Posted in Christian, Family and Society, Life, Stories Around the World

The Search for the “why”

As the world around us reels from the pandemic, one is conflicted by numerous emotions through the day. From struggling to provide for family or self to trying to keep down own job, managing the domestic front, worrying about loved ones, surviving through the lock-down and quarantine period, coping with the loss and death; grief, worry, fear and uncertainty clouds the minds. To deal with all these, one may put on a silent front or a litany of rants and raves; while others may seek solace in their hobbies, comfort of His Spirit or just put on the shutters in their mind. Whichever way it may be, each one of us have our own struggle each day.

“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13)

Across the continents, as more and more get infected; the thought of the whys of this events always lies buried in the mind. At the end, as questions mount, authorities gear up and media brings the news to the front-line, society watches and wonders as to why these events had escalated to the present point. For those with no contact history or living in places where community spread is rampant, each day is a living nightmare. Some find comfort, while others face irreplaceable loss. Through all this, His Existence is questioned.

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Roman 12:2)

Unfortunately what one must realize is that these bad days, have always been a part of history. For those of us with great-grandparents, grandparents or parents who had served during the wars, various accounts of the past memories would have had similar tones of the stress seen today. Yet through all this, God has been there during good and bad times as well.

What makes each day different, is how we gear up our own Faith and lean on His Word to find solace, comfort, peace and hope. Regardless of the whys, hows, whats, wheres or ifs; one must seek out the courage lying deep within and take His Help to face each hour as they come by. For that is the gift of Faith and His Love ever present over the generations of then, the now and henceforth.

A university professor asked his students a question:”Does everything that exist was created by God?”
One student answered bravely:” Yes, created by God.”
“Did God create everything?” asked the professor.
“Yes, Sir,” the student answered.
Professor said, ” If God created everything, that means that God created evil, because it exists. And according to this principal, the things we do determine who we are, that means – God is evil.”
The student got quiet after hearing that answer. Professor was very happy with himself. He boasted to the students, that he proved once again that God is a myth.

Another student raised his hand and said,” Can I ask you a question, professor?”
“Of course,” professor answered.
The student got up and asked:Professor, does cold exist?
– Of course it exists. Didn’t you ever get cold?
Students laughed at the question of the young man.
The young man answered: “Actually, Sir, cold doesn’t exist. According to the laws of physics, what we consider to be cold truthfully is the absence of heat. You can study a person or a thing according to its ability to transfer energy. An absolute zero (-460 degrees according to Fahrenheit) is a complete absence of heat. The whole substance becomes inert and unable to react in that temperature. Cold doesn’t exist. We created that word to describe what we feel at the absence of heat.”

The student continued: Professor, does the darkness exist?
– Of course it exists.
– “You are wrong again, Sir. The darkness also doesn’t exist. Darkness is actually the absence of light. We can study the light, but not the darkness. We can use the prism of Newton to expand the white light into many colours and study the different lengths of the waves of each colour. You can’t measure the darkness. A simple ray of light can burst into the world of darkness and light it up. How can you find out, how dark is some kind of a space? You measure the quantity of light submitted. Isn’t it? Darkness is an understanding which people use to describe something that happens in the absence of light.”

Finally, the young man asked the professor: ” Sir, does evil exist?”
The professor timidly answered: – Of course, as I have already said. We see it every day. Cruelty among the people, lots of crimes and violence around the world. These examples are nothing other than the manifestations of evil.
The student answered to this: ” Evil doesn’t exist, Sir, at least, it doesn’t exist for itself. Evil – is just an absence of God. It is similar to darkness and cold, created by people, to describe the absence of God. God didn’t create evil. Evil is not the faith or love, which exists like light and heat. Evil – is the result of absence of Godly love in a human heart. It’s like the cold, which comes when there is no heat, or like the darkness, which comes when there is no light.”

These words left the professor speechless.

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Posted in Food

Of Stuffed, Rolled and Creativity

If anyone had ever said that working from home would be a must for the next couple of weeks; that would be one of the sole reasons to go royally insane. When those little minds are hungry or craving for a snack, the clocked in “office hours” go for a six as the whines of “snack time” reach the grey and white matter. Which is why after repeated snacks of various creations with biscuits, cake (made earlier), fritters and ready to eat snacks, being “boring”; the need to spice things up becomes a necessity. So out goes the rolling pin, a plate of stuffing mix (meat and herbs) and we are good to go.

Interestingly, there are many recipes which can be tweaked a bit to provide their entry into the snack hour. One of the favorites and easy to work with is the “wrapped in the blanket concept”. The popularity is summarized by one of the most favoured recipes for cocktail parties or large luncheons to serve as an appetizer, are the “pigs in blankets” or “franks in blanks”. Essentially made of a frank rolled in a piece of bread -bun or pastry, this can range from a small snack to a large jumbo sized meal. While the rule is to put in small franks or breakfast sausages in a bit of dough, one can spice up the dish by own choice.

Delving into the global variations through various cuisines, the sausage can be wrapped up in a tortilla and deep fried in vegetable oil, going by the name “salchitaco” by the Mexican cuisine. Or one can prepare it as Moshe Ba’Teiva (Moses in the basket), an Israeli dish made by rolling up the kosher hot dog in a ketchup-covered sheet of puff pastry or phyllo dough and serve it baked. On similar lines, Argentinians wrap up the sausage topped with ketchup and bake it. For those who want to keep on the far side of added calories, the sausage wrapped in pastry can be steamed to; like the Chinese Lap Cheong Bo. For the home kitchen, one can simply use puff pastry or a tortilla to just wrap up the filling and fry or bake it.

Another popular snack food is the Italian arancini. Made of a ball of rice coated with bread crumbs and then deep-fried; these snack food can be prepared in raw and stored in the fridge, to be made on demand and as required. The fillings can be made of meat (minced slow-cooked with spices), cheese (mozarella or caciocavallp) or filled with both (like ham and mozarella).

One of the advantages of knowing these different styles, is that they come to the rescue especially when caught unawares. The plus part lies in the fact that they use the simple ingredients available in the pantry, which may be modified as per own requirement. As always said, the fun part of “kitchen experimentation” lies when tweaking old recipes a bit and adding a little imagination and creativity to the mix.