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My World...Then And Now

The cool-off period that our group took after April was extending far too long. Finally, we all decided that it was time to buck up and get back to work. At the meeting (which I missed because of work) it was decided to take up the Theme as “REWIND”. When one says that word, there’s only one thing that happens to me……I am immediately reminded of my sweet childhood memories.

The only means of communication those days was via Landline Telephones. In a way, life was so peaceful back then as there were no mobile phones to distract you. The humble landline served not only as a connect between distant relatives, but also helped build relations closer to us. I fondly remember how our neighbours used to attend calls at our house as they didn’t have telephones at their homes. This in-turn would lead to long sessions of gossip, chit-chat and friendly banter with our family. They shared their happiness, sorrow, problems and solutions with us. 

Letters back then were handwritten. I can still picturise our excitement whenever we received a letter, delivered personally by a postman. Those letters had a personal touch to them. I used to derive utmost pleasure in tearing open the envelope, unfolding the paper and seeing the script. All these things were as important to me as the contents of the letter. Cards were painstakingly made from scratch and importance was given to every detail. We had “pen-pals”, some of them even from different parts of the world. Whenever letters from outside India arrived, the stamps were carefully detached and added to the precious collection in our closets.

Television was a luxury! There were hardly any programmes for kids back then, but we looked forward to watching those cartoons on Sunday mornings with our friends. Evenings were rarely spent at home and washing powder sales would have probably been higher back then, given the state of our clothes when we returned!!!

Jolted back to the present, I realised how small the world has become. Everyone has mobile phones and so don’t need to go to others homes to communicate. Thanks to the internet, handwritten letters have become a thing of the past. Postage stamps are a rarity and are almost on the verge of becoming a collectors’ trivia. Television and internet offer such huge variety of information and entertainment, that kids are forgetting to interact with others of their age. 

Although we are moving forward in every field as far as technology is concerned, somewhere I feel the pinch that we lack in personal interaction, human values and simply “being there” for our near and dear ones. Often I find people craving for a small hug or a simple chat, in spite of having a thousand friends on Facebook, twitter and Instagram. So where exactly are we heading??? Is this the world we are gifting to our future generations??? Can the increasing loneliness be the norm in future??? 

Share your views and thoughts about this with me. I would love to hear from you all!!

--------MocktailMommy Prasanna

Eating together...Pangat

While cleaning the wardrobes, this summer, I got my hands on a wedding album. It was that of my in-laws. As I flipped through the black and white photos, one caught my attention. It instantly re-winded my memories of gone by era. The photo was about guests sitting and having the wedding lunch it was a "PANGAT"
The word "Pangat" come from Sanskrit word "pankit" It means row or a group. Pangat is about eating food while sitting in rows with no discrimination on whatsoever basis. In a Pangat food is served by volunteers to people who sit together to eat. People would sit on the floor together as equals to eat same food. It was a common sight at the wedding celebrations, where the guests from the bride and the groom's side would sit and enjoy scrumptious wedding lunch or dinner. 
Tradition of pangat can be traced to all the states of India. History indicates that Guru Nanak was an ardent follower of the pangat system. Some even attribute him for initiating the pangat system so as to bring unity amongst people. There are certain benefits apart from camaraderie of Pangat. Here are the few that have an edge over the dinning table dinners and lunches!

Benefits of sitting on the floor to eat...
When we sit on the floor, we usually sit cross legged ( in Sukhasan or Half Padmasan) These poses aid digestion, one feels more calm, eats slower and feels full with handful of food. The other benefits are ...
1 It makes you  more flexible.
2 It helps in weight loss.
3 Improves Posture.
4 Make you live longer.
5 Keeps knees and hip joints healthy.
6 Relaxes the mind and calms the nerves .
9 Strengthens the heart by improving circulations .

And one of the obvious things that brings to mind when one sees these fotos.... yummy delicacies served during weddings. The mouth melting Rajawadi Mitha Boondi with oodles of dry fruits was my favourite and still continues to be. Sharing the recipe for the same. Its easy to make! Don't forget to have at-least one meal sitting on the floor with your family...Let the Panagat begin....


1) Gram flour (besan) 2 cups
2) Sugar 2 cups
3) Baking powder 1/2 teaspoon
4) Cashew nuts 10
5) Raisins 20
6) Green cardamoms 15
7) Saffron (kesar) 4 strands
8) Milk a few drops
9) Ghee 1/2 kilogram


Shell and powder cardamoms. Add one fourth cup of water to sugar, heat until sugar melts.

To check if the sugar syrup is ready, take a drop of the solution and drop it in water - if it remains intact and does not dissolve right away in water, the sugar syrup is ready.

Add saffron and cardamom powder to it. (While preparing the sugar syrup, add a few drops of milk. Impurities will collect on the surface in a layer - remove it.)

Add soda and water to gram flour and make a paste without lumps. Heat half a kilogram of ghee in a deep frying pan.

Put gram flour in boondi maker and drop the boondi directly into the hot ghee. Fry till light yellow. Drain and keep aside.

Fry cashew nuts and raisins. Add boondi, cashew nuts and raisins to the sugar syrup and mix. Cool. And now The Rajwadi Mitha Boondi is ready to serve!

Note: You can make "Laddoos"  (sweet roundels) as well from the same mixture.

What was your favorite dish as a child when you attended the weddings in your family? Did you ever had the chance to eat in a Panagat? DO share your stories... I am waiting!

---------By MocktailMommy Ruchi

Back To School... Old Is Gold

This post has been selected as the Featured post for the Quoted Stories Linky Party #8

Month of June, brings the hope of respite from the blazing heat of summer. It also ushers in a new academic session for many. "Back To School" advertisements, flyers dominate the news paper space. Super marts in the vicinity entice the children and parents, alike, with glossy, catchy, colourful and crisp advertisement flyers! Fetching pictures of stationary supplies, lunch boxes, water bottles, school bags make for a perfect bait! Even those who do not belong to the factions of the society that forms the primary focus group of such advertisements, drool over them...wondering where were these goodies when we were kids????

One such Back to School flyer caught my attention. Image of the cherubic toddler, adorned with many items from the advertised list, was the center of my attraction. The toddler sure was a cutie pie! But I was alarmed at the thought of a kid, who is still in nascent stages of exploring the world around him with his fumbling feet, getting enrolled to the school...formal education??? Was that child really ready to take on to the confined walls of learning?

Count your blessing, they say. I thanked God that I belonged to the different era. My era, though it may sound that I am aging, was  a golden era lined with silvers of the gradual and natural upbringing! Till the age of five or six, I was enrolled in an "Open University". Most of us in those days used to be like this....

Our open universities had our Grandparents as the Deans! The faculties used to be mom and aunties. We even had the visiting faculties...Dad and uncles! The method of the education was fairly simple....Indulge and explore anything that caught our fancy on that particular day! The bruised knees and stained clothes were a regular sight. For awards and rewards, we did not have to wait for the year long... They were instantaneous!! Rewards were pretty attractive too...a sugar candy, handful of pea nuts and jaggery, climbing the tree to get the ripe guava under the able guidance of visiting faculty, offering fodder to the cows in the cow-shed...The list is long and equally curious! My favorite one was the lump of the salted tamarind that my mother would store in the earthen pot!! The tangy taste still lingers in my mind...

The munchkin minds, that we were, were reprimanded by the faculties from time to time. Many a times we were caught red handed, happily engrossed in our naughty acts! We learnt a lot of basic survival skills in our university courtesy fellow students... I learnt the art of using mortal weapons...read biting, kicking!!! Also learnt how to take the sweet revenge of the enemy by pouring the loose soil or the sand stealthily on his / her head!!! The punishment used to be...standing near the wall, facing it and no play time until such time that some other faculty member came to the rescue!!!

No wonder then, most of us used to cry and make a lot of fuss when finally the Deans and the faculties thought that we had now graduated and were eligible to join the formal education. All the freedom, comfort and the limitless learning was suddenly then replaced with discipline and syllabus bound education! How I wish the "Open University" still existed ...the old world charm and the wisdom that they had never fades, never ceases!!! "Old is definitely Gold"

What's your experience with your own esteemed Open University???....

-----By MocktailMommy Anagha

* All images courtesy Goolge search

Linking up the post to the "Quoted Stories #8"