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Yahoo! Yoghurt!

By Kaniska Chakraborty

Not the exclamation you would expect from this carnivorous Bengali who swears by all kinds of edible animals. But this humble acidulous stuff was the reason of some immense delight to a few diners one random evening. Summer has well and truly set in, bringing with it the usual lethargy, the ennui and the listlessness. So, when my wife told me that she had invited one of her friends for dinner and the bait was my cooking, I was alarmed.

I was alarmed because that would have meant sweating in our kitchen, slaving over the stove for a few hours in this oppressive heat (I know, it is going to get worse…). That is when I put the great word into practice.

Strategy. This called for a definite strategy to counter the negatives because cooking is very therapeutic to me, sweating is not. I decided that instead of really “cooking”, I will “put together” stuff.

In a jiffy, I came up with the idea of quick grilled chicken, marinated with balsamic vinegar, garlic, red chili flakes, salt and sugar. I also thought of a quick salad with poached prawns, iceberg lettuce and lemon mustard vinaigrette. And I also decided that the piece de resistance will be the dessert. And that's where humble yoghurt stepped in.

The season being summer, I certainly wanted a cool dessert. Fruits are not plentiful in the market. Caramel custard sounded so blah. And I had a tub of yoghurt in the fridge. I decided to make the yoghurt into an adult.

I had an old recipe for caramel yoghurt. Basically, yoghurt set on top of caramel sauce. As you eat, you get more and more of the caramel. You can also stir the caramel in the yoghurt if you so wanted. All that was fine. But it was still 'mishti doi' in disguise. I wanted more than that.

So, I took the plain yoghurt and drained whey out of it. And proceeded to make a caramel sauce. Easy peasy, right? I could not be more wrong. The first two attempts produced dark, bitter, viscous stuff. The third attempt solidified into lovely spun sugar that I certainly did not want.

As I was rapidly eating into the sugar stock at home, somehow my last attempt produced honey-coloured, thick, redolent caramel.

I felt high. Taking the sauce off the heat, I threw in a pinch of salt. And then proceeded to beat in some of the whey to thin out the caramel.

I had a cup full of quivering sauce that smelled so wonderfully of tangy yoghurt. I decided to up the tang and poured in a good squeeze of lemon juice. Yes, the yellow stuff that I picked up when I went abroad. Immediately, the aroma of tart sweet lemon, tangy whey and deep caramel filled the kitchen with happiness and expectation. We could not wait to taste the sauce.

I got our bowl of drained plain yoghurt and gently beat in the sauce to remove all lumps. Grated some lemon zest in it. And left it to chill in the fridge. After patience worth an hour, the yoghurt had set like some gorgeously decadent white chocolate fondant. It glistened with caramel streaks. It was specked with the bright yellow of lemon zest. And I do not have the words to describe the smell.

The well-bronzed grilled chicken, the serene green and pink salad and the garlic bread. Followed by bowls of creamy, airy, tangy, sweet, lemony yoghurt. Streaked with dark honey-coloured caramel spiked with a little salt. A casual scattering of lemon zest resplendent against the pillowy folds of the yoghurt.

And I did not need to break a sweat.


Body recontouring surgery

M.B.B.S, D.L.O ENT, Head-Neck
& Cosmetic Surgeon,
Phone: 01199845531

Body recontouring means to reshape the body in ways we want. It is mainly done to improve the way we look. It can be done on almost all parts of the body starting from the face going downwards. Many types of surgery can be done either to augment or to reduce certain features of the body. In the next few articles I will be writing on these procedures, step by step.

Everybody wants to look beautiful and have a nice figure. But that is not as easy as it sounds. It takes a lot of hard work, determination and will power to keep in shape. After a certain age it becomes hard to keep in shape as the body metabolism slows down and we don't use up as many calories as when we were younger. Especially after child birth for women weight becomes a big problem. Also lifestyle plays a big role in weight management.

Children from affluent or even middle class families are becoming fat. As they eat more and more fast food than before, these children turn into overweight adults. The answer to these problems is a healthy balanced diet, a good exercise routine and a disciplined life where all of this can be managed.

But life has become very fast in this modern day and age and we don't seem to be able to manage our time the way we want.

Between doing our jobs, managing families and spending most of our time on the road it becomes tough to keep up with having a regular work out time to keep in shape.

Eating cooked homemade meals is also very time-consuming, so we opt for fast food for at least one meal a day. But this modern society is also demanding that we look as good as we function.

We have all gone through the routine of crash diets, joining gyms and then leaving them all because we can't manage the time. On other occasions we are too tired and at times, simply cooking your meal and eating healthy seems like too much of an effort.

And so, again it doesn't really work, because unless you maintain a regular routine you will gain what you lost. It becomes a vicious cycle and for those who really want to make it work it becomes very frustrating.

Body recontouring surgery can help in this matter; it helps you to get rid of excess fat, thereby reshaping the body. It is not a weight reduction procedure but a way to make yourself look better. You must go on a proper diet as well as engage in a regular exercise routine after the surgery, but as your body is reshaped you feel better and encouraged to continue with it all.

Liposuction is one type of body recontouring surgery. Here the fat is liquified by a solution known as hyalorinidase and then suctioned out by liposuction device.

The surgery can be done anywhere on the body where there is accumulation of excessive subcutaneous fat. It is most popularly done on the upper and lower abdomen, thighs, waist area, arms and back-folds.

It is a very effective way of reshaping the body. It is done either by spinal or general aneasthesia, according to the site. A binder has to be worn for at least 4 weeks. Some bruising can occur but that goes away after a while.

The fat which is suctioned out is unwanted and excess, so there is no complication in the body due to its loss. The skin in the suctioned areas retract after the surgery, so there is no loose, sagging skin.

Also areas where liposuction is done there will be no more accumulation of fat, as fat cells from that area are removed. But if the patient continues to have an unhealthy lifestyle then fat will accumulate on other parts of the body and that will destroy the result of the surgery. The patient has to maintain a regular, healthy diet and work-out routine to reduce weight, so that the overall look of the patient improves.


Living as well-rounded people


I believe that every human being should be kind and compassionate, honest and hardworking, truthful and faithful, humble and reliable. No one should ever be jealous. Everyone should fear the Almighty and should be willing to be corrected or counseled. When teachers, specially take the task of grooming the future citizens of the country, they should do it aggressively, responsibly and wisely.

One of the most important of all human qualities is sympathy. Right from our school days, we are taught to be sympathetic. Sympathy for others would mean sharing one's feeling of sorrow and lending the emotional support needed in that period. A sympathetic word or a kind act will help a person to build courage, which will go a long way.

Having empathy for others is a great human quality. Showing empathy towards a person would require you to be open-minded and compassionate enough to experience the pain of what somebody else is going through. To instill this quality in you, you would need to let go of your own selfish needs and pay attention to someone else's suffering as if it were your own. This great human quality would help you to establish a deeper connection with people who really need your love and support.

To love someone is to trust someone. Trust people you love more openly and watch the difference in your life! The more you develop the ability to trust people, the more complete you would feel! Having faith in a person and building up the trust between people would surely give a whole new meaning to one's life. Often in this rat race, we lose our ability to trust people for our own personal fears.

To be a good human being you would also need to have your sense of morality intact. However, this is yet another quality which is often forgotten in our daily lives. To have the quality of morality would make you capable of distinguishing between what is good and evil. It is about practicing the right ethics in your personal as well as professional life. Having your sense of ethics intact would always make you a more responsible human being.

Dear readers, please learn to be humble and have the courage to forgive. You will always be known as a good human being wherever you go! Be happy!



By Iffat Nawaz

When the storm brewed in mid sky I was sitting in the corner. Corners aren't such a bad thing after all, especially the one I have spread myself into. It has a place to rest my back, a railing to stretch my legs and even a wall to lean against. Why did they tell me to be scared of corners all this time?

“Assume the corner position please!” a strict mouth uttered, the words came down onto my body like specks of hail, hitting my shoulders and then my toes; I froze.

“Can't you hear me little girl? I said assume the corner position and stay there till the end of this period.” her words this time threatened to wipe me out of my roots.

I walked on shaking feet, trying to hold my ground, afraid I would be blown away.

In the corner of the classroom I discovered the solitude of the womb. The whole class looked back; blue and white uniforms, brown black eyes, some with sheer pleasure of seeing someone taking the death row, others with sympathy, and some with just blank indifference.

The class resumed and everyone learnt about Newton's theory of gravity while I traveled all the way to the center of the storm and back, in one piece. The back of my knees got tired and imagined they were turning into the trunk of a tree, a plant grew around my heart and traveled up to my nostrils, a flower bloomed on my lips.

Later that afternoon at home, with marks from the sharp edge of the ruler on my back I found a place to lie behind the alna where forgotten clothes had made it home. I held a book in hand, light and pre-read, a mind full of vocabulary I knew not the meaning of but collected from eavesdropping into conversations I was not suppose to be a part of.

Corners helped me understand I don't always need to translate. I don't need to know the real meaning of words, just what they make me feel like when I hear them. Sounds, an invisible pair of binoculars and the urge to be lost.

In a corner, pressed and folded I found the meaning of balance. I found the need to not need, the wish to not wish. I learnt the meaning of “Leave me alone please!'' There in that corner, or the other one, doesn't matter, I am not afraid of the dark.

From the corner all seems wide and moving, the whole world passes you by in the speed of antigrowth. Only I seem still, though melting in the inside, watching while all share formalities and formations. I see changing faces, pick-pocketers taking away precious nothings, people crying for their belongings, others holding onto theirs. The corner holds me tight, I snuggle back.

Corners don't have ears, they don't have mouths, they have a pair of legs, arms, hands and feet and they have a wide waist. With only those nine parts they give you nine lives, nine ways to die, nine ways to breathe, corners keep me wet, keep me dry, keep me warm and cold, corners grow into me. Embrace, emerge and acknowledge corners.


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