A flat tummy was considered as a sign of penury and starvation by the old fashioned, but not any more! If tummy tucks, the latest fad doing the rounds is any indication, the day is not far off when the fashion conscious youth wouldn’t mind shelling out a fortune to get a perfect tummy line.
‘Bariatric Surgery,’ as it is medically known, can reduce the size of the stomach, which enables the person to cut down on his food intake. Apart from ensuring drastic weight loss, Bariatric surgery also give a perfect figure.
Koshy George one of the most popular bariatric surgeons in the state gets a regular clientèle from far and wide and help people manage their weight through this surgical procedure. People often consult him inspired by the amazing results that this surgery has made in the lives of others. Obesity has become a modern life style disease among the city dwellers that is mostly because of the fast food culture and sedentary life style.
India and South Asia now have almost as bad an obesity problem as the US, where 60 percent of all adults are obese. Since 2011, WHO has recognised obesity as a disease.
Though genetic factors play a role in making someone obese, change in life styles have evolved to be the main causes of obesity. This surgery has helped even the diabetic patients to stop medications or cut down the dosage. The surgery , which just costs around 2.50 lakhs works out much cheaper than in many foreign destinations as well. Bariatric Surgery,’ a could thus be the latest fad in health tourism itineraries in Kerala in the days to come.
Late night call…
Friend: ‘What are you doing tomorrow morning?’
Me: “What to do. Nothing, just like that… like every day, free after holy mass by 7 am”.
Friend: “Come let’s go to fish market”.
Me: “WHAT! Sorry buddy…”
Friend: “No, this place is interesting. Carry some money also. Come to Champakkara fish market in Ernakulam by 07:30 I will be there.”
Alright! What else!
After mass, took car and went directly to the market. I have only heard about this. First visit! On the way to Tripunithura, the royal city, it says ‘Champakkara Market Complex’.
He came with his family. Well I came with mine too…or she will ask me… “Why did you buy this fish… you could buy other fish… ”
Parked car at the church compound next to the market… Waterfront church… Hmm!
Piled up plastic boxes, cycles and cane baskets. Can’t move around without hitting others…
I shifted my wallet to front pocket. Money is money.
Strong piercing smell of fish and meat… But the area is clean.
Ice crushing machine…Where are they taking this crushed ice?
Filling ice in the boxes packed with fish, tied on top of cycles and scooters
fishes still alive…struggling to breathe. Poor ones… Just like how we struggle under water.
We went inside.
There are some vegetable shops too. Like everywhere in the surrounding area, vegetables are always expensive here too.
Bought 2 kg tapioca, tomatoes and some vegetables… Rs.70… not bad!
Yummy tapioca and fish curry!
Some sad faces… some happy faces.
Walked along … beside butchers with pork, beef, mutton… still dripping blood.
Boiling and cleaning the intestines. It reminded me about sausages.
Memories went back to hotelier days when I used to gulp chicken sausages and bacon for breakfast.
Big fishes are sold as whole. But after buying, you can get it cut into pieces.
If two or three families go together, we can get those for cheap price as we share a big fish.
In one corner, they cut and clean fish.
Fish …fish… everywhere fish..
Crabs, even legs tried together, trying to crawl out to escape from the vessel. But another one pulls it back… should be a Malayalee crab.
Little portions of fish varieties and varieties of small fishes everywhere on the floor! Area is still neat.
People walking in between the portions to find the needed ones and for the best offers…
Maddening sounds of bargaining.
Rs. 20 – Rs.100 as per variety.
Where is my friend?
Walking around with the camera, I missed them. ( See the pics that I took here)
People looking me with suspicious eyes… newspaper? (Do I look like?)
No… Just like that.
Plenty of aunties sitting along the path selling fishes
my eyes stuck on piles and piles of prawns. Yummy
might be expensive.
Me: “etraya chechy?” (How much)
Chechy: “kilo nooru” (Rs.100 per kg)
What! My eyes bulge. Outside it is Rs.250 per kg starting…as big as pointing finger.
These ones are still jumping. Alive! Fresh!
Took a kilo of fresh prawns… Very happy, but did not show outside.
Inside it is still busy. Men filling their boxes in cycle and scooters with fish to be sold along houses
aunties filling their baskets for the same purposes… But showing eyes at men to bring the price down…hmm…
Scenic on the other side of the river… it should be the island; rowing boats still reach the jetty with loads of fishes.They start coming at 6 am. Fishes are cheaper that time. Good time for them as now no trolling by big boats or ships.
Bought varieties of fish!
Dividing the booty … just Rs.250 per family… Happy for a week! Will take some home for parents in the weekend, they will be happy too. These are less available at those places.
“Yeeeeewww…” She is screaming… two prawns… or one prawn? Jumped out!!
It took two hours to clean one kg prawns.
Very careful… fried prawns. I packed my lunch box
I have prawns today for lunch!!
Wish I’d get one piece… office buddies salivating!!
Well, the ‘little thing’ in question is ‘Naranga Mittai‘, a small, bean-shaped candy, with an orange-like flavour and other flavours and coming in different colours- mostly yellow, red, orange etc.
Small, yes. But this little thing could work wonders. Karmakerala office today witnessed one such phenomenon. Sooraj bought a pack of ‘naranga mittai‘ at lunch-time; that prompted me to buy one too. (Well, for those who don’t know, ‘naranga mittai’ is available almost everywhere in Kerala and is the cheapest sweet available). We distributed it among our colleagues…
As I sit relishing the sweetness of ‘naranga mittai’, I realize that something really big has happened at our office, of course unnoticed. At least for some tiny seconds some of us went on ‘nostalgia’ mode and remembered school days (Hey, not me! I never got to have ‘naranga mittai’ during my school days in the Andaman & Nicobar Islands). So, it was a two-in-one effect; relishing the sweetness of ‘naranga mittai’ and relishing the sweetness of childhood memories. For me, the little sweet also seemed to be a ‘power’ that was uniting the office in a different kind of bond, at least for some fleeting moments…
The ‘Naranga Mittai’ thus teaches us one simple lesson. At a time when we tend to forget little things (little things that make up life) in a mad race for things that mean nothing, it’s worth realizing life’s little truths. One of these truths is this: it takes little things like ‘naranga mittai’ and not big big things and big ideas to melt differences and bring people together. It sometimes takes just a fraction of a second and such little things to make complicated things seem simple.
The moral of the whole thing is: Life is as simple as ‘naranga mittai’, just don’t spoil it by making it look complicated. Relish it, every bit of it…. the ‘naranga mittai’ can melt away any moment…
Mango trees have always been inevitable components of the homesteads of the state of Kerala. The hot and humid climatic conditions and ample rainfall in Kerala are well suited for mango cultivation. Mango trees laden with ripe fruits in the months of April and May have always been the biggest summer vacation attraction for the kids who come down to their native places from their city homes.However with the loss of sprawling homesteads, which are being replaced by multi storied flats and commercial apartments, the mango trees face the axe every other day.
Mango, popularly called the The king of the fruits”, is a nutritionally rich tropical fruit with delicious flavour and taste. Apart from being rich in pre-biotic dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals, and poly-phenolic flavonoid antioxidant compounds, mango has been found to protect against colon and prostrate cancer. However, in what could be termed as an ironical twist, the artificially ripened mangoes using calcium carbide sticks that you buy these days from the city fruit stalls in itself can cause many deadly diseases like cancer.
Last week, in a major sweep in Cochin, the city shadow police seized more than one tonne of mangoes stored for artificial ripening, which were to be later supplied to different parts of the city. The rampant destruction of farmlands and cultivable land has forced Keralites to depend on other sources for their food, which are often poisonous and adulterated. If you thought it is just mangoes that are poisoned for the lure of profits, you could be in for a surprise. The red and juicy watermelons that tempts every passer-by acquire this attractive red allure from the artificial red dye that is injected into the fruit. Many fruits like apples are also injected with saccharine to make them artificially sweet. Gone are the days when an apple a day used to keep the doctor way, now it could well mean an immediate distress call to your doctor!
If this the price that you and me have to pay for industrialization, don’t you think that it is high time that we rework our priorities and go back to our agrarian lifestyles?
Keralites are passionate about sports and ale of all genres! Now a sports bar that brings these two together has come to Cochin . Aptly named Stadia , this sports bar at the Holiday Inn, is sure to get many regular clients considering the brisk response it got during the Indian premium League matches. Users can unwind after a hard day’s work by watching their favorite sports in the wide screen Tvs and a drink. The walls decked up with paintings and posters of various sporting events add up to its theme. There are two snooker tables for those who wish to give a crack at the cues.
Spread over an area of over 2500 sq ft , Stadia caters to over 100 people at a time. Though sports bars are quite popular abroad, it is a relatively new trend in Kerala and the Gen Y crowd with a big disposable income will make the bulk of the target customers of these hang outs that serve quality snacks, drinks and sports!
Image courtesy : The Hindu
You can soon see monkeys plucking coconuts in Kerala as they do in Sri Lanka or South East Asia. This innovative proposal will be presented to the government by Agriculture deputy director K. R. Vijayakumar and principal agriculture officer V.K. Raju . Though the coconut development board had initiated many novel ideals like mechanised coconut climbing and collective workforce to ensure the timely harvest of coconuts, the severe dearth of pluckers still remains a cause of concern for the coconut farmers all over the state. Measures like the introduction of mechanised climbing equipments including robots for plucking coconuts and setting up a college for training coconut climbers have not been of much effect in solving the manpower shortage.
In the recent past, many exceptional crops of Kerala like coconut and paddy have declined drastically mainly due to escalating costs of cultivation and the shortage of farm hands, which prompted the farmers to turn to less labour intensive crops like banana and rubber.
As the state continues to reel under severe shortage of coconut tree climbers, only innovative plans like these can help the farmers in the profitable cultivation of coconut. As per this proposal monkeys will be trained to carry out the task of plucking coconuts. There is also a proposal to set up a training centre for monkeys where these smart animals will be trained by trainers from Indonesia and Thailand.
The training will make the monkeys competent enough in plucking the ripe ones and collecting these from the ground and loading them to the trucks thus eliminating the need of manual intervention. A trained monkey can climb up to 500 coconut trees a day, while a human can do no more than 40-50, which makes it a better option. So from now on to get the coconuts plucked on time , all you need to do is to call in these smart monkeys for whom tree climbing is just part of monkey business!
It might sound paradoxical that home cooked menu is drawing huge crowds in five star hotels although most of the diners go to hotels to sample something different from the ordinary homely meals! Grandma’s recipes and some of the traditional delicacies that were on the verge of extinction are making a glorious comeback through these star hotel menu books.
Home cooked food have become a big trend these days among health watchers as these are low in fat, free from additives and artificial colors and above all are easy to cook . Many star hotels like the ITC group of hotels have included home-cooked food in their signature ‘Welcome Meal’ menu where the guests can choose from dal, rotis, rice, salad, vegetarian or vegetarian curry, salad and dessert.
Homemakers who are experts in cooking are on the payroll of many star hotels like the Taj Gateway Hotels. They are recruited on a monthly contract and work for 4-5 hours a day and would contribute 6-8 varieties of home-cooked dishes, which are included into a special menu known as Home-Style Regional Food. The menu that keeps changing every month has already turned out to be a big hit. The home style menu is more in demand during dinner and hence homemakers work on a late afternoon to evening shift.
In Taj Gateway, Ernakulam, Kerala there are three homemakers who cook every day including an exclusive cook to handle the breakfast menu. These homemakers are not familiar with the state of the art cooking technologies and gadgets and hence are provided regular utensils that are in use in any ordinary home kitchen. Home cooked menu is particularly preferred by high-paying guests at 5-star hotels who want to try out the simple and lip smacking flavors and the goodness of home cooked menu. On the other hand, homemakers prefer 5-star gourmet food at home and to cater to their needs, the Taj Group of hotels also plan to start a 10-week cooking and baking course for homemakers who fancy a star hotel fare at home. So, pamper your taste buds with the natural goodness of these home cooked delicacies and you will surely complement the ladies at your home, whose efforts were never recognized all these days!
Thattukadas in cities like Cochin have always been the favorite eateries of not only budget diners or bachelors who live far way from their homes but also for those who love to savour the exceptional delicacies of Kerala. Families in cars and mobikes, back from work stop by for take aways or find a cozy corner near these make shift eateries to savour the piping hot food.
These nondescript ‘thattukadas’ in ramshackle sheds offer a lip smacking menu including fried beef, chicken and some of the local delicacies like paruppu vada and paratta. Anyone who has sampled the freshly-made thattu dosa or chiratta puttu with the fiery meat curry, well complemented by a cup of frothy, piping hot tea, would vouch for its lingering taste and easy prices. These food joints perched long the dusty roads or leaking drains often compromise on hygiene, triggering health concerns.
However, thattukadas are all set to have a stylish makeover in a few months time as Kochi corporation is planning to distribute over 100 modern thattukadas to the food vendors. Each food joint will cost around 70,000 rupees and will have solar heaters, purified water, stoves for cooking, and stainless steel platform. These neat and gleaming tattukadas will be a welcome change for the residents who can now enjoy their favorite food items without having to be put off by the stink, filth and dirt around!
This project is being carried out as part of an elaborate scheme to rehabilitate street food vendors with financial assistance from Kerala Sustainable Urban Development Project. So the die hard fans of the Kerals’s own eateries of thattukadas can continue to satiate their palates with local flavors of Kerala, cooked and served in a hygienic setting.
The poojapura central jail in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, which houses some of the hard core criminals convicted in various criminal offenses is grabbing headlines for all the good reasons these days. The commercial chappathi making unit in the jail premises, which started functioning recently has already become a huge hit and a profitable venture.
The prison inmates of Poojapural jail are engaged in making soft and tasty chappathis in hygienic conditions, which are sold through the outlets at the Poojappura central jail premises and Attakulangara jail premises. Priced only at Rs. 2 per piece Poojappura Chappathi is sold out in no time as there is a huge demand for these tasty chappathis that are delivered fresh off the pan at unbeatable prices. At present over hundred inmates are involved in chappathi making and they are overwhelmed by the positive response from the customers.
Chappathi making is turning out to be a profitable venture like its gardening and horticulture activities, which had been tried out successfully in the jail premises earlier. Everyday about 16,000 chappathis are made daily and they have already made a profit of three lakh in a span of only a few months.Encouraged by the tremendous response for the chappathis, the prison authorities are planning to launch vegetable curries too in the market. By directing the prisoner’s time and effort in a constructive manner, the jail has become a trend setter in tapping the tremendous man power potential.
Everyone is born good; villains emerge due to the environmental influences and their upbringing and it is never too late for them to come back to goodness as this success story of Poojapura jail inmates would prove!