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Monday, May 13, 2019

Chavittu nadagham


Chavittu nadakham ...kick drama ...a folk art of central kerala ie towards Cochin Allepey among Latin Christians .
Supposed to have originated in Gothuruth in Ernakulam district .
Kerala christians are mainly of two kind earler ones who was said to have followed St Thomas very immediately after Jesus Christ himself though there is historical debate on this about namboothiris becoming christians after listening to St Thomas .
Of course its very intresting to know about orthodox christians and Roman catholics CSI group etc ..iam no expert so i could be wrong .
The other major group are latin christians who got converted after Portugese rule and evangelism .
Mostly from coastal and fishermen they were called Latin christians who today are a very important constituent of Keralas christian community.
The folk art in a drama form of latin christians is the chowuttu nadagam .
Its so known as the artistes stamp thier booted feet on the stage while they perform a retinue which is a mix of song dialogue and dance all by actors themselves .
The costumes of actors resemble 16 century European costumes with prominent caps or head gear glitterring coats pants and heavy boots .
The dialogues and songs are in malayalam
The actors in small groupsbreak into choreographed steps on off with the very trademark stamping .
In fact its even said that a very good group would break the wooden stage by the end of thier act due to the forcible stamping 😁
Todays story was on Julius caesar and Fort Cochin Chowuttu nadagham kalari did the perfomance .
They were very professional having done more than 150 shows so far .
With revival of such folk arts it was very nice of IMA Kochi to arrange this for an audience to most of whom it would have been new .
The actors all did well but applause came to a small boy who dressed as an adult mimed the movements of his elder coleagues to perfection .
In the final scene Julius caesar is stabbed and he dies with an you too Brutus .
I really enjoyed the evening .

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Collected cocktails













Collected cocktails

There was a time I never took alcohol in any form .
Now I enjoy my rare drink with good friends
Its social drinking for mellowed evenings .

Whisky single malted or blended isnt my choice though i can nurse one on the rocks ..
the puritans say whisky should be swallowed neat without ice which destroys the release of free radicals that cause the ping .
I dont know ,but whiskey to me was always a bit bitter and i gorge a lot of fried snacks to help me along with it .

Of course you want my choice of whiskey  for future reference ,its American bourbon the popular JD rather than the peated oaked antiquity in fancy bottles of Scotch !

 Rum is a favourite being an ingredient of my most favoured cocktail Mojhito pronounced without the J unless you are drunk .😁

I really cant find much to talk about  the litanies of a single malted whisky like the Glinvilet over a blended Chivas regal .

Whiskey is for cold countries .

You cant sit in a humid Singapore or Chennai nursing your scotch poison for that one needs a cool cocktail .🤗😃😆🎉

My other favourite being Margarita
The pure agave drink with a dash or orange liquer ,plenty of ice and served in a salt frosted glass with a stuck lime is made to order for a warm day better than  sitting with a tall glass of  frozen beer .
The one occasion I did enjoy my Budweiser  and its foamed fill was on a long talk with my dear cousin Balan on our apartment balcony looking out on a drizzly day

Thats exactly what I ordered in Kuala lumpur in the back streets of Bintang or in downtown  Miri in Mings coffee ,which was a cosy bar near the Pullmans hotel where me and friend yuva stayed on a weekend .

The coffee bit was a red herring as it was a boisterous bar with sidewalk tables where one could savour ones favourite drink without any cop pushing his long nose into the glass unlike in Cochin ,where liqour is sold by Government and there are more drunks than politicians with most mallus not knowing how to spell social drinking .
In Kerala most drinking is surreptious with helmet clad gentlemen joining raucous ques in state beverage outlers to get thier refreshments and downing them with concotions spiced to burn ones guts and descend into dramatic disorientation and regurgitation
Of course not all but iam talking of general trend .
Theres no place one could meet a good friend over a drink and part but smoky bars with mustachioed villaionous ruffians in lungies downing thier drinks with sozzled stares !

Coming back to ny story the Singapore sling was  discovered in the famous  Raffles hotel  bar in the city in colonial days though I had seen it there I hadnt stayed there but I did stay in Raffles Dubai though on a weekend for a meeting but  I didnt hit thier bar !
The same happened to me in Adress downtown opposite Burj khaleefa in its 64th floor  bedroom .

I did try the sling twice once as a transit passenger in Bangkok enroute to Taiwan where i would have Tiger beer to wash down a steak sizzler in a street food paradise .
Coming back to the sling its actually a cocktail of Gin .cherry flavoured brandy benedictine pineapple juice lime juice and grenadine with ice in a shaker .
The second time was in Changi itself !!

It was on a frosty december morning  a shivering me  entered a Manhattan bar sat on a high stool with Holywood like characters sitting around me with pointed shoes and hanging cigars  and ordered a Manhattan cocktail with a flourish and was served with panache by a bartender who did the magic with his shaker while talking to the mafia politely, ignoring the overdressed Indian .

 suitably warmed I walked into a dusky New york evening .

It was wine with a romantic dinner when we held long fluted glasses of the sparkler before we saw the skimpies dance in Lido in Paris...
cocktails or beer or scotch dont fit into Paris nor do they when one poses with the junior Abba band in distant Stockholm .

I also do like my Vodka with Sprite my favourite soft drink with lots of ice on long evenings with friends in Brunei but nothing to beat the rum delights with Yuva my intensivist fellow drinker no not intense fellow drinker .
Brandy is one drink i havent had much and after coming to India i find it strange to see people pose with Breezers !!

Friday, May 10, 2019

Amristari Kulcha









Kulcha is a type of roti made of wheat or maida flour puffed with little yeast well mashed and with fillings of either paneer or desi cheese or cauliflower or potatoes ground in layers and fried well in ghee with butter floating on it .
This is taken with chole a type of sabji or veg or aloo sabji
Generally washed down with sweet lassi .
Amtistar is known for its famous kulchas .
Almost every other shops boasts of its kulcha but the ones with star reviews and crowd flocking to them are a few .
One amongst them is the Bhai kulwant kulchiawalas more than 50 years of a family concern .
This was very close to the Golden temple heritage area and we went for a brunch .
We ordered a paneer and a gobi kulcha and 2 lassis .
The lassi was creamy sweet and fresh .
The kulchas were warm with a dollop of butter melting on its crust
It melded well with the chole and a spicy tangy chutney .
It was wholesome filling tasty fresh .
Later we walked to the Gursharan das jelebiwallah another legend to bite into his juicy sweet syrupy golden jalebis of the type i had never tasted before and a gulab jamun to beat all jamuns .




Thursday, May 09, 2019

Colours of Kannur




The colours of Kannur ..

North kerala is known for men and women of valour and skill .
The land of thacholi udayanan and pazhasi raja who decimated thier enemies .
But today that valour is used by political parties to pounce on one other in orgies of violence murder mayhem and bloodshed .

The land of flowing rivers green forests undulating hills fresh flowers black roads green ponds brown fields swaying coconut fronds  and beautiful women .
The land of kalari payittu the mother of all martial arts
The place from where indian circus grew
Above all the womb of communism in India

Every where one looked one saw temples mosques some churches and Che Guevra staring at you .
The kannur has a lurking underbelly of political volence of hoary cries of lal salaam interpersed with sanskrit slokas tingling of bells and beat of distant drums

The kaleidioscopy of theyyams the balooned dresses of the kathakali artistes merges with the mundus of the sagaavus

The green was all over with bright flowers blue hills black clouds and red tempers .















Monday, May 06, 2019

Thripunithura

The Thripunithura clock tower or Manimalika is a landmark in Thripunithura near the entrance of Sree Poornathrayeesa temple .
Being the  capital of Cochin state and home town of Cochin Maharajah during the past it had its own time
It was built between 1864 to 88 by Sree Rama varma
Dutch clock makers participated
It has a puppet soldier who salutes every hour of the day
It is said Arjuna oprned his poorni or sacred thread hence called poorni thara later after royal family took up abode here it become Thri poornithura
Arjuna had come here to look for a suitable place to consecrate the Krishna idol he carried and thus came Sree Poornathrayeesa temple
This temple town drips of history and culture
Drums emanate from houses ,kathakali mohiniyattom carnatic classical music ftom classes ,halls music college etc .

Palaces are so many more like cottages most have only numbers like palace no 13 ..14 etc
Surrounded by backwaters its narrow streets bustle with traffic traditionaly clad beautiful women chirpy children
And with the metro to shortly reach its end here we made a great decision to become a  Thripunithurite .

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