My views About this, that and the other

Indo Pak relations -- where do we stand?

Tightrope walking or tug-of-power? 

Indo -Pak relations is like Chinese sweet and sour. Take out the sweet and you have only the sour taste and vice versa. Indians, like me, will claim to be the 'sweet' and though' sour' is not all that bad, it is certainly not as desirable as sweet. I am not interested in all that happened over the last 60 years to 'sour' the relations nor am I focusing on all that is happening now in the name of 'sweetening' our stand. 

What next? 

So, where do we go from here? I am inclined to go with Benazir Bhutto's suggestion that we let the dead past (not so dead though!) bury itself and 'creatively reinvent.' our relations by 'creating a common market to eliminate our real enemies which are poverty, hunger, unemployment and backwardness through soft borders.' Not to be left far behind, president Pervez Musharraf feels that 'military solution is no longer the answer. Therefore, we are moving towards peace'. That Benazir had to die so unmercifully is another matter 


My ten year old grandson Karan strongly believes that we should stop having "a tug-of-power' and 'shake hands'. Will that wipe off 60 years of hostility and hatred? My eight year old America born Kavya who follows our discussions, adds in a no- nonsense tone "I think, tight rope walking is dangerous. India should either treat Pakistan as an enemy or as a friend. One way or the other". 

Holistic approach 

Being an incurable optimist, I would like to quote Vipin K. Agnihotri who says that the ' Formation of India-Pakistan Joint Commission is one such step that can go a long way in improving the situation between two countries dealing with issues related to cooperation in trade, agriculture, health, science and technology.' 


On a lighter note, I would agree with the comment made at a SAFMA regional conference where 'Indo-Pak relations were compared to the protagonists of the famous cartoon strip "Tom and Jerry", External Affairs Minister K. Natwar Singh said the Indo-Pakistan ties were "accident-prone" which needed to be handled with care.' 

Daughters are like curd rice 

My Tamilian maid is very sad that I don't have a daughter! She herself has four children- the youngest is a daughter. Unlike others who keep trying for a son, she wanted a daughter. "One must have both vegetables and curd rice in life" is her philosophy. "Who is the vegetable and who is the curd rice?" I asked her and pat came the reply "The girl of course is curd rice and boy is, vegetable!" I wanted her to explain her theory and this is what she had to say. "Vegetables are important for ones good health, just as a boy is for happy family. But curd rice is God's gift to the stomach for good digestion like a daughter is to keep the family together!" 

Star rating 

As a film journalist, I once interviewed the irrepressible Sridevi.To my question on what her favorite dish was, pat came the reply 'Thayir sadum' (curd rice).All Tamilians, expats or otherwise, list this delicacy at the top of the pop chart of their palates. It is like a perfect sign off to a gourmet meal or a pleasing substitute 

White wonder
What makes curd rice a crowd puller with tamilian expats is the color combination. White rice…white curd… white coconut shavings- blended and decorated with green chilies, cilantro and curry leaves, topped with grated carrots. A very patriotic presentation! For a rainbow effect, seedless grapes and pomegranate .To make it even more nutritious, finely chopped cucumber and tomato completes the dish. The mustard seed seasoning with a dash of asafetida gives it an exotic finish

Quick fix
Curd rice keeps the volatile Tamilian cool. It offsets the heat and dust of Tamilnadu, and saves the lady of the house the drudgery of sweaty hours before the stove! Makes a great packed lunch with no spicy aromas polluting the lunch room at work. Lead a tamilian to a table loaded with delicacies minus the curd rice and after eating all, like the hungry tiger he says 'It's no use, I will get hungry again."