1. Have an Interesting Snippet to Share : Click Here
    Dismiss Notice
  2. If someone taught you via skype, what would you want to learn? Tell us here!
    Dismiss Notice

Quid Pro Quo With The Gods

Discussion in 'Cheeniya's Senile Ramblings' started by Cheeniya, May 20, 2017.

  1. Novalis

    Novalis Finest Post Winner

    Messages:
    385
    Likes Received:
    756
    Trophy Points:
    173
    Gender:
    Female
    upload_2019-9-23_15-57-48.png
    (Culinary Jottings for Madras)

    Read about this book in an article, this weekend, I downloaded and skimmed the book as I found the intent of the book fêted, a treatise in thirty chapters on reformed cookery for Anglo-Indian travellers. Exceptional books have been written on the political and cultural commentary of the English settlers on Indian turf, theorists from both fronts. I wanted a book in lay effort of the mundane privations recorded by a civilian, though Wyvern is military, in good faith on his transitional challenges. I found this book intriguing in its solicitous title on fusion food with Indian stock and Continental tastes, the foremost challenge for these settlers used to vinegars, jams, jellies, candied peel, oatmeal, olive, caper now exposed to bombay onions and sorrel and murghee.

    Published in 1878, the book denotes micro-history: historical method that takes as its object of study the interactions of individuals and small groups with the goal of isolating ideas, beliefs, practices, and actions that would otherwise remain unknown by means of more conventional historical strategies.

    Colonel Wyvern (real name Arthur Robert Kenney-Herbert) along with this cook Ramasamy explored jauntily the culinary science of substituting, mixing and reformulating the energetic tastes of India with English nostalgia. The book is witty in places, as a systemic guide to the settlers unbeknownst of Indian vegetation: the first half on wares and the second half on recipes.

    The book is not colonial literature but a culinary workbook of a hearty colonel and his ally to discover the gastronomic improvisation.

    Wyvern also wrote a culinary column for a newspaper in Madras. On his return to England, Wyvern, having documented the gadgetry and recipes by then, established a cookery school specializing in Indian and English cuisine introducing his patrons to the blended flavors perfected during his abroad posting.

    Today English porridge and Indian pongal can be cooked tiered in a modern-built pressure cooker. The book is a fascinating account of Wyvern's juggle between his homeland and workland in a makeshift combat.
     
    sokanasanah likes this.
  2. Novalis

    Novalis Finest Post Winner

    Messages:
    385
    Likes Received:
    756
    Trophy Points:
    173
    Gender:
    Female
    upload_2019-9-23_16-37-46.png
    (Too Soon to Say Goodbye)

    Finally, I read the memoir of Art Buchwald.

    The man given three weeks near to death, returned from the hospice, stayed alive for another six months, and even wrote a witty memoir on his upbringing, foster home, military service, college, journalism, Paris and Pulitzer. A warm and funny read on the circumstances to eke out those terminal weeks in Washington Hospice astonished at his natural recovery during the stay while keeping the visitors amused in his characteristic wisecracks. Stupendous was the love and remembrance of those visitations from his friends he knew, the friends who knew him, and from the fans, and from strangers who just wanted to visit him on listening to his inviting humor in the television interviews recorded at his hospice. The hospice living room functioned as a salon to the flurry of visitors who swamped him with gifts and cards while Buchwald ate McDonalds' cheeseburger everyday to flaunt his end of days.

    Buchwald sensed humor, dispensed humor, and was loyal to humor sourced from even the frightful connotations, small wonder that he was hugely admired by many for his easy-going and chappy nature. The bemused social workers and nurses at his hospice quickly identified that he was like none other known to them.

    In that laughter, he claimed to be the poster boy for hospice and McDonalds writing candidly about his days of depression, bipolar, sexual indiscretions, scriptwriter grudges, wanting to meet Judas in the hereafter.

    Cheeniya, the revived Art Buchwald in our conversation is humor in style and status, inducing everyone how important it is to be laughing all the way up with a malfunctioning kidney to the stairs of life beyond.
     
    Rihana and startinganew like this.
  3. Novalis

    Novalis Finest Post Winner

    Messages:
    385
    Likes Received:
    756
    Trophy Points:
    173
    Gender:
    Female
    upload_2019-9-23_19-59-55.png
    (How Not To Write)

    William Safire's works are page-turner reads even in their instructional format, never boring, hanging each maxim of good writing on advisory hook or avoidance hook as the constituency of the book, pitfalls to avoid. Never do this. He writes, "To some, dangling a participial is as bad as mangling a marsupial [as in smacking a wombat]". Exactly, such wit induces that page-turner gusto in a reader.

    I just finished reading "How not to write" highlighting two (curious) insights.

    First:

    "Everybody should watch his language" now became "everybody should watch his or her language", or worse, "their language"?
    Etymologists know that the word man, going back to the Sanskrit manus , means "human being" and is sexless. Although man and woman are differentiated in English, the universal meaning of man to encompass both sexes remains.​

    The necessity for gender-neutral pronoun is rallying in online debates these days whether "they/them/their" should be appropriated for neutral usage. Though Safire was writing for his times, I doubt his adducing Sanskrit could disarm the holler for a proper gender-neutral term, in representation too.

    Second:

    When you want a cup of coffee it's silly to order two demitasses (writing about half-sentences).​

    Who is serving coffee in demitasse (half-cup) these days? The artisan and fair trade and even the turkish coffee shops are serving coffee in paper cups these days. Rather, who is visiting the shops graciously offering coffee in that delicate porcelain. The nicety of demitasse reminded me of the ubiquity of cutting chai. Is the Indian cutting chai served in a miniature glass or the glass is half filled?

    If Safire was conducting his work in our Indian cafe at Juhu Beach, he would have admonished: when you desire a strong chai, don't cut it, same with the sentence.

    upload_2019-9-23_20-0-54.png
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2019
    Rihana likes this.
  4. Novalis

    Novalis Finest Post Winner

    Messages:
    385
    Likes Received:
    756
    Trophy Points:
    173
    Gender:
    Female
    upload_2019-9-23_21-48-0.png

    (Khushwant Singh's Joke Book)

    Khushwant Singh's joke books were the lore of humor in the bygone. Every railway bookstall hung these light-pegged books for ready sales to scurrying passengers wanting to chuckle their way to the destination. They were inexpensive, family-read, and wholeheartedly exchanged with other passengers, not because the books were less treasured to haul back home but everyone wanted to contribute to that experience of laughter even to a fellow stranger.

    Today the series lost favor vilified as stereotyped jabs at cultural differences. I won't be surprised if a Netflix-groomed whippersnapper found the jokes insensitive or bawdy poking fun at cross-cultural disparities. The baniyas, the sardars, the parsis every class and distinction were caricatured.

    Khushwant gives the extenuating origin of these jokes...

    Sikhs rightly boasted of manufacturing the best of Sardarji jokes. There is a sizeable collection of Bawaji jokes but they need to be related to Parsi Gujrati. I do not know of any other Indian community which has the self-confidence to poke fun at itself.​

    Most of these jokes were manufactured within the community for self-enjoyment inflicting slight when the close-knit joke was narrated from outside the community. Today, we refrain from mocking the outsiders or being mocked by them, well, civility as they say, but one is wrong to infer that Khushwant's joke books were all distasteful ridicule.

    Khushwant Singh's jokes were not even his jokes solicited from the public to send in their jokes. In a country, for a time, when jokes were bland Khuswant Singh urged the masses to design humor if they didn't detect humor in their everyday prowl. KS's joke series was a product of that campaign and diversity. He claimed joke manufacturing respectable. He funded that initiative. He created a tradition of that national humor through his joke book series. He even credited those jokes to the senders. While the hunt was blazing guns minting book after book in base humor, KS desired for higher-order humor too.

    The common man's humor is of a lower order than the humor of a man of sophistication. The educated aesthete will respond to literary allusions, puns. They will mean nothing to the hoi polloi [sic]. Our film-going public enjoy jokes of the broadest type. Any situation, where the heard-strong woman is humbled, makes them roar. Our people have to be educated to understand and enjoy subtle humor.​

    That act is reflected in his cultured selection of jokes:

    The great modern surrealist painter Salvador Dali was asked, "Do you know what modern art is?"
    "You decide to buy a painting to hide a section of the wall where the paint has the tendency to peel. And then, after examining a good 50 paintings, you tell yourself that it really would be prettier to leave the wall the way it is", replied the great master -- Joke Book II.​

    Khushwant Singh spearheaded the era of humor in India through his own writing and through his fanbase. Fast forward, we are fed laughs in whatsapp shares evolved from those fluttering and hung books which delighted many railways passengers wishing them a safe and humour-filled journey.
     
    Rihana likes this.
  5. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra IL Hall of Fame

    Messages:
    10,563
    Likes Received:
    18,791
    Trophy Points:
    538
    Gender:
    Male
    I write about my experience of working as a volunteer in the Hospice every Saturday under the title "Transition", this write up of you attracted my attention. The Hospice facilitated a volunteer a few days back and I was asking the other volunteers what was so special about this volunteer.

    Here are the answers I got from 2-3 volunteers:

    1) This particular Hospice volunteer is 106 years old.
    2) Has 20/20 vision and even holds a driver's license in Florida (however, she doesn't take left turn anywhere near the highways).
    3) She doesn't use any support and she walks straight with no bending forward posture.
    4) She works as a cheerleader for those who are terminally ill making them laugh with her great sense of humor.
    5) Her enthusiasm and child-like happiness is contagious and every patient even if they don't expand their life, at least, die with great sense of belonging.

    I am sure Art Buchwald as a patient and even as someone who got discharged from the Hospice was making so many people enjoy their life despite his terminal illness.
     
    startinganew likes this.
  6. Novalis

    Novalis Finest Post Winner

    Messages:
    385
    Likes Received:
    756
    Trophy Points:
    173
    Gender:
    Female
    Such energetic bunnies AMAZE me!

    Though the book is about Buchwald's cheerful attention in the facility, it also has glimpses of hospice administration like "when the patient enters the hospice, an entire team sets to work to meet the family's needs — a doctor, a team of nurses, a case manager, a social worker, a chaplain, a nursing assistance, a bereavement coordinator, and of course the volunteers."

    One might wonder why such staffing on a departing patient, "most of the support goes to the family, who are on an emotional roller coaster."

    ... true! makes sense! the facilitated man might avail himself less of these amenities but the downbeat family is bolstered with the help of social workers and volunteers, which obliquely substantiated the screening of these volunteers to be rigorous and acute to intake only the withstandable with forbearance to keep a vigil on death from close eyes. Your acceptance as volunteer reinforces that inference.

    If you are into hospice volunteering, may I suggest a book for you of relevance that impressed me. Atul Gawande's "Being Mortal" discourses on mortality advancing that final vulnerability as a precocious contemplation rather than an unplanned irritant on our health care. The book might interest you. Not just about where or how we wish to die but when the buck stops in living, what optimization and omission is worth the life and its attendant charm in personalized assertion of the upkeep of our fragility. A good book to reflect upon.
     
    Viswamitra and startinganew like this.
  7. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra IL Hall of Fame

    Messages:
    10,563
    Likes Received:
    18,791
    Trophy Points:
    538
    Gender:
    Male
    Thank you for your suggestion. I will certainly read that book. Now, we are talking about books, I will also recommend a book that I am reading now that excited me much. You know I did a lot of research about DMT and wrote a snippet about it as well.

    This author Scott Carney was a student of Wim Hof, a guy from Netherlands but lives in Poland conducting classes to the students who wants to learn his technique of endurance introducing a third dimension that could be induced to our bodies besides our diet and exercise practices. The title of the book is "What doesn't kill us". Your ambition to go to Monasteries in Tibet could be fulfilled by just reading this. I am sure you will be frozen with shock by the time you finish the book. How do you generate body heat at 17,000 feet above the sea level naturally? This book reveals new benefits of Yoga and Meditation. You will find the answer here in this book. :)

    Precautionary Note: Please don't try it at home on your own. :)
     
  8. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra IL Hall of Fame

    Messages:
    10,563
    Likes Received:
    18,791
    Trophy Points:
    538
    Gender:
    Male
    In the place where I live, the Hospice has decided to comply with the World Health Organization's guidelines. The training was intense and longer than I expected. But the booklets, trainers, the screening for Hepatitis, TB, etc, guidelines about how to interact with patients and families, how to handle patients with contagious diseases, guidelines about how to handle donations, how no volunteer should accept personal gifts, etc., shows the depth up to which the organization thought through to serve those who are in need of multi-dimensional support during personal transition or transition of kith and kin.

    Continuous training programs, regular volunteer get-together to share insight, Organizational goal-setting, developing the supporting principles to the main principle of supporting the decision of the patient and his/her families on any decisions they make including providing/not providing medical, social, psychological, spiritual and religious support during their transitioning, etc. indicate the commitment of the organization.
     
  9. Novalis

    Novalis Finest Post Winner

    Messages:
    385
    Likes Received:
    756
    Trophy Points:
    173
    Gender:
    Female
    Intriguing! Will definitely look into the book. Always a pleasure to discover unheard voices in writing and theories of life.
     
  10. Amulet

    Amulet Platinum IL'ite

    Messages:
    2,302
    Likes Received:
    3,847
    Trophy Points:
    283
    Gender:
    Female
    The other indian doctor who writes for the NewYorker magazine is Abraham Verghese. This fellow has had a more interesting experience in life before he got to writing for magazines that require long winded essays.
    I read and liked AV's novel "Cutting for Stone". It has much to appeal to the desi diaspora. And besides, there was a very accurate description of the vasectomy procedure to "fix" a guy. And the Chinese had made further improvements on the scheme in later years.

    THE COWPATH TO AMERICA : This is an amazing essay on why doctors queue'd up in front of the US consulate in Madras to escape the purgatory at home.
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2019

Share This Page