people were cheerful and friendly. The hotel appeared like a new bride with enthusiastic staff overeager to extend hospitality. Hotel offered complimentary massage and freebie for club members. Second visit was last week . The difference was noticeable. Smile disappeared, staff must be lacking in strength as phone kept ringing without prompt answer. Complimentary drinking water bottle was never replenished until asked. Request for Ice bucket was responded by “on charge". No freebie, no massage. For a double room - additional tiny soap and duplicate card key was given only after a request.

During first visit, we had decided not to stay anywhere other than Holiday Inn. Second visit would make us realize that we must try other hotels as well. Was it extra pampering on the part of Holiday Inn staff during first time or declining bottom line of hotel industry in the recession hit tourism industry. Holiday Inn Malacca - Despite great facilities and great view of Malacca, strait woefully fell short of our expectations


Sunday, January 18, 2009

Akshta from year end to new year month

Visit to make your own!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Tilgul Ghya God God Bola

I always wondered why ' Makar Sankrati' always celebrated on January 14th when all other Hindu festivals keep changing their dates every year ?
I got the answer from vedanta mission website. It says that the traditional Indian Calendar is basically based on lunar positions, but sankranti is a solar event, so while dates of all festivals keep changing, the English calendar date of Makar Sankranti is always same, 14th January.
Makar means Capricorn and Sankranti is transition. There is a sankranti every month when the sun passes from one sign of the zodiac to the next. There are twelve signs of the zodiac, and thus there are twelve sankranti's as well. Each of these sankranti's has its own relative importance but two of these are more important - the Mesh (Aries) Sankranti and the most important, the Makar (Capricorn) Sankranti. Transition of the Sun from Sagittarius to Capricorn, during the winter solstice in the northern hemisphere is known as Makar Sankranti. From this day begins the six-month long Uttarayana, considered very auspicious for attaining higher worlds hereafter.
How I miss those tiny saffron, green and white coloured porcupine sugar crystals encapsulating a single sesame seed. I did attempt making those in Delhi winter using room heater - pouring a fine trickle concentrated sugar syrup on heated sesame seeds and by stirring continuously till porcupine edges sprouted up. Does constant dull heat of the pan amidst chill weather brings out this ? I am not sure. But it's enjoyable seeing marvellous crystalline shapes despite strenuos efforts spanning hours.


Monday, January 12, 2009

Music of Slumdog Millionaire

It has punch and flair of ' Rang de Basanti'.
Here is another music site dedicated to A R Rahman ( Rahmanism) that free download.
Enjoy as much as I am doing whole of today !!!

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