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BY ADITI ROY
In the current scenario, it has become difficult to source vegetables easily. There is also fear among people about the virus and hence, the consumption of meat, fish and poultry have also greatly reduced. In such times, it has become important for us to consume the dry sources of foods in a way that they help us in providing essential nutrients in our diet.
“Pulses and legumes are a highly nutritious and sustainable food source packed with proteins, fiber, and other micronutrients such as iron and vitamin B. When paired with rice, wheat, or other cereal grains that are high in sulphur-containing amino acids, pulses’ proteins can fulfil the daily essential amino acid requirements without the need for consuming animal proteins and it is an affordable plant protein source. This kind of dietary strategy is called mutual supplementation in which you combine complementary partially complete protein food to supply adequate amounts of all the essential amino acids,” says Pariksha Rao Co-Founder & Chief Nutrition Officer (CNO) LIL’GOODNESS & COOLMEAL.
For example – beans and brown rice, soy curry and rice; milk and oats, curd and rice, etc.
The powerhouse of nutrients:
Pulses typically contain about twice the amount of protein found in whole grain cereals such as wheat, which for most populations in developing countries they constitute a major source of protein. Pulses are an excellent complementary food for infants and young children to meet their daily nutritional needs. They can be incorporated into children’s diets through family diets. Their high nutrient content also makes pulses ideal for vegetarians and vegans to ensure adequate intakes of protein, minerals and vitamins. When combined with food high in vitamin C, pulses’ high iron content makes them a potent food for replenishing iron stores, particularly for women at reproductive age, who are more at risk for iron deficiency anaemia. Older people can also benefit from eating pulse. In today’s COVID-19 pandemic, if one is not able to source fresh vegetables, add a little amla powder or a few drops of lemon juice to the bowl of your dal and enjoy with roti or rice.
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Nutrient-loaded combination of pulses in your daily diet
Add a combination of pulses along with cereals (to get all the essential amino acids). Besides pulses, other sources of legumes (rajma/ kidney beans, chana/chickpeas, lobia/ black eyed peas, cowpea), green peas, soybean, etc. can also be added.
Add roasted chana/ roasted dals/ roasted soy along with seeds cocktail as a protein snack.
Besan and sattu have been an integral part of Indian cooking and perfect sources of pulse protein.
One part soy flour can be added to 3 parts of wheat flour or other cereals while making chapati dough to improve protein content of daily diet.
Preety Tyagi, Lead Health Coach, Celebrity Nutritionist & Founder My22BMI shares some interesting options we can include the legumes in our daily diet.
Use daals, legumes, chickpeas, beans etc. to their maximum capacity as a source of protein, carbs as well as fiber. The whole dals are more rich in nutrient content and should certainly be consumed at least 4 days in a week.
Make use of all the high fiber grains stored in your kitchen pantries. Remember, whole grains are not only rich in Carbs, but are a great source of fiber as well. They have many other vitamins and minerals as well. They are excellent in providing us the much needed energy as well as the nourishment that we need.
Include Quinoa, Amaranth, Rajgira atta, Millets, Buckwheat flour, Sama rice in your diet. These are highly potent, dry sources of nutrition which are safe to be bought, stored and consumed during these times.
Remember, the lentils, beans, chickpeas etc. can be sprouted to enhance their nutritional benefits. Make use of this during these times of need. Make sprouted moong, sprouted kala channa, Sprouted beans etc, These can be used in preparing cheelas, chaats, salads, sauteed salads etc.
Soak the beans, chickpeas, whole lentils for a long period of time before cooking, to make them easy for your digestive system. Especially for people with gut health issues, it is advisable to soak the rajmas, chhole etc for a period of upto 24 hours, while changing water from time to time. It’s very important especially during these times of sedentary lifestyle.
Eat the various nuts and seeds such as almonds, walnuts, cashew nuts, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds etc. These contain essential omega 3 fatty acids and are a great source of essential minerals as well. You could soak these in water as well for a few hours, to aid in easy digestion for your Gut.
Make use of all the essential nutrition rich spices we have in our kitchens. You can make a kadha using all essential spices to boost your immunity as well. Use turmeric, sauth, black pepper, and cardamom for the same reason. They are not only full of antibacterial antiseptic properties but are highly non inflammatory foods. (IANS)
Tenali Ramakrishna, or Tenali Raman as he is more popularly known is Birbal's equivalent in South India. A court jester and a scholar exuding great wisdom, Tenali Raman was known as one of the greatest courtiers in King Krishnadevaraya's court.
The Vijayanagar Empire ruled a large part of South India between 1336 and 1646. In the 16th century, the kingdom rose to prominence under the eminent leadership of King Krishnadevaraya. His continuous victories against his enemies ensured a successful and peaceful reign for his subjects. As a patron of art and literature, many crafts and cultural assets thrived in the empire.
Krishnadevaraya's beloved courtier, Tenali Raman is the finest example of the splendour of the Vijayanagar empire. He was born in Tenali, a town in Andhra Pradesh. He lived here until he lost his father, after which his mother brought him to Vijayanagar. He was discovered for his excellent wit and wisdom, and appointed in the court. He was one of the king's ashtadiggajas (collective name for the eight poets and scholars).
A statue of Tenali Ramakrishna near a Municipal Office in Andhra Pradesh Image source: wikimedia commons
Tenali Raman as a scholar, published great texts of wisdom, which have now become artefacts of the Kingdom of Vijayanagara. But his fame does not lie in these achievements. He is known for the mischievous jester that mythical folklore portrays him to be. Through stories, many writers have used jokes to impart wisdom and morals to many generations of people. The stories of Tenali Raman are almost legendary in the Southern peninsula.
Textbooks have been written with his moral stories in mind, and these days, many self-help book are also incorporating his wisdom. His most popular stories are, 'Mother Tongue', 'Cursed Face', 'Saluting the Donkeys' and many more. Through these stories, Tenali Raman, in some way, brought about social justice. Perhaps this is why he is most beloved by many people even today.
Keywords: Tenali Raman, Vijayanagar empire, Krishnadevaraya, Jester, Wisdom
It must be noted that different religions and societies in Southeast Asia have alternative narratives of Ramayana, one of the greatest epic.
Here are some of the versions of Ramayana!
Dasaratha Jakarta: The Buddhist Version
Interestingly, this version of Ramayana does not mention Ravana at all and in fact, there’s no mention of Sita’s abduction, too. In this version, Dasaratha is the king of Benaras and not Ayodhya. Also, Rama and Sita leaves kingdom and go to the Himalayas and not forests. Then, after twelve years, Rama and Sita return back to Benaras and get married.
Paumachariya: The Jaina Version
In this version, Lakshamana is the killer of Ravana and not Rama. Here, Rama is an ardent follower of Jainism, and so he cannot be the killer of Ravana. Also, this version states an army of warrior and not monkeys, as stated in Valmiki’s Ramayana. Another interesting feature of this version is that Ramayana is not shown as a villain, rather a magnanimous king and follower of Jainism.
Gond Ramayani: The Gond Version
Gond is an adivasi clan belonging from Madhya Pradesh in India. Interestingly, in this version, the story begins from where Valmiki’s Ramayana ended; when Sita is rescued from captivity. Also, Bhima, one of the Pandavas from the epic of Mahabharata, is mentioned in this version. Unlike Valmiki’s Ramayana, Rama is not the protagonist in this version.
Ramakien: The Thai Version
This is considered as Thailand's national epic, and is still taught in some schools in the country. In this version, Ravana is shown as a learned scholar and a noble king in this version. Also, Ravana’s pursuit for Sita is depicted as true love. There are a lot of similarities between this version of Ramayana and Valmiki’s version, but this version lays a lot of emphasis on Hanuman.
When a baby is born in an Indian household-they invite hijra to shower the newborn with their blessings for their blessings confer fertility, prosperity, and long life on the child. But when that child grows up we teach them to avert their eyes when a group of hijras passes by, we pass on the behaviour of treating hijras as lesser humans to our children. Whenever a child raises a question related to gender identity or sexuality they are shushed down. We're taught to believe that anything "deviant" and outside of traditional cis-heteronormativity is something to be ashamed of. This mentality raises anxious, scared queer adults who're ashamed of their own identity, and adults who bully people for "queer behaviour".
Hijras are a community of people who include eunuchs, intersex, and transgender people. They worship the Hindu goddess of chastity and fertility, Bahuchara Mata. Most hijras, but not all, choose to undergo a castration ceremony known as "nirvana" in which they remove their male genitalia as an offering to their goddess. The whole community is vibrant with hundreds of people with hundreds of ways of expression, the true identity of a hijra is complex and unique to each individual. In India, hijras prefer to refer to themselves as Kinner/Kinnar as it means the mythological beings who excel at singing and dancing.
Hijras worship the Hindu goddess of chastity and fertility, Bahuchara Mata.homegrown.co.in
The hijra community works systematically, the community separates itself from the outside world and teaches lessons to the young ones in secret. Each community has a guru and the other hijras are their disciples or chela. The "hijra ways of life" are taught to the disciples in a secluded environment where they leave their families and live with other hijras in the community. More often than not hijras are thought of as nothing different from transgender and often referred to as transgender; however, scientifically these two terms denote a different class of people. Hijras are a part of the whole community of people with various identities and of spiritual and cultural values meanwhile, transgender merely refers to those people whose gender identity differs from the sex assigned to them at birth, they are a part of the community and do not represent the whole community.
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Historically and culturally the community has existed in the Indian subcontinent as long as the civilization has existed. There are mentions of hijra in The Mahabharata, a holy book of Hindus. Shikhandi who was neither male nor female is a mythological legend. In another version of Mahabharata Arjuna, one of the Pandavas was cursed to be the third gender by Urvashi, when he refused to be sexually involved with her. In a story by Padma Purana, it is seen that Arjuna transforms into a woman to take part in Krishna's mystical dance which only women can take part in. The Hijra figures are prominent in Indian Mughal History as well, referred to as Khwaja Siras and known for their loyalty to the ruler, they worked as the sexless watchdogs of the Mughal harems. They held important positions in court and various facets of administration during Mughal-era India, from the 16th to 19th century. The Hijra community is a testament to the sexual diversity that is integral yet often forgotten in Indian culture.
If the whole hijra community was looked upon with enamor and respect in our history, what happened that when we come across the community we look at them with contempt and are filled with a mixture of negative, fear, laughter, and odd emotions. It's owing to the fact that under British Raj, the Criminal tribes Act 1871 hijras were criminalized and the law was made to eradicate the whole community. However, these acts were abolished by the Indian government after independence, and by 2014, India, Nepal, and Bangladesh all had officially recognized third gender people as citizens deserving of equal rights where the third gender means individuals categorizing themselves as neither male nor female. Even though the progress is slow but in 2015 Madhu Kinnar became the first hijra mayor in India was elected in the city of Raigarh.
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Although the hijra community was revered by society and is invited to births and weddings for religious and spiritual ceremonies, they still become victims of abuse and discrimination. Violence and hate crimes against the community have become common. They are deprived of education, job opportunities, seating in restaurants, etc. leading them to live in poor conditions barely surviving. They often have to resort to begging and prostitution to earn a daily living. The government has tried to address this issue by introducing bills for the protection of the hijra community, with prison terms and other punishments for those offending them, but there is little to no less effect on the social stigma against the community.
In India, the hijra community comes under the umbrella term LGBTQ+ and we notice that they lack voice and representation when it comes to LGBTQ+ rights. We need to understand that when we fight for LGBTQ+ rights we fight for the whole community, we fight for hijras who have been victims of violence, hate crimes, and disrespect from none other than the people of our society. And although hijras are a part of the LGBTQ+ community as a whole, they have an independent subculture of their own. It is worth every effort to know about them, to study about them, to befriend them, and to smile at them for they are every bit of human as we are and they have nothing but blessings in their heart.