Food for Thought.

Hello friends, through this post I wanna draw your kind attention towards a piece of news which left me baffled. Can you imagine, an estimated 931 millions tonnes of food, or 17 % of total food available to consumers in 2019 globally, went into waste bins of households, retailers, restaurants and other food services. It’s claimed by the Food Waste Index Report 2021, released by the United Nations Environment Programme(UNEP). When so many people die of hunger and millions survive at subsistence level i.e. barely surviving, so much food wastage is really unfortunate and an avoidable one.

Over 60% of food thrown away into bins comes from the households no matter whether the country is developed, developing or underdeveloped. Therefore we, the common citizens of the country are the real culprit. Cannot we do something to rectify the situation by conducting awareness campaign against? If we can afford to cook and order so much extra food, but their reaching the waste bins is no less than a sin. The food is like God’s blessings to us, should we squander it just like that?

I have some suggestions to make:

  1. Buy as much dry or precooked food packs from the store, we can consume. Use it before it’s expiry date or its going stale.
  2. If it seems excess then immediately give it away to your domestic help, driver or cook or ask them to distribute it among the needy persons. Make sure the food stuff is still fit to be eaten. Otherwise the matter will go drastically against you!
  3. While arranging a house party, cook or order as much food which would be sufficient to satisfy the apetite of your guest without leaving a large quantity of leftovers to contend with.
  4. Get in contact with the agency or the NGOs dealing with collecting leftover cooked food in hygienic and safe way from the households and restaurants and distribute the same to the homeless and destitute people.
  5. A little care and attention on our part can make a large difference. The satisfaction we draw from feeding the hungry and deprived might be immense.
  6. If it’s not possible to give away the food due to time constraint or other circumstances we can make arrangements to feed the stray animals of our locality or the flying guests that visit our balconies and terraces. Their sweet chirping would certainly make our day a happy one.

Friends, if we pay a bit more attention to food keeping, we can avoid a lot of wastage. After all we can’t eat money or other luxuries to survive, it’s the humble food which keeps us going. Then why not accord the respect and importance to it’s proper use, that it rightly deserves. Prevent as much food wastage as we can, as a mark of reverence and our obligation to God, who has bestowed us the bounty of food. Let’s show our gratitude to Him by preventing as much food wastage as we can.

Stay safe, healthy and happy. Adieu for now.

Read up about my other environmental blog posts here:


The Cook and his Clueless Wife.

Hello friends, in present environment we all seem to be bogged down by the circumstances, one way or the other. Whenever I came across something funny, I always wished to share it with you. We must all have to make an effort to draw as much fun and happiness from life as we could. So, I’m gonna tell you a story about a cook and his clueless wife.

The cook of our story is working at present in the canteen of a Public Sector Bank, in Kolkata where my husband also works.Now, all the peon staff are hired from a private agency and afterwards they are assigned various jobs. Our cook, who hails from a village outskirts to the city, was asked to do the canteen job and he readily accepted it. The man was of very  few words but quite meticulous in his job.

He seems to be adept in the art of cooking, whether the food belong to Bangla, Mughal or Chinese. Everyday he rustles up such lip smacking fare that all the bankers have become a fan of him. Not only that he was equally marvelous in the art of canteen keeping. I mean the dining table and the kitchen always remains spotlessly clean. Every day fresh flowers appear at the centre of the table with well adorned and fresh salad plates as an accompaniment. The cutlery and dishes sparkling, which made the food more apetizing. In all, every thing was conducted in very systematic and orderly fashion.

The special trait in him was that he never takes part in the dining table banterings and chats between the colleagues. Always preferring a gentle smile and ubiquitous nods while gliding in and out in the process of serving food. Every one use to suggest that he must apply for a post of chef in a reputed restaurant and he would just grin in response.

One day during lunch, my husband playfully asked him, whether he also dabbled his hand  in cooking, at home. He softly answered, “Once I tried to enter the kitchen to cook something special for my family. My wife considers the kitchen her own sacred domain , when she found me trespassing on her turf, she hurriedly rushed forward and promptly shooed me away.”

All were looked askancely towards him, he then deadpanned,”My wife boomed , you don’t even know the  a b c of cooking,  only going to turn my kitchen upside down and all for nothing. Leave these things to me!……What could I possibly say to that, just left her forte immediately .”

The raptly listening audience had  incredulity in their eyes he then gave a rejoinder, “Actually Sir, she don’t have any inkling what I exactly do for a living. Only has the idea I work in a bank and its for my own good that she stays that way.”

There  was a roll of laughter all around while the cook went on his job calmly.

Hope you liked the story! Please drop your comment in the comment box. I would love to improvise accordingly.

Read my other anecdotes here:

The Dilemma

Hello friends, at one point of our life or the other we are confronted by a dilemma to choose the right option. When we indeed stick to one, ensued by the feeling of regret for not selecting the other one. Particularly in my case, I considered myself the most indecisive person on earth. Though, rectified the flaw to a large extent, still, sometimes pokes its head, leaving me befuddled, regarding which way to act. I will tell you about my recent encounter with an almost blind incense stick seller at the pavement of the local market.
    The evening, I visited the market place, the pavement was bustling with people, both the sellers and buyers. As the scare of Corona on a waning side, normal hectic life tracing it’s way back! Quite relishing the hustle all around(a reminder of good old days), I found a small thinly built man, selling incense stick. When observed carefully found the man almost devoid of eye sight.
    I wasn’t in need of an incense stick, yet bought a large packet from him, costing me fifty five rupees. There was no change in my purse at that time, so I handed him 100 Rs note. With great effort on his part, he managed to return the residual money. When I counted, it was 95 Rs in total. In the cacophony of voices, I managed to tell him, his error. While returning back his money, I wanted to give him some extra money, but then held myself off it, at the last moment.
    The man was proudly earning his livelihood, not looking for alms. It might have hurt his self esteem. On my way back, the nagging thoughts couldn’t leave me that I ought to have extended some monetary help. But, then I surmised, that it would’ve elevated his circumstances only temporarily but his self confidence might have taken  a dent. Yet I frantically searched for him but the man was nowhere in sight, lost in the crowd of people.
    My heart positively ached thinking about the pittance he earned as his livelihood. The master share of the profit was being pocketed by the below par incense stick maker who took advantage of his blindness to sell his wares. The man might just be getting a paltry sum as his commission.
    I closed my eyes and solemnly pray to God, to take care of him. Only he has the ability to turn somebody’s fortune single handedly.
    Few days afterwards, I saw an old man selling some books, beside a pavement of a temple. I bought a book of 120 Rs, my husband gave him 200 Rupee note. To his utter surprise and the others present there, I asked him to keep the change. The man remained silent for some moment and left the place in a huff, leaving his books unattended.
    My husband said, see he had gone to squander the money on a pint of liquor.  I curiously looked on, found him picking something out from a bag hanging in a bicycle. Then promptly returned back flaunting his spectacle and a glint in his eyes trying to maintain his gravity. Yet his happy demeanor was a give away, as if a child was gifted a packet of candy without him asking for it.I was quite satisfied with my decision this time.
Friends, if our little gestures can bring substantial cheers to somebody then it’s worth it. I would like to know your opinions about. Please do write in the comment box. Stay safe and happy.
Adieu for now.

A Sweet  Surprise!

Hello friends, sometimes in life, you absolutely go speechless, overcome by emotions.This morning it was my turn to be so. Actually, I got up today to find a painting of my marriage, neatly displayed on the dining table (cover photo). It was a surprise gift from my daughter on the occasion of our marriage anniversary. Well, gifts are always valuable to us but some of them become a part of our heart. The painting, exactly falls on this category. I feel truly blessed  to have my children!

Sketch of us, by our daughter Riya.

Friends, as wine ages better with time, the older it is, love and bonding between a couple get stronger with the passage of time. The level of understanding and coordination is fine tuned with every adjustment one make to accomodate the wishes of the other.

A marriage, essentially requires a lot of patience and perseverance on the part of either side to make it a best bargain. I feel a boundless gratitude to God to bestow me with a life partner, who has relentlessly moulded me to the person I’m now. Like a true friend, philosopher and guide, he had successfully turned a shy, reticent girl with no idea of the practical world, into a self confident woman who can express her thoughts with alacrity. My blog posts are anything to go by!

A marriage should be a lifetime commitment to stand in solidarity with each other through every thick and thin in life. One should feel secure, happy and contented in a union and for that a herculean effort is required from both sides. A little more genuine care for each other’s feelings goes a long way to ensure that.

True, the requisite of a successful marriage is, a lot of change and adjustment in one’s life style, yet it is worth  the investment, for a lifetime of love and companionship.A couple must compliment and complete each other. What say? I would love to know your take on it!

Loads of love for my dearest hubby for our anniversary. Pray to the Almighty to have you by my side till the last breath I take in this world.

Read my New Bride series :

The New Bride on Her Honeymoon!

Hello friends, today I’m gonna tell you a particularly sweet anecdote, related to our new bride. It was during her honeymoon time. The couple had planned a tour of Meghalaya, an exotic North Eastern state of lndia  via Guwahati the capital of Assam. Guwahati is a beautiful city in the lap of pristine  Brahmaputra river, famous for the Kamakhya Temple. After paying their obeisance to the Goddess, they were scheduled to depart for Shillong, when some locals suggested them to visit Kaziranga Reseve Forest., the famous natural habitat of the one horned rhinos.

Friends, about twenty five years ago,before the advent of Internet and preschedulled booking of trips, it wasn’t hard to squeeze in a detour in the itenary. So a two day trip to Kaziranga, conducted by Assam Tourism, was booked.

The couple instantly fell in love with the ambience of the British era guest house,they were accomodated in. It had high ceilings, fitted with heat furnace and all, flaunting a large dining room creating an old world charm, a reminder of the bygone era. The guest house was situated amidst the verdant tea gardens spread all around in gentle slopes.Strolling down among the lush greenary, the sound of chirping birds as their only companion, the serenity of the place filled the newlyweds with utter bliss.

The next morning the trip to see the rhinos, commenced. All the tourist were taken to a place adorning several 7-8 feet high rectangular concrete pads with iron stairs. The puzzle was solved when a herd of elephants appeared there with their mahouts( handlers). They were serving as means of conveyance inside the reserve. The bride’s excitement knew no bounds as she mounted the back of an elephant along with her husband via the elevated platform. There were four seats with raised handles for holding, atop each elephant.

With rhythmic jerks, they began their expedition into the woods. Soon they reached a river bank filled with tall grasses almost reaching the height of the elephants. A muffled shriek came out of the bride, her eyes widened, awestruck, on seeing so many rhinos frolicking and grazing around carefreely, in their natural habitat.

Her eyes were then drawn to a baby elphant running along gayly with the mother elephant, they were riding on. As is the case with any baby, it was really cute and doing constant mischief with its mother. The bride was absolutely spoilt for choice, what to behold! The natural beauty, the regal rhinoceros or the funny antics of the baby elephant.

At the end of the tour, the bride was too full of amassed memories, that she got on the platform and started to climb down the stairs in an utter daze, suddenly she felt some thing approaching towards her. She almost jumped out of her skin, finding a cool, drenched snout touching her arms! It was the baby elephant ascended up the stairs as if to welcome her back.

In the  next instant, the bride had taken refuge in her husband’s embrace just like a terrified mouse runs for its dear life, to the safe haven of its den. At that time the PDA was a strict no-no, but the bride was totally oblivious of the prying eyes of the fellow tourist, her  eyes closed, heart fluttering erratically. The amused husband smiled and gently whispered in her ears, “People are taking you for a coward.”

“Who, me!” she asked deliriously. He nodded in response. She gently flickered her eyes open to assess the situation and found herself being a laughingstock for everyone around. She straightened herself with a jerk, her cheeks turning beet red in embarrassment. To mitigate the situation,she hastily collected all her courage to face the creature, afterall it was only a kid elephant!

The baby elephant was still waiting for her expectantly, with raised tiny trunk, half of it’s body blocking the stairs. Her heart thudding, she tentatively touched the trunk as a gesture of friendship.  Getting exuberant, the young one raised  its trunk some more to touch her cheeks. The bride had literally turned into a statue for a moment but in next determined steps she started climbing down the stairs caressing the adoring animal all the time.

In the next half an hour or so, the bond of friendship between the two grew so strong that it became a herculean task for the husband to get her back at the guesthouse.
While returning back, the husband quipped, “Even the toddler elephant couldn’t hold himself from checking you out”

The Trials and Triumphs of a Novice Bride – 2

Hello friends, coming back to the tale of our new bride, I will tell you, how she  negotiated the tricky situation at her in law’s place. It was the very first week of her marriage and as a custom, to be spent at her in law’s place to get her familiar with the new environment. The acclimatization process was rather stark in comparison to her previous maiden life. She had previously led a sheltered and tranquil existence in a family of four. she felt quite flummoxed while sailing turbulently across a vast ocean of a joint family, comprising of almost thirty members. At that time (more than twenty five years ago) people didn’t have to face such a time crunch as we do now. The extended family of various relation, came to attend the marriage, had the gumption of checking out the new bride thoroughly, tender their respective opinions,  before they deemed it fit to return to their own abodes.

The house was literally bursting at the seams teeming with so many people. The constant bouts of jovial addas( chatting), leg pullings and cracking of jokes which sometimes bordered to adult fare, made our shy and reticent bride blushing all the time. Her ears used to burn like hot coals in prepetual embarrassment and she was always coaxed to join in the mileu but a faint squeak or a genteel smile could come from her as a mode of response. It’s not that she was detesting all those burst of laughters and talking in raised voices in an effort to be heard in the din, yet she felt her nerves in perpetual alert. She could present her brave, smiling face at the onslaught only because of her husband’s frequent  and assuring presence beside her. The fact, led to some raised eyebrows in some quarters, about his turning so soon into a henpecked one!

Just like the freshers in college,  she was subjected to a bit of ragging before being pronounced as one of their own. It felt like a test by fire for her. Most of the time, she quite succeeded in hiding her vulnerability behind a gallant sweet smile. But that one time, the clueless bride thought she wasn’t going to have the luxury of a respite. One evening, It was the cook who called in sick, therefore the onerous task of chappati(indian flat bread) making fell on the daughter in laws of the house. They were total three in number including the new bride. The older two certainly in the mood of roasting the new entrant some more, duely asked her to roll the chapattis.

It wasn’t that the bride was totally unacquainted with the process but rolling out more than hundreds of them was entirely different thing altogether! Yet, our new bride without feeling daunted, began her designated task. All the eyes were surreptiously on her, speculating in wispers as for when she would call it quits. When the number of rolled chapattis was nearing thirty, the weariness started setting in. After another five, she looked around while subtly stretching her backbone, her eyes glanced on her husband, whose eyes were following her too. She quickly tore her gaze from him, lest he saw her exhaustion and concentrated on her job.

The next moment she found herself abruptly standing on her heels! She was bodily removed from her seat by her husband in a one clean sweep, replacing himself there and gently said to her, “See, how faster I’m than you. “The bride looked incredulously at him as he started rolling the prfect round chapattis in a meticulous speed as if like a seasoned pro!

There were ripples  of wisper all around, eyes rounded in amazement by the sudden and unusual development. His two sister in laws, evidently, chekmated by him, were now running breathless, keeping up with the roasting of those piled up rolled chapattis!

Friends all those teasing words and catcalls thrown at their way notwithstanding, you can easily imagine how many notches the husband rose in the admiring eyes of the new bride, as far as love and respect was concerned.

So they say, the love gradually grows in an arranged marriage 

Friends, I shall give another installment of the experiences of the new bride in the time to come.
Stay well and happy 
Adieu for now.

Basant Panchami : Harbinger Of Spring

Cover Art by my daughter of Goddess Saraswati

Today is Basant Panchami, a very auspicious day for the Hindus as it marks the advent of spring, after a long, dry and dreary winter. The barren trees starts rejuvenating itself with new leaves, buds and flowers. In India specially in Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand and Orissa the festival is celebrated by worshipping Goddess Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge. As the annual and board examinations are usually round the corner, the students enthusiastically take part in festivities. Pleasing the Goddess for good marks always gets the top position in their priority list of blessings. People offer color (abir) of various hues at the feet of the Goddess as a precursor to Holi, the festival of colour,  another celebration of spring which falls exactly forty days from today.

Little girls seek blessing from the Goddess

Friends, if I don’t mention that this day is also celebrated as Indianized Valentines Day, specially in Bengal, than this column remains utterly incomplete. Only the witness could vouche  what a veritable feast it is, to the eyes, seeing all those teens,  pre teens and young adults, adorning the special attire apt for the occasion.  The dress code is every thing yellow, the girls turn out almost compulsorily in various shades of yellow ‘sarees’. There are even smaller version of it available for the little ones who can’t handle the longer and complicated ones. The boys in kurta – pajamas. Just to see them frolicking around merrily can be real candy floss.

This year’s festivities are much more sweeter as we have left the scare of pandemic, almost behind. Though we have to be extra cautious and be on our gaurds, before calling it a real truce with it. Yet we can sincerely hope and pray to the deity for good and brighter times ahead for all the earthlings.

I wish you all a happy ‘Basant Panchami’. May this spring fill your lives with cheerful colours of happiness, peace and prosperity.  Stay safe and healthy.
Adieu for now.

Trials and Triumphs of a Novice Bride

Hello friends, I’ve planned to tell you a funny but cute story of how a merely twenty years old novice bride, finds her footing as the mistress of the house and employ a maid servant! The bride in question found herself married before she had time to ponder on the responsibilities it entailed. The circumstances,  I’d discuss some other time. Suffice is to say that the bride was utterly clueless regarding her new role, whom had previously spent most of her newly adult life, immersed in the world of books, academic or otherwise. It’s highly imperative that I should mention that the events described here are more than twenty five  years ago. In present time I’m absolutely certain that a twenty year old, could hold on her own no matter what.

Well, it was the first morning at her husband’s place, a fortnight after the marriage, when the door bell rang at seven sharp in the morning. The bride absolutely detested getting up so early in the morning, she just flipped the other side, obviously expecting her brand new and besotted husband to do the required bidding. Few minutes afterwards though, she was forced out of her slumber. She was duely informed by him that the would be maid servant is standing at the door, awaiting an interview by  the mistress of the house so that she could be employed. Her eyes instantly flew open in obvious trepidation as if she was asked to fly a space shuttle. She tried every trick in  her still miniscule armour to prevail on her husbsnd to do the task on her behalf. But he refused to budge insisting that it’s entirely her prerogative alone.

Consequently, she got up, put on  the gown over her nightwear, muttering under her breath. The robe was so long that it created a trail behind her as she walked. With jangling gold bangles and thudding heart, she tried an attempted swag, while passing through the bedroom door. As a consequence of her lack of attention she stumbled at  the threshold.

Trying her best to appear nonchalant,  she stole a glance at her husband. Promptly deciphered that he was thoroughly enjoying the amusing  scene, as he rested his head between the raised arms, leaning on the headboard of the bed. Eyes sparkling with barely contained laughter as if throwing a  dare to her. She couldn’t tell for sure, what made her more annoyed, her own nervousness or her husband’s antics. With ‘mehendi” reddened hands, she raised her gown well above the floor, a little defiantly and marched ahead as if going for a war. She had ofcourse had the  prior information, passed on by her mother, how mean and manipulative a maid servant could be!

The  woman was standing outside the front door. The newly elected mistress of the house, moved the curtains aside, trying to appear as straight faced as she can in an effort to assume the serious countenance worthy of her newly acquired status. But her furtive eyes and expressions were dead giveaway. A tall and buxom  woman with a grave look on her face was standing there, as if annoyed or impatient for the delay, her time was at primium after all! Her small curly hair peeping through the ‘pallu’ of saree covering her head as she checked her out in a pretended act of adjusting the same. Eyes keen on her self from head to tow, in a silent assessment of the new bride.

The newly wed felt as if she had  been abruptly transformed into the hapless heroine of Daphne Du Maurer, the second Mrs De Winter, of the novel, Rebecca and the  woman before her, no less formidable than Mrs  Danvers. There was short pause, nobody sure whom to talk first and then suddenly a giggle could be heard , her white teeth sparkling she put her finger over her mouth, the maid declared loudly,  “Oh my, she is just a little girl! The next precipitous moment, both the women spilled out in laughter  leaving the pretentions aside. The astute maid had called her bluff right!

It set the tone of relationship, the bride nurtured with her new maid and many more to come, that is, of friendship and the latter rather behaving patronizingly over her. As if they were her pseudo mother in laws, always advising her dos and don’t. The bride didn’t mind as long as they were good natured one but gently and resolutely put them in their due place, when ever they dared to cross the line. Afterall she had learnt a lot from them too!

Friends, hope you liked the story of the naive bride negotiating through her new life. I shall tell you about her other experiences in my upcoming blogs. Stay well and happy.
Adieu for now.

A March Towards Sustainability.

Hello friends, it’s really heartening to read that no less than John Kerry, the US special presidential envoy for climate has underlined India’s effort towards clean energy transmission. The government’s announcement, in the present budget, to launch a National Hydrogen Mission made him predict that our beloved country would make it one of the leaders in hydrogen based economy. The main aim of the mission is to generate Hydrogen from green sources to use them as non conventional power sources. The mission’s chief aim is evidently, to reduce petroleum use, green house gas emission and air pollution and contribute to more diverse and efficient energy infrastructure.

The acknowledgement by our finance minister, Nirmala Sitharaman that solar energy brings huge promises for India and phased manufacturing plan for solar cells and solar panels to build up domestic capacity. As another positive, while addressing the virtual meet of World  Sustainable Development Summit (WSDS), the external  affairs minister, S Jayshanker,  flagged how India is committed to climate action and proceeding relentlessly and resolutely towards net zero emission commitment  to reache the environmental goals, she has set for herself.

Kerry further adds, ” India’s down- payment on the clean energy transmission has made the country the global market leader in the sector thanks to which building solar energy in lndia is cheaper than anywhere else in the world.”

Friends, the real movers and shakers of a country must be the government, their strategists, followed by the responsibie citizens. These encouraging developments do bring a robust sense of relief that we’re heading towards the right direection.

Now, it’s over to entrepreneurs and startups to tap the favourable and conducive environment to build up on the initiatives  to create large pool of infrastructure to sustain the non conventional energy sector. Seize the momentum and let’s lay such a strong edifice that the fossil fuel becomes…well, truely and literally fossil.

Positves times are ahead, friends, so break the prevailing shroud of gloom and doom induced by recalcitrant Corona and let’s make a united endeavor for a peaceful, promising and sustainable future. We really do owe it to our progeny!
I would very much like to know your opinions regarding it. So extract sometime and do write on the comment box. I shall wait for it!
Adieu for now.

Celebrating Saint Valentine.

Hello friends, we are into the Valentine’s week, so wish you all a great time with your loved ones. In this feel good atmosphere, we must all strive to make our near and dear ones happy and if we can bring smile and cheer on the face of a lonely stranger, a neighbor or a colleague, the more the better, an added bonus. Some gentle words or gestures to show that you truly care, can make their day and yours too. We should not feel stingy in opening up the shackful of  love and compassion and spread it far and wide, because it’s the only wealth which multiplies as much as we distribute it.

Specially in this most unprecedented times, ravaged by Corona pandemic, when the feeling of isolation and being left out is so rampant that if we need the sledge hammer to break the ice then our efforts would be worth it. A bit of empathy and camaraderie might go a long way in assuaging the feeling of dejection and inadequacy hidden behind a faint smile thrown at your way. Friends today everyone is wary of opening their hearts, lest they get pitied or rejected some more, that each one seems to have created a cocoon around themselves for protection. It’s evidently stifling in there, yet clueless how to break out of it.

The person is infinitely lucky if one has a family to fall back on. Ones who are living alone or the elderly whose children flew away from the nest, around us, can become our  surprise Valentines. If we sincerely look, may find someone or the other being worthy of becoming the one. More the people getting economically affluent, more are finding themselves emotionally deprived just for the want of opening up and understand one another.

In earlier days people used to meet up informally, had lengthy sessions of addas(chat) over endless teas and pakoras(fritters) which literally helped them in rejuvenating their monotonous routine called life. Do we have that luxury now? Most probably not, because we’re so immersed in the matters of our own affairs that we find no time for those frivolous addas. Though the present generation virtually meet and have their fair share of chat but do they suffice the fun of real one!
Friends reach out make as much valentine as you could and spread the message of universal love but don’t ever forget the ‘special one’ in your life and treat him or her with the very best. Let the love keep on blossoming with each day of togetherness, don’t ever let go the special feeling you cherished in your heart for one another. ❤
Wish you all a very Happy Valentines Day. May the Saint Valentine bestow love and kindness to all.

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