Tag Archives: India

Crossing

The bus from Delhi, India

Last week when my daughter, family and I were in Lahore, we visited the Pakistan, India border. It’s known as Wagah. Nola’s children wanted to see the daily changing of guards, lowering of flags in the evening, and the gate closing between both the countries. 

In the above photo  you can see the rear of the bus crossing the border into Pakistan. The passengers waved at the people. I caught the photo at the last minute. Among the passengers were Sikh too who were going to visit Guru Nanak’s Gurdwara near Lahore. Their Guru is buried there. Every year they visit it.

As a momento my daughter gave me a cup. It has a picture of us on both sides, showing her, the children, her husband and I are flanked by two Rangers of Pak Army.

DAILY PROMPT

Crossing

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt. 

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JK’s Boots

Trio no. 4
by Ben Huberman
Today you can write about anything, in whatever genre or form, but your post must include a speeding car, a phone call, and a crisp, bright morning. (Wildcard: you can swap any of the above for a good joke.)

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My (late) husband R was an Army officer. When in mood he would talk of past exploits. One joke was about his senior officer JK.

JK was tall, and hefty. His military boots must have weighed a ton (when his feet were in it). He posed himself as a brave one, but inside he was a coward through, and through.

There has been many wars, and skirmishes with India. As soon as bullets started zinging to and fro, JK would leave his post, and run back from the front line to the trenches at the back. He would drop down feet first on unsuspecting heads to hide there.

It was the standard warning to officers, and men alike, “Beware of JK’s boots. The bullet may not kill you, but JK’s boots will, when he drops down on your heads.”

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My First Vegetable Garden

When we moved to Mangla for the first time my children were very young. My son was one year and eleven months and my daughter was a two months old baby. My husband as usual was at the Border. With threats of War from India the Army was deployed at the borders of our country. My husband would come home for a night after two weeks or so and then leave in the morning. With two young children to care for my hands were full. I don’t know how I found time for gardening.

I tackled our front yard first. Took out the weeds which were growing in abundance and planted hedges and flowers. That was easy. Just bought the plants and found the appropriate places for them. The back yard was another matter. Nobody had done anything there. It was in a state of wilderness. It was rocks and wild grass. I must have been insane even to think of clearing it, but that’s what I did. I think at that moment somebody should have suggested to me to have my head examined. It was sheer hard work for me. I somehow persisted in my efforts. When the children would be napping, instead of catching two winks myself I would escape to my backyard. I cleared a plot twelve by twelve feet all by myself. 😊. It took me almost two months to do it.

I bought the seeds for peas, carrots, cauliflower, cabbages, radishes, spinach and whatever the shopkeeper suggested. I had never planted seeds in my life. So in each small hole I would put a number of seeds. Somehow the Over Worked Person I was, I thought that the seeds would move and spread around themselves. They Obligingly came out in clumps. I was proud of myself, ☺, and at the first opportunity when a neighbor visited, took her outside to show her my Handiwork. She duly made appropriate noises and departed after some time, with me none the wiser.

My husband came on a day’s leave. I took him out to show him the fruits of my labor. He gripped his sides and started laughing HoHo….. Bewildered I looked at him, not comprehending as to why he was laughing. I was terribly embarrassed when he explained. He replanted the seedlings for me, but for years afterward it was a source of merriment for him. To tease me he would tell guests how I planted my first vegetable garden with Poor Me trying to stop him. 😕.

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Photo courtesy of the Web

Kashmiri Chai

Kashmiri Chai means Tea from Kashmir. When Pakistan and India got Independence from old British Raj in August 1947, Kashmir got divided too. Actually Kashmir was predominantly Muslim in population. As per decision it should have been acceded to Pakistan, but the Hindu Raja called the Indian Army and it took over Kashmir by Force. Same was the case with Hyderabad Deccan. To this day Muslims are slaughtered in Kashmir, and the Indian Army keeps sway over Kashmir.

The Kashmiri families who migrated to Pakistan brought with them——what? Of course the Art of Kashmiri Chai. (Tea) Once you drink it you are hooked for Life. It’s beautiful in pink color. It’s Gorgeous with a capital G. The taste is Sublime and you keep on asking for more. You can never have enough.

I loved it the first time I had it. I didn’t know how it was made. I knew it was made with green tea, but it is a special kind of green tea. You don’t get the same result with the ordinary green tea. I was delighted when I got the recipe from F (a friend of mine) who is by birth Kashmiri. Here is the recipe.

Take 3 cups of water. Add 3 tea spoons of Kashmiri tea. Keep on boiling it till it reduces to one cup. Add a cup of cold water and five cardamoms to it. Whisk it to bring out the color. Some people, to bring out the color add a pinch of bicarbonate of soda to it. Whisk again. Heat two cups of milk separately. Strain the tea. Add milk and bring it to a boil. Have ready half a cup of chopped Pistachios. When you pour your Kashmiri Chai into cups sprinkle Pistachios over it. Oh! You are now ready to have your First Sip of Kashmiri Chai. Heavenly isn’t it? Oh..Oh…Oh…I forgot the sugar, the amount you like or no sugar at all. Many people like it with salt and no sugar. So you can salt to taste.

Two years before I badly wanted a cup. Suddenly I had yen for it. Dragged my poor husband to the Bazar with me in search for the required green tea. One shopkeeper hoodwinked us with our purchase. My whole morning was spent in cajoling out the color. Poor Me! There was no color no taste. Wasted my morning. Could have done another million things. Give up, disappointed.

Elder brother (Lala) visited. I mentioned the failure over tea. Lala was adamant in his Belief that Poor SM (that’s Me) is a moron with a capital M and doesn’t know anything. (Though cooking for years now) He literally dragged me to the kitchen amid my Protestations that the tea was no good. It was to no avail. Whatever I said fell over deaf ears. He added tea and water and started the boil, all the while giving me oodles of instructions. The result was the same and again a waste of time.

Another Kashmiri friend gave me a gift of green tea. I was excited to know from where she bought it. She said she will tell me. Till now she hasn’t. My stash is almost finished. It’s Time to remind her.

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