Friday, 16 March 2018


Stephen Hawking ..... who am I to utter a single word on him? Do I at all have the material in me to do so? ... "podartho bigyaan niye katha bolbo shei podartho ki bhetorey achey?"..... but I am enjoying watching people celebrating his life and work.... So far, so long it is fine.... What worries me is that some are dissecting his personal life .... that too within 24 hours of his death.... they went ahead with dramatic short stories on when he married, who he went off with and again came back.... I really could not digest such insult of the magnanimous persona.... its so irrelevant compared to his contribution to this world.... at least he should not be made a material for a dramatic novel.... a movie was made during his life time it is ok... it must have included his work too .... but a separate note on his love life is totally un welcome! So, when the no more best friend but the near closest one gets back home from office, the  lady screamed.... "yeh kya hai yaar... Stephen Hawking ke niye premer golpo cherey diyechey bazaarey"..... The husband says "cool baby, a celebrity life is always too much, unfortunately a public property".... This lady who sits far from Science and Technology always loved Hawking's take on alien life made easy to her.... haha... a major part of her heart is still that of an eight year old or a fifteen! There is another memory that popped up on the death news day before yesterday! Our monkey was 7-8 years old when the mother noticed that he watches a Stephen Hawking's show, come on Indian television is not only about those indigestible soaps! Obviously the mother's chest will swell like an elephant's feet or say like our gym going big brother from college "buk folano dada".... She made "International Maritime Satellite Call" to the husband .... "Boss our boy is watching a Stephen Hawking Show consistently for sometime and not taking any interest in the Chota Bheem CD mumma got for him! The boss as usual did not show any interest and hung up the phone!"..... Eight years passed, now that boy plays car games in that box and tells his father that one day he will make those Games .... courtesy his 'mamujaan'... my brother .... so no meat share today too! Our boy, the teachers' A* student got 75% in Physics last week while the rest of the class perhaps got 95%! The father does not say anything to his son but shouts at the mother.... "how many times have you watched Three Idiots, you will not take its essence!".... How will I? I do not qualify to be a Kolkata mother anymore is true but I had been one.... even earlier I have witnessed how friendships break because of mothers!.... No, I have no intention to take a dig at the ones for whom we are here on this earth.... if only the then mothers, who claimed themselves to be friends could feel this way...."our kids" and not "my kid" alone.... may be I looked back few decades back while saying so... it still hurts to see your own becoming strangers.... and force you to conclude they were not our own ever! Some ten years back... we were in a little better position than before but still tore off the teachers' hairs for that one or two marks which will not matter later in life! It always feels good to see when my clan use the term "our kids"..... A good criticism, a good cause should always supersede the "me.".... I think  my beliefs will leave me even lonelier in future... yet I cannot love something I do not have faith in! Coming to "me" again, not that I do not weep in stress thinking of the board examination starting this May, yet I have stopped enquiring about the marks obtained by other students of his class, the husband does not allow me to gather much information about what goes on inside the classroom! I only confide in my beautiful friend Piali Maitra .... her daughter is our boy's classmate though they are in different sections.... Her daughter gets frustrated if she gets anything less than 90% while our boy watched television the entire day yesterday which was supposed to be his study leave! No.... no I am not comparing our son to others.... I have watched Three Idiots about five to six times, just that the thought of the son making Car Games  is giving me sleepless nights.... but he is mumma's baby... and she had to make some OATS DRY FRUITS TIL CHIKKI for him and his clan / brethren whatever!

As I said earlier, oats could not be a healthy breakfast or lunch option for me... however I tried, it was helpful too, yet I could not have oats with banana, yogurt or milk! One that does not align with my taste bud cannot be in my palette. I am not in the habit of wasting food either, so I had to make use of them in parathas, idlis and the last batch in this OATS DRY FRUITS TIL CHIKKI! The shameless me could not resist herself from having one! So you know this home could never be a good example of a healthy home! The ice-spice game continues... but I made a Bengali style chicken stew day before yesterday which I enjoyed, which was our boy's staple for few years just like many Indian homes.... chicken stew is considered as a part of a sick man's or kids' diet! Its been three days now I am on a carb diet without any exercise .... this evening I must! I am the creator of an unhealthy home does not mean I do not support what an expert has to say... if one Rujuta Diwekar says microwave cooking is bad for health, there is truth in it... How much I scolded one poor lady for reheating food every night in a skillet and not in the microwave!... Why so?... may be because she does not earn in lakhs, may be because she lives in the extreme suburbs of Kolkata, may be because we are used to negate our own saying "dur tumi kichu janona!" I do not cook much in the microwave, I am that primitive "hata-khunti-korai zindabad types!".... I cook Bengali, I love to share them but not when I am forced to! These chikkis or brittles or energy balls / bombs whatever we call it takes no time to be made and in turn you get to see happy faces around.... The mumma of this house has to prepare and store a variety of food, someone loves "refrigerator hunting".... If I could be strict enough to say no study... no food, then I would have been all smiles to see an 95% overall grade! Anyway, I got the idea of this OATS DRY FRUITS TIL CHIKKI  from so many similar recipes done by the blogger friends or others.... oats energy bars, badam ladoo / chikki, til chikki. You can call this attempt of mine as a stepping stone towards gathering some courage to prepare "til er khaja or til er naru".... not an easy task I must tell you... the right amount of jaggery, its cooking has to tally with the amount of sesame seed used... then only we get crisp, light and not sticky til er khaja or breaking the teeth tiler naru! Well, I am not a master chef... so there has to be a trial and error method for me.... Not a bad home cook either, if one friend says the Bengali style achar was yum and the other got me into tears saying S, my grandma made "chalter achar" decades back just this way.... you got me the lost taste.... I should be happy... Just when I was about to tell her... ok tell your friends... if they wish I can supply.... the husband anticipates and roars... do you want me to lose my work permit... you know the rules here! He however did not have a problem when I worked here in a concern.... only if I had the patience to continue! Ok fine... I will cook and then eat it too! This OATS DRY FRUITS TIL CHIKKI is made using jaggery, pistachio, cashew nut, raisin, almond, cardamom powder and yes lemon juice! Do not laugh, try it you will like...


Oats : 1medium cup
Sesame seed : 1/2medium cup
Dry Fruits : 1small cup [includes raisins, pistachios, cashew nuts, almonds]
Grated Jaggery : 1/3small cup
Lemon Juice : 3-4tbsp
Green Cardamom Powder : 1/2tsp
Water : 1coffee mug
Chopped Pistachio or Saffron Strands to garnish!


Dry toast the sesame seeds in a hot wok and keep aside in a bowl....

Take the pistachios, cashew nuts and almonds in a bowl.

Microwave at low heat for a minute pausing and stirring it at an interval of 30 seconds!

Transfer the mixed nuts to a mortar and pestle and just half break roughly... you can use a rolling pin for this purpose!

Heat a wok... add the grated jaggery and 1 coffee mug water.

Bring it to boil, throw away the scum if you see any! No I could not translate.... "moila fyana ta alga korey tulle feley ditey hobey!"

Add the lemon juice and the green cardamom powder, stir and continue to cook till the mixture gets sticky. This may take 7-10 minutes at low to medium heat! Add the mixed nuts, raisins, oats and the toasted sesame seeds!

Fold in well immediately and stir continuously for 2-3 minutes at medium heat!

Transfer to a plate and let cool! You cannot allow the palms to burn.... they might be a poet's imagination.... I meant both here! Do not tell me boys cannot make laddoos... not all are like my men.... the world renowned chefs are male too!

Once cool.... take out small portions and shape as you wish!

Garnish with zafran or chopped pista! Enjoy having and sharing it too!