Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 4, Issue 45, Tuesday November 20 , 2007



From ls desk
Ode to resilience
Captain’s Log. 15 November, 2007. Dhaka. 8: 36 P.M.

The sea is rough. I can sense it even in Dhaka, a good three hundred kilometres away from the danger zone. What are my men doing I wonder? The real lucky ones, I assume, are sitting in the dark, crowded rooms of the cyclone shelter; others reluctant to leave the refuge of their thatched houses, the only real protection in their lives, are all strong against the raging wind. Some may have even dared to venture out into the sea. Chanting the kalima in unison with other fishermen, an open declaration of War against the treacherous nature.

In all my years as seaman, I failed to understand the driving force behind these men, battling the odds of nature in every step of the way. Where do they get the courage to battle against hunger, against the Mahajan, against life? They have been fishermen all their lives, the lives of their fathers, their great grandfathers and further still in their patriarchy. It seems through the ages, they have been handed down with the tradition of defying all laws natural or human. This makes life bearable and their spirits revived. A hurricane has come and gone, they know more is yet to come but their struggle goes on. Signing Off!

The excerpt may be a work of fiction but it does, in essence, speak of the people living in the coastal belts of the country. We salute these valiant souls and pray for the salvation of those departed.

By Mannan Mashhur Zarif

Papaya Power
The papaya has been regarded as one of the most valuable and wholesome tropical fruits. This fruit can meet the daily requirements of some of the essential nutrients like proteins, mineral and vitamins.

A diet rich in natural antioxidants is a real plus for disease prevention, and papaya has plenty of them. Its Vitamin C and beta-carotene act as cellular bodyguards, soaking up harmful molecules created from exposure to substances such as secondhand smoke and pollution.

The food value of 100 gm edible portion:

Carbohydrate: 7.2% ; protein: 0.6%; calcium: 17 mg; Vitamin C: 57mg; Calories: 32.

Digestive Aid:
Amongst many virtues of papaya, the most important is the protein-digesting enzyme in the milky juice. Its effect is to assist the body's own enzyme in assimilating the maximum nutritional value from food to provide energy and bodybuilding materials.

Intestinal Disorders and other medical values:
Papain in the raw papaya is highly beneficial in the deficiency of gastric juice, excess of unhealthy mucus in the stomach, in dyspepsia and intestinal irritation. The ripe fruit, if eaten regularly, corrects habitual constipation, bleeding piles and chronic diarrhea. The juice of papaya seed is also useful in dyspepsia and bleeding piles. Black seeds of papaya are highly beneficial in the treatment of liver cirrhosis caused by alcoholism and malnutrition etc. Papaya seeds are also effective in treating intestinal worms if taken with honey.

Skin Disorders:
The juice of raw papaya, being an irritant, is useful in several skin disorders. It is applied with beneficial results to swellings to prevent pus formation and to corns, warts, pimples, and other skin diseases. The juice removes freckles or brown spots and makes the skin smooth and delicate. A paste of the papaya seeds is applied in skin diseases like ringworm.

Per serving: 116 calories, 7 g fat, 22 mg cholesterol, 8 g carbs, 134 mg sodium, 6 g protein, 3 g fiber


Serves 4

Ripe papaya 1 cup (1/2 inch cubes) plus 1 to 2 tablespoons fresh papaya seeds

Fresh ginger 1 teaspoon (grated)

Fresh lime juice 3 tablespoons

Light vegetable oil 2 tablespoons

Coarse salt to taste

Lettuce 3 cups (very thinly sliced)

Cucumber 1 ¼ cups (very thinly sliced)

Shrimp 1/2 cup (minced and boiled)

Whisk together papaya seeds, ginger, limejuice, oil, and salt in a medium bowl. Add lettuce, cucumber, papaya cubes, and shrimp; gently toss.

Roasted papaya is an excellent healthy desert. If you cannot find small papayas, use medium size and quarter them.

Per serving: 109 calories, 0 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 28 g carbs, 9 mg sodium, 1 g protein, 4 g fiber


Serves 4

Light-brown sugar 2 tablespoons

Ginger (powder) 1/4 teaspoon

Ripe papayas 2 (app. 14 ounces each), halved lengthwise and seeded

Chili powder a pinch

Lime 1 (cut into 4 wedges)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Stir together sugar and ginger in a small bowl. Arrange papaya halves, cut sides up, in a 10-by-13-inch baking dish. Sprinkle sugar mixture evenly over halves.

Bake, brushing papaya edges with the melted sugar mixture (it will collect in the hollow of fruit) 2 or 3 times, until mixture is bubbling and papaya edges are beginning to darken, 35 to 40 minutes. Sprinkle each serving with a pinch of cayenne. Serve with lime wedges.


For future reference

Since we're currently going through a very unpredictable change in weather, in case of any future storms and blackouts, please make it a point to stock up on your store for candles and flashlight batteries. Hurricane lamps are also a very good solution, where you don't have to worry about the light being blown out by a gust of wind!

Also, dig out all the out-of-use buckets and drums that have been lying around, because now can be a good time to put them to use. One of the best ways to manage such emergency situations is to fill store up on water, whenever the electricity is back, even if it is for a few moments.

If you have a generator for emergencies, try not to overuse it, since you might run out of precious fuel. Instead, conserve the energy for more important matters such as water and lights. With temperature dropping down during storms, its really very unnecessary in wasting precious electricity for fans and coolers.



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